Victor George Fiegel
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel
was born October 16, 1910, in Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR, and died November 9, 1985,
at Holton Manor Nursing Home, Elkhorn,
Walworth Co., WI, at age 75.
Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI. He is the son of
Victor Adam Fiegel of
Austin, Travis Co., TX, and Mary Alden
Wylie of Hensley, AR.
Helen Means Bickett
was born August 28, 1912, in the Village of Yellow Springs, Miami Twp., Greene
Co., OH, and died
October 25, 1988, at Lakeland
Hospital, Elkhorn, Walworth Co., WI, at age 76.
Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI. She is the daughter of
LeRoy McVey Bickett of Xenia, Greene Co.,
Gertrude Pearl Patricia Baker of the Village of Yellow Springs, Miami Twp.,
Greene Co., OH
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel (age 28),
a bachelor, and
Helen Means Bickett (age 26), a maiden, were married October 16, 1938, in the City of Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel and
Helen Means (Bickett) Fiegel had three children:
- Victor Kirt Fiegel: Born
January 11, 1942, in Watertown, Jefferson
Co., WI. Married August 13, 1966, at Naval Station, Long Beach, Los Angeles
Co., CA, to Dixie Lee Daacon: Born February, 1943, in Dubuque, Dubuque Co.,
- Alan Thomas Fiegel: Born October 25, 1945, in
Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI; Died January 3, 1948, in Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI (age 2). Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI.
- Edward Todd Fiegel: Born
September 4, 1954, at St. Mary's Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.
Married (1) July 23, 1977, in Waukesha Co., WI, to Ann Leslie
Stevens: Born October, 1954, in Toledo, Lucas Co., OH. Divorced June
13, 1983, in Zanesville, Muskingum Co., OH. Married (2) July 21, 1988, in Dane Co., WI, to
Susan S. "Sue" Rowe: Born April 2, 1948, in Unknown. Ann Leslie (Stevens)
Fiegel then married Eugene Ralph Guszkowski Jr.: Born about 1948 in Unknown.
Ann is the daughter of Edward P. Stevens of Toledo, Lucas Co., OH, and
Barbara A. Shanks of Toledo, Lucas Co., OH.
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel,
Helen Means (Bickett) Fiegel, and
their son Alan Thomas Fiegel,
are buried in the
Bickett/Fiegel plot in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.
Gertrude Pearl Patricia "Gertie" Baker was born February 10,
1880, in the Village of Yellow Springs, Miami Twp., Greene Co., OH.
The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 28, 1880, shows
William P. Baker (age 40) born in Ohio to Pennsylvania and Ohio-born parents is
a House Painter living in the Village of Yellow Springs, Miami Twp., Greene Co.,
OH. Living with him is Helen M. Baker (age 34) born in Silesia to
Silesia-born parents. Living with them are Baker children, all born in Ohio to Ohio
and Silesia-born parents: Albert M. Baker (age 2); and Gertrude P. Baker (age
4/12). Also living there is William's brother-in-law, Charles Gerhardt
(age 15) born in Ohio to Silesia-born parents.
The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 9, 1880, shows George Bickett (age
28) born in Ohio to Ohio-born parents is a Plumber
living on Hinling Street, 3rd Ward, City of Xenia, Xenia Twp., Greene Co., OH. Living
with him is his wife Elizabeth Bickett (age 27) born in Ohio to Ohio-born
parents. Also living at home are their children born in Ohio: Arnold Bickett
(age 4); and Maud Bickett (age 2). Also living there was a boarder, William
Simons (age 25) who was a Coal Merchant.
Leigh Larson note: William Simons is the brother of Ruth Elizabeth
"Roy" Bickett was born May 1, 1883, in Xenia, Xenia Twp., Greene Co., OH.
The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 14, 1900, shows George M.
Bickett (age 48) born September 1851 in Ohio to Ohio-born parents is a Plumber
married for 24 years living in his own home in Xenia, Xenia Twp., Greene Co.,
OH. Living with him is his wife Ruth E. Bickett (age 47) born in Ohio to New
York-born parents, with 5 of her 6 children still alive. Also living at home are
all five of the living children, all unmarried and born in Ohio: Arnold R.
Bickett (age 23) born August 1876, not employed and can not read or write; Maud
F. Bickett (age 22) born February 1878 and not employed; Leroy Mc Bickett (age
18) born May 1882 and is a Blacksmith; Manley E. Bickett (age 14) born September
1885; and Dora A. Bickett (age 11) born August 1888.
The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 6, 1900, shows Clara
M. Harrigan (age 29) born October 1870 in Wisconsin to Swedish-born parents with
2 of the 3 children born to her still living and having Inherited Income is a
divorcee owning her own home free of a mortgage and living in Amherst, Portage
Co., WI. Living with her are her children, both born in Wisconsin to English
Canadian and Wisconsin-born parents: Winnefred M. Harrigan (age 7) born August
1892; and Wesley W. Harrigan (age 4) born September 1895.
Mr. Bickett became identified with the rubber industry in 1908.
The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April 16, 1910, shows Geo. M.
Bickett (age 57) born in Ohio to Ohio-born parents is a Plumber in a Shop
married for 35 years living in his own home at 242 South Chestnut Street, Xenia,
Xenia Twp., Greene Co., OH. Living with him is his wife Ruth E. Bickett (age 56)
born in Ohio to New York-born parents, with 5 of her 6 children still alive.
