Genealogy: Wickham Photographs

Wickham Homestead

The first photo below is from the collection of the Firelands Historical Society and is thought to have been taken in 1901. The lady seated on the steps is unknown. The second photograph is from the papers of Harriott Benedict Wickham Barton and has the following caption on the back: 38 W. Main, Norwalk, Ohio. Built by Samuel Preston and his son Charles Preston in 1835 as a wedding gift for daughter Lucy P. Wickham. “Old Wickham House.” Frederick Wickham lived there after his marriage to Lucy Preston. All of their thirteen children were born here. The house is now (1937) occupied by Mrs. Emma Wickham Peters, daughter of Frederick Wickham, and her daughter Corrinne. This is one of the few remaining landmarks of early Norwalk.

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The Norwalk, Ohio Wickham homestead in 1901.

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The Norwalk, Ohio Wickham homestead in 1937.

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The Wickham homestead is now the home of the Firelands Historical Society. A photograph of it today is on their website.

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Frederick Wickham, Publisher

Frederick Wickham abandoned his career as a Great Lakes ship captain when he married Lucy Preston to join his father-in-law Samuel Preston at the Norwalk Reflector. In the photograph below, he is shown setting type in the newspaper office located on the second floor of his home. Imprints of this press can still be seen in the home, which is now the museum of the Firelands Historical Society. According to family lore, Frederick would compose articles as he set the type, rarely writing out copy in advance.

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In 1958, Harriott Benedict Wickham Barton reminisced in her diary about her grandfather:

Another educational process of my father’s (Frank Wickham) was to take me to the old Reflector offices, where I watched him and my Grandfather Wickham (then in his 80’s) set type by hand, and once when I was allowed to set up a small paragraph myself. He showed me the whole process of “filling the sticks” of type and putting the sticks into the “forms,” and then down stairs in the press room, here were the great ink rollers, onto which then slapped out sheets of the paper. When they installed the new linotype machine, and an operator to run it, I was taken to see the new time saving miracle (for I had already learned of the incredible patience and the labor involved in setting type by hand).

Isn’t it charming to look at the photograph above, and imagine this old man patiently helping his young granddaughter set type?

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The Children of Frederick and Lucy Wickham

Frederick and Lucy Wickham had thirteen children, all but one of which survived to adulthood. Their offspring had a wide range of careers: three sons served in the Civil War, one was elected to the House of Representatives, another son was an editor of the Norwalk Reflector; one daughter married a career soldier who fought in the Indian Wars and another lobbied for Civil War Prisoners of War in Washington DC.

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The photograph below is from the papers of Harriott Benedict Wickham Barton and was taken sometime before 1856. On the back Harriott wrote: The children of Frederick Wickham of Norwalk, Ohio who were all born in the old Wickham house, later the Firelands Museum. Two later children were not yet born: Jessie, born 1856 and Frank, born 1860. Also, one son, John, died in 1844 , aged 2. He was the twin brother of Fred.

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The photograph below is from the collection of the Firelands Historical Society and is of Frederick and Lucy Wickham with their children circa 1880-1890, perhaps on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Seated left to right are: Catherine?, Lucy Preston Wickham, Unknown, Frederick Wickham, Unknow. Standing is Unknown, Fred Wickham, Unknown, Albert Wickham, William S. Wickham, Charles P. Wickham, William S. Wickham, Unknown, Frank Wickham, Agnes Wickham?.

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The following photograph, also from the collection of Firelands Historical Society, shows the children of Frederick and Lucy Preston Wickham, probably at the the funeral of their father in 1901. They are identified as: Emma (front center); Jessie, Charles P., Katherine C., Sarah (second row); Carrie, Albert, William Samuel, Lucy, Fred, Frank, and Mary (back row).

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© 2010 by David W. Barton. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses

  1. Is the Wickham homestead museum still there? If so I would like to plan a visit. Thank you. Susan Wickham

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  2. Hi Susan,

    Yes it is still there, at 4 Case Avenue. However, it will be closed during April. Check the dates and hours of operation at their website: http://www.firelandsmuseum.com/. I hope you enjoy the tour.

    Like

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