Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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Rickes, a Franciscan author of note, was living in England in
the year 1520. Records of heraldic visitations disclose that a
Ricks family lived at Crayford, in the County of Kent.

About 1645, two brothers, Thomas and William Ricks, settled
respectively, in Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. Tradition
says that they were of the same stock as Isaac Ricks, who was
born in England in 1638, and came to Virginia in young man-
hood. He landed first at Jamestown, but the date of his arrival
is not exactly known. He settled in Warrasguyeake, one of the
eight counties into which Virginia was then divided, and which
was later given the name of Isle of Wight County, then including
the present Counties of Nansemond and Southampton. As the
land and court records of these Counties were destroyed by fire
many years ago, genealogical research depends largely upon the
church and family Bible records. These Counties were settled
mostly by Puritans and Quakers, whose records began in 16G3.
Isaac Ricks was a member of the Quaker Church at Chuckatuck,
situated on the Western branch of the Nansemond River, and a
constant attendant of its services. Here in 1702, his sons Isaac
and Abraham, erected a Quaker church, for which they were paid
thirty- two thousand pounds of "Tobb" (tobacco). Isaac Ricks'
wife bore the Christian name of Kathren, but her family name,
and the place and date of her marriage are not known. Probably
they were married in England, and some of their children may
have been born there. Their children were : Isaac, born June 17,
1669 ; William, born August 5, 1670 ; John, born October 30, 1672 ;
Abraham, born October 10, 1674; Jacob, born January 17, 1677;
Robert, born October 14, 1679; Benjamin, born November 17,
1682; Kathren, 1683; Richard, born May 30, 1684; Jeane, June
30, 1687, and James, January 17, 1690.


140 n.K'iviiKi: r.n-iiANAN KICKS

The family name is often \vriiten as -Kickes'is" on these old
records, ami appears in that form in the death notices of three
sons of Isaac Kirks, namely: "Richard Kickesis," "William
Kickesis," and "Jacob Kickesis." This notice is also found:
"Isaac Kicks departed this life ye :',d day of the 1 1tli month IToL'."
Naac's wife, K'atliren. died about 1717. The Kicks family pos-
sessed an old "Hreeches IJible." in which entries are found con-
C -"iiing the family of Isaac Kicks, and which passed out of the
family about the year 177!) at a sale of household effects of Kich-
ard Kicks, one of Isaac Kicks' descendants, and about a century
later was recovered and is in the possession of Mr. Richard A.
Kicks of Richmond, Virginia.

The Quakers in Virginia, like other dissenters, were perse-
cuted on account of their religion. For non-attendance of the
services of the established church they were fined. Many of them
were driven from the State and if they returned, were treated as
felons. Perhaps it was for the sake of religious freedom, per-
haps for other causes, that many of the Virginia Ricks family
sought domicile in North Carolina. One of the earliest of the
family in that State was Benjamin Ricks, who moved to Edge-
combe County early in the eighteenth century. His Avill was exe-
cuted in 1719, and probated November 20, 1721, in Edgecombe
County. In this will he mentions Robert Ricks, Jr., son of his
brother Robert Ricks, brother Isaac Ricks, brother Abraham
Kicks, brother Robert Ricks, brother James Ricks, sister Jane
Ricks, and Patience, daughter of brother Abraham Ricks, and
William Brown, sou of Beal Brown. This will proves that he was
the son of Isaac, Senior, because there was no such combination
of names in any other family at the date when the will was made,
and the fact that it was the first made in Edgecombe County
shows conclusively that he was one of the first of the name in


North Carolina.

