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William F. Hicks (1840-1914)
Born in NY, lived in Bay City after the Civil War before settling in Hastings, MI.

1915: Biography (Added, Aug., 2010)

The History of Michigan, by Charles Moore (1915)


During many years of his lifetime as a civic leader and business man of Hastings, which city was his home for more than thirty-five year, William F. Hicks, deceased, was an honored veteran of the great Civil War, lived in Michigan for seventy years and a made a most creditable record in all the activities which at different periods of his life engaged his attention.

His birth occurred in the state of New York, in Clinton county, April 6, 1840, as the third son of M. W. and Sarah (Fox) Hicks, both parents also natives of the state of New York. In 1844, when William F. was four years old, the family came west and settled at Southfield, in Oakland county, Michigan. The father was a man of no little importance in Oakland county during many years, and the character of his activities were such as to constitute a valued service to the people. He was proprietor of both a mill and a store, besides operating a considerable tract of farming land. His store and mill were patronized by the people of a large territory, and the mill was for a number of years the only one in this section of the state, and its facilities were proportionately valuable. In 1868 he move to Bay City, Michigan, where his death occurred in 1869, and his widow survived only a short time.

William F. Hicks grew up in Oakland county, was a student in the public schools at Southfield until his eighteenth year, and after some further preparation in a select school, took up the work of a teacher, which vocation was followed by him in sever different school districts. In the meantime his active assistance had been given to his father in the store, but soon after reaching his majority his service were enlisted in the cause of freedom and the preservation of the Union. In 1862 he enlisted in Company D of the Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry, under Colonel Henry A. Morris. This company was soon sent to the front and saw service in a number of skirmishes, and Mr. Hicks fought in the battle of South Mountain. Soon after that engagement he fell ill, was sent to a hospital and later to Philadelphia, remaining in that city until August, 1863, and was then given a discharge on a surgeon's certificate. His returned home to Oakland county was followed by a period of comparative inactivity in consequence of the hardships of army life, but on recovering his health he moved to Bay City, became a clerk in the general store, and after several years bought an interest in the establishment. Finally disposing of his mercantile holdings at Bay City, in 1878, Mr. Hicks moved to Hastings and began dealing in ice and salt. At the end of two years this business was sold, and most of his time for a number of years was taken up with the operation of a farm and in looking after various private interests and public affairs. In 1910 he again bought an ice business, and continued it to the time of his death. He owned a farm of forty-six acres near Hastings, and made that his own personal supervision to its management.

The name of Mr. HicksDemocratic politics in Barry county for a number of years. In 1900 he was made a member of the Democratic Central Committee, and in 1912 was a member of the State Democratic Central Committee, and gave active support to the campaign of Champ Clark during that year. In the city of Hastings his chief public service was in the office of alderman, of which he was the incumbent for sixteen years from the Fourth Ward. Fraternally he affiliated with Hastings Lodge, No. 52, A. F. & A. M.; Hastings Chapter, No. 68, R. A. M., and he took much interest in Masonic affairs. Mr. Hicks' wife preceded him in death some years, and their only daughter, Belle, served as her father's private secretary.

Additional Notes.

    1868 - Michigan Marriages: Wenona, Bay Co.

  • William F. Hicks, b. 1840, married Kate Campbell, b. 1840 Canada, on June 18, 1868. (Note: Wenona later became West Bay City.)

    1880 Census: Hastings, Barry Co., Mich.

  • Hicks, Wm. F. - b. 1840 New York, grocer
  • Catherine wife, b. 1840 Canada
  • Belle daughter, b. 1870 Mich. (Hastings)

    1910 Census: Hastings, Mich.

  • Hicks, William F. - b. 1840 New York

    1914 Michigan Deaths: Hastings

  • William F. Hicks died April 2, 1914, age 73 years, born in N.Y. Parents Melanthan N. Hicks and Sarah Fox.

    1916 Michigan Marriages: Hastings, Barry Co., Mich.

  • Date: June 10, 1916.
  • Groom: Jesse D. Vester, b. 1876 Mich. Parents: Rufus Vester and Lucinda Lydy.
  • Bride: Belle Hicks, b. 1872 Mich. Parents: William F. Hicks and Catherine Campbell.
Related Pages & Notes

Related Pages:
Bay Co. Civil War History.
People Referenced

Fox, Sarah (mother)
Hicks, Belle (dau.)
Hicks, William F. (subject)
Hicks, Melanthan N. (father)
Lydy, Lucinda
Morris, Henry A.
Vester, Jesse D.
Vester, Rufus
Subjects Referenced
24th Mich. Inf.
Barry Co., MI
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Civil War
Clinton Co. NY
Hasting, MI
Oakland Co., MI
Philadelphia, PA
Southfield, MI
Wenona, MI
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.