Ona Lighthouse
 Surname Origins

Chapter VII: Gallia County

        Gallia County was formed in 1803 when Ohio was admitted to the union. By that time there had been settlers around Gallipolis for about 13 years. The first settlers came when technically there was still an Indian threat, but although some parts of Ohio suffered from Indian raids, the threat was much less here, and this is fortunate, because the first white residents here had other hardships with which to live.
        In the late 1780s, with the French Revolution at its height, the Scioto Land Company from an office in Paris, sold land on the banks of the Ohio River. Revolutionary fervor was at its peak and French citizens were eager for an adventure in the New World where democracy was being practiced. The French immigrants arrived in Virginia in 1790 only to find out that the Scioto Company had sold them land to which they hadn’t acquired title, and that the land was far away on the frontier where they would face danger from wild animals and hostile Indians. The Scioto Company was made to try and make good on their promises, and the company sent forty men under Colonel Putman to build a settlement and provide sustenance. In June this party came down the Ohio River and arrived at Gallipolis. The first man ashore was Col. Robert Safford, who immediately felled the first tree.91
        The five hundred French settlers made their way overland from Alexandria, Virginia, through western Pennsylvania, and when they arrived the buildings were ready. The Scioto Company failed to pay for the work completed, and still did not acquire title to the land. The settlers were required to buy the land a second time, this time from the Ohio Company, which had purchased the land from the US government. Many of the French left for other parts of the country, and some returned to France, but many also stayed, and their descendants can still be found in the county today. Whether the Scioto Company’s actions were a scam from the beginning or whether it was just an ineptly managed and undercapitalized venture is still debated to this day. There is evidence that much of the problem was caused by a Scioto Company employee who collected money from the future settlers in Paris and then absconded.92
        The road that our ancestors later took from southwestern Virginia to Gallia County, Ohio, differed from that which the French Five Hundred took. It crosses the entire state of what is now West Virginia. This would have been very difficult terrain. When General Lewis marched his army to Point Pleasant he followed the valley of the Great Kanawha River, and it was described as a difficult march that took nineteen days. This is the same trail that the subsequent settlers from southwestern Virginia took. It is called the Kanawha Trace and follows along the New and Kanawha Rivers. From Wytheville, it would be about 220 miles, the first 140 of which would have to be done by horse or oxen drawn wagons. For the last eighty miles the Kanawha River widens out, and the early settlers could, if they wished, build flat boats and float the rest of the way to Gallipolis.
        Anthony Bickel’s brother, Frederick, and his wife, Elizabeth, were the first two members of our family to make the trek. They were married in Virginia in late 1810, and their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Virginia about 1812. Their next child, a son, William, was born in Gallia County about 1814. Anthony and Dianah were married in Virginia in 1814. Their first born son, Aaron, was born about 1815-16 in Virginia, and their second son, Abraham, was born in 1817 in Ohio. William Loucks, who was probably a relative of Frederick’s wife, also came to Gallia County about that time. On the 1820 census of Gallia County, William Loucks, Frederick Bickel, Anthony Bickel and Robert Safford are adjacent entries in Green Township, which is just to the west of the city of Gallipolis.
        As mentioned previously, Robert Safford was the first permanent European settler. After the initial buildings were built, he remained as a hunter and trapper to provide for the immigrants, and he also served as a scout to watch for hostile Indians. He was a well-known frontiersman, and was a close personal friend of Daniel Boone.
In the winter of 1792, the two friends went trapping together in Raccoon Township. Upon departing, Boone presented him with a trap, a tomahawk and an ax, some of which were at one time in the possession of the Our House Museum in Gallipolis, but now are kept by Robert Safford’s descendants. Over the years, Safford held many county offices, including recorder, justice of the peace, and judge. In later years he represented the county in the state Senate. He was the owner of the farmland in Perry Township that Anthony farmed in their early Gallia County years. (In 1851 Robert Safford sold this land to Anthony’s son, Aaron.) Anthony and Dianah showed their friendship and respect for him by naming their third son, Robert Safford Bickel.