Isaac Ricks, Jr., married Sarah McKiunie, whose father,
Barnaby McKinnie, of Chowau County, conveyed by gift to his
son-in-law, Isaac Ricks, under date of March 28, 1722, one hun-
dred acres of land in Chaledona Woods, called Napin Work.
The will of Isaac Ricks, Jr., was executed in Edgecombe County,
March 11, 1748, and probated October 28, 1748. His children
were William, born July 15, 1698 ; Isaac, born December 17, 1702 ;
Jacob, born February 11, 1705; Benjamin, born about 1707;
Robert, Richard, Abraham, Alice and Elizabeth. The four elder
children were probably born in Virginia, and the rest in North
Carolina, which accounts for the lack of definite information con-
cerning their births.

Benjamin Ricks, son of Isaac, Jr., was born near Chucka-
tuck, Virginia, married Patience Helty, and bought in Lunen-
burg County, Virginia, four hundred acres of land from King


George II for forty shillings, the deed of which was recorded in
Richmond. About 1752, he removed to North Carolina, where he
bought a large tract of land from his brother, William, in Edge-
combe County, about seven miles from where the town of Rocky
Mount now stands. He was successful in his business affairs, and
left a good estate to his heirs.

The children of Benjamin (3), [Isaac (2), Isaac (1)], were:
Jacob, born 1735; Joel, born 1737; Lewis, born 1741; Benjamin,
whose date of birth is unknown, but whose death date was Feb-
ruary 19, 1770, and who was a Sergeant-Major in the 10th North
Carolina Continental troops ; Molly, born July 29, 1743 ; Thomas,
born 1745 ; William, 1750 ; Josiah, born 1755 ; Meredith, who died
unmarried in 1780, was by occupation, a silversmith, and by
nature a miser, and left much money, w T hich \vas long searched
for ; John ; Abrani ; Sarah and Patience.

It appears that William Ricks, above mentioned who was
born in 1750, was a native of North Carolina. At least he spent
most of his life there. His wife, Lydia Brantley, was born in
17(30, and died July IS, 1835. William Ricks was a Revolutionary
soldier, and fought in the battle of Guilford County Court House,
March 15, 1781, with his brother Lewis. He died June 10, 1832.

The children of William (4), [Benjamin (3), Isaac (2), Isaac
(1)], were: David, whose birth-date is unknown, but who died
June 25, 1829 ; Rhoda, who was born in 1784, and died in 1834,
unmarried; John, born June 11, 1786; Dickerson ; Richard; Mar-
tin ; Elizabeth, who was born in 1796 and died in 1835 ; Mourn-
ing, who was born in 1799, and married Jonathan Joinier; and
Malany, who married James Buntin.

John, third child of William Ricks, and a great-great-grand-
child of Isaac Ricks, Senior, was married January 8, 1818, to
Annie Atkinson, who was born 1800, and died 1873. John Ricks
spent his life in the county of his birth, where he followed the
occupation of a planter, and was at one time sheriff. His death
occurred in November, 1847.

The children of John (5), [William (4), Benjamin (3), Isaac
(2), Isaac (1)], were: Sidney Smith, who was born November 22,
1818, and married J. B. Harper, planter, merchant, and miller;
David Atkinson Talfair, born June 23, 1820 ; Jerome, born Jan-
uary 1, 1822; George, born December 20, 1824; Frances Ann,
who was born April 2, 1827, and married William W. Boddie, a
planter, and a member of the legislature; Buchanan, born Au-
gust 25, 1831 ; Indiana, who was born April 18, 1834, and married
K. D. Taylor; Nero, who was born July 15, 1838, and died in the
Confederate Service in 1862; John Atkinson, who was born June
16, 1839, and died March 15, 1887, unmarried.

George Ricks, fourth child of John Ricks of Nash County,
continued to reside in his native county, where February 27, 1844,


he married Sarah A. E. Vick, the (laughter of Asail and Eliza-
beth (Bailey) Vick, who was born in Nash County January iMi,
1829, and died May 31, 1898. Like his father, George Kicks fol-
lowed the occupation of a planter, and died on his plantation
August 7, 1904.