Also living at home are all five of the living children, all unmarried and born
in Ohio: Arnold R. Bickett (age 34) and not employed and can not read or write;
Maud F. Bickett (age 32) and not employed; LeRoy M. Bickett (age 26) is a
employed in Tire Repairing in a Shop; Earl M. Bickett (age 24) and not employed;
and Agnes Bickett (age 21) who is a School Teacher in a Public School.
The 1910 U.S. Census taken on April 29, 1910, shows
Marie H. Baker (age 64) born in Germany to German-born parents and emigrating in
1865 with 2 of her 4 children still alive is a widowed head of household owning
her home on North College Street, Village of Yellow Springs, Miami Twp., Greene
Co., OH. Living with her is her unmarried daughter, Gertrude P. Baker (age 30)
born in Ohio to Ohio and German-born parents, who is a School Teacher.
The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April 18, 1910, shows
Clara Harrigan (age 38) born in Wisconsin to Swedish-born parents is a divorcee
renting her own home and living at 515 Milwaukee Street, 7th Ward, City of
Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., WI. Living with her are her children, both born in
Wisconsin to English Canadian and Wisconsin-born parents: Winefred Harrigan (age
17) a Stenographer for Automobiles; and Wesley Harrigan (age 14).
"Roy" Bickett (age 28) and
Patricia "Gertie" (Baker) Anderson (age 31) were married June 8, 1911, in the Village of Yellow Springs, Miami
Twp., Greene Co., OH.
Roy worked at
a bicycle shop in Dayton, OH; then as a vulcanizer in a rubber factory in
Springfield, OH. In 1911 Roy was a shareholder in the Globe Rubber Company in
Dayton, OH. In 1913 or 1914 he formed the Xenia Rubber Mfg. Co. in Xenia,
OH after five years of experience with several large rubber manufacturers.
The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April 30, 1910, shows
Victor A. Fiegel (age 23) born in Texas to Texas-born parents is a Grocery
Salesman owning his own home with a mortgage and living at 3124 Unknown, City of
Little Rock, Big Rock Twp., Pulaski Co., AR. Living with him is his wife of two
years, May Fiegel (age 21) born in Arkansas to South Carolina and Arkansas-born
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel was born October 16, 1910, in Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR.
Helen Means Bickett was born
August 28, 1912, in the Village of Yellow Springs, Miami Twp., Greene Co., OH.
In 1914 the Victor Adam Fiegel family moved from Little Rock, AR, to Los
The WWI Draft Registration Form dated June 5, 1917, shows Victor A. Fiegel,
born October 30, 1886, in Austin, TX, is living at 137 W. 16th Street, City of Los
Angeles, CA. He has a wife and child.
On January 28, 1919, Victor
George Fiegel was run over by the wheel of a wagon, and the injuries to
his leg kept him hospitalized for four months.
Victor George Fiegel's parents then divorced, and in May, 1919, he
and his father, Victor Adam Fiegel, went back to
Austin, TX, and young Victor lived with an aunt and uncle in
Austin while recuperating from his leg injury.
The 1920 U. S. Census taken on January 15, 1920, shows LeRoy M.
Bickett (age 36) born in Ohio to Ohio-born parents, is a Superintendent at a
Rubber Factory, and is renting his home, and is living at 604 Farwell Street, Ward 18,
Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., WI. Living with him is his wife Gertrude Bickett (age
39) born in Ohio to Ohio and Prussian-born parents. Also there are his two
children, both born in Ohio: Helen Bickett (age 7); and Ruth Bickett (age 3).
Also living there is his widowed mother-in-law, Helen Baker (age 75) born in
Prussia to Prussian-born parents.
The 1920 U. S. Census taken on January 21, 1920, shows
Eugene Fiegel (age 41) born in Texas to Louisiana and Texas-born parents, is a
House Carpenter who owns his own home free of a mortgage, and is and living at 2106 E.
19th, 5th Ward City of Austin, Travis Co., TX. Living with him is his wife,
Georgia Fiegel (age 39) born in Texas to Texas-born parents. Also living there
is Eugene's nephew, Victor Fiegel (age 9) born in Texas to Texas-born parents.
In June 1920, Victor George Fiegel went to live with his father, Victor Adam
Fiegel, in Galveston, Galveston Co., TX, where he grew up.
Victor George Fiegel attended a business college in El
Paso, TX, in 1929 - 1930.
About 1930, Victor George Fiegel went to Eureka,
Humboldt Co., CA, where his mother and stepfather lived, and worked for some time
as a dental technician for his stepfather. He enlisted in the merchant marines
and made several trips across the Pacific, before returning to Galveston, TX.
