CHARLES D. HICKOK, of New Ulysses, is one of the few settlers of the '80s who still remain actively connected with Grant County. For a citizen of that section of Kansas to acknowledge that he does not know Charles D. Hickok is equivalent to arguing himself unknown. He came into the region in March, 1886, taking possession of a claim he had entered the year before, and as a farmer, stock rancher, banker, business man and public official has been identified with practically everything that is worthy of historic mention in Grant County.
For all this range of experience Mr. Hickok is by no means an old man. He was born in Nodaway County, Missouri, December 10, 1863. He comes of good American family. His grandfather, David N. Hickok, was a native of Vermont and possessed many of the rugged characteristics of the New Englander. From Vermont he went to Pennsylvania, but spent his remaining years in the State of Missouri. He died at St. Joseph in that state in 1892, at the age of eighty-six. Though past military age he had actively volunteered to do his part in the Civil war from Missouri, and his son Harrison was also a soldier, both of them being in the cavalry organization. Harrison was with the Fourth Missouri Troops. David N. Hickok married Esther Ruth Adams, who died in Andrew County, Missouri, in 1872. Their children were: James E.; Elisha Putnam, who died in Winfield, Kansas; Hadassah, twin sister of Elisha, and widow of S. S. Manley, of Andrew County, Missouri; Harrison D., who died at St. Joseph, Missouri.
James E. Hickok, father of the Grant County citizen, was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and left that state about 1856, moving to Galva, Illinois, and from there to Missouri. His home was in Nodaway County in the northwestern quarter of that state during the war. He spent his active career as a farmer and in 1877 moved from Andrew County, Missouri, to Kansas, locating at Peabody. In 1880 the family removed to Anderson County and located near Liztown, one of the oldest points of settlement in Eastern Kansas. In 1883 the Hickoks removed to Sumner County, but James E. Hickok died in Harper County of this state in 1905. He was a rock-ribbed republican, but never active in politics, was well educated, and was a school teacher in Missouri, as was his father before him. James E. Hickok married in Erie County, New York, in 1857, Miss Olive L. Bowen, daughter of Richard Bowen. The Bowens were Quakers and farmers, and Richard Bowen was born in Vermont in 1796. Mrs. James E. Hickok was the youngest of eleven children and is now living at Argonia, Kansas. Her children were: James E., who died as a young man in Anderson County, Kansas; William P. and Luella B., twins, the former a lawyer at Taloga, Oklahoma, and the latter the wife of William G. Rupp, of Trinidad, Colorado; Charles D.; Esther C. Colin, a widow living at Argonia; Mary A., who died at Oquawka, Illinois, in 1911, wife of James W. Gordon; and Galen R., of Satanta, Kansas.
Charles D. Hickok spent his boyhood in the rural districts of Northwestern Missouri, acquired a country school education, and after he was fourteen attended school at Peabody, Kansas. He lived with the family in their various homes in Kansas until 1886, when he left Sumner County and began his permanent career in the western districts. His education was finished in the University of Kansas and for several years he did successful work as a teacher. His first term was taught in Anderson County and for three terms he was a teacher in Grant County. He was principal of the schools at Old Ulysses for two years, and subsequently taught in the country district. Then for several years he was a member of the Teachers Examining Board.
His first residence in Grant County was on his homestead at Lawson, twelve miles southeast of New Ulysses. His circumstances might properly be described as poor as poverty. He was a young man of twenty-two, unmarried, and had no handicaps in shifting about for success according to the changing conditions. His first home in Grant County was a dugout, which he constructed because of lack of time and money to get anything better. It was roofed over with lumber hauled all the way from Cimarron. As already stated, he did some work as a school teacher and otherwise earned wages as a farm hand, well digger, and eventually, found work of a clerical nature, making transcript of the records of Stevens County for the new county of Grant. This work led to his becoming connected with the Court House offices, and he has been a semi-professional man ever since. His first position at the Court House was as deputy county clerk, and in 1893 he was elected chief of that office and filled it continuously for thirteen years. After leaving the county clerk's office he engaged in the abstract business and as a dealer in real estate. Mr. Hickok compiled one of the two sets of abstract books for Grant County. He was present when the county was organized, and voted at the election which separated it from Stevens county.
Early in his experience he proved up a homestead and a tree claim and has been one of the chief owners of land in this county in years past. He developed interests as a rancher and handled White Faced cattle and horses for many years until 1904, when he sold his 5,000 acre ranch and abandoned the business. While he has not been regarded as a farmer since then, he has kept in close touch with agricultural affairs as a large land holder.
Mr. Hickok is president of the Grant County State Bank and was one of its original stockholders and its first president. This bank has a capital of $10,000, has accumulated a surplus equal to its capital and is a financial institution in which most of the substantial people of the county place their confidence. The other officers are Stephen Davis, vice president, and Mary E. Hickok, cashier. In years past Mr. Hickok has helped promote practically every enterprise that has been undertaken for the development of this region and is now president of the committee chosen to handle the negotiations for right of way for the extension of the Santa Fe Railroad planned to build to New Ulysses.
A democrat, Mr. Hickok was reared under republican influences. He cast his first ballot in Sumner County, Kansas, has attended several state conventions and helped nominate L. D. Lewelling for governor in 1894. He has frequently been a delegate to democratic congressional conventions, and attended the national convention of 1908, where he witnessed the last presidential nomination of William J. Bryan. In religious convictions he is a sound churchman, active in the Baptist denomination, and has also identified himself with several fraternities. He is a past noble grand of his lodge of Odd Fellows, is past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, past master workman of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and has affiliations with the Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of Masons at Garden City and with Wichita Consistory of the Scottish Rite and Midian Temple of the Mystic Shrine. Mr. Hickok is at present chairman of the Board of Education at New Ulysses.
In Grant County July 16, 1889, he married Miss Ellen O. McCall. Her father, William McCall, was a native of Ireland, came to America in early life, joined the Union army in Illinois, went through that struggle, and afterwards became one of the early settlers of Grant County, Kansas. He died at Meeker, Oklahoma, in 1905. Mrs. Hickok was born in Clinton County, Illinois, one of eleven children. Mr. and Mrs. Hickok have a household of sturdy and enterprising young people as their children. The oldest, Ellen M., is the wife of Dan C. Sullivan of Grant County and they have a son, D. C., fifth of the family to bear these initials. Charles W. Hickok is making a reputation for himself as a cvil[sic] engineer and is now employed by the Interstate Commerce Commission in valuation of railway work. The third child is Mary E., of New Ulysses. Agnes J. married Tobias Brewer, of Grant County, and has a son, Charles H. James Allen is the soldier of the family, having enlisted immediately after his graduation from the New Ulysses High School in 1917 as a member of the United States Marine Corps. The three younger children, at home, are Kenneth E., Kathleen M. and Ruth Dorothy.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project