Friday, February 20, 2009

Children of John W. Wicker and Virginia Sampson

I don't have any photos of John Bedford Wicker, my great-grandfather. The photo above is of James Wesley Wicker, his son and my grandfather. John Bedford Wicker was killed in his early 20's from a horse-back riding accident before his son was born. As Mom used to say,"Horseback riding accidents were like car accidents today." Both of her grandfathers were killed that way.

I also don't have any photos of Hugh Cornelius (Con) Wicker. His son "Peck" Wicker did achieve some fame in southeast Missouri for his barbeque stand, though. Click here for a blog on his barbeque.
Fanny Wicker
Rick Philhours did have photos of "Fanny" Wicker and his grandfather Marion Walker Wicker. Fanny's story is one that has haunted me for 30 years---I still get tears in my eyes thinking of her. We don't know the details, but we do know she killed her baby by sticking a button hook or cuff link in its soft spot. Rick and I heard basically the same story. We don't know if she was married, if she had post-partum depression. My notes from 30 years ago say she committed suicide after killing the child.
Families usually keep this sort of story secret---but for some reason, Fannie's story has been handed down---as a cautionary tale, because she was a beloved sister---I'm not sure why. Anytime I hear of a mother killing a child, I say a little prayer for Fannie and her baby. To have a face to put to that name after all of these years is very moving for me (I'm crying as I am writing this)

The fourth child and youngest son was Marion Walker Wicker pictured above. His grandson, Rick Philhours says:

"Wish I could tell you more about Marion and Fanny [the sister] but I do not know that much about them. He had to have been a very good man, and the only reason why I say that is because uncles were very loving and caring men. My Mom never said that much about him, other than about his death, which was from a ruptured appendix. He was probably a sharecropper because they didn't own a farm and were dirt poor as compared to the Philhours Family who owned their own farm, and they moved from place to place in and around the Hornersville area. Mom would tell stories about Uncle Marlon, a cousin Vernon Rogers and herself, trapping rats for their tails! Seems the town of Honersville was overran by rats and the mayor was giving a reward for rat tails. They would trap rats out in the country and take the tails into the Mayor and get the reward money. Of course they didn't live that far out of the city Limits."
Marion Walker Wicker, Mahalia Williams Wicker and Deward Wicker

"Deward Wicker was one of my Mom's brothers. He was an older Brother but of course my mom [Eva] was the baby of the family. He was born September 2nd, 1903 and died March 13, 1965. He was probably a farm hand when he lived in the Hornersville area but he met a girl named Ruth Mae Hicks and married her. . . They never had any children but did adopt one of Ruth's siblings child (Ernestine). I know Ernestine married a Dentist there in Benton Harbor but I do not believe they still live there, I have done a people search on her and have discovered that her and her husband had gone to the South Carolina area but the address that they have listed, I've sent cards and after a month or so they come back as unknown addresses. I've been trying to get in touch with her because I would like more info about Uncle Deward myself. Deward moved north to the Michigan area to work in one of GM's factories. He lived in the Benton Harbor, MI and I believe he worked for a company that built motors for GM cars...I'm really not sure about that. I know my other Uncle, Marlon did work for GM in the factory. He retired from there along with his Son Alan. Deward had bad heart problems, he had rheumatic fever as a child and had developed mitral valve defect later in life. Same thing happened to my mom. I know my Mom had the fever so bad that her Mom thought that she had died. My Mom evidently went into a deep sleep. She says that she woke up and couldn't get her eyes opened and she was laying on something hard. Her Mom noticed her movement and grabbed her up. She had silver dollars on her eyes and had been laid out on the ironing board. My Mom would say..."just be sure that I'm dead before you put me in the ground".

1 comment:

Rachel said...

interesting stories... i do think cautionary stories need to be passed down!