Whicker Family of Hendricks County Biographical Notes
Notes on the Whicker Family of Hendricks County, Indiana
Allen Whicker 1837-1919
The Whicker Family of Hendricks County
Like the the Hadley family, the Whicker family of Hendricks County, Indiana had migrated from North Carolina to Indiana in the 1830s (1832 in the case of the Whickers), in reaction to the rise in slavery in the South. The invention of the cotton gin had made cotton production using slave labor economic, causing a rapid growth of such slavery. The Whickers, Methodists, were strongly against slavery as was the Quaker community of North Carolina, resulting in the migration of entire communities to Indiana, and in this case to Hendricks County.
Brief Genealogy of the Hendricks County Whicker Family
The Whicker family, like the Hadley family, were pioneers in the settlement of Hendricks County, Indiana. Both the Whicker family and the Hadley family moved to Hendricks Country from North Carolina. Records of the Hadley family give several dates for this relocation to Hendricks County, but it occurred in about 1830 or 1832. As recounted in the historical biographies below, the Whicker family relocated to Hendricks County in 1832 from North Carolina where the Whickers had lived for generations.
James Whicker, February 16, 1765 - September 30, 1830, was a North Carolina farmer and a soldier in the Revolutionary war. James Whicker was married twice. On November 14, 1780, (when he was only 15 1/2 !), he married Mary Roles (1762-1792). Then, following the death of Mary Roles in 1792 (perhaps in child birth), he married Mary Dean on June 15, 1792. Mary Dean Whicker lived to be 90 years old, being born in Stokes, North Carolina in 1770 and died there in 1860, living with her youngest son Littleberry Whicker.
James Whicker with his first and second wives had eight children:
- Sarah Whicker April 10, 1780 – 1864
- Benjamin Whicker June 20, 1784 – 1876
- William Whicker March 1, 1789 – 1850
- James Oliphant Whicker January 13, 1791 – 1869
- Berry Whicker December 23, 1798 - December 14, 1855 who married Sellis Whicker and who died in Fountain County, Indiana
- Frederick Whicker, the Whicker ancestor was born April 3, 1794 in Stokes, North Carolina - October 29, 1853 in Hendricks County, Indiana
- Elijah Whicker July 23, 1803 in Stokes, North Carolina - May 28, 1863 in Forsyth County, North Carolina who married Elizabeth Phillips (1805 – 1860)
- Littleberry Whicker September 16, 1804 in Stokes, North Carolina - March 27, 1893 in Forsyth County, North Carolina who married Mary Phillips (1808 – 1894)
Frederick Whicker became a farmer and on March 9, 1816, married Elizabeth Cosner, daughter of John C. and Abigail Cosner. Elizabeth was born on May 15, 1797 in Stokes County, North Carolina. Frederick and Elizabeth Whicker settled on land in Stokes County, North Carolina. As slavery grew in North Carolina, as dedicated Baptists, Frederick and Elizabeth Whicker determined to relocate. In 1832, the Whickers and a number of other families and friends made the difficult move from North Carolina to Indiana. They settled in Hendricks County in 1832.
Frederick Whicker's 1834 deed to 80 acres in "Township 15" which was later in 1845 organized as Clay Township, Hendricks County, Indiana.
Frederick Whicker acquired 80 acres in Franklin township near Stilesville, Hendricks county in 1832 and in 1834 added 80 additional acres in Clay township. Their property was described by Allen Wicker as being "...located in the virgin wilderness south of Amo. Here they built a cabin of logs, with a puncheon floor and riven door [note: puncheon boards were wooden boards cut out of tree logs using only an ax, saw mills not yet present], the entire building being erected without a nail. Wild game of all kinds was abundant in the surrounding woods..." 3
Frederick Whicker after clearing his land in Franklin township, Indiana, farmed until his death two decades later on October 19, 1853, at age 58. Elizabeth Whicker was a member of the Missionary Baptist church, and died September 22, 1875 in Franklin Township, Hendricks County.