George Ricks moved to Texas when quite a young man. The
children of George Ricks (G), [John (5), William (4), Benja-
min (3), Isaac (2), Isaac (1)] were: Mary Adeliza, born Septem-
ber 30, 1845, died December 10, 1848 ; Sarah Elizabeth, born Feb-
ruary 8, 1848, died August 24, 1848; Fannie, born February 8,
1848 (twin), lived in Nashville, unmarried; George, born July
30, 1849 ; Mary Elizabeth, born April 15, 1851, who married John
R. Barkley and lived in Raleigh, North Carolina ; Sidney Bumpus,
who was born December 24, 1852, married Penelope Boddie, and
died December 4, 1896, leaving no children ; Fletcher Buchanan,
born July 23, 1854 ; Leah Jane, who was born April 8, 1856, mar-
ried Asail Vick, and went to Nashville; Nero Talfair, who was
born March 12, 1858, married Lila Brown, and died August 1,
1890; Samuel Smith, who was born February 15, 1860, and died
October 3, 1878 ; Sallie Ann, born December 21, 1861 ; Virginia
Vick, born November 1, 1863, who married Willian Poindexter
Bobbitt, and went to live in Nashville, North Carolina; William
Benjamin, born April 3, 1866, married Miss Nora Neal of Ten-
nessee. Eulalia Gabrilla, born June 7, 1868, married Doctor J. J.
Mann ; Ida, who was born November 10, 1869, lives in Nashville,
unmarried ; Edgar Norman, who was born April 30, 1874, married
Florence Nelson, and went to reside in Lillington, North Carolina.

Fletcher Buchanan Ricks, great-grandson of a great-grand-
son of Isaac Ricks, the immigrant, was born in Nash County,
North Carolina, on July 23, 1854, and continued to reside in that
county until about his fiftieth year, except for the years he spent
in High School after completing the course of study in the local
school. After his graduation from the Pleasant Garden High
School, Guilford County, North Carolina, he returned to Nash
County, where he obtained a position of clerk in a business estab-
lishment. He only clerked here for a few years when he began
business for himself under the firm name of Ricks Brothers,
building up a large and profitable business. He was in business
there from 1887 to 1903, when his health failed and he moved to
Greensboro, North Carolina, and retired, in a measure, from
actual work. He was a very successful business man, having
begun life without any means or help. About 1904 he removed
to Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina. As an organ-
izer, Mr. Ricks was remarkable. Stores which he established and
financed are located in Nashville, Sanford, Mt. Olive and Lilling-
ton, besides the Ricks-Donnell-Medearis Company of Greensboro.
He organized the Commercial and Savings Bank of which he


became President, and later the Commercial National Bank of
which he also became President. He was also in the front rank of
all movements tending to build up his home city, among whose
citizens he was widely known and numbered hosts of personal
friends. He was a man of great strength of character, and was
always true to his convictions. Besides conducting his business
enterprises, he was active as a church worker, being a member
of the West Market Street Methodist Church of Greensboro,
where he regularly attended, and where he held the office of
Steward. He left a good estate.

His wife was Tempie Bod die Vick, of a Nash County family.
They were married November 19, 1879, at Hillardston, Nash
County, North Carolina. They had four sons : Garland Atkinson
Kicks, born in Henderson, North Carolina, November 29, 1884,
and John Arthur Ricks, born in Nashville, North Carolina, Feb-
ruary 22, 1888. The two eldest, Arthur Dalton and an unnamed
son, died in infancy.

Garland Atkinson Ricks was educated at Randolph Macon
Academy, Bedford City, Virginia, and at the A. and M. College,
Raleigh, North Carolina. After completion of his collegiate
course, he went into business in Nashville, North Carolina, as a
merchant. He remained in his father's store in Nashville only
one year. He then went to Greensboro, North Carolina, where
he held a position in The City National Bank, and afterwards
took a position in the Commercial Savings Bank, of which his
father was President. He was married to Ruth Eulalia Mann
December 12, 1912.