        In 1821 the Frederick Bickel and William Loucks families moved to Harrison Township, which is the next township south. Anthony and Dianah moved to Perry Township, which is directly west. These three families then lived there the rest of their lives. The rolling hills in these townships are characteristic of the Ohio Valley in southeastern Ohio. There is some forested land scattered throughout, especially along Raccoon Creek, but mostly it is divided into neat, prosperous appearing farms. The overall appearance is rural, neat, clean and charming.
        Frederick and Elizabeth raised six children here, one (John) of whom became a preacher. Some of their descendants still live in the county today. In July 1849, there was an outbreak of cholera that was limited to Harrison and Walnut Townships. Frederick was one of the victims. Frederick’s daughter-in-law, Mary (Polly) Clark Bickel, suffered the loss of her sister, both of her parents and both of her maternal grandparents in the same epidemic. Frederick’s wife, Elizabeth, shows up on the 1850 census and there are two children, Missouri and Anderson Ward aged eleven and twelve, living with her. Two of their daughters had married men named Ward. Elizabeth died on April 18, 1859 at the age of seventy-one, and is buried alongside her husband, in the Mercerville Cemetery in Guyan Township.
        Anthony and Dinah raised nine children. Their oldest son, Aaron had been born in Virginia, and Abraham was born just after coming to Ohio. The other children were Mary, born in 1818, Malinda in 1821, Robert Safford in 1824, Charles in 1826, Nancy in 1828, Salmon in 1831 and George in 1834. The subsequent success of the lives of their children would seem to indicate that the family was stable and at least moderately prosperous. The farm was located along the east banks of Raccoon Creek and borders what later became a county park. Anthony reportedly suffered from arthritis and this apparently limited his ability to operate the farm. He was never able to buy the land. Robert Safford owned it originally. Anthony’s son, Aaron, bought the land in 1851, and Anthony apparently spent his life there as a renter.
        One aspect of their life that changed with the move to Ohio was their religion. The Browns and Bickels had been Lutherans, and Stephen and Julia Ann Chappell had belonged to Kimberling Church, which had been a Lutheran German language church. Stephen’s family had been Anglican. When they arrived in Gallia there had still not been a Lutheran Church established in the county. The Lutheran Church had been dependent on clergy from the old country in the early days in America, and had proven to be very unsuccessful on the American frontier. Methodists and Baptists, on the other hand, with their circuit riding clergy and camp meetings had been spectacularly successful. Somewhere along the way, the Bickels became Methodists.
        This was probably not an easy decision. Hardesty’s History of Gallia County, recounts incidents of prejudice against Methodists when they first held meetings in Gallipolis in 1817. Stones and eggs were thrown and obscenities shouted. Being a Methodist was definitely not cool. The forty-six Methodist churches that were eventually built in the County showed that this was overcome. The first Methodist church building was constructed in Gallipolis in 1821, and from that time on there was steady growth. Their first experience with the Methodist Church, however, was probably in Green Township, where the first Methodist services were held in “the home of one of the Waddells” in 1818.93 Both the Frederick and Anthony Bickel families were still living in Green Township in 1818. Church ultimately became very important in their lives. Their oldest son, Aaron, became a minister, and another son, Robert Safford, became a prominent elder. The church was undoubtedly very important in their social life. The Methodist women of this area became noted for their dinners, sewing bees, and support for missionary societies. The sewing and quilting skills that my grandmother demonstrated later can probably be directly attributable to these church groups.
        Anthony and Dianah lived on their farm in Perry Township until Anthony’s death in May 1860. By that time their children were all grown and all except the youngest son, George, were married. On the 1860 census, which was taken after Anthony died, their son Aaron and his family were living on the farm. So far I haven’t found where Dianah was living at that time. Sometime before the next census in 1870, she moved in with Nancy and David Taylor, her daughter and son-in-law, in Green Township. Sometime before 1874, the Taylors moved to Nebraska, and Dianah apparently spent her last days with her daughter Malinda, on the farm in Clay Township.
