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Charles T. Bickett. Well established in business affairs at Coffeyville, with an office for the handling of insurance, collections and also for the discharge of his duties as justice of the peace, Charles T. Bickett has had an unusually wide range of experience and association with Montgomery County, where he has lived since pioneer times.
His ancestry goes back to an old English family, and in fact may be traced to that noted scholar and thinker, Thomas a’ Becket, of the fourteenth century. The Bicketts came from England to Virginia in colonial times. From Virginia they spread across the mountains into Kentucky, and Mr. Bickett’s grandfather was born either in Kentucky or Virginia and was a Kentucky farmer.
Charles T. Bickett was born at Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri, February 7, 1860. His father, Hiram J. Bickett, was born at St. Mary’s, Kentucky, in 1813, was reared and married there, was a school teacher for several years, and in 1856 became one of the early settlers in Nodaway County, Northwest Missouri. He taught school in that section of the state until 1876, and in that year moved to Kansas, locating at Wellington, and in 1879 buying a farm three miles west of Liberty in Montgomery County, on which he lived until his death October 14, 1884. He was a Kentucky democrat and a member of the Catholic Church. His, wife, Cynthia Bickett, was also born in Kentucky and died in Missouri in February, 1860, at the birth of her youngest child, Charles T. Bickett. The older children were: Jerome, who died in Maryville, Missouri, in 1862; James A., who is a retired physician and surgeon at Maryville; Margaret, who died at Maryville in 1864; Susan, who lives at Cherryvale, Kansas, widow of W. H. Linton, who died in 1916; T. S., roadmaster of the Santa Fe Railway Company, living at Trinidad, Colorado; A. D. Bickett, foreman in the car shops at Horton, Kansas; Rose, now living in the State of Washington, is the widow of James A. Wakefield, who was a miller and lumberman and died in 1908; Joseph A. in the fruit commission business at Chico, California; W. A. Bickett, who was foreman on a fruit and nut ranch in California, and was killed at Burbank in that state by a cave-in of an irrigation plant.
The first fifteen years of his life Charles T. Bickett spent in Northwest Missouri, and up to 1875 was a pupil in the Benedictine Brothers School at Conception, Missouri. In March, 1876, he came to Kansas and lived on the farm of his uncle, Anthony Bickett, at Wellington until the fall of the same year, when his father arrived. On December 23, 1878, he arrived at Independence in Montgomery County and soon afterwards went out to the old farm near Liberty. In 1879, at the age of nineteen, he went on a car load of wheat to Kansas City, Missouri, and began work for Parker Brothers, furniture manufacturers, at 4-5 East Levee. He remained with that firm until the spring of 1882. Until December of the same year he was with the Carlat Undertaking Company, and in January, 1883, returned to the home farm, where he remained until the spring of 1884. Since the latter date his home has been at Coffeyville. In August, 1884, Mr. Rickett entered the employ of Lange & Lape, furniture dealers and undertakers, and was with them several years. In 1895 he went to Claremore, Kansas, and opened a furniture and undertaking business for Col. F. A. Neilson, and was manager of the establishment until July, 1898. On returning to Coffeyville he was bookkeeper and salesman in a wholesale house for six years, and then resumed employment with a Coffeyville furniture company, where he remained until June 1, 1909. After that he was with Ragle & Curry, in the insurance business, until July 1, 1912. At the latter date he opened his office to handle insurance and collections and has built up a large clientage in those lines. In the fall of 1912 he was elected justice of the peace, and still discharges the duties of that office together with his other business. His offices are at Room 7 in the Odd Fellows Building. Mr. Bickett has acquired considerable local real estate, including his home at 110 West North Street.
Politically he is an independent democrat. He was reared in and has always been faithful to the Catholic Church, and fraternally is affiliated with Star Lodge No. 117, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Coffeyville; with Gate City Encampment No. 80, and Canton of the same order; with Lodge No. 58, Improved Order of Red Men, at Coffeyville; is a life member of lodge No. 305 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles; is a member of the Fraternal Aid Union at Coffeyville; and belongs to Coffeyville Lodge No. 1193, Loyal Order of Moose; and with Anti-Horse Thief Association. He is a member of the Coffeyville Commercial Club.
On November 18, 1883, Mr. Bickett was married at Coffeyville, Kansas, to Miss Chloe B. Shelley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Shelley. Her mother is now deceased and her father, who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Bickett, was a pioneer settler in Montgomery County of 1869, and followed farming until he retired. Mr. and Mrs. Bickett have had four children: Charles, who died at the age of one and a half years; Grace, wife of Fred Felton, a glass worker living at Terre Haute, Indiana; J. O., who was born June 4, 1888, and died in December, 1911, at the age of twenty-three; and Quixie.