Biography of Edwin Hicklin
Louisa County, IA Biographies





Edwin Hicklin, postmaster of Wapello, comes of worthy pioneer ancestry and in the course of a varied and interesting life has shown traits of industry. fortitude and perseverance which were prominent characteristics of the brave men and women who conquered the wilderness. He is a native of Wapello, born September 4, 1867, a son of James Hall and Sarah Ellen (Williams) Hicklin. His maternal grandfather, Robert Williams, was the first white man to build a cabin in the Indian reservation. This was in 1836. The Indians were unfriendly to the intruders from the east, but they respected Mr. Williams on account of his white hair and beard and he was permitted to dwell among them in safety. His sons, however, were obliged to retire for a time to the protection of the settlements.

The father of our subject came to Iowa with Daniel Ellege, a minister of the gospel, in 1840 and settled in Louisa county. He often referred to the fact that he ate his first supper in this county on the spot where the old mill was later erected near Wapello. After living here a short time he became dissatisfied and walked to Sedalia, Missouri, where he had relatives, but later changed his mind and returned to Louisa county, devoting his attention to farming and running a ferry boat. He also engaged in the mercantile business with several partners. Many emigrants were passing through Iowa into the newly opened west and Mr. Hicklin, who possessed a trustful and generous nature, supplied their wants, hoiding their promises to pay while they were establishing themselves in their new homes. His faith in human nature, however, led to financial disaster, as many of the bills were never paid, and as a result he was obliged to retire from the mercantile business. He spent the remainder of his life upon a farm. He possesed good fighting blood, which he demonstrated by participating in the Mexican and Civil wars. At the age of eighteen he joined General Taylor's command at Vera Cruz and was one of the mounted guard which rode with the commanding general into the City of Mexico after the surrender of the Mexican capital. He enlisted in Company G, Nineteenth Iowa Regiment, in the Civil war and served as sergeant under Captain A. M. Taylor. He was present at the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, but was discharged from the army on account of defective eyesight. There were seven children in his family: Mary F., who is now the wife of Henry Bremmer, of Wapello; Martha, who married Rufus M. Archibald, of Wapello; Millard F., also of Wapello; Monroe, who is deceased; Amanda, the wife of Thomas A. Gallagher; James D., of Wapello; and Edwin, of this review.

At the age of seventeen years Edwin Hicklin met with a severe disaster in the loss of his left arm while duck hunting, but he bravely resolved to perform his mission in life regardless of misfortune. He began working at ten cents a day as bookkeeper at the age of eighteen and soon afterward entered newspaper subscription work and also took up the study of shorthand. He taught school for a while and for two years was connected with the county treasurer's office. For five years he was employed in the office of clerk of the district court and performed his work so acceptably that he was elected clerk of the court, a position which he filled for eight years. He was then connected with the law office of H. O. Weaver for a year and for a similar period was cashier of the Wapello State Bank. After giving up this position he entered the law office of C. A, Carpenter, of Columbus Junction, and continued with Mr. Carpenter until May 9, 1910, when he was appointed by President Taft as postmaster of Wapello. Mr. Hicklin is of a genial and accommodating disposition and, as he thoroughly understands progressive business methods, he has met with deserved recognition as one of the most efficient postmasters Wapello has known.

On the 6th of June, 1894, Mr. Hicklin was married to Miss Millicent Reichley, a daughter of George W. and Catherine (Brookhart) Reichley. She was one of a family of eight children: Mary Elizabeth, who married Joseph Meeker, of Muscatine county, and is now deceased; Joseph A., who is living in Minneapolis; Margaret E., the wife of Rev. Charles Blanchard, of Des Moines; Sarah, who is also deceased; George C., of Arkansas; Henry E., who is living in Hutchinson, Kansas; Millicent, now Mrs. Edwin Hicklin; and Laura, the wife of W. V. Runyon, of Letts, Iowa. Eight children same to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs: Hicklin, namely: Edwin, Millicent, Mary, Jean, Catherine, Albert Otis, Laura Alice and Millard Fillmore.

Mr. Hicklin ever since arriving at his majority has voted in support of the candidates and principles of the republican party. He is a valued member of the Knights of Pythias. A man of strong determination of character and unusual perseverance and energy he has succeeded where others have failed. He can claim a host of warm personal friends in Wapello and is recognized as one of the leading and valued citizens of Louisa county.

From:
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1912


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