Mayor George Wickens- the wrap up! Lorain

December 19, 2014 at 12:47 am 1 comment

wickens-oval-portrait

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/mayor-george-wickens-reputation-sullied-lorain/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/mayor-george-wickens-sex-sign-of-the-times-lorain/

Part Five https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/mayor-george-wickens-changing-times-lorain/

Click on all jpg’s to enlarge

Part Six https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/mayor-george-wickens-republican-repeats-lorain/

wickens yellow
A yellowing, crumbling to the touch, page of a newspaper from May 1894 took me on a journey once more into the lives of my neighbors of the 1800’s. This small neighborhood, poised to become the 10th largest city in the state, full of promise , steel and manufacturing. One of her ‘great names”,( George Wickens) tinged with scandal was found in the words of that newspaper cutting from another neighbor, after she passed- whose family had been part of the birthing of a city. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Mayor George Wickens, had been pilloried in the press, small paragraphs recounting his troubles in various news print around the state. But what of Mida Pershing. “no spring chicken” according to George at the ripe old age of 26- earning a living through secretarial work, and then “unceremoniously imposed upon” by her boss, George. George Wickens, a pillar and strength of a fledgling city!

harrasementres

I have to think Mida must have been courageous, principled or very naïve to have taken on Mr. Wicken’s behavior in the public eye. Women of her time just didn’t cross that threshold and make of themselves the subject of gossip, but Mida did. I uncovered some small facts about Mida-
Mida was born in 1868 one of 7 children to George Washington Pershing and Catherine Cline.

Just a note here there are some discrepancies in the two “search for ancestors sites” as to her date of death. I will go with the date on the headstone North Murray Ridge Cemetery , Elyria 1947
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=11416742&PIpi=1963928
mida grace
making her 79. She married Ray A Eldred (1876 – 1958) in October of 1901. Roy was 8 years her junior. Mida went on to have 5 children apparently – two dying early on
Helen ELDRED b: 15 AUG 1903 Children Nettie K. ELDRED Ralph A. ELDRED b: 5 AUG Walter P. ELDRED Ruth V. ELDRED

I wonder how the notoriety effected young Mida, she seems to have continued on in her religious beliefs and community endeavors Mida Pershing-EV_TE.1907_10_12_0005 (2)
Mida PershingTH_DA_CH.1903_06_15_0003
Mida-TH_EL_RE.1901_05_02_0001

You see George Wickens settled the case against him in 1895

Just what the terms were of that settlement I haven’t been able to find on-line but one would assume the terms were satisfactory to Mida at the time .

Note:If anyone has more information on the case I would love to update the posts.

WIckens April 2 1895 settlerd
I don’t think Mida blackmailed George , I don’t think it was an evil political plot in this instance – However….

George on the other hand once again had further issues – this time with city council.
Dec 11, 1895

George was once again asked to resign :

PDF File of the complaint:
Jan 7 1896

George was adamant there was no such wrongdoing with the books for the cemetery account ( see above PDF file)

1896 The Lorain County Reporter
January 11, 1896

– The committee from the Lorain council appointed to investigate the books of Mayor Wickens, reported a shortage of over $250. The committee stated that the result was probably caused by bad book keeping. The mayor made a speech in which he stated that he was a victim of a conspiracy to ruin him. The council by a vote of eight to two requested him to resign his office, which he has thus refused to do. A strong undercurrent of public feeling has been aroused, and many do not hesitate to state that Mayor Wickens is being unmercifully persecuted by his enemies.

Just a few days later Mayor Wickens was exonerated and apparently the city owed HIM $17, but George resigned as Mayor of Lorain.
wickens resignation

George, however, did not give up on Lorain as his full obituary found here on Dan Brady’s site : http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-1.html

Pier head light placed on pier in 1875 Photograph courtesy National Archives

Pier head light placed on pier in 1875
Photograph courtesy National Archives


http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=281

From 1872 for approximately 10 years he was a “contractor”

While engaged in the carpentry business in Lorain, Mr. Wickens built many of the older houses now located on the east side and was the contractor that built the old lighthouse which now stands at the end of the west pier of the river

lorain 19o8
George died in 1908 from pneumonia after inspecting the tunnel under the Black River-

Lorain’s fist big dig maybe??

NOTE Contacting the Engineering Dept. they have found mention of
” # Y-45 created sometime between 1915-1919, but determined lost in 1923″ but that too would have been AFTER George had died in 1908- The question then becomes IS THERE ANOTHER TUNNEL UNDER THE BLACK RIVER SOMEWHERE?????

Wickens-C

From George’s obituary we learn :

He was mayor of the city when the plant of the National Tube company came to Lorain and had in his possession at the time of his death the first piece of steel ever turned out by the plant. In ’97 Mr. Wickens was elected as a member of the council from the second ward and later was a member of the boards of cemetery trustees and water works trustees. He was elected a member of the first board of public service in 1903. At the last municipal election he was again elected to the office of member of the board of public service by a large majority. He was also a member of the board of library trustees.

Carnegie Collage
Upon his death the trustees wrote:
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-2.html

The trustees of the public library issued a special resolution that was part of that same article. It stated, “Resolved that in the death of Mr. Wickens this Association has lost one of its most useful members. Identified with the earliest efforts to establish a free public library in Lorain, Mr. Wickens gave his time and thought most generously to promote the cause. He was never called upon to assist in the work that he did not promptly respond, often at great inconvenience and sometimes actual loss to himself.

“It should therefore be known to all the people of Lorain that the Public Library as it now stands is in a sense a monument to the public spirit and noble character of George Wickens.”

http://www.lorainpubliclibrary.org/about-lpls/history-of-the-library/history-of-the-lorain-public-library-system

The Board of Trustees are J.W. Jones, E.M. Pierce, Mrs. J.H. Hills, Mrs. McIlvaine, W.C. Fisher, George Wickens, E.E. Hopkins, and F.A. Rowley.

And so we come full circle back to the History( makers) of Lorain of which he was such an integral part. His story “hopefully” preserved by the Lorain Historical Society who now occupy that self-same Library– The Carnegie Library- I wonder if among the artifacts there is another yellowing piece of paper telling more of his story……………

Again many thanks to Dan Brady, Frank Sipkovsky, Paula Shorf for their research and information……..

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Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Charleston Village, city of lorain, history, Lorain's Magical History Tour, men of substance. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Mayor George Wickens- Republican repeats-Lorain Lorain Dudes- Holidays Naughty and Nice 2014

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