Transcribed by G McCall from:


By Luther B. Hill, A. B., With the Assistance of Local Authorities, Volume II, Illustrated, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago / New York, 1910, Page 179-180

John A. Wicks, a merchant, farmer and stock raiser of Braggs, was born in Calhoun county, Mississippi, in 1862. He is a son of John A. and Jane (Brewster) Wicks, also natives of that state. He was a soldier in the Confederate army, and died soon after the beginning of the war, leaving a widow and four children, John being the youngest. The oldest son, James A., deceased, is buried in Muskogee; Jane A., of Tunica, Mississippi; and Edna, the deceased wife of James Smith. Mrs. Wicks died in 1880.

John A. Wicks received but little education in his boyhood and after the death of his mother came to Muskogee county, Oklahoma, with six other boys, each possessing about ten dollars to pay for their passage on a wagon, and walking part of the way, as there was no railroad in that section then. He located at Tahlequah, and the first work he found was making rails, for which work he received his board and seventy-five cents per hundred rails. Later he carried mail for the government, both by horseback and stage, beginning in 1881 and continuing until 1884. At the time of his marriage he became a cowboy and worked with cows for three years, and then purchased a farm on the Arkansas River, near Braggs, where he reared his family. He purchased the land, consisting of one hundred and eighty-five acres, in 1885, only four acres being then under cultivation, and the remainder covered with a heavy cane growth. At present he has one hundred and seven acres under cultivation and well improved, and has a comfortable house as well as good outbuildings. He owns also several other farms along the river.

In 1905 Mr. Wicks moved into Braggs and engaged in a mercantile business, in which he has met with good success. He erected the first brick building in Braggs, of two stories, with office on the second floor. He also has the distinction of having ginned and baled the first cotton ever ginned in Tahlequah. He is extensively engaged in buying, raising and selling cattle. He is the winner of his own fortune and prosperity, being a self-made man in the truest sense, and he not only owns extensive farm lands but also a large amount of property in the town of Braggs on part of which his handsome residence is located. Politically he is a Republican, and is a member of the Church of God; he also belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and to the Royal Arch Masons of Webbers Falls, also to the Scottish Rite Masons of McAlester. He is not an office seeker, and has never filled an elective office. Mr. Wicks has had a personal acquaintance with many of the “bad men” of the county, among them: Ed Christie, a full blood Indian noted as an outlaw and murderer; Cherokee Bill (Bill Crosby), a half-breed Indian; Big Chewey, a full blood Indian; and Jack Spaniard, a half blood Mexican and Cherokee.

In 1884 Mr. Wicks married Lizzie, daughter of Michael Hildebrand, and granddaughter of Joseph Hildebrand. Her father was a native of this country, but her great-grandfather came from Germany. John A. Wicks and his wife were the parents of four children, namely: George, a farmer; John A., a farmer; Nancy J.; and one deceased. Mrs. Wicks died in 1895, and in 1897 Mr. Wicks married Nannie Hildebrand, a half sister to his first wife and by whom he had children as follows: Joseph, Benjamin D. and one deceased. In 1899 Mr. Wicks married Ada Brown, and they became the parents of four children, two of whom survive, Arthur and Everett Wicks.

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