The 1930 U. S. Census taken on April 10, 1930, shows Le Roy Bickett (age
46) born in Ohio to Ohio-born parents and first married at age 28 is a manager
rubber factory who owns his home worth $12,000 and is living at 700 Clyman Street, Ward 9,
City of Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI. Living with him is his wife, Gertrude Bickett (age
50) born in Ohio to Ohio and German-born parents, and first married at age 32. Also there are
children, both born in Ohio to Ohio-born parents: Helen Bickett (age 17); and Ruth Bickett (age
The 1930 U. S. Census taken on April
8, 1930, shows
Harry P. Petersen (age 39) born in Denmark to Danish-born parents and first
married at age 25 and having emigrated in 1890 and a Naturalized citizen, is a
Dentist in his Own Office, and is renting his home for $40/month, and is living at
828 Eighth Street, Alhambra,, San Gabriel Twp., Los Angeles Co., CA. Living with
him is his wife, Mae A. Petersen (age 38) born in Arkansas to North Carolina and
Arkansas-born parents and first married at age 25, is a Dental Nurse in her
The 1932 California Voter Registration
Record dated September 29, 1932, shows Victor G. Fiegel is a Democrat, and is living at
3015 F Street, Eureka, Humboldt Co., CA. Also at that address are: Mrs. Lydia
Wylie, a Democrat; Mrs. Mabel Hall, a Republican; Harry P. Petersen, a
Republican; and Mrs. Mae A. Petersen, a Democrat.
George "Vic" Fiegel and
Helen Means Bickett met in Galveston,
Galveston Co., TX.
The Galveston Coastal News,
Galveston, Galveston Co., TX, Friday, June 25, 1937
right are a group of visitors from Wisconsin, who have been spending the week
here as the guests of Mrs. W. J. Chapman and daughter, Miss Jean Chapman. Miss
Ruth Bickett, standing, and Miss Helen Bickett, seated on the top step, are the
daughters of Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Bickett of Watertown, Wis., and the nieces of
Mrs. Chapman. They were accompanied by Miss Doris Kaddatz, daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. E. C. Kaddatz, of Watertown, who is seated on the lowest step. Miss Chapman
who is pictured with the group will accompany them when they leave. They will
spend a few days in New Orleans before returning home.
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel (age 28), a bachelor, and
Helen Means Bickett (age 26), a maiden, were married October 16, 1938, in the City of Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.
Helen Means Bickett, in her
wedding dress, with her sister, Ruth Gertrude Bickett, 700 Clyman Street, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI.
Ruth and Helen Bickett, and two others, all
smoking! Taken at 700 Clyman Street, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI, at the time
of Helen's October 16, 1938, wedding.
The Fiegel newlyweds lived in Galveston, TX, until 1940 when they moved to Watertown,
WI, where Vic worked for his father-in-law at the L. M. Bickett Company.
The 1940 U. S. Census taken on
May 4, 1940, shows Le Roy Bickett
(age 56) born
and having completed 4 years of High School, and 5 years ago was living in the same
house, is a President of Rubber owning his home worth $1,200
and is living at 700 7th
Street, 9th Ward, City of Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI. Living with him is his wife,
Gertrude Bickett (age
60) born in Ohio
and having completed 4
years of College, and 5 years ago was living in the same house. Also living
there are his two married daughters and their husbands: his son-in-law, Wilbert
Larson (age 26) born in Wisconsin and having completed 4
years of College, and 5 years ago was living Unknown, CA, a Representative for
an Automobile Manufacturer; his daughter, Ruth Larson (age 23)
born in Ohio
and having completed 4
years of College, and 5 years ago was living in the same house; his son-in-law,
Victor Fiegel (age 29) born in Arkansas and having completed 4
years of College, and 5 years ago was living Madison, WI, a Retail Store
Salesman; and his daughter, Helen Fiegel (age 27)
born in Ohio
and having completed 4
years of College, and 5 years ago was living in the same house;
After World War II began, Vic and Helen moved back to the
Galveston area in 1942 and lived in LaMarque and Texas City while Vic worked at the
Pan-American oil refinery. Helen was a member of the Play Committee of the AAUW
in Galveston on November 29, 1942.
Alan Thomas Fiegel
was born October 25, 1945, in
Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.
Alan Thomas Fiegel
died January 3, 1948, in Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI, at age 2. Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI.
Kirt Fiegel, about 1948, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI.
Edward Todd Fiegel
was born September, 1954, at St. Mary's Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.
Daily Gazette, Janesville, Rock Co., WI, Wednesday, September 8, 1954
WALWORTH - A son,
Edward Todd, was born Saturday to Mr. and Mrs. Victor Fiegel at St. Mary's
Hospital, Watertown. The Fiegels have one other son, Kirt, 12.
Daily Gazette, Janesville, Rock Co., WI, Friday, May 8, 1956
WALWORTH - A. K.
Rubber Products Co. has completed plans to move from Walworth to Elkhorn.
The firm will start next week on construction of a 5,600-square foot factory
located on W. Centralia street. The move from the R. P. Maxon property in
Walworth will be made because of a need to expand floor space and to better
shipping facilities. Owner and manager of the company is Victor Fiegel, who
established the plant here four years ago, moving from Watertown. All
present personnel will continue employment at Elkhorn. The Fiegel family
will maintain their home in Walworth.
Vic and Helen returned to Watertown in 1944 and Vic worked at
the L. M. Bickett Company until September, 1952, when they moved to Walworth, WI,
and started the A. K. Rubber Products Company, on the proverbial shoestring. The
company prospered, and in 1956 Vic and Helen bought property in Elkhorn, WI, put up a building,
and moved the company there. In the fall of 1957 Vic and Helen themselves moved to Elkhorn.
The company was incorporated in 1959.
Helen Means (Bickett)
Fiegel and Victor George Fiegel, about 1980.
The Watertown Daily Times,
Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI, Saturday, June 26, 1954, Centennial
United to Form Do-Si-Do Club in City
In the spring of 1950, five
Watertown couples discovered that when each arrived at a square dance somewhere
around the vicinity the others were also there. This led to friendship and plans
to go to these dances together. One thing led to another, until Mrs. Ted Koerner,
Jr. and Vic Fiegel decided it was high time Watertown had a club of its own.
