Biography of T. J. Pickett, Jr.
Saunders County, NE Biographies





T. J. Pickett, Jr., editor of the Wahoo Wasp, is a veteran of the journalistic field in Saunders county, having been engaged in the profession in this community for thirty five years. His record as a newspaper man and as a citizen has been one of merit and honesty and his success in his accepted vocation has been the result of straight business methods, careful attention to the development of the newspaper industry and hearty interest in the production of something which was expected by the people.

T. J. Pickett, Jr., was born in Peoria, Illinois, December 27, 1850, and is the son of Thomas J. and Louisa (Baily) Pickett. Before recounting the details of Mr. Pickett's career, it is well to say a few words in regard to his father, Thomas J. Pickett, a man of great prominence and notable in several fields of endeavor. Thomas J. Pickett, Sr., was born March 17, 1821, and early in life decided to enter the newspaper game, which he did by entering the office of George D. Prentice as a printer's boy. In 1840 he located at Peoria, Illinois. He was the first president of the Illinois Press Association; was a very prominent member of the Masonic order, having been at different times grand master in Illinois and in Kentucky. He was one of the organizers of the Sixty ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was a lieutenant colonel in this organization; later he organized the One Hundred and Thirty second Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was made the colonel of the regiment. Originally Thomas J. Pickett was a whig in politics, but was a delegate to the first national convention of the republican party at Philadelphia, which nominated John C. Fremont. He was state senator in 1869 from Rock Island, Illinois, where he then lived, having located there in 1858. At the close of the Rebellion he moved to Paducah, Kentucky, and there filled the offices of postmaster and clerk of the district court. He remained there until the spring of 1879, then went to Nebraska City for one year and then to Lincoln, where he resided until his death on December 24, 1891. His wife, Louisa Baily, was a native of the state of Maryland. Five children were born to them, namely, Horace G., George, Charles, Thomas J., Jr., and Mrs. Mildred Terrell. Mr. Pickett was married the second time to Libby Smith of Peoria. Three children were born to this union, Mrs. Harriett Guthrie, Mrs. May Boswell and William L.

T. J. Pickett, Jr., the subject of this sketch, was educated in the public and private schools. For several years he was engaged as a printer and in 1871, in company with H. F. White, established the Nokomis Gazette at Nokomis, Illinois. In 1872 he was appointed expert printer for the state of Illinois, with offices at Springfield, the state capital. Subsequently he sold his interest in the Gazette to Mr. White, his former partner. Mr. Pickett held this state office for two years, after which he became editor and manager of the Fulton Journal at Fulton, Illinois. There he remained until 1879, then established the Nebraska City Sun at Nebraska City, Nebraska, which he, his father, and brothers Horace and Charles, conducted as a morning daily. One year later Mr. Pickett located in Ashland, Saunders county, Nebraska, and bought the paper then known as the Saunders County Reporter, the name of which he changed to the Ashland Gazette, and the politics from greenback to republican. He operated this newspaper plant until 1898, then sold out, to become postmaster of the town of Ashland. He held this office for eight years. In 1888 he was float senator from Saunders and Sarpy counties. In 1895 Mr. Pickett moved to the city of Wahoo and acquired the controlling interest in the Wahoo Wasp, which position he has since occupied to the satisfaction of the newspaper reading people of the county. He was also state central committeeman in 1898; in fact, has always been energetic in support of the republican party.

On November 2, 1875, Mr. Pickett wedded Kate C. Snyder, daughter of Dr. W. C. Snyder, of Fulton, Illinois. Mrs. Pickett is still living and has been the proud mother of four sons, all successful in their different vocations. Stanley Pickett, for several years a commercial traveler, has recently established himself in business at Wahoo. William Pickett has a half interest with his father in the Wahoo Wasp; he was married April 24, 1906, to Daisy Mielenz, daughter of C. L. Mielenz of Wahoo, and they have one daughter, Katherine, born September 12, 1909. Henry Pickett is now filling the office of clerk of the district court of Saunders county; he married Rhea Lamoreaux of Omaha, July 21, 1914, and they have one four months old daughter, Anna. James Pickett is now owner and editor of the Cedar Bluffs Standard; he was married to Bessie Livesey and they have one daughter, Beatrice.

From:
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
Vol. II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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