CHARLES H. WICKS, a successful farmer, residing on his seventy-acre farm in the town of DeRuyter, having been a resident there for the past thirty-seven years, was born in Truxton, Cortland County, N.Y., in 1818. His father, Benajah Wicks, was born in Saratoga, then known as Charleston, and married Mary Ann Enearl, of Saratoga County, the marriage taking place in that county. He was a blacksmith by occupation, and followed his trade for many years. They moved to Truxton about the year 1813. They reared five sons and one daughter, two of their children dying in infancy: Zophar when a boy, at Truxton; and Betsy. The mother of these children died in middle life, and was followed by her husband within four years, leaving our subject then a boy of twelve. Upon the death of his father he took up his abode with a farmer named Pierce, residing near Truxton, and lived with him until he reached the age of twenty-one, receiving one hundred dollars and being permitted to attend school three months each year. He then learned the shoe-maker's trade, at which he worked for some ten years, and was later engaged as a carpenter for a short time.
July 3, 1844, he was united in marriage to Hannah Pierce, of Truxton, daughter of Jonathan and Electa (Burtles) Pierce, the former of Colerain, Mass., and the latter of Saratoga County, New York. She was the sixth child in a family of thirteen, five sons and eight daughters, who attained maturity, and of whom three sons and three daughters are still living. When five years of age, Mrs. Wicks went to live with an aunt in Truxton, while her parents went to Kenosha, Wis., where they were among the early settlers. The journey was made by way of the Great Lakes, and they were five weeks on the way. This was about the year 1835. Mr. Pierce was a carpenter by trade, and helped to build the first frame house in Kenosha. His wife died at the age of sixty-six, and he about four years later, in 1865, when seventy-eight years old. Mr. and Mrs. Wicks have lost one son, Henry Otis, who died at the age of seven, June 7, 1856. They have two children now living, namely: Mary, wife of Delancy M. Benjamin, a farmer in this town; and Allen, residing in Cortland, and employed in the marble works. The latter married Helen McCarthy, October 31, 1891; and they are the parents of an infant daughter.
Mr. Wicks is now engaged in general farming, but formerly devoted some time to the cultivation of hops. He erected his large, comfortable farm-house in 1884; and this, with his seventy acres of fertile and highly cultivated land, forms a nice and valuable property. He began life at the foot of the ladder, and has achieved success by energy, perseverance, and honest toil, and with the assistance of his devoted and faithful wife. The latter, although not always in the enjoyment of perfect health, has ably performed her part in the duties of life, in the administration of her household and the bringing up of her children. She and her husband are passing their declining years surrounded by the comforts of life, and secure in the consciousness of a well-spent life.
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