Met in Basement
In May, the Ted Koerners,
Les Kaerchers, Bill Dauers and Vic Fiegels started meeting in the Fiegel's
basement, usually on the night square dancing was on TV. They bought the few
records available in town and went to work - and work it was, with completely
unfamiliar calls every few seconds until the familiar “Promenade your Partner”.
Slowing down the records and finding an occasional dance duplicated on TV the
group really got goin’.” Another couple added to the group was the Art Killians.
It was later decided that going to a Milwaukee dance would help the learning
process. They attended a dance of ‘Doc’ New land’s (who is one of the present
callers) and immediately found out how much they did not know - quote Helen
Fiegel, “Were we green!” At any rate this dancing with “Doc” spoiled the other
dancing and it was decided there just had to be something better for Watertown
and more couples had to get the swing and have the fun of good square dancing.
The next few months were spent contacting couples who might be interested,
trying to locate a hall, and trying to find a Milwaukee caller who would come to
Watertown and start from the bottom with a group who had only enthusiasm as an
Obtained Elks Hall
Sept. 10, 1950 was finally
selected as the date and 100 couples had said yes they’d come. Vic Fiegel,
ruler in hand, spent two weeks measuring halls in town and finally obtained the
Elk’s Hall. The next few days were spent alternately worrying about not having
anyone show up and the original five footing the bill for everything - or on the
other hand, being mobbed and not having enough room for the crowd.
The dance was a huge
success and 44 couples signed up to belong to the club which Alice Dauer and
Edna Kaercher dubbed the Do Ci Do Club when they were sending out the first
postal cards to announce the dances. The name was later changed to the Do-Si-Do
Club of Watertown, as the Si spelling is the one most commonly used by square
dance publications. At first, the club was more or less allowed to run itself by
general opinion of what needed doing but it finally seemed necessary to get down
to something more businesslike. Vic Fiegel was elected president and Bill Dauer,
treasurer, for a series of five dances. However at the end of those five there
was enough in the treasury - so a sixth dance was added to the series. Then a
new group of volunteers took over the official duties. Thus the club was run
until the spring of 1951. It was decided to become a member of the SDAW (Square
Dance Association of Wisconsin). This necessitated a set of by-laws and a
complete set of officers. First officers of the club were: Ted Koerner Jr.,
president; William Frish, vice-president; James Wilson, secretary, and Ray
Kaercher, treasurer. All officers are elected as couples instead of as
individuals. Meetings during the winter months are held on the second and fourth
Sundays in Moose Hall. During the summer the group meets on the second and
fourth Wednesdays in Riverside Park.
As members of the SDAW our
first state-wide Jamboree was held in June of 1953 at Turner Hall with a
capacity crowd from every part of the state. At that time the club numbered only
18 member couples but earned the enviable reputation of having the SDAW ask when
the club would again play host to the state group. This dance was set up for
July 2 of this year but cancelled by Do-SiDo in deference to the centennial
plans. Do-Si-Do members are taking an active part in the Centennial:
Sister-of-the-Swish Chapter, street demonstration, centurama, old time and
square dance at Turner Hall, and Squaring ‘Em Up for the Cavalcade. Also a TV
show for one hour over the Madison Station June 19. From its small beginning in
the spring of 1950, has come this thriving club of 1954. May it survive and grow
through the next century as Watertown itself has done in the last. Hats off to
Watertown; may our children and grandchildren see its second hundred years - the
first 100 are the hardest.
Officers and Members
The present officers and
members of the Do-Si-Do Club are: President, Marion and Barbara Elliott;
vice-president, Joe and Maxine Rhodes; secretary, Harold and Ann Smith;
treasurer, Fred and Audamae Bucheger; historian, James and Esther Wilson.
The following letter was
sent from Helen to her sister, Ruth Larson, in 1973.
Sunday, April 29, 1973
I have been trying to
sort out my thoughts ever since we came back from Ohio so I could write a
coherent letter and tell you what I found out. It was such an interesting trip
and how I wish we could have stayed a day or two longer. Vic was very patient
but at the end of two days I knew he'd just about had it, so we started on our
way home. Of course we had rain almost all the time we were there.
Monday morning we went
to the cemetery at Clifton, which is only three or four miles from Yellow
Springs. When we neared Clifton we saw a state policeman walking along the road
and asked him directions and he directed us to a filling station for more
information. At the time I sort of wondered why we would see a state policeman
in that particular place, but from what I heard on the radio as we were driving
Wednesday morning I think I know. More about that farther on. We found this old
cemetery which they say is still being used but there is no sexton so we
couldn't get help in locating specific graves. The cemetery is at the top of a
small hill, and when you look at those old, old gravestones and read the dates
on them you literally get carried back in time and think of all the history
those names represent. Near the road the first stones we found had what we
thought said "Mary Bickett, wife of Henry Bickett", and then another Mary
Bickett, Henry Bickett, and children's names. We carefully moved weeds away and
Vic took a picture of one, and I was quite excited, thinking that proved what I
had felt all along, that Bicketts were there earlier than the book said, when we
suddenly realized that name was Rickett, not Bickett.