        Anthony and Dianah are both buried in Hulbert Cemetery in Green Township, Gallia County. The cemetery is located a few miles from the Perry Township farm, and is almost adjacent to the Taylor farm where Dianah spent some of her last years. It is in one of the most peaceful places imaginable. Situated on a lightly wooded hillside and just above lightly traveled Highway 141 it is strangely serene. Traffic noise from the highway is as apt to be from the clop, clop, clop of an Amish horse-drawn buggy as is it is to be from an automobile. Anthony’s grave is shaded and covered with soft green moss, and looks across the cemetery at Dianah’s grass covered grave some twenty-five feet away.
        In October 1999, my two sisters, (Glenna Kallestad and Eunice Johansen) and I visited Gallipolis and attended a First Families banquet. First Families is an organization within the Gallia County Genealogical Society whose membership is limited to those who can prove their ancestors lived there prior to December 31, 1820. It was at this banquet that we were going to be accepted as members. Traffic delays around the Columbus airport and inclement, rainy weather made us a little late and we arrived just as the meal was being served. The speaker was a genealogist from Huntington, West Virginia who gave a talk on out of town periodicals as sources of genealogical information. As an example she had found an obituary in a regional Methodist publication in Kentucky that featured a Gallia County woman. Imagine our surprise when she showed Dianah’s obituary on the screen. A copy of it is reproduced here. As far as I know it is the oldest surviving description of one of our ancestors from a contemporary source.


Died, in Gallia county, Ohio, February 26, 1874, Mrs. Dinah Bickel, in the 78th year of her age. Sister Bickel was born in North Carolina May 19, 1796; and happily married to Mr. Anthony Bickel, of Virginia, July 7, 1814. Shortly after her marriage she removed with her husband and settled in Gallia county, Ohio, where they both soon became useful members of the M.E. Church. They raised nine children, all of whom became pious and useful members of the church; one of the sons, R.S. Bickel, of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is well known and greatly beloved throughout the bounds of the Western Virginia Conference. The husband, Bro. Anthony Bickel, died March 24, 1860, in full triumphs of a living faith and rest from his labors. Sister Bickel was one of those women of whom it may in truth be said, “she looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness, her children rise up and call her blessed.” And after struggling on for near a half century in the service of her blessed Savior she fell asleep in Jesus and has gone to that rest above where labor, pain and sorrow are felt and feared no more. Her children (though they weep and sorrow) have a bright hope of meeting her in glory.

“Hope looks beyond the bounds of time
When what we now deplore,
Shall rise in full immortal prime
And bloom to fade no more.”

C. F. Crooks

        When Anthony died in 1860, he left a very short (less than one page) will that left everything to his wife, Dyanah.94 Dianah’s will and probate comes to more than twenty-five pages, much of which has deteriorated over time and become unreadable. By that time four of her children lived outside Ohio, and the law required several newspaper notices to publish the Administrators Sale of Real Estate. The notices were aimed at Charles and Nancy who both lived in Nebraska, Aaron, who was said to be residing in Illinois, and Abraham in Texas. There is a list of various household items and small pieces of farm equipment that were sold. Her daughter, Malinda, bought a spinning wheel, a flax hackle, a loom and one other item that was indecipherable.
        Before she died, Dianah and her twin sister, Phoeby, must have become reacquainted. Although there is no record of her husband, Francis Thompson, after they sold their Wythe County farm in 1855, the 1870 census shows Phoeby living in the household of a Silverthorne family in Lawrence County, which is just south of Gallia. The census lists “infirm” in the occupation column. According to Linda Gaylord-Kuhn, one of Phoeby’s descendants, it is not known what her connection is to this family, but the age and name indicate that the entry does pertain to her. In 1880, she is living with her youngest son, James Thompson, a blacksmith in Green Township, Gallia County. This is the last mention of her.
