John R. Riggs
John R. Riggs is the son of Samuel H. Riggs (1913-2002) and Lucille Ruff Riggs (1918-2000) and the brother of C. A. Riggs, Prescott, Arizona. John was born February 27, 1945 in Beech Grove, Indiana, and in 1949 he and his family moved to Mulberry, Indiana, where they owned and operated Riggs Dairy Bar for a number of years.
John attended Mulberry Schools (1951-1961) and graduated from Clinton Prairie High School in 1963. He credits his teachers at Mulberry and Clinton Prairie for their direction and inspiration and for grounding him in the fundamentals of thought and action so necessary for meeting the challenges of life.
John then entered Indiana University, Bloomington, where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and rode in the Little 500. While there he earned a BS in social studies and an MA in creative writing. He later attended the University of Michigan, studying conservation and environmental communications.
On September 2, 1967, John married Cynthia Perkins (1945-2002), and their children are Heidi Zimmerman, Mansfield, Ohio and Shawn Riggs, Colorado Springs, Colorado. On July 1, 1988, he married Carole Gossett Anderson and their children are Flint Anderson, Coatesville, Indiana and Susan Shorter, Spencer, Indiana.
Since 1971, John has lived in Putnam County, Indiana, currently on a small farm southeast of Greencastle. While in Putnam County, he has worked as an English teacher, football coach, quality control foreman, carpenter, and wood splitter. From 1979-1998 he assisted James R. Gammon of DePauw University with Gammon’s landmark research on the Wabash River. He recently retired from DePauw University Archives, but continues to mix chemicals for Co-Alliance, Bainbridge.
John is the author of 18 published books in the Garth Ryland mystery series, and the 2001 Bicentennial History bulletins for the Indiana United Methodist Church. He has also written River Rat, a coming of age novel; Of Boys and Butterflies, his ongoing memoirs; and numerous essays. Me, Darst, and Alley Oop, a travel odyssey and his first extended work of non-fiction, was published in 2016.