Anyway, we found Baker
markers, some of the sons of Thomas and their families, but we did not have time
to find Thomas and Sarah, and George, his son and our great-great-grandfather or
his wife, which was the one I particularly wanted to find, to get her name, at
least her first name because they didn't put maiden names on them. I already
have a clue as to her maiden name. We used chalk to bring out the lettering
because the stones were so worn. We were really covering the area systematically
when the rain started and a very strong wind came up which probably seemed even
worse because we were on a hilltop. At the same time we heard two cars with
sirens going driving around the countryside, and with all that wind the only
thought I had was that it must be a tornado warning. (I heard later other people
half expected a tornado, too.) So we decided we had better quit and be on our
way, with full intentions of coming back to Clifton.
Wednesday we heard on
the radio there had been quite a car chase around the Clifton area, with the
police chasing someone who was finally caught. Which probably explained the
presence of the state policeman and also the sirens.
We drove back to
Yellow Springs and saw the sign "Cemetery Road" across the highway from us in
Yellow Springs and thought it would probably take us to Glen Forest Cemetery, so
we took it. After we started up that street I remembered Mr. Shaw, the former
Glen Forest sexton who had sent me information about the Baker and Bickett lots
there, lived on Cemetery St., and there we were, right in front of his house. He
was at home and was delighted to come along with us. It was raining pretty hard
by that time. I told him I wanted to see about getting Grandmother's grave
marked and he said we were in luck, that the present sexton was there as he had
a funeral that morning. He sent us off in the right direction and then went
home - I guess there's some professional jealousy there.
We found the Baker
lot. There are at least three Baker lots, one is our grandparents and one is our
great-grandparents', and another that might be a relation but there was too much
to do to spend time finding out. Our lot has an enormous stone in the center
which says Baker on it, but there are only three graves. One is Ralph W., a
baby, and it has a small marker. One is Grandfather Baker's grave, and they have
a lovely large stone on that with raised lettering which would cost a fortune
now. At the foot of his grave is another marker put up by the G.A.R. because he
was a Civil War veteran. Then Mr. Shaw told us he was sure Grandmother's grave
was right next to Grandfather's, without any marker.
I had visualized a
center stone with a place for all the names of those who were buried there, but
such was not the case. We found that the present sexton also sells markers, and
since he was busy then we made an appointment for 1:00 Tuesday afternoon to look
at literature, and in the meantime he would check on the lot and see what color,
etc., he would recommend. So back we went, on Tuesday, and I ended up doing the
only thing I could, ordering a stone marker. It is the flat kind like what is
used today - it would have been impossibly expensive to match the . one on
Grandfather's grave. I believe it is something like 13" or 14" by 24", and is
raised about 8" above the ground. It will have on it "Helen M. Baker,
1844-1925." The cost, completely set in place, is $164.00. I had no idea it was
going to cost anything like that, before we went to the cemetery, but the grave
must be marked, and I am willing to pay it, and if you can give anything toward
it, that would be fine. I just saw no other way out of the problem. It will be
all in place before Memorial Day, and he will bill me after it is done.
When this was finished
it was really raining hard. The sexton told us the Gerhardt graves were near the
road and pointed out where to look, but we could not find them from the road in
the cemetery, so we did not see them or find the Bickett lot either. The only
Bicketts who are buried there are Maude, Arnold, and Ruth. Of course after you
get home you think why didn't you look particularly for the Gerhardt lot - maybe
our great-grandmother Dorothea Whiele Gebauer Gerhardt is buried there, although
that is only a slim chance.
Back to Monday. We
returned to Xenia and went to Woodland Cemetery there, and the wife of the
sexton was very nice and helpful. We found the Bickett lot which I thought (!)
had the graves of our ancestors. I did not see the grave of our grandfather
George and I do not know where he is buried.
I then called
Marguerite Williams, Mom's friend and former Yellow Springs (LRL note: next door
neighbor in 1910 and 17 years younger) neighbor and the one
with whom I have exchanged several letters. I told her we would like to take her
to dinner that night, but she absolutely refused and said it would be impossible
for her to go, as she gets around with a walker. But she would like us to come
for a simple supper in her kitchen. But I didn't want her to bother, and we left
it that we would come to see her at 7:00 that evening. When we got back to the
motel at 5:00 there was a message to call her--she would expect us at 6:15.
She's apparently quite strong-willed. So we bought some flowers to take to her,
and we went. She is an interesting conversationalist, and she does have strong
opinions. She also told me to be sure to thank Mr. Ankeney, a man who lives in
Xenia and who hunted up some Baker information for her before she wrote me what
information she could. I tried repeatedly to get him on the phone but it was
always busy, so I have written him a note. Before we left she gave me a plate
which Mom had given Marguerite's sister Florence I don't know when, probably
between 60 and 70 years ago. I should have just thanked her profusely and let it
go at that, but not me--I immediately said I was going to see that Joyce got
that plate, and then had to go into details about who Joyce was, etc. I have
also written her how dear Joyce had always been to Mom, and how I felt she would
really appreciate it. With the very best of intentions, it's so easy to put
one's foot in one's mouth. I could just have given Joyce the plate, and not said
anything. Florence was Marguerite's oldest sister and I think about Mom's age (LRL
note: 3 years younger).
