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Thomas J. Sickafoose

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Thomas J. Sickafoose

Posted: 18 Jun 2003 10:09PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Sickafoose, Becher, & Kimmel
“History of Huntington County, Indiana”1914 By Frank S. Bash pg. 432-34

Thomas J. Sickafoose. If success in the world is measured by the attainments of sufficient of the world’s goods to satisfy all the needs of a family, and by service in all the posts to which public responsibility calls, then Thomas J. Sickafoose is properly regarded as one of Huntington county’s successful men. Forty-five years ago when he married he had nothing except ability of his hands, and a first-class reputation for honesty and industry. Since then he has acquired a fine homestead, has provided liberally for himself and family, and is one of the most substantial citizens in Clear Creek township. Previous to that he had given loyal service to his country as a soldier of the Union army, and in his subsequent career he has served as township assessor, as justice of the peace and as notary public.

Thomas J. Sickafoose was born in Washington township of Whitley county, Indiana, February 17, 1844, a son of Michael and Elizabeth (Becher) Sickafoose. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and the mother of Ohio. Michael Sickafoose was taken to Stark county, Ohio, when two years of age, and grew up there and was married. The family moved to Indiana, about 1842, locating in Whitley county, where the parents spent the rest of their lives. The father was the owner of 254 acres of land, and by hard work acquired considerable prosperity. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church. There were eleven children in the family, two of whom are living at this time. The brother of Thomas Sickafoose is Andrew J., a substantial farmer of Whitley county.

Thomas J. Sickafoose spent his early years on a farm in Whitley county. His education was such as was afforded by the common schools, during his youth, and during the five years of his school age he had the privilege of attending the school about three months each year. However, he managed to acquire a substantial training, and has always been a man interested in affairs, and has done a great deal of reading.

He was about seventeen years old when the war broke out. On September 22, 1862, he enlisted in Company E of the Fifty-fourth Indiana Infantry. This regiment was in the Fourth Army Corps. He went to Indianapolis with his command in December, 1862, going first to Memphis, Tennessee. In the following year he participated in the campaigns and series of engagements which led up to the siege and capture of Vicksburg. At Chickasaw Bluff he was twice wounded. He was in the battle of Arkansas Post, while among the troops under the command of General Grant, and was in many fights, and finally was present at the surrender of Vicksburg in July, 1863. After fourteen months of active service, he received his honorable discharge and returned home on January 1, 1864. Mr. Sickafoose had a brother, John, who enlisted in the Fifth Indiana Battery of Columbia City, Indiana, in 1861. His battery was in the Army of the Cumberland and served till July, 1864. He was shot through the hips by a sharpshooter and died July 17, 1864.

After several years spent in Whitley county, and in getting his first experiences as a farmer and business man, Mr. Sickafoose was married in January 28, 1868, to Mary J. Kimmel of Whitley county. Mrs. Sickafoose was born in the state of Illinois, May 3, 1844. When three years of age was taken by her people to Stark county, Ohio, where she grew to womanhood, and she also spent three years in Virginia. She received her education in the district schools, and in 1863, her family moved to Whitley county.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Sickafoose started out on a rented farm and were very poor for several years. By hard work and close economy, they managed to have a little more at the end of the year than they had at the beginning, and prosperity finally began to come in larger measure. Mr. Sickafoose in those early years was employed in a sawmill and at the carpenter’s trade. The basis of his present success may be said to have been established about 1878, when he bought twenty acres of land. He has gone on increasing his property until he now owns one hundred and sixty acres, comprising one of the best farms in Clear Creek township. Mr. and Mrs. Sickafoose are the parents of two children: Minor L., born November 7, 1868, married Emma Summers, and is a farmer and operates a threshing outfit; Eva M., born August 4, 1873, is the wife of M. O. Sprinkle, a resident of Clear Creek township. The family are members of the United Brethren church at Goblesville, and Mr. Sickafoose is corresponding secretary of the Young People’s Endeavor Society. In politics he is an old-line republican, and has voted for that party since he came out of the army.

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