Biography of Henry Bricker
Northwestern Ohio Biographies

In the success achieved and position attained in this prosperous and highly respected citizen of Hicksville, we see the fruits of a life of patient toil and faithful devotion to the interests of his environments, as also to his own highest good.

Mr. Bricker is of Swiss descent, but the family have long been identified with the life and growth of this country. His great grandfather, a native of Switzerland, immigrated to America at an early day and settled in Maryland, where he engaged in farming. His son, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and there learned the blacksmith's trade. In early manhood he married a Miss Norman of that place, and this newly married couple then left the home of their early days and settled on a tract of land situated in Center township, near New Lisbon, Columbiana county, Ohio, This was about 1808, and they were among the earliest settlers of that wilderness section; but undismayed by the dreary outlook, youthful ambition and vigor persevered in establishing a home in that desolate place, where the nearest neighbor was six miles away, Thus cut off from the social converse and helpful intercourse of neighboring pioneers, the drudgery of daily toil in the rude home went on, relieved and cheered, however, by the affections and interests that centered in the family circle, which was increased by new faces, one by one, till it included six children-three boys and three girls-whose presence brought additional brightness to the humble home, and made the lonely forest ring with shouts of their happy voices, As time passed on the opening forest showed the fruits of assiduous toil, and still the work of clearing the tract progressed during the life of this busy man till the whole of it was accomplished, In connection with the farm work he dealt in horses, taking droves of them through the country to Baltimore; and he also followed teaming, driving a six horse team to Baltimore and back, taking loads of the products of that county, and returning laden with merchandise. In politics Mr, Bricker was a Democrat. He and his wife were devout members of the German Reformed Church, and he received the marked confidence of his fellow members in being elected deacon, an office he held for many years, The death of this wife occurred about 1836, and she was buried in Salem township, that county, in the grounds adjoining St. Jacob's Church. The husband was afterward united in marriage with Mrs. Lethe Clapsaddle, to which marriage there were no children, Mr. Bricker died about 1850, and was buried beside his first wife.

John Bricker, one of the six children of that pioneer home in Columbiana county, was the father of our subject. He was born in 1808, and was reared to agricultural pursuits on his father's farm, When a young man he came into possession of the old homestead in Center township by purchase and otherwise, and remaining on the farm throughout the whole of his life made agriculture his sole business. His scholastic training was very limited, but he was a man of superior natural ability, and not only thoroughly systematic in the conduct of his affairs, having a place for every tool and utensil used on the farm, where it could be found by any one in the darkest night, but was progressive as well; indeed, was what is known as a scientific farmer, and was continually experimenting in order to acquire improved methods in raising farm crops.

Early in life he married Rebecca Burger, a native of Columbiana county, of German descent, and they had a family of eleven children, as follows: George, Jacob, Henry, Sophia, Nancy, David, Lydia Ann, Catharine, Lucinda, Daniel and Joseph, Sophia married William Grover, and died in Boone, Iowa, Nancy married Joseph Brinker, and resides in her native place, Lydia Ann married James Figley; Catharine married John Figley, and both are widows residing in their native place. Lucinda married David Shine, and died a year after marriage. The mother died in the spring of 1851, and was buried in the cemetery of St, Jacob's Church, Salem, Mr, Bricker married, for his second wife, Mrs, Lydia Ervin, nee Sampsill, and she became the mother of four children, as follows: Jesse, Rebecca, Eli and Minty, Rebecca married E, Smith, who died, and after his decease she married Newton Long, They reside at Center. Minty married George Long, and resides at Center, also. As this record shows, John Bricker was the father of fifteen children. Two of his sons, Henry and David, served as soldiers in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion. Mr. Bricker was a lifelong Democrat. His religious belief was that of the German Reformed Church, of which he was a valued member. He held the office of deacon in that Church many years, The home place was greatly improved during his life by the modern residence he erected in place of the old pioneer dwelling, the home of his birth, and there in 1884 he passed from earth,

Henry Bricker was born January 12, 1837, in the log house that had been the birthplace of his father also, and he was trained to agricultural life on the home farm, remaining there until he was eighteen years of age, when his father, in accordance with his custom with all of his sons, gave him the opportunity of learning a trade with sufficient pecuniary aid furnished to enable him to do so. Accordingly the youth left the parental roof, and became an apprentice to the blacksmith's trade, at West Unity, Williams county, this State. January 1. 1854. After serving there two and one half years he completed his full term of apprenticeship at Haysville, Ashland county, when he came to Hicksville and remained a year. finding employment but not working at his trade, He hauled rails at fifty cents per day, also cut cordwood at twenty five cents per cord,

