Rick began his residency in Williamson County after marrying a local girl, Elaine Ladd Warwick in 1969 and subsequently began teaching at Hillsboro School in Leipers Fork. It was here he began his passionate pursuit of all things Williamson. After teaching for over two decades, he decided to take a year’s sabbatical to concentrate on writing a book about the material culture of Williamson County. Thereafter, he retired from the public-school system and began amassing a wealth of historical information on people and places in Franklin and communities throughout the county.
Those who know him marvel at his encyclopedic knowledge of Williamson County history no matter the decade, as well as that of Tennessee. In 1988 Rick was elected president of the Williamson County Historical Society. In 1989, he became co-editor of the Williamson County Historical Society’s annual journal and full editor thereafter. He has been the editor of 29 published journals, and over 25 additional published books. He was appointed to the Tennessee Historical Commission 2005-2015 and has served on the boards of the Heritage Foundation, Carter House, Carnton, African American Heritage Society of Franklin and Williamson County, and Franklin’s Charge.
In 2018, after the retirement of Mrs.Virginia McDaniel Bowman, he was appointed Williamson County Historian.