John Arthur also attended Randolph Macon Academy. At
this institution and at Trinity Park School, Durham, North
Carolina, he was prepared for entrance to Trinity College of
Durham. After graduation from college, he became the State
Agent for the American National Insurance Company. On June
23, 1912, he married Rue Brodie Rice, and they settled in Greens-
boro, North Carolina. They have three children, Fletcher Buch-
anan Ricks, born May 10, 1913; John Arthur Ricks, and Robert
Alston Ricks, born April 5, 1915.

In the month of August, 1910, Fletcher Buchanan Ricks went
to visit his old home in Nashville, North Carolina, where he was
attacked by an alarming illness, being removed as quickly as
possible to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. As his condi-
tion improved but little, it was deemed best to bring him home to
Greensboro. For a year his illness lasted, but release from his
suffering came on October 6, 1911, in the presence of his family
and friends gathered around him. The funeral was held October
7, 1911, from his residence, 509 West Washington Street, with
the Reverend E. K. McLarty, officiating, and the interment was
in Green Hill Cemetery. The pallbearers, who were friends and


associates of the deceased, were: W. S. Clary, E. J. Stafford,
W. E. Blair, J. R. Cutchin, Judge N. L. Eure, and J. J. W. Harris.

Besides his widow and his sons Fletcher Buchanan Ricks
was survived by his two brothers, and five sisters: Reverend
W. B. Ricks, of Nashville, Tennessee; E. N. Ricks of Mt. Olive;
Mesdames J. R. Barkley of Raleigh, and W. P. Bobbitt of Nash-
ville, and the Misses Fannie and Ida Ricks of Nashville, also Mrs.
Asail B. Vick of Nash County. Not only his family but his fellow
citizens of Greensboro, feel that their loss, occasioned by his
death, is an irreparable one. This sketch would be incomplete
without an account of the family of Mrs. F. B. Ricks.

Tempie Boddie Vick, who became Mrs. Fletcher Buchanan
Ricks, was born near Hillardston, Nash County, North Carolina,
November 26, 1861, being the daughter of Benjamin Smith Vick
and Nancy Kelley (Battle) Vick. The family of Battle, her
mothers family, is one of the most distinguished of North Caro-
lina. In early English records this family name appears under
the forms of Battaill, Battayl, Battel, Battell and Battelle. The
last named form is found as far back as the twelfth century,
and this family had two coats of arms.

After the battle of Stamford Bridge, the field of action was
called Battle Flats, and the family coming into possession of this
land, assumed, according to the custom of the time, the name,
Battle, as their patronymic. The name originated in Essex, in
which county and in Surrey, there lived several branches of no-
bility bearing the surname of Battell. The progenitor of one of
these Essex families was Thomas Battell, whose son, Richard
Battell, had a son, "Robertus Battell." "Edwardus Battell,"
son of "Robertus," married Joanna, daughter of John of Basing-
borne. Their son, "Galfridus" married Christiana, daughter of
John Torrell of Torrell Hall. Their son, "Johannes Battell de
Auncler (Ongar)" of Parke, County Essex, married a daughter
of Thomas de Rochford, and their son, Thomas Battell, married
Elizabeth, daughter and sole heir of Richard de Enfield. Their
children were: Alicia, who married John Barrington of Baring-
ton, and Catherina, who married John Joscelin. In Surrey a
Battell family resided, one of whose members, Henry Battell of
Farnham, married Frances Maliverer. In London, too, this fam-
ily was found, for under date of July 5, 1692, William Battell
of London, married Mary Thompson, at St. Mary Magdalene's.

But the name, Battle, was also found at an earlier date. On
July 19, 1648, Mary Battle of a Kent County family, married
Thomas Fiddes, their license having been issued in London. In
Cromwell's time, one John of Battle was a juryman. Later, in
1662, John Battle bought land of Sir William Berkeley, Governor
of Virginia, which land was located on the Pasquotank River.
Possibly they were one and the same person.