        Although Anthony and Dianah’s children were raised in Gallia County, many of them scattered to other parts of the country when they got older. The first born son, Aaron became a preacher. He lived in and around Gallia County until quite late in life. He was first married to Susannah Catherine Porter of neighboring Lawrence County, in 1840. She subsequently bore him 6 children. At one point he lived in Ironton, Ohio, which is in Lawrence County, and while there, his occupation was listed as brick mason. As stated above he is identified as a resident of Illinois at the time of his mother’s death in 1874, and in 1875 he is identified as living in Salem, Illinois. His wife, Susannah, died in 1857, and in 1858 he married Ruth Taylor. An account of this wedding in the Ironton, Ohio, newspaper states that at that time he had four surviving children.
        The second son, Abraham, was born in 1817. He married Agnes Jane Perthena Ricketts in 1842 and they had six children. On the 1880 census his widow is living in Fort Worth, Texas, with five of their children. The children were listed from oldest to youngest as being born in Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio. This indicates that the family lived in Kentucky early on, and then moved to Virginia (He was known to have lived in Point Pleasant, Virginia, (now West Virginia), which is immediately across the river from Gallipolis. A twenty-year-old daughter in the Fort Worth household in 1880 was born in Ohio, so the family had to have moved back to Ohio by 1860. A twenty-six year old son, George, has his occupation listed as stonemason, a trade he may have picked up from his father.
        The third child was a daughter, Mary, born in 1818. She married Atherton Fuller in 1838. They settled on a farm in Perry Township. They had 6 children between 1840 and 1863. By 1850 they had moved to Franklin Township in Jackson County, Ohio, which is just to the west of Gallia. Atherton’s occupation is listed as bricklayer. On that census, their second child, a daughter Eliza, is listed in the household of Anthony and Dianah, probably as a visitor. In 1870 they are living in the Meigs County community of Middleport, just to the north of Gallia. On the 1880 census only their son, Thadius Fuller, and his family are listed. Like his father, Thadius is a brick mason. Ellen Tolleson Reesh, whose husband Richard L. Reesh is descended from Mary, has supplied us with an obituary. It was not known which publication it came from, but it is reproduced here.

Death of Mrs. Fuller

    Mary H. Bickel was born Dec. 9th, 1819 in Gallia Co. and was married on the 8th of March, 1838 to Atherton Fuller, of the same place, where they resided until the year 1868 when they moved to Middleport. In 1875 they moved to Pt. Pleasant which was their home for the next five years. At the end of this time they returned to Middleport to remain there permanently. Divine Providence permitted them to spend fifty happy years together and to celebrate their golden wedding in March, 1888. The following October, death separated them by claiming Mr. Fuller. Since that time Mrs. Fuller has made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Will Cheatham.
    During her life she has suffered several severe attacks of rheumatism but with native energy and will power she managed to live a very active and industrious life until the past winter when ill health became too severe for her enfeebled energies. About four weeks ago the grip claimed her as one of its victims. The disease shortly developed into typhoid pneumonia and caused her intense suffering. On Friday morning it was noticed she was sinking rapidly and at 2 p.m. her spirit passed into the world beyond.
    Mrs. Fuller was the mother of eleven children, five of whom, four sons and a daughter, died in their infancy. Those surviving are Mrs. Riley Barrows, Mrs. Park Allen, of Belpre, OH Mrs. John Rayburn of Rickland Co. Ill., Thaddeus Fuller, of this place, Warner Fuller, of Omaha, Neb. and Mrs. William Cheatham of this city. The deceased has, since childhood, been a member of the Methodist Church and through life it has been her aim to be a Christian, not alone in name but in reality, and to make honest faithful Christians of her friends.