Monday afternoon I
spent at the courthouse, and I found the county records are anything but
complete. It is impossible to do anything about correcting Pal's birth
certificate since he is no longer alive, even though I had brought his death
certificate along and the lady said it very obviously was wrong. So that is
that. Also old death records do not give the information the present-day ones
do--names of parents, birthplace, etc., but just the name, date of death, cause
of death, and I'm not sure whether they give the age. I found the record of
Uncle Earl's birth, and found his first name was Manley, which was a family name
in Grandmother Bickett's ancestry. Uncle Manley Simons was a rear admiral, but I
haven't yet found out whether the name belongs in her father's or her mother's
ancestry. I did find the will of our great-great-great-grandfather Thomas Baker,
and the names of all his children and also the names of the four grandchildren
who lived with him - our great-grandfather Isaac was one of the grandchildren,
and his father George was one of Thomas's sons and died in 1814 from a wound he
received in the War of 1812. I did not know the date of our Grandmother and
Grandfather Bickett's marriage so I hunted in vain for that, too.
From 1908 on, birth
and death records are kept at the Health Department at the hospital, so about
8:30 the next morning, Tuesday, we arrived at the hospital. And they are
incomplete - many were sent directly to Columbus, so I have a couple of forms
here for requesting information. Then a series of fortunate coincidences
happened. A man standing nearby talking with the girls behind the desk heard me
asking questions. He followed us outside, and asked what name we were searching
for. I told him I would love to find some lady whose maiden name was Bickett,
because she might know family history, so he said he knew one and would take us
to her house. Also I inquired about the First Baptist Church, for the Simons
family went to that church, and he pointed it out. Then he took us to the home
of a Mrs. Myrtle Peterson, whose maiden name was Bickett. I introduced myself to
her and she said are you from Watertown, Wisconsin, because someone had been in
Watertown one time and reported there were Bicketts there, and a rubber factory.
She had records and we compared them, and I found out the name of the town in
Pennsylvania where William R. Bickett and John Henry Bickett were born, in other
words I have located the Coaquilla Valley, and when I looked at the Pennsylvania
map for Lewistown I found a Reedsville and a McVeytown nearby. So research on
that county should prove very interesting. Anyway, I told her our
great-grandfather was Adam Reed Bickett, son of William R. Bickett, and she said
she had never heard of him, and she was descended from William R. Bickett. There
was an Adam R. who was her grandfather's brother, but they called him Uncle
Reynolds. So I figured he must have preferred that to Adam, and let it go at
I went to the First
Baptist Church, and the minister was extremely courteous and obliging, and
couldn't understand why my letter to his church last November had not been
delivered but instead returned to me. We looked back in his old records and
found Joseph A. Simons, Grandmother's father, had contributed to the church
through 1899, but not in 1900, so that's a clue to when he died. Also there was
a Mrs. William Simons (Aunt Emma ?) and son, but I didn't think Aunt Emma had
any children - perhaps she had a son who died. And there was another Simons
family - obviously other relatives moved here along with Grandmother's parents.
Then we went to the
Second United Presbyterian Church, where the minister apologized profusely for
not answering my letter to him, of last November. He still had it out on his
desk. And I met a Mrs. Lois Bickett who was working in the office - Bickett is
an uncommon name, to be sure, everywhere but in Xenia, where there are very
many, and Mrs. Lois Bickett couldn't believe you seldom find it. And in Xenia
apparently they all belong to the Second United Presbyterian Church, and I bet
the reason there was a rift between Adam Reed Bickett and his son George was
because George married a Baptist. Anyway I told Reverend Beams that what I had
asked him in my letter was all wrong, that I had been positively shocked to find
Ann Galloway married John Jacoby when I had been sure she married a Junkin and
was our great-great-grandmother. What I was trying to find was the old records
of the Massie's Creek Church which merged with the Second United Presbyterian
and whether they would tell who Mary Ann Junkin's parents were (she was Adam
Reed Bickett's wife). We looked in his old records but we couldn't find anything
on the Massie's Creek Church. He was quite interested in what church I belonged
to, and understood how come in Wisconsin where there is a Congregational Church
there is no Presbyterian because it was settled by New Englanders and the two
churches cooperated in those days so they wouldn't duplicate efforts. During all
this research I have read up a lot on Presbyterian history, and I was well
prepared to talk with him.
Back at the motel I
thought I would call the library, and there I found a lot of resources. The
Mormon Church has put many, many records from all over the world on microfilm,
and in return for borrowing the records to start with they give microfilm
copies - in this case the county hadn't wanted them so the library took them and
also had a microfilm reader which I had learned to use in Madison. We were there
until after 6:00 and then I said I wished I had looked up something else, so Vic
said well, the library's open until 9:00, so we went back and stayed until
closing. I looked at old newspapers from the 1840's hoping for a report of the
Junkin-Bickett wedding--for some reason they didn't have copies of the papers
for the years around then, besides the weddings weren't written up as they are
now, with names of parents, just the fact that the wedding took place. I did
find the date of the Simons-Bickett wedding, which you might like to put in the
family Bible - George and Elizabeth (it is listed as Elizabeth on the record)
October 27, 1875. Ages aren't given, he attested he was 21 and she that she was
18, just legal ages, as he was born in 1851. The clergyman was B. Bedell - I
would be interested in finding out whether he was Baptist or Presbyterian!