Among early Virginia immigrants there were Mathew Battle,
who came in 1652; Elizabeth Battle, who came in 1654, being
brought over by John Battell; John Battle, who came in 1654,
also brought by John Battell. The founder of the Battle family
of the South was John Battle, a native of Yorkshire, England
(above mentioned), who bought land in Nansemond County, Vir-
ginia, and later on Pasquotank River in North Carolina, of which
land he was the owner in the year 1668. As early as the year
1659, this John Battle of Virginia, came with George Durant,
Roger Green, and others from the Jamestown settlement, and
selected land on Albemarle Sound and the rivers that empty into
it. John Battle lived chiefly in Nansemond County, Virginia,
with his wife, Elizabeth. Their son, William, was born in Vir-
ginia, and married Sarah Hunter, by whom he had two sons,
Elisha and William, both of whom went to North Carolina to
live and found two important branches of the Battle family.

William Battle (3), [William (2), John (1),] purchased
lands from the Lords Proprietors of North Carolina, his tract
lying on Swift Creek in Edgecombe County, from which part of
the County, Nash County later was carved. His wife was Mary
Capel, and they had three sons, James, William and John.

James, the eldest of these sons, first married Elizabeth Ar-
rington, whose father was Arthur Arrington, originally a resi-
dent of Nansemond County, Virginia, and later of Edgecombe
County, North Carolina. Their children were: Elizabeth, who
married Mr. Hines, and Polly, who married Mr. Cheathorn. The
second wife of James was Abiah Whitehead, by whom he had three
sons and a daughter. The sons went to Mobile, Alabama, and
the daughter married George Whitehead and went to live in
Savannah, Georgia.

William Battle, second of the three sons, married Mary Wil-
, liams of Halifax County. They lived at the Battle homestead in
Nash County and had nine children : Thomas, who married Miss
Baker and moved to Georgia, and whose son was Judge Nicholas
Williams Battle, of Waco, Texas; Lawrence, who married
Martha, daughter of General William Arrington of Nash County
in 1812; William, who married Chloe Boddie of Nash County
and moved to Shelby County, Tennessee ; Frederick, who married
Tempie Perry of Franklin County, North Carolina; Larkin, who
married Sallie Sills of Nash ; Alfred, who went to Alabama, and
married Millicent Bell, Tuskaloosa; Elizabeth, whose husband
was Nathan Boddie and who moved to Troup County, Georgia;
Martha, who married Gu Fort of Edgecombe, and moved to Mis-
sissippi ; and Mary Ann, who resided in Tuskaloosa with her elder
brother Alfred, and there married Henry W. Collier, who became
Governor and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

John Battle, youngest of the three sons above mentioned,


married Rhoda Kix. and moved to Buncombe County, North Caro-
lina, and later to Tallaferro County, Georgia. They had three
sons and two daughters. One of the sons, .John Hart well Battle,
married Pollie Bailey of 'Warren County, Georgia. Their grand-
daughter, Mrs. Minnie Battle Allen, daughter of their son, Law-
rence, is a compiler of a history of the Battle family.

Frederick (5), [William (4), William (3), William (2),
John (1)], was the father of Nancy Kelly Battle, who married
Benjamin Smith Yick and became the mother of Temple Boddie
Vick, later Mrs. F. B. Kicks.

Tbis blending of notable families shown in the combined
ancestry of Fletcher Buchanan Ricks and his wife offers an
unusual distinction to their descendants, for not only are long
lineage and material success represented in the Ricks and Battle
families, but the finest qualities of the mind and heart.