    The respect and esteem of her many friends were shown by the large number that attended the funeral services Sunday 2 p.m. at the home of her daughter, conducted by Rev. Echols. The remains were laid to rest in the hill cemetery.

        My great grandmother, Malinda, [see pedigree chart] was the next child. She was born in 1821. She was married to Henry Wise of Belmont County, Ohio on September 11, 1840. They settled on a farm in Clay Township, just to the south of Gallipolis. Henry died in 1863. Malinda continued to live there until she moved to North Dakota with several of her children in 1884.
        The fifth child was Robert Safford Bickel, named for the famous pioneer woodsman, Robert Safford, who was their neighbor when they first moved to Gallia County. He was born on January 9, 1824. He married Lucinda Ann Toler in 1845. Robert, often referred to as R. S. Bickel, became a highly respected businessman and was often the family spokesman. He was the one who was named the executor of his mother’s estate. When Malinda’s husband, Henry Wise, died suddenly in 1863, he was listed as surety.
        In 1891 there was a history of the Great Kanawha Valley published.95 You may recall that the Great Kanawha River runs through West Virginia, and empties into the Ohio River immediately across from Gallipolis. This book contained biographical sketches of some of the county’s most successful citizens. A short biography of Robert Safford Bickel was included in this book. It was information from this biography that was responsible for unlocking the Bickel family history. It is reproduced here:

     R.S. Bickel, a merchant tailor of Pt. Pleasant, was born in Gallia, Ohio, January 9, 1824, and is the son of Anthony and Dinah (Chapel) Bickel. The father was born in Botetourt county, Va., April 30, 1790 and died in Gallia county, March 12, 1860. His parents were natives of Germany, born on the Rhine near the city of Wurms, and emigrated to Virginia, where they spent the rest of their days. Their children numbered five, namely, James, Frederick, Anthony, Michael, and Mary. Anthony Bickel was reared and married in his native state, Dinah Chapel becoming his wife. She was born in North Carolina May 19, 1796, of English lineage. Anthony and Dinah Bickel were parents of the following named children: Aaron, Abraham (deceased), Mary, Malinda, Robert S., Charles B., Nancy, Salmon (deceased), and George. In 1818 the parent removed from Virginia to Ohio, and settled on a farm in Green township, Gallia county, where they lived and died respected members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Gallia county. The father devoted his life to farming. Our subject received a limited school education, which he broadened by individual study of books, etc., and after remaining under the parental roof until he was seventeen years of age, he began life for himself. At Gallipolis, Ohio, he learned the tailor’s trade, which has been his vocation throughout life. He began business at Barboursville, Cabel county, Va. (now West Virginia), December, 1844, and here while in business his marriage was consummated. August 17, 1845, he was married to Miss Lucinda A. Toler, a native of Logan county, Va (now West Virginia), of English descent. Their children who live to maturity were as follows: Dinah E., deceased; Mary F.., Anthony E., deceased; William H. and Ida E. The mother of these children departed this life in 1876. In 1878 Mr. Bickel took for his second wife Miss Emma E. Chancellor, a native of Parkersburg, W. Va She is yet living. In July of 1846 he located at Pt. Pleasant, W. Va., where he has since continued to actively follow his trade of tailoring. He began life with very limited capital but has been quite successful and is now well situated in the world. He is interested in the insurance business, being agent for three companies, the Phoenix, of Hartford, Conn., Fire and Marine, of Wheeling and the Parkersburg Fire Co. He and his family are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Pt. Pleasant, of which he has been steward for over thirty years. For twenty-five years he has been lay member of the annual conference of the church and was twice chosen as a delegate to the general conference of his church. The first general conference was held at Louisville, Ky., 1874, the second at Atlanta, Ga., in 1882. In 1858 Mr. Bickel became a Master Mason, and has filled all the offices of the Blue Lodge, and in 1871 was district deputy of the grand lodge of West Virginia. He is now a member of the Minturn lodge No. 19, A.F. and A.M., of Pt. Pleasant. He is also member of Pt. Pleasant chapter No. 5, R.A.M., and holds offices in the chapter. As a citizen his standing is first rate and he enjoys the esteem of a large circle of friends.

