Mayor George Wickens-Sex? sign of the times- Lorain
Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/
Oh No! George – you didn’t??? We left George in conversation with his secretary , Miss Pershing, as to the question as to prostitution should be legal in the small town of Lorain.
As Mayor Wickens signed the completed Docket he looked up at Miss Pershing and stated:
“Mida, do you know that such things were more free, society would be in a better condition than it is today”
Miss Pershing expressed surprise at this and the Mayor said
“Well it is a fact”
The next day he spoke of the girl again , saying she got a quarter for staying all night with that man, and said
“half of the church people and preachers are doing the same thing, and they take it that if God justified Abraham , they have the same right……
And this is where George got himself in hot water. George, a young man of action , and an Englishman to boot- known for our dry and often misunderstood sense of humour, quick wit and daring to rush in where angels fear to tread. Yes! it seems George didn’t know when to let sleeping dogs lay and therefore brought down upon himself the wrath of the media, political adversaries and suffered embarrassment but was it deserved???
From Thursday May 24th 1894 through Wednesday 29th Mayor Wickens had “all” presented in the Evening Herald in detail for the populace of Lorain to read and discuss:
“A day or two after [ (Part three) asking Miss Pershing to do some missionary work with the young woman accused of spending the night with a man for 25 cents-] he asked her what she thought of his proposition. She had forgotten and he said
“Why that one about Abraham”. He said 50 percent of the people , church members and all , are doing the very same thing and he thought there was no wrong in it!
It should be noted that Mayor Wickens and Miss Pershing were very ,very involved with the church, and possibly the very same church from what I have been able to deduce. George asked Mida not to say anything about their conversation and she consented. Apparently George however , curiosity perhaps getting the better of him, started on a path that would see him “exposed” to scandal, ridicule and arrest :
On May 25th Miss Pershing says Mr. Wickens asked her if she had ever seen a man and she said No! she had always lived a decent, upright life and wanted to know why he asked such a question. He replied that he did not know but had she seen her brothers. She said no they had always treated her kindly and said if all girls had lived as she had there would be no bad women in the world.
He said he knew that or he should not have wanted her in his office.
Oh George! what were you thinking? Apparently , in his own words, admitted to being indiscreet but the Evening Herald called him a libertine . Libertine ?? I wonder which definition was meant by the Evening Herald/
1. a person, especially a man, who behaves without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, especially in sexual matters.
2. a person who rejects accepted opinions in matters of religion; a freethinker.
George! was Miss Pershing to be so used???
Word of warning this now gets hot and heavy especially for the days of 1894- I wonder what those citizens at the end of the 19th century would say about the “Rover Fest” and the behaviours demonstrated on the old swamp land 120 years later . No arrests there for lewd and licentious behaviours 😉
But George lived in an era where the community standards weren’t so “exposed” and such things were found scandalous . On Monday the 28th George Wickens at around 10 o’clock Mayor Wickens was formally charged of using obscene language in the presence of a female and of committing an assault.
He had a preliminary hearing in front of Judge H.L. Hecock ( unfortunate name considering the offenses before him 😉
Squire Hecock’s office was crowded with a curious assemblage. In his private office sat the complaining witness, Miss Pershing her mother, brother, her sister, Mrs. Frank Brown and Mrs. Rev. J. Frank Smith. W.B Thompson represented the plaintiff.
Mayor Wickens came in alone at 3. The charge of using obscene language was first read. He pleaded not guilty.
“it’s a lie, before God it’s a lie” fairly hissed the plaintiff.
The assault affidavit was then read and again he pleaded not guilty and waived examination of both charges. Bond was fixed at $300 on the first charge and $400 on the second. The bondsmen are John Stang, Ed Gilmore, and Q Gillmore
At least one mystery is cleared up why was this newspaper cutting kept for 120 years in amongst Peggy papers- It seems the Gillmores were supporting George Wickens and in fact the same attorney who donated the portrait of General Gillmore back in the day Q.A Gillmore
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/general-quincy-a-gillmore-the-dining-room-dilemna/ was retained as George’s attorney….
To be continued………….
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Charleston Village, city of lorain, Lorain's Magical History Tour, media. Tags: 4th estate, Charleston Village, City of Lorain, disgraceful, Ed Gillmore, Evening Herald 1894, Geo Wickens, George Wickens, Justice Hecock, local politics, Lorain, Mayor George Wickens, Miss Mida Pershing, Miss Pershing, Old Lorain, opinion, Pershing Wickens case, politics, Q.A Gillmore, Sex and the 1890's.