Biography of Sylvester Freemont Wicker
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Sylvester Freemont Wicker. In point of experience and continuous practice Mr. Wicker is one of the oldest members of the bar in Greenwood County. He had been identified with a general practice as a lawyer and many business affairs in that section for the past thirty-three years. He now had his home and interests at Eureka.
The stock from which he is descended is Scotch-Irish. The Wickers settled in North Carolina during colonial times. Mr. Wicker’s father and grandfather were natives of the Old North state. His grandfather James Wicker was born in North Carolina in 1807, and was an early settler in the State of Indiana. He died at Westfield in that state in 1877. He married a Miss Bundrum, a native of North Carolina, who also died at Westfield, Indiana.
Sylvester Freemont Wicker was born in Hamilton County, Indiana, February 28, 1852. His father, Harmon A. Wicker, who was born in North Carolina in 1826 grew up there, but when a young man removed to Hamilton County, Indiana, where he married. The trade which he followed during most of the years of his life was that of blacksmith. He came to Kansas during the territorial epoch. It was in the spring of 1857 that he settled at Ossawatomie, and he shod horses and did repairs for the settlers in that community until the outbreak of the war. In war times he did his duty as a brave and loyal soldier of the Union. In 1862 he enlisted in Company D of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry, and was on duty or subject to call until the close of the war. He helped repel the raids of Quantrell and of Price, and took part in the battle of Saline, Arkansas. Following the war he established his blacksmith shop at Stanton, Kansas, afterwards was in business in Butler County, and finally removed to Madison, Kansas, where he died in 1893. As a fighting soldier of the Federal army he naturally took up the faith of the republican party and always supported its candidates and principles. Fraternally he was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Harmon Wicker married Amanda E. Jackson. She was born at Salem, Indiana, in October, 1826, and is now living at the venerable age of ninety years at Conway Springs, Kansas. She became the mother of three children: Sylvester F., Viola, wife of D. S. Flock, a salesman living at Wichita, Kansas, and Lola, who died at the age of nine months.
Sylvester F. Wicker was five years of age when brought to Kansas, and he had some personal recollections of Kansas during territorial days and during the period of the war. His principal education came from the public schools of Stanton and Paola in Miami County. Having reached the age of twenty, he determined to start out on his own account, and his spirit of adventure led him into Texas, where he found employment as a cowboy with various stockmen. During the years 1872-79 he made three trips with cattle from Texas to Wichita, Kansas. That was at the high tide of the cattle trail activities and before railroads to a large extent abolished the custom of driving cattle from the Southwest to the markets of the North.
In 1879 Mr. Wicker located at Madison, Kansas, and while employed in a real estate and insurance office he took up the study of law. He pursued it with such diligence that he was admitted to the bar in 1883. Still keeping his residence at Madison he began a practice which involved his appearance in litigation before the District Court of Greenwood County and for years he handled much of the legal business originating in and around Madison. In 1910 Mr. Wicker was elected county attorney of Greenwood County, and in order to better discharge the duties of his office he removed to Eureka. His was a most creditable official performance. He filled the office four years, having been re-elected in 1912. Since 1914 he had resumed his general civil and criminal practice. His offices are in the Home National Bank Building.
Mr. Wicker owned his residence at the corner of Third and Elm streets, also had a home on Fourth Street in Madison, and is owner of a farm of 160 acres seven miles southwest of Eureka. In matters of politics he follows the republican principles. He is affiliated with Madison Lodge, No. 196, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, with Lodge No. 171, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Madison, and with Madison Lodge, No. 120, of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. Wicker was married in 1879 at Emporia to Miss Alice Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. Her father was a farmer at Madison and both parents are now deceased. To their marriage were born the following children: Myrtle, wife of A. V. Cooper, salesman in a department store at Chanute, Kansas; Oda, wife of L. J. Washburn, formerly a resident of Madison but now living at Dewey, Oklahoma, where Mr. Washburn is an oil producer in the Oklahoma field; and Flora, wife of R. C. Carpenter, an oil producer living at Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
In 1900 at Madison, Kansas, Mr. Wicker married for his present wife Mrs. Alice E. (Day) Bacon, widow of the late John T. Bacon, who was a farmer, and daughter of John and Melinda Day.