On April 3, 1857, he was married to Miss Mary Ann Bear, a daughter of Martin and Susan (Gilbert) Bear, from the Allegheny section, Pennsylvania. Mr. Bear was a farmer, son of Daniel Bear. a pioneer of Bazetta, Trumbull county, Ohio, After his marriage Mr. Bricker carried on blacksmithing in Swan township. Noble county, Indiana, taking up his trade there by his own unaided efforts; and by diligent application to business was successful in accumulating a sum sufficient to procure a little home, in which he was settled in 1861, when the country being plunged into the war of the Rebellion, with patriotic zeal he responded to the call for volunteers, enlisting September 25, 1861, in the Fifth Indiana Battery of Artillery. Going out as sergeant he served as such for eighteen months, when he became chief artificer of the battery, in which capacity he served during the remainder of his military service, The first engagement of the battery was at Stone river, where the action began at daylight. A half hour later, while in charge of his gun in his duty as sergeant, a shell from the enemy exploded in the air just above him, and a fragment of this shell, striking him, threw him down. This fragment he still keeps as a relic, That engagement lasted from Wednesday morning till Saturday evening, during which time his battery was compelled to fall back, and Mr. Bricker, while attempting to save his gun and attach it to the limber, barely escaped being either captured or killed. While earnestly engaged in his efforts to save the gun he was ordered by the captain to retreat, and again the order was given, when, looking up, he saw the limber had been removed and the enemy was advancing, and then only a hundred yards or even less away, He obeyed the order with all possible haste, starting on a run, but was overburdened with a heavy overcoat, which finally so exhausted him he could hardly stand. Being a sergeant. it was his privilege to have a horse, but it had been left in the hands of a private and the private being wounded, the horse was loose. Just then, in his dilemma, he spied his horse standing close by, his head held down by the hitching strap. which was under his feet. The horse was one he had captured in Alabama, and was named "Jack." Calling him by name, which the horse appeared to know, Mr, Bricker went to him, and after several attempts, succeeded in mounting, the Rebels by that time being close in the rear and still advancing; but the friendly animal starting off on a run, hastened the soldier's retreat, and without any guiding soon bore him safely to his battery. Mr, Bricker regards this circumstance as providential, as otherwise he would have been killed or wounded. This horse was wounded twice while in his service. The next engagement in which Mr. Bricker participated was Liberty Gap, Tennessee, which lasted one and one half days, resulting in the loss of but one killed then followed Tullahoma, an engagement of three quarters of a day; Chickamauga, two days, resulting in five killed; Chattanooga; Buzzard's Roost, a sharp contest of three hours' duration; Vhitesides, resulting in a loss of two killed; Resaca; and Kingston. Then, during the Atlanta campaign, there was continued fighting from the spring of 1864 until the 22nd of the following September. He received his discharge from the army November 29. 1864. his entire military service having covered a period of three years and two months.

On his return to the paths of peace he resumed work at his trade at Swan Creek, then in the spring of 1866 removed to Hicksville, where he established himself in the same business and carried it on fifteen years, when he abandoned it and for a while gave his undivided attention to farming, owning a farm of eighty acres in the corporation of Hicksville, which he still operates. He also owns one third interest in a farm of fifty five acres in the corporation, and for the past tell years has had one third interest in the butchering business carried on by his sons.

Mr. and Mrs. Bricker have had seven children, of whom the following is a brief record: William Henry, born December 28, 1858, married Ellen Landis; John Martin, born December 4, 1861, married Frances La Croix; David Franklin, born February 2, 1867, married Luella Ethel Gaff; Wallace Burton, born May 1, 1870, married Marguerite Steel; Nancy May, born February 14, 1876, died when three years of age; Joseph Alandis, born August r8, 1878, died when five weeks old; Amy Sophia, born December 5, 1885. The fine modern residence, No. 14 High street, which is the home of the family, was built by Mr. Bricker in 1873.

Our subject is a member of the Republican party, and holds an honorable place in the esteem of his fellow citizens, which, in recognition of his worth, have elevated him to positions of responsibility. He has been a trustee of the township for the past two years, in which capacity he is still serving; has been a member of the town council for five years; and trustee of the Forest Home Cemetery Association since its organization. He was one of the organizers of the association, and one to assist in laying out the lots of the cemetery. Both he and his wife are members of the Church of the United Brethren, in which they are active and zealous workers. Mr. Bricker was a liberal contributor toward the new church edifice, and, with his wonted activity in the advance of a good cause, was one of the agitators and instigators of the movements that resulted in the erection of this fine structure. He was largely instrumental in securing subscriptions, amounting to between seven thousand and eight thousand dollars, preliminary to the inception of the work in June, 1891. He was appointed general superintendent and manager of the erection of the church, and devoted the whole season to the duties thus intrusted to him, proving an efficient supervisor. The work was successfully completed at a cost of about eleven thousand dollars, and on the 3d of April, 1892, the edifice was dedicated. The main auditorium has a seating capacity of about seven hundred. The contributions of Mr. Bricker and his sons toward the work amounted to about twelve hundred dollars, seven hundred and forty dollars of which was given by Mr. Bricker. He has been a member of the Church since 1866; Sunday school superintendent at different times during the past twenty years, treasurer twenty years, and trustee throughout the whole of his membership. Mrs. Bricker is president and treasurer of the Missionary Society of the Church, and a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois

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