Born in 1831 at New Sharon, Maine, Dr. J. S. Riggs was educated at Farmington Academy and Kent’s Hill Seminary. Upon his graduation from the latter institution he shipped from New London, Conn., upon a whaling voyage around Cape Horn and spent two years in the Arctic Ocean. Upon his return he taught school until the outbreak of the civil war, when he enlisted, August, 1861, in the 112th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the war. Immediately thereafter Dr. Riggs commenced the study of medicine, graduated from the Chicago College of Physicians and Surgeons, and commenced the practice of his profession in Iowa. Remaining in the state until 1887, he then came to Redlands, where he has since resided, and purchased the drug business of L.M. Johnson, who opened the first drug store in the city on May 16, 1887, in the west half of the building now occupied by the Drake Company. Dr. Riggs removed afterward to the Sloan House building, now the First National Bank, where Dr. Riggs sold his interest in the business and resumed the active practice of medicine in Redlands.
(Source: Illustrated Redlands, 1897, p. 46.)