TO the early American period the Rogers families con-
tributed two most valuable men; one belonging to the
New England families of Rogers, and the other, by
female descent, belonging to the Virginia family. The
New England families were founded by James Rogers, who came
to Connecticut in 1635 from Cornwall, England, and by Nathaniel
Rogers, who came from Devonshire in 1636. Descended from one
of these was Colonel Robert Rogers who, when the great struggle
was being fought between France 'and England for supremacy on
this continent, was one of the most valuable officers of the English
army as Commander of the Scout Corps. Twenty years later,
when the Revolutionary War was raging, George Rogers Clark,
a young Virginian, saw the vital importance of protecting the
western boundary lines of the Confederation, and by his marvel-
ous campaign against the British Posts in the West added to the
United States a territory from which five great States have been
carved. The country, therefore, owes some debt of gratitude to
the Rogers name.

Philip Rogers, of Sedley, Virginia, is of the same English
blood as these old pioneers, but comes of a family which has been
identified with the United States for not quite half a century.
Mr. Rogers was born at Alvediston, Wiltshire, England, on May
2, 1865, son of John and Mary Ann (Burnell) Rogers. His father
came from England to Virginia in May, 1873, and was followed
by his family about four months later. He bought two large
farms, "Oakland" and "Poverty Fork," about three miles south-
west of Lunenburg Court House, and settled down to the life of
a Virginia planter. Later he bought a part of the Love Estate.
After a time a Post Office was established at his house, called
"Elcomb," in honor of a place of the same name in England.

Philip Rogers was educated by private tutors and in the
public schools of Petersburg, Virginia. At the age of twenty, he
became identified with the lumber business, and this has been the
principal feature of his business career. Mr. Rogers developed
a large measure of business capacity, and is now the Agent of the
Surry Lumber Company, one of the largest lumber manufacturing
concerns in that section of the country. This, however, though
constituting his main business, has not absorbed all his time and
attention. He is interested in other directions, both in a business
way and in the line of public service. He is at this time President



of the Bank of Sedley, a Director of the Peoples Bank at Court-
land, Virginia, and a Director in the American Bank and Trust
Company of Petersburg, Virginia. He is clerk and member of
the Pension Board for Sussex County (Confederate Pensions),
in which capacity he has served for several years, and is also
member and clerk of the Jerusalem School District Board.
Politically, he is identified with the Democratic Party. In fra-
ternal circles, he is a Mason, holding the Blue Lodge and Chapter
Degrees. In religion, he is a member of the Methodist Church,
South, in which he has served as a Steward and Sunday School

He was married April 15, 1903, at St. John's Episcopal
Church, Petersburg, Virginia, to Rebecca Hill Urquhart, born
April 10, 1875, in Southampton County, daughter of Anseline
Bailey and Ann Eliza (Ridley) Urquhart. They have two living
children: Charles Urquhart Rogers, born in Prince George
County, Virginia, August 13, 1904, and Mary Ann Rogers, born in
Southampton County, Virginia, October 31, 1911.

Philip Rogers, in his own day and in his own work, has con-
tributed faithfully to the building up of the great Republic
which men of his blood founded. He is looked upon in business
circles as a man of character, and in other walks of life as a good
citizen, which is as much as can be said of any man however
exalted his position.

Some of Mr. Rogers' forebears have been settled in the sec-
tion of England in which he was born, certainly since 1665, for
the records show that on May 20, 1665, Walter Goddard, gentle-
man, of East Woodyates, purchased Woodyates of William
Carew Hembridge Somerset; that on May 18, 1693, Walter God-
dard, son of the above, married Dorothy, daughter of William
Joy, of Shellington, and that a marriage settlement was made on
that day. Twenty-five years later, January 13, 1718, the records
show the marriage settlement of Walter Goddard, son of the
last-named, with Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of one Rogers, of
"Gunvale." Twenty-two years later, on September 18, 1740, the
records show the marriage settlement of Walter Goddard (3),
son of the last-named, and Elizabeth Lawes, daughter of John
Lawes, of Alvediston, Wiltshire. Some forty years later, in 1784,

Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 11 of 48)