Frederick and Elizabeth Whicker had twelve children (not unusual in size in that era):
- Dorinda Whicker born 1820 in North Carolina
- Eliza Whicker born December 27, 1821 in North Carolina
- John C. Whicker born 1822 in North Carolina
- Lurida Whicker born 1823 in North Carolina
- Lewis Whicker born 1824 in North Carolina
- James Whicker born 1827 in North Carolina
- Abigail Whicker born in North Carolina
- Mary Whicker born in North Carolina
- Loretta Whicker born 1832 in Franklin Township, Hendricks County, Indiana
- Frederick Whicker born February, 1833 in Clay Township, Hendricks County, Indiana
- Allen Whicker, the Whicker ancestor born March 20, 1837 in Franklin Township, Hendricks County, Indiana
-Sarah Whicker born 1839 in Franklin Township, Hendricks County, Indiana
So the Whicker ancestor, Allen Whicker was born on March 20, 1837 in Franklin Township, Hendricks County, Indiana, just 5 years after the Whicker family came to Indiana from North Carolina. He was therefore a pioneer in the settlement of Hendricks County.
On October 30, 1861, Allen Whicker married Amanda J. West who was born October 20, 1843, also in Hendricks County, Indiana. Allen and Amanda Whicker had at least nine children (perhaps two others died in childbirth):
- Mary Ellen Whicker born 1863 who married John Bundy, a Franklin township farmer
- George Whicker born February 1865 who died before 1895
- Lucina Whicker born September 17, 1868 in Amo, Indiana - 1935, who married William Lewis Beasley, a Boone County school teacher and farmer.
- Nora Whicker born 1871 who married Frank Bersbow
- Simon W. Whicker born 1873 - 1950 who operated a store in Amo
- Dennis C. Whicker born December 15, 1874 - March 13, 1950 who married Gertrude Emma Mason and moved to Indianapolis where he was foreman in a furniture factory
- Otto Whicker, the Whicker ancestor born August 1884 - 1973
- Two other children died young in 1881, perhaps both from a family illness:
- Effie Whicker born 1877 - 1881
- Pervian Whicker born 1879 - 1881
Whicker family reunion circa 1910 at Allen Whicker house on the Amo-Clayton Road - Allen Whicker seated in second row at the right
In 1901, Allen Whicker's first wife Amanda died and on May 25, 1903, he married Mrs. Ruth (Masten) Shirley, daughter of John Masten. Ruth Shirley Whicker had a son, Walter Hodson, by a former marriage. Allen Whicker died in Amo, Indiana on July 6, 1919.
Otto Whicker, being the latest-born surviving child helped his father Allen Whicker on the Franklin Township farm. Then, at age 19, Otto Whicker married Martha J. Snyder in Marion Township, Hendricks County. (Hadley is at the border of Clay and Marion Townships) on August 21, 1903. Otto and Martha farmed in Clay Township near the town of Amo, presumably on the land which Frederick Whicker had purchased in 1834. Otto was also listed as being a "nurseryman". Newspapers reported several gold medals awarded to Otto Whicker for his plants displayed at the Indiana State Fair in the 1920s and 1930s, and he was an official in the Indiana Association of Nurserymen. 6
Otto and Martha Snyder Whicker had two children:
- Jeanette Whicker, born October 9, 1910, who married Charles E. Vaughn on September 5, 1931.
- Charles Allen Whicker, born June 30, 1920, who married Alida Harriet Hadley on December 5, 1938
Martha Whicker, died on November 1, 1959, age 74 and Otto Whicker died in March, 1973 at age 88.
Of the two children, Jeanette Whicker died November 30, 1990 at age 80. She and husband Charles E. Vaughn had one son, Gordon Vaughn. In the census, her occupation was listed as "secretary and typist".
Her younger brother Charles Whicker died March 18, 2007 in Hendricks County.
Charles Whicker's Obituary (Hendricks County Flyer): 4
Charles Allen Whicker of Danville died March 18 at the age of 86. Mr. Whicker graduated from Amo High School and was a lifelong Hendricks County farmer. He bred and raised Hampshire swine and exhibited the Grand Champion Barrow at the National Barrow Show in 1964. He also bred and raised Jersey cattle. He was a member of Hadley Friends Meeting. He served for many years on the Hendricks County Plan Commission, Hendricks County Board of Zoning Appeals, Danville Community High School Building Corporation, and Amo Centennial Celebration Committee. Survivors are daughters and sons-in-law Nancy and Bill Sutton, Janet Stephenson, and Barbara Jane and Mike Peters, all of Danville; sons and daughters-in-law David and Suzanne Whicker of Danville, John and Jolin Whicker of Bluffton, and C. Richard Whicker of Danville; 19 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. Preceding him in death was a son, Mike Whicker.
Barbara Jane Whicker and her prize cow in 1964: Barbara Jane, Harriet, Charles Whicker, Dick Whicker; on grass: Mike Whicker with baby (Gary Sutton ?), Katherine and Bobby Junkin
Charles Whicker and the family farm: During the 1960s and 1970s, in managing the family farm, Charles Whicker experienced many of the difficulties being lived by family farms across the United States. The demise of the family farm in the United States was documented by the Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture:
Reduction in number of farms and rapid growth of farm size toward corporate farming in USA 1.
