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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Samuel F. Hickinbotham

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 522 - 524

Samuel F. Hickinbotham is one of the honored pioneers of Holland Township, where he settled before the red man had taken his departure for the lands beyond the Mississippi. Of good natural ability, our subject has improved his mind by reading and travel, and is recognized as a well-informed man.

Mr. Hickinbotham is a native of New Hartford, Oneida County, N. Y., born September 12, 1824. He and his sister Elizabeth, now Mrs. Howe, of Levanna, N. Y., are the only survivors of five children. The family to which our subject belongs is of English origin. His great-grandfather, John Tunnicliff, resided in Derby, England, where he owned a large and valuable estate. In 1756, he emigrated to Cherry Valley, N. Y., where he purchased a tract of land containing twelve thousand acres, about two miles southwest of Canadarago Lake, now known as Schuyler Lake, and included in the patent granted the same year to David Schuyder and others. Here he erected a cabin and commenced clearing away the forest. This was during the period of the French and Indian War, and Mr. Tunnicliff deemed it advisable to leave until hostilities should cease. Before leaving, however, he took the precaution to bury his farming utensils. Soon after his departure for England, the Indians burned his dwelling- to the ground. Mr. Tunnicliff again arrived in Philadelphia in 1758. A farm which he had previously purchased, on the banks of the Schuylkill, was occupied by him until 1764, when he removed to Dutchess County, N. Y. He later returned to the home which was burned by the Indians, where he erected new buildings, and a sawmill on a stream near by. The foregoing particulars were taken from W. T. Bailey's "History of Richfield Springs."

The grandfather of our subject, Jonathan Tunnicliff, was born in Otsego County, N. Y., April 30, 1779, while his wife, Elizabeth Tunnicliff, was born January 25, 1782, in the same county. Their marriage was solemnized April 11, 1802, by Rev. Daniel Nash.

The father of the gentleman whose name heads this record was a native of Derby, England. About the year 1820, he emigrated from Derby and settled in New Hartford, Oneida County, N. Y. He was a veterinary surgeon by profession, and in connection with that calling carried on farming to a limited extent. The mother of Samuel F. Hickinbotham, Elizabeth (Tunnicliff) Hickinbotham, was a native of New York State, born January 30, 1803. Her death occurred July 27, 1846.

Mr. Hickinbotham of this sketch received his education in the schools of his native village. Until some seventeen years of age, he divided his time between work on the farm and attendance at school. In 1841, he shipped as a sailor before the mast, on the "Meticom," a whaler bound for a four-years cruise, starting from New Bedford, Mass, The vessel was named for the famous Indian chief bearing that name. The trip proved very remunerative, but was attended with many sad features. Out of a crew of twenty-six who bade home and friends good-bye with bright visions of their return before them, only seven, including the captain, ever returned to make glad their families. The vessel touched for supplies or repairs at Chile, Peru, Cape St. Lucas, Pitcairn's Island, Sandwich Islands, South Sea Islands, and many other ports. During this journey Mr. Hickinbotham collected many fine specimens and souvenirs, each of which tells to him an interesting history. Having returned in safety, he made two voyages to the West Indies aboard merchantmen. In 1847, Mr. Hickinbotham came to Wisconsin, and located in Holland Township, purchasing eighty acres of land from the Government at $1.25 per acre. This was located on section 10, and is still the property of the first purchaser. He still holds the original deed, which was signed by President Polk. He subsequently secured an adjoining eighty acres. On this farm our sturdy pioneer has since resided.

Mr. Hickinbotham and Miss Malinda Lyon were united in marriage, January 24, 1847, in New Hartford, N. Y. The young bride accompanied her husband to this county, and they have faithfully toiled to make a home for themselves and their family. Their log cabin home has long since been replaced by a comfortable residence, and outbuildings of a substantial character have been erected. Mr. Hickinbotham is recognized as one of the most thrifty farmers in his township.

Unto this worthy couple were born twelve children, nine sons and three daughters. Wallace, born December 17, 1847, gave his life for his country in the late war; George H., bora December 11, 1850, is a farmer of Saline County, Neb.; John C , born November 4, 1851, resides in Philadelphia, Pa.; James E-, born October 7, 1853, is a farmer of Aberdeen, S. Dak.; Frederick, born September 18, 1855, died September 10, 1856; Francis Leland, bora May 31, 1857, also resides in Saline County; Mary, born April 17, 1859, wedded Arthur Webb, of Sheboygan; Lucy, born December 8, 1861, became the wife of Alfred Proctor, a carpenter of Waldo, this county; Albert, born April n, 1864, is a resident of Sheboygan; Charles, born June 9, 1866, and Walter, born February 7, 1868,are at home; Elizabeth, born April 16, 1870, died on the 4th of June following. The mother of these children was born in New Haven, Oswego County, N. Y., August 18, 1827, and is a daughter of Reuben and Hannah (Risley) Lyon.

Besides his fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Holland Township, Mr. Hickinbotham owns a half-section in Saline County, Neb. In politics, this gentleman is a Republican. From a financial standpoint his career has been a success. Beginning in this county a poor man, he has accumulated by his own efforts, and the assistance of his good wife, a snug fortune. The life record of this pioneer couple will be highly appreciated, not only by their children, but by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, who esteem them for their true worth.


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