The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 William Montgomery Wicks

William Montgomery Wicks

Erie County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 16 May 1878 (aged 33)
Hamilton County, Kansas, USA
Burial Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas, USA
Plot Section 1 - Lot 107 - Space 4
Memorial ID 59113402 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Son of Oscar and Mary Wicks. Married to Amanda Jane Morford on 28 Oct 1869 in Grasshopper Falls, Jefferson Co, KS. Mr. and Mrs. Wicks were prominent in the early history of Emporia, he being one of the founders of the old First National Bank. Mr. Wicks served in the Civil War. He died in 1878 while en route to Colorado for his health.

The Emporia Weekly News, 17 May 1878, Friday

SAD NEWS--Just before going to press, Thursday, we learn that Mr. G. W. Bennett received a telegram from Mrs. Wicks, from Aubrey, Colorado, that her husband, W. M. Wicks, was dying, and that his body would be brought here for burial. It will be remembered the family started about two weeks ago for a trip, by wagon, for Mr. W.'s health. This sad intelligence will cause a deep feeling of sorrow in the hearts of the people of this entire community.

The Emporia Weekly News, 24 May 1878, Friday


The Largest Funeral Ever Seen Here.

Public Grief Over His Loss.

A brief notice in our last issue, prepared but a few moments before going to press, bore to our people the sad intelligence of the death of our long honored fellow-citizen, Wm. M. Wicks. Had not our people seen him about town previous to his departure for Colorado, and witnessed his rapid decline, it would scarcely have been believed that his disease was consumption. Six or eight months ago he was a man in active business, weighing in the neighborhood of 200 lbs. It was only last October, we think, that he passed a physical examination for life insurance. It was generally remarked and believed that he had postponed his trip in search of suddenly lost health too long, and the fear was universal that he never would reach his destination. So it proved. On the 25th of April he started in a wagon for an extended trip to the mountains, accompanied by his wife and child, and Mr. Flora. He was possessed of a determined will and was hopeful to the last. He died in Aubrey, Hamilton county, Kansas, not far from the Colorado line, on the 16th inst.

Mr. Wicks had been long and favorably known in Emporia, and regarded and esteemed as one of our reliable men. As a citizen in his home, in business, in the Methodist church, of which he was an official member, in the Masonic Lodge, of which he was the Worshipful Master, and in the Knights of Honor, of which he was a worthy member; in all these relations of life he was the noblest work of God, "an honest man." He had done what he could, and resigning himself into the hands of his Heavenly Father, he passed away. His family, with the body, reached Emporia by the A.T. & S.F. train, Friday morning, and they were met by a large number of our citizens. Preparations were made for the funeral by his friends, and on Sunday afternoon about 2 o'clock the Masons in charge of the funeral, attended by the Knights of Honor, repaired to the Methodist church, where a large concourse of people from city and country gathered to pay the last sad rites to one they had loved, but now mourned.

The services in the church were conducted by Rev. G. W. Pye, pastor, assisted by President Pomeroy and Rev. Mr. Clark, and were very impressive and appropriate. After the service the body was so placed near the door that the audience were permitted to look for the last upon the face of one they had known in life. The funeral procession was the largest one ever seen in our city. The building would not hold half the attendants, and 100 teams joined in the procession. At the grave the Masonic burial service was solemn and impressive, and when through, the crowd dispersed with bowed heads and solemn admonitions, feeling the force of the lesson that speaks to all. The citizens generally feel the loss and join in tenderest sympathies with the wife and child left to mourn a loss that is his gain.

The following historical sketch of his life was read in the church by Judge Cunningham:

William Montgomery Wicks was born October 16th, 1844 in Erie county, Pennsylvania, and died May 16th, 1878, in Hamilton county, Kansas, aged 34 years and seven months. At the time of his birth his parents resided on a farm, and when he was about one year old, they moved to Stephenson county, Illinois, hoping to benefit the mother's health, but she, soon after arriving in Illinois, died of consumption. He lived on a farm in Stephenson county, with his father, until he was about 12 years old, receiving there the usual scanty advantages and enduring the privations of a frontier life. When about 12 years old his father died, being the second victim of consumption. Left thus orphaned and homeless he found a refuge with a married sister living at Belleville, Illinois, where he lived until 15 years of age, when he, with her, removed to Douglas county, Kansas, where a brother had preceded them. Here he lived, employed at usual farm work, until the spring of 1861, when between 17 and 18 years of age, he enlisted as a private in the 10th Kansas Infantry, Co. 1, and served from that time during the entire war, a period of some four and a-half years, being gradually promoted until his discharge, when he held a captain's commission. When in the army he was scarcely if ever sick, and was noted for his ruggedness of constitution and for his readiness for duty and any enterprise requiring endurance and partaking of danger. He was with his company in some six or eight battles but came out unhurt.

At the close of the war, he being past 21 years of age, attended school for a short time at Lecompton, and afterward at a business college at Kansas City. He came to Emporia early in 1868 as an agent for the sale of a mowing and reaping machine. That fall and winter he was employed by G. W. Frederick as a clerk in his grocery store. In the spring he purchased an interest in the store, and during the summer he, with the late Harry Mayse (sic), bought out the establishment, and continued in the business under the firm name of Wicks & Mayes until June 1878, at which time Mayes sold out to G. W. Bennett.

Of his life in Emporia, of his business abilities and his success, the most of you are as well acquainted as I am. Of sterling integrity, of correct business habits, prompt, energetic, "dealing on the square" with all, no man in our business community was held in higher estimation or possessed the confidence of every one to a greater degree than Mr. Wicks. He was married to Jennie Mortford in 1869. On January 20th, 1871, he connected himself with the M.E. Church and almost from the first the church availed itself of his rare business ability, making him an official member, which place he held at the time of his death, and up to within less than two months of his death he had almost the entire charge of the finances of the church.

He has been a member of the Masonic Fraternity for about nine years, filling many positions of honor and trust there-in, being Master of the lodge at the time of his death.

As a business man, a citizen, a mason, a friend, a Christian, and a husband he had few equals. From all of these relationships he will be sorely missed, and his memory will long be fragrant to this community. That life cannot better be honored, or our respect for him and his exemplary life better demonstrated than by emulating his virtues.

Family Members


Co. B 10 Kas Vol. Inf.; Died 05, 18, 1878; Aged 34Y 7M

Gravesite Details The headstone has the wrong information - his middle initial is M, not W. It also appears to have the wrong death date as per obituary.




  • Maintained by: Becky Doan
  • Originally Created by: Diana Staresinic-Deane
  • Added: 23 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59113402
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Montgomery Wicks (16 Oct 1844–16 May 1878), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59113402, citing Maplewood Memorial Lawn Cemetery, Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Becky Doan (contributor 46821009) .