Virgil Hickox

Jefferson County, New York, USA
Death 2 Feb 1880 (aged 73)
Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Burial Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Plot Block 7, 41
Memorial ID 23967910 · View Source
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HICKOX, VIRGIL, was born July 12, 1806, in Jefferson county, New York, his parents having moved there in 1803, from New Haven county, Connecticut. He received a common school education in his native county, and started, August 25, 1828, for the southwest. After a wearisome journey of two months by wagon, he arrived in St. Louis, at that time a city of but 5,500 inhabitants. In one hour after his arrival he was engaged to work as a journeyman carpenter, at one dollar per day. From that time he was busily employed until 1833, when he went to the Galena lead mines, where he spent one year.

He then came to Springfield, Ill., and opened a store, May 5, 1834, and continued in the mercantile business nearly nineteen years. In 1851 he united with other business men in organizing a company to build a railroad from Alton to Springfield, and continued in the directory until the road was constructed to Joliet, and had charge of the right of way in constructing that much of the present Chicago and St. Louis railroad. From him emanated the law regarding the assessment and taxation of railroad property, which was in force from 1855 to 1872. He withdrew from active connection with the road in May, 1874.

In May, 1869, he was appointed by Gov. Palmer to the office of Canal Commissioner, serving two terms of two years each. He was a director of the old State Bank of Illinois, in 1839-40-41. In January, 1874, he became President of the Springfield Savings Bank, and as such continues to manage its business to the present time. He has always been a Democrat in politics, and acted as Chairman of the Democratic State Committee for nearly twenty years. In that capacity he received and still holds the last letter ever dictated by his lifelong personal and political friend, Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, that of May 10, 1861, in which he declared there could be but two parties, that of patriots and traitors, and advised his political friends to lay aside every feeling that would impede united action for the preservation of the Union. Mr. Hickox has some peculiar views with regard to government. He believes that the United States should not own any property except what is necessary for forts and arsenals, and for the transaction of business at the seat of government. He also holds that the whole postal system should be abolished, and that the laws of trade should regulate the transportation of what is called mail matter in the same manner as such laws regulate all other transportation. He thinks that if men and women were as careful to obey the scripture injunction, "six days shalt thou labor," as they are to rest on the seventh, there would be less suffering from want.

In Oct., 1839, Mr. Hickox was married in Springfield to Miss Catharine Cabanis, a native of Kentucky. She died Sept. 25, 1875, leaving three sons and three daughters. Mr. Hickox resides in Springfield, in the same house he brought his young wife to, nearly thirty-seven years ago.

By John Carroll Power

Note: The Virgil Hickox House, 518 East Capitol Avenue, Springfield, IL, was built on land purchased from Paschal P. Enos in 1839. The building has housed The Sangamo Club (1890) and Norb Andy's Tavern. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  • Maintained by: BjJ
  • Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
  • Added: 14 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23967910
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Virgil Hickox (12 Jul 1806–2 Feb 1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23967910, citing Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by BjJ (contributor 46902476) .