At the library the
librarians were so friendly and helpful. One found the name of a
semi-professional genealogist and called her about the Junkin family, and I am
going to write to her and have her do what she can about that, and the
connection with the Galloway family. And I told them when I am through with all
this research I will send them a copy, which they would be happy to have. They
have records of who is buried in which cemetery, which is very interesting, and
they have a copier so I brought home copies of a few pages. The Clifton one is
done but only the page with the W's is at the library. They called for me and
found the rest of it is not yet ready for placing in the library. There I could
find out the first name of George's wife (Baker). I think I will ask them to
send me copies when they get the rest of it.
They told me about
this at the library, and I picked up the order blank which I am enclosing. I am
going to order a copy of Robinson's History for myself. The history I have here
is tom Dills', dated 1881. Robinson's is dated, I believe, 1902, and is based
largely on Dills', plus having an index in the center of many, many early
settlers. It has far more information in it than Dills'. I had looked at an old
copy of it in Madison and copied some of the biographical sketches and parts of
the settlers' index on the Xerox, but I always wish I had also copied something
else, too. I'm enclosing the order blank because you might want one, too.
After we had ordered
the gravestone and before we went to the library, we went to see Margaret Kahoe,
who is a charming person. She is the one who sent me the copies of the old
papers about Thomas Baker being in the Revolution. I called her Monday around
5:00 and told her we would like to stop in on Tuesday afternoon, and got
directions to find her home, in the country. Remember Mom's cousin Josephine
Hutchison Littleton, whom she thought so much of? Josephine's mother Hester was
our Grandfather Baker's sister. Marguerite Williams had written me that there
had been some trouble, that for years Hester and Grandfather did not speak to
each other, but after Grandfather died she could remember seeing Mom help Aunt
Hester across the street to see Grandmother. She said, do not speak of this to
any of the living, that she did not know what the trouble had been. But I have
an idea it had to do with division of the homestead property. Margaret Kahoe's
mother (Nettie, I believe) and Josephine were sisters, daughters of Hester, and
Margaret lives on some of that property, in a very interesting old house which
she and her husband have modernized, refinished woodwork, etc., and the house in
which she (Margaret) was born. When giving directions, she said that on the
corner of the road where we were to turn was what used to be Grandmother Baker's
house (our great-grandmother), and she laughed a little self-consciously when
she said it as though there was a story connected with it. Margaret was born in
1914, and her husband is city-manager of Yellow Springs, and is about to
retire. They wanted to take us out to dinner that night. Her husband had hoped
to get home while we were there, but he didn't arrive. At that point we still
planned to start for home that evening, so we said we couldn't, though I
suggested we might stay, but it was vetoed. She had a little additional
information to give me about the Bakers, also she asked if we were related in
any way to the Means family. I have wondered ever since just how Willie Baker
(some kind of cousin, the one who had all these old papers which Margaret now
has) ever got hold of this particular letter. It was a letter written by a
Catholic Sister to Mr. Julian after Aunt Gertie died, telling just how much good
care they had given her, and the immediate chores they did right after death. If
ever a letter was asking for money, that was. I showed no interest in it at all.
I think Mom's life had been dominated by the Means influence, that she had done
this and that because the Meanses wanted it, a dress she had to wear for high
school graduation because it had been a gift from them and she didn't like it,
furniture which she didn't want - such as that hat rack at the front door, etc.,
and then no inheritance. One time you showed me photo albums with all the
pictures removed. I am certain they were Means photographs. A frame which I had
rescued because she was going to give it to Goodwill was here with a picture of
Mr. Means in it, and one time Mom saw it and said how on earth did that get
here - I think she got rid of all the things she had always hated but had to keep
because they were Means family things. She didn't feel that way about everything
else, but she certainly did about pictures.
Now about what has
been sent to me since we came home. This arrived only yesterday - a letter from
Myrtle Peterson, the (I've figured it out), the fourth-cousin once removed, from
Xenia. She sent a letter telling me she just can't figure out Adam Reed Bickett,
that she is descended from William R. Bickett and knows who all his children
were. You see, originally there were two Bickett brothers who settled in Greene
County, William R. (I supposed and still do that that R. stands for Reed, his
mother's maiden name) and John Henry. In the History William R. is listed as
marrying Isabella Alexander, and their children are listed, beginning with Adam
R. Now when I saw that I assumed (and I've found you shouldn't assume
anything in genealogical research) that Adam R. meant Adam Reed whose family
Bible you have. The only thing against that was the fact that Adam Reed was born
in 1822, and the History says William R. and Isabella were married in
1827--well, that could have been 1821 and someone misread it as 1827 and
perpetuated the error. Also among Adam Reed Bickett's children was a son named
John Henry, and I have wondered how come they named a son for an uncle when not
one of the sons was named William for the father. Since yesterday I have had to
re-orient my thinking, and I think I'm on the right track now. There must have
been two Adam R.’s, one Adam Reynolds who was a son of William R. and
Adam Reed who was a son of John Henry Bickett. Adam Reynolds must have been the
younger of the two if his parents were married in 1827, so perhaps to avoid
confusion he tent by his second name. That means that our
great-great-grandmother was not Isabella Alexander Bickett, but Margaret Dean
Bickett, and believe me, that simplifies things for me because the Robinson's
History Index gives the Dean genealogy way back to Ireland. That means all the
thought I've given to the Alexander lineage was wasted because that doesn't
pertain to us at all.