These data document the replacement of the family farm by large scale commercial farming. Charles Whicker and his family faced these same economic challenges, and the family farm similarly suffered.
Whicker family in 1947: Harriet holding baby Janet, Nancy, David, and John Whicker.
Harriet Whicker and the family farm: Of the two children of Nelle and Seth Hadley, there were much different preferences as to the farm and dairy farming. Older sister Ruth Hadley loved to read photo magazines about the Hollywood stars and longed to get away to big city life. Younger sister Harriet Whicker loved the farm, loved the cows, and loved dairy farming. It is said that she knew the names of most every cow on the farm.
Alida Harriet Hadley was born on February 21, 1919, taking the name of her great aunt Alida, sister of grandmother Hannah Hadley. Great aunt Alida Hadley was also a Hadley by birth, being was third cousin to Tillman Hadley, Alida Harriet Hadley's grandfather.
Alida Hadley, great aunt to Alida Harriet Hadley.
Alida Hadley married John Cox in 1869 and lived in Terre Haute until she was age 82. Alida and John Cox had had seven sons and one daughter, Luella.
Alida Harriet Hadley was known to all throughout her life as "Harriet", which is used in this writing. Harriet grew up on the family dairy farm, attending the Hadley Friends Meeting every Sunday, a practice she continued throughout her life (it is said that she sung loudly, if not always well, during hymns). Below is a photograph of the Hadley Friends Meeting Fiftieth Anniversary on Sunday June 26, 1927. Harriet is on the grass to the left.
Hadley Friends Meeting Fiftieth Anniversary - June 26, 1927
While attending Amo High School, she was active in 4-H raising both champion Jersey cows and Hampshire hogs (father Seth Hadley had been for several years President of the National Hampshire Hog Association).
Harriet Hadley married Charles Whicker on December 5, 1938. As described above, both the Whickers and the Hadley families were pioneers in the development of Hendricks County since 1832.
Harriet and Charles Whicker had seven children:
- Nancy Ann Whicker, born 29 August 1939, who married William Carey Sutton on 3 June 1961.
- David Allen Whicker, born 29 December 1941, who married Suzanne Rutledge on 17 April 1966.
- John Seth Whicker, born 5 November 1943, who married Joan Lynda (Jolin) Barnett on 6 September 1964.
- Janet Sue Whicker born 10 March 1946, who married Robert A. Stephenson on 2 June 1962.
- Charles Richard (Dick) Whicker, born October 29, 1948, married Jody Rodney 1 September 1968. He later married Deborah K. Dewees on 14 October 2007.
- Barbara Jane Whicker, born 8 January 1951, married Noel Michael Peters 3 June 1972.
- Michael Ray Whicker, born 20 March 1952, married Elizabeth Ann (Liz) Stockwell on 3 August 1974. Mike died on 12 September 1989 age 37 subsequent to a fall in the grain silo on the family farm. Liz later married Roger Glen Ader on 22 May 1998.
Bringing this family tree closer to present, the next generation children were:
Nancy and Bill Sutton children:
- Gary Sutton who married Mary Anne Conrad with children Michael Conrad Sutton and William Sutton.
- (Andrew) Jay Sutton who married Michele Lee Kirkpatrick on 28 November 1992 with children Sam Sutton and Kylie Sutton.
Dave and Suzanne Whicker children:
- Timothy Allen Whicker married Bonnita K. Matsen on 15 June 1991 with children Drake Whicker, Hadley Grace Whicker and Cloe Whicker.
- Steven Seth Whicker married Trisha Kae Bond on 11 July 1992 with children Hannah Whicker, Haley Whicker and Caleb Whicker.
- Douglas Wayne Whicker married Abby Leanne Hampton Smith on 11 November 1999 with children Dakota Smith, Dalton Smith and Aubree Whicker.
John and Jolin Whicker children:
- (John) Eric Whicker married Julie Ann Houser with children Ashley Whicker and Emily Whicker.
- (Robert) Seth Whicker married Cari Keller Espich with children J J Whicker, Wilson Whicker, and Keller Whicker.
Janet and Bob Stephenson Children:
- Annette Marie Stephenson Maier married Andrew Martin Maier 23 October 1993 with child Ethan Maier.