        There are a few items in the biography that are probably not quite accurate, but one must remember that some of this information was well over a hundred years old when this was written. We now know that only one of his paternal grandparents was born in Germany. His paternal grandmother, Catharine Brown, was born in Pennsylvania. However, it was the Botetourt County reference in this biographical sketch that ultimately led to the discovery of the rest of the Bickel/Brown ancestry.
        Two of the children in this family were named after their paternal grandparents. The oldest daughter was Dinah Elizabeth, and the fourth son was Anthony E. Bickel. They had a total of 8 children. Apparently only five lived to adulthood according to the biography.
        Robert Safford Bickel lived for another twelve years after this book was published. He died in 1903 at the age of seventy-nine. It is one of Robert’s present day descendants, Robert Shively, to whom we are indebted for many of the Bickel family discoveries.
        The sixth child in the family was Charles Bickel, born in 1826. According to a present day descendant his middle name was Bingley. This led to a lively discussion among some of us Bickel researchers about where the middle name came from. It was discovered that a nephew, Charles Wise, also had the middle initial B. But no other Bingleys ever surfaced, either in the family tree or in and around Gallia County. An Internet search found several Charles Bingleys as first and middle names in the general population, but none where the last name was Bingley. A chance finding of a character named Charles Bingley in a Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice, appears to solve the problem. The book was published in 1815, and apparently accounted for the many Charles Bingleys used as first and middle names for the next few decades.
        Charles married Isabella Kelly on December 30, 1852, as reported in the Ironton, Ohio, Register. Miss Kelly had been born on the Isle of Mann in England. The 1860 census shows them living in Graham, Missouri. In 1870 they are living in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Ironton, Ohio is in Lawrence County, just to the south of Gallia, and it was here that he first began working as a bricklayer and builder. For a time he worked there with his older brother Aaron. In 1881, the firm of C. B. Bickel & Sons was the largest of three brick manufacturing companies in Nebraska City. One of Charles’ sons, Charles Creighton Bickel, was also a builder. This C.C. Bickel married Mary Susan Hanks in Nebraska City in 1885. Miss Hanks was a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln’s mother. C. B. Bickel died in Nebraska City on Oct. 8, 1907.
        Like his brother Robert Safford Bickel, Charles Bickel also was the subject of a biographical sketch produced in a county history, this one from Otoe County, Nebraska.

     Charles B. Bickel has for more than twenty years been prominently identified with the building interests of Nebraska City as contractor and builder, and thus it has been his privilege not only to witness its growth, but to be an energetic factor in promoting it. He was born in Gallia County, Ohio May 16, 1826. His father, Anthony Bickel, a native of Botetourt County Va., was the son of a German who came to America to settle some time during the last century, and settled in Botetourt County, which remained his home until his death.
     The father of our subject was reared in his native county, and when a young man went to North Carolina, and there married Diana Chappell, a native of that State. After marriage the parents of our subject removed to Ohio, traversing the long and weary distance over the Alleghany Mountains in a wagon containing their household goods drawn by Indian ponies, for this was before the introduction of railways into that part of the country. They located in Gallia County, and were thus identified with its early settlers. Mr. Bickel rented land for a time, and later bought a tract, but, being unfortunate, was unable to pay for it. He continued to be a resident of that county until his death in 1868, respected and esteemed by his neighbors for his many sterling qualities. He was quite young when the War of 1812 broke out, but during the latter part of it he enlisted and started to join the army on the Virginia coast, but the war, however, closed before he reached his destination, and he was discharged with his comrades and walked home. Mrs. Bickel survived her husband only a few years, dying in Gallia County. There were eleven children born of that marriage, nine of whom grew to maturity.
