J. C. Hickey, of Santa Ana, is a native of Knox County, Tennessee, and was an infant when his father died. He was reared by his step-father, who moved to Alabama about 1845. At the age of fifteen years he left his stepfather, on account of cruel treatment, and started for California. He traveled on foot through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. At San Antonia he joined Dr. Edwards and others who were starting to California with cattle, in 1854.
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After arriving in Los Angeles, Mr. Hickey worked by the day for two months, and then for seven years was engaged in the cattle business in various parts of northern California. In 1864-’65 he followed farming one year at El Monte. In 1866 he was settling up his cattle business in Fresno. In 1868 he bought a large barn and cattle ranch in San Bernardino County, and carried it on for seven years.
December 23, 1874, is the date of his arrival at Santa Ana, when he at once entered the livery business, which he successfully followed until 1884. His stables stood where now stands the Brunswick Hotel. He sold the property for $14,000, and he owns $12,000 stock in the hotel, and he still also owns the Hickey livery barns, on the corner of Fifth and Sycamore streets. In 1887 he built the Hickey block, on Fourth street,a fine brick structure, two stories high, fifty-feet front by fifty feet in depth. He also owns other valuable residence property and business houses. His residence is on West and Hickey streets. He has been prominently connected with nearly every enterprise in Santa Ana, and is a citizen respected by everybody.
In 1866 he married, in El Monte, Miss Julia A. Johnston, who was born in the city of Chicago, the daughter of McAger Johnston, a native of Tennessee, who came to California in 1852, across the plains. He was a blacksmith, and built the first shop in Los Angeles County outside of the city. Ile was killed January 5, 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Hickey have six children.