- Chuck Stephenson with children Jacquelyn Stephenson, Andrea Stephenson and Luke Stephenson.
- Seth and Candy Stephenson with children Zen Stephenson, Briana Lucas, and Caleb Lawler.
Dick and Jody Whicker children:
- Joshua A. Whicker married Tara Whicker with child Isla Blue Whicker.
- Stephanie Jo Whicker married Matthew D. Mayo with child Rowan Mayo - Rowan studies at Ball State like her mom.
Barbara Jane and Mike Peters children:
- Heather Marie Peters who married Michael A. Jackson 12 July 1997 with children Alida Jackson, Hallie Jackson, Lilly Jackson and Lucy Jackson.
- Nathan and Amanda Peters with children Noel Peters and Tillman Peters.
Michael Ray Whicker married Elizabeth Ann (Liz) Stockwell on 3 August 1974. Mike died on 12 September 1989 age 37 subsequent to a fall in the grain silo on the family farm. Liz later married Roger Glen Ader on 22 May 1998. Mike and Liz had four children:
- Kathleen Ann Whicker married Eric Michael Oliver on 2 January 1999, with seven children: Charity Oliver, Joseph Oliver, Jonathan Oliver, Sarah Oliver, Bethany Oliver, Katiana Oliver, and Michael Oliver.
- Melissa Whicker born 1979 married Chris Richey with child Christina Richey.
- Greg Whicker born 1982 married Maria Whicker.
- Brian Louis Whicker born in 1985 graduated from Danville High School in 2002.
Harriet's activities in raising prize animals continued after her years with 4-H throughout her whole life - she even experienced her arm being broken by a cow at age 90!
Harriet Whicker died November 15, 2014 age 95. At the calling on November 19, 2014 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds in Danville, which she had help build, several hundreds of her many friends bore witness to a worthy and rewarding life in her community.
Excerpt from A Biographical History of Hendricks County (1895) 3
Among the citizens of Hendricks county who have built up comfortable homes and surrounded themselves with large landed and personal property, none have attained a higher degree of success than Allen Whicker. He is a link between the old days and the new, for his childhood days were spent in truly pioneer conditions. Settling in a virgin wilderness, he helped his father to clear the forests, drain the fields and raise the first crops on some of the earliest land in Hendricks county.
Allen Whicker, the son of Fred K. and Elizabeth (Kosmer) Whicker, was born two miles southeast of Amo, Hendricks County, Indiana, March 20, 1837. His grandfather. James Whicker, was in the Revolutionary War. His grandmother, on his mother's side, was Abigail Pike, who lived to be ninety-six years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. James Whicker, the grandparents of Allen Whicker, lived all their lives in North Carolina, and it was in that state that Fred K. Whicker was reared and married. Mr. and Mrs. Fred K. Whicker reared a large family of twelve children, six of whom were born in North Carolina and six in Indiana. They moved from North Carolina to Indiana shortly before Allen Whicker, the subject of this sketch, was born and located in the virgin wilderness south of Amo.
Here they built a cabin of logs, with a puncheon floor and riven door, the entire building being erected without a nail. [note: puncheon is a flat board made using only an ax to shape it, when a local saw mill was not yet constructed. Imagine the work needed to fashion just one puncheon board !]
Hendricks County wooden house in 1850 such as the County pioneers constructed
Fred K. Whicker died at the age of sixty-one and his wife at the age of seventy-eight.
Allen Whicker continued to live and work on the homestead farm until he was twenty-live years of age, when he married and bought forty acres of land of his own adjoining the homestead farm.
Mr. Whicker retired in 1913 from active farm life and divided his land among his children and now lives in Amo. His first wife died in 1901, and on May 25, 1903, he was married to Mrs. Ruth (Masten) Shirley, who is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Masten. Mrs. Whicker had a son, Walter Hodson, by a former marriage, who resides in Clay township, west of Mr. Wicker’s place [note: the Hodsons were a Quaker family in the same Meeting as the Hadleys].
Danville town square - East side - circa 1910
Hendricks County in 1876
1, 2 US Department of Agriculture Agricultural employment. http://www.bls.gov/ accessed 2014
3 pages 472-474 Hadley, John Vestal, History of Hendricks County, Indiana: Her People, Industries and Institutions. B.F. Bowen & Company, Incorporated, 1914. Hendricks County, Indiana
4 Charles Allen Whicker 86. Hendricks County & West Side Flyer. March 20, 2007. Plainfield, Hendricks County, Indiana
6 page 11. Seventh Nurserymen Session. The Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. 5 January 1941.
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