     Charles Bickel, of this biographical notice, was reared amid the pioneer scenes of his native county, where the advantages of an education were very much inferior to those enjoyed by the youth of the present day. The nearest school was two and one- half miles distant from his home, and was conducted in a rude log building, with seats or benches made of slabs without backs or desks; a board that rested on wooden pegs that were driven into the logs served for the scholars to write on. As soon as he was large enough to do so our subject commenced to help his father on the farm. When he was fourteen years old the care of the farm devolved upon him entirely, as his father was stricken with rheumatism. But he was a bright, active lad, and was fully equal to the occasion, and a manliness and self-reliance beyond his years were thus early developed in him. He lived at home until he was twenty years old, and then hired a man to work in his place, and went to Virginia, where he commenced to learn the trade of bricklayer, serving an apprenticeship of three years. His first job as a builder was in Virginia, when he superintended the construction of his brother’s house. He formed a partnership with another brother, and they took contracts to erect buildings, always burning their own brick. As an excellent specimen of their work the court-house at Barboursville, the county seat, may be mentioned. Mr. Bickel continued in business as bricklayer and contractor in Virginia and Kentucky until 1857, when he went to Quincy, Ill., to work at his trade. When he first went there business was good and he earned $4 a day, but in about three months all building ceased, and he was thrown out of work. He then started for Maryville, Mo., where a brother lived, going by way of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. His family was with him, and when they arrived at Maryville the boxes containing all their best clothes and most valuable household effects were missing, and they had to start anew. Maryville was then a village of 300 or 400 inhabitants, and the surrounding country was wild and sparsely settled.
     Mr. Bickel found employment at his trade for a few months, and then business was suspended, but he was a man of resources, and not easily discouraged, and determined upon renting a farm. While attending to that he took up plastering, and finding that he could do well at that, he worked at it as opportunity offered. During the war times were hard, and the state of affairs was so unsettled in Missouri that he could not get work there, so he concluded to go West. He divided his last $30 with his wife, and with the small sum of money remaining to him started across the plains for Colorado. Arriving in Denver, then a town of 4,000 or 5,000 inhabitants, he found employment by the day, and was thus engaged for a time, until he formed a partnership with J. B. Lull, and engaged in contracting. They built the Governor’s residence, a Methodist Church, and other noted buildings of that day. Mr. Bickel remained in the Queen City until the fall of 1864, and then wishing to return home he engaged passage by a mule team, the most convenient mode of carriage before the railways stretched across the plains, and paid $17 fare to Nebraska City. From here he proceeded to Graham Village, Mo., where his family lived. In January, 1865, he sold his property there and removed with his family to this city, where he at once took a contract to erect an extensive warehouse. Since that time he has been a respected resident of this place, and is still conducting business here, the greater part of the brick buildings in the city being monuments of his handiwork. His four sons are interested in the business with him, and their work is not by any means confined to Otoe County, but extends as far as Omaha.
     Mr. Bickel was married, in 1852, to Miss Isabella Kelly, a native of the Isle of Man Great Britain, and the following are the six children who have been born to them: Mary, who married Jacob Schulenberger, and died in Nevada; John K., Anthony A., Charles C., Rosa B. and George R. Mrs. Bickel came to America with her mother when she was five years of age, her father, Thomas Kelly, having come here two years before. Her father was born on the Isle of Man, coming of an old family of that isle that can trace its ancestry back several generations. When he first came to America he lived for awhile near Columbus, Ohio, and from there he removed to Lawrence County, in that State, where he spent the remainder of his life. His wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Kirk, was also a native of the Isle of Man, and came of an old and respected family. She likewise died in Lawrence County, Ohio. Mr. Bickel has always shown a spirit of enterprise, and is ever ready to assist in Anything to benefit Nebraska City or Otoe County. In 1883 he was one of the company that attempted to start a barbed wire manufactory in this city. In 1872 he bought a half-interest in a tannery at Lincoln, located on the northwest corner of O and Twenty-fourth streets, and retained it until 1887, when he sold it at a good advance. Mr.Bickel is a time-honored resident of Otoe County, and in his useful career has gained the respect of the many who have had dealings with him, as he is always strictly just and honest in all his transactions, and no blot has ever been cast on his name. He is Council. He affiliates with the Democratic party, although he was in early life a Whig. He is member of Nebraska City Lodge No. 12, A.F.A.M., and also of Frontier Lodge No. 3, 1.0.0.F. He and his wife are members in high standing of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The seventh child was a daughter, Nancy. She was born in 1828, and married David Taylor in 1855. They lived on a farm in Green Township that is very nearby to the Hulbert Cemetery where her parents are buried. After Anthony died, Dianah probably lived with this daughter. She is a member of their household on the 1870 census. The Taylors moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska, before Dianah died in 1874. It was probably no coincidence that Charles was also living in Nebraska City, and was operating a brick making plant. Possibly this is where David became employed.   
        Two of their four children were named after their maternal grandparents. John Anthony Bickel and Dianah Elizabeth Bickel were both born around 1858-9, and might have been twins. Nebraska City marriage records show they were both married on the same day in what was probably a double ceremony.
        The eighth child was Salmon. Salmon was born in 1834 and married Susan Herrington (or Harrington) in 1855. Salmon worked as a schoolteacher. There is a deed transfer in the late 1850s in which Anthony and Dianah sell him a lot in the village of Mercerville, in southern Gallia County. They had two children, John, born about 1857 and Josephine, born about 1859. When the Civil War erupted, Salmon went off to war. The Gallipolis Journal reported that he died at the Andersonville, Georgia, prison camp from “dropsy” on May 13, 1864.
        Salmon’s widow, Susan, remarried to a William Morgan after the war. Morgan, also a Civil War veteran, was a drifter that had come to Gallia from West Virginia. They had one daughter, Dora. William Morgan was one of the buyers at Dianah’s estate sale, purchasing three hams, a side of beef and a barrel. Years later when Susan was petitioning for a divorce so she could reclaim a widow’s Civil War pension, she presented witnesses and evidence that Morgan was alcoholic and abusive. He abandoned the family and had not been heard from for over ten years when this petition was presented, and before she filed for divorce she had tried unsuccessfully to have him declared dead so she could claim the pension. The divorce allowed her to claim the pension as Salmon’s widow. Susan was apparently left to raise the children by herself. She had moved on to Columbus, Ohio.96
        George was the youngest child. Born in 1834 and married to Ann Dickey in 1862, he likewise left home to go to war, but he returned home safely. There is one unidentified ancient family photograph of a Union soldier that has survived. The soldier looks extremely young, and for this reason I think it is probably George and not Salmon because he is the younger of the two. George and Ann had three children, George, Mattie and Lura, all born after the war. He lived out his life in Gallia County, and died in 1907.
       It is interesting to observe that at least three (and probably four) of the children in the family were associated with the building trade. Aaron, Charles, and Mary’s husband Atherton Fuller were all brick masons, as were some of their children. Abraham’s occupation is not identified, but one of his sons was also a brick mason. Also the brother, identified in the Otoe County history for Charles, and who was said to work with him in Maryville, Missouri, was almost certainly Abraham. One of Charles’ present day descendants, Stephen Bickel of Houston, Texas, states that it was a tradition handed down in his family that their ancestors were builders back in Germany.
        From the time that the Frederick and Anthony Bickel families moved to Gallia County until about the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, times seemed to be good for the Bickels. The two families raised a total of fifteen children to adulthood. The children without exception became successful and self-sufficient adults. Life was progressing smoothly. Frederick’s death in 1849 (and his wife Elizabeth’s in 1859), together with Anthony’s death in 1860 and the advent of the Civil War in 1861 would profoundly change everything.

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