Myrtle Peterson says
she goes to the library frequently, in fact she enclosed a couple of pages which
she Xeroxed for me just this week, but I already have that information. I am
going to write to her next, if I ever get this letter finished, and ask her if
she will check and see if she can find descendants of John Henry Bickett and how
many children he had, etc. I already know of three--Adam Reed, his sister Mary
who gave him the Bible, and Daniel Bickett, named for his mother's father,
Daniel Dean. I have sent for some DAR information on various people, at $2.00
per name I thought it was a pretty good buy for verified information, and among
the names is one for Alexander which now doesn't mean a thing to me.
People are so very
kind and willing to help. I know the genealogist I am going to write to in Xenia
will charge something, but if she can come up with some answers it will be worth
I am so very sorry the
Manors were not in Xenia when we were there. I'm sure I could have gotten some
leads on Grandmother's (Bickett) family from them. I didn't get any answers to
the questions I wrote them last November, but maybe if I wrote again I will have
better luck. From cemetery records I know Gilletts and Randalls also moved to
Greene County. Grandmother Bickett's husband was Joseph A. Simons, her mother
was a Gillett, and her mother's mother a Randall. They went to Michigan briefly
probably locating relations there, and then returned to Greene County. The Aneke
Jans story became a family story because an Aneke Jans descendant named
Sutherland married a Randall. That must have happened in Michigan. There are
Gilletts and Randalls buried around Lansing, and we stayed at a Randall's Inn at
Notre Dame (Niles, Michigan), and the other day in my own kitchen I found a
clue - a paper cup was made at Sutherland Paper Co., Kalamazoo, Michigan. Funny
how these things happen.
I have spent a couple
of hours writing this, so I guess it's time I stopped. I still have three
letters to write, and I can't spend much more time on this project or thought
either, for that matter. We will be leaving a week from next Friday and won't be
home until June 1, and I have sewing to do, plus a lot of other preparations and
planning food for Todd because he will be coming home while we are gone. I know
we will have a wonderful time, but there's so much to be done at home at this
time of year. And I can't help thinking about these unanswered genealogy
questions while I'm doing other things.
I've gone to great
detail in this letter - I have been so excited about all the things I keep
finding out, and you are the only other person who would be as interested as I.
Sometime I want to go back to Ohio.
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel died November 9, 1985, at Holton Manor
Nursing Home, Elkhorn, Walworth Co., WI, at age 75. Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI.
George Edward "Vic" Fiegel Death Certificate.
Daily Gazette, Janesville, Rock Co., WI, Monday, November 11, 1985
Victor George Fiegel,
75, of 434 Oakland, died Saturday at Holton Manor Nursing Home, Elkhorn. He
was born Oct. 16, 1910, in Little Rock, Ark., and spent his early life in
Galveston, Texas. He married Helen Bickett on Oct. 16, 1938, in Watertown,
where they lived until 1952 when they moved to Walworth. They had resided in
Elkhorn since 1957. He Founded the A.K. Rubber Products Co., Elkhorn, in
1952, retiring in 1976. He was a member of the Elkhorn Kiwanis Club and the
Walworth-Fontana Rotary Club and a past president of the latter with a
28-year perfect attendance record. He was a member of the Elkhorn
Congregational Church of Christ, serving as moderator, deacon, trustee and
building committee chairman. He was also active in Boy Scouting. Surviving
are his wife; two sons, Victor Kirt of Elkhorn and Edward Todd of Boulder,
Colo.; and two grandchildren. Services were held this morning at the
Congregational United Church of Christ, Elkhorn, with burial in Oak Hill
Cemetery, Watertown. Memorials may be made to the church. Betts Funeral
Home, Elkhorn, was in charge of arrangements.
The following genealogy information was
written by Helen to a Bickett researcher in 1987:
Victor G. Fiegel was born in Little
Rock, AR in 1910, and when he was four years old the family moved to Los
Angeles, CA. On January 28, 1919, he was run over by the wheel of a wagon, and
the injuries to his leg kept him hospitalized for four months. His parents had
divorced, and in May he went back to Texas with his father and lived with an aunt
and uncle in Austin while recuperating. In June, 1920, he went to live with his
father in Galveston, TX, where he grew up. After attending a business college in El
Paso, TX, in 1929-1930, he went to Eureka, CA, where his mother and stepfather
lived, and worked for some time as a dental technician for his stepfather. He
enlisted in the merchant marines and made several trips across the Pacific,
before returning to Galveston.
Helen was born in Yellow Springs, OH, in 1912, but grew up in Watertown, WI,
where the family moved in 1921. After high school, where she was active in music
organizations, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree
in Business Administration (School of Commerce). She was a member of Alpha Gamma
Delta. These were Depression years and she worked on several of the
We met in Galveston, TX and were married in Watertown, WI, October 16, 1938. We
lived in Galveston until 1940 when we moved to Watertown and Vic worked at the
L. M. Bickett company. After World War II began, in 1942, we moved back to the
Galveston area and lived in LaMarque and Texas City while Vic worked at the
Pan-American oil refinery. We returned to Watertown in 1944 and Vic worked at
the L. M. Bickett Company until September, 1952 when we moved to Walworth, WI,
and started the A. K. Rubber Products company, on the proverbial shoestring. The
company prospered, and in 1956 we bought property in Elkhorn, put up a building,
and moved the company there. In the fall of 1957 we ourselves moved to Elkhorn.
The company was incorporated in 1959, and at this writing it has been in
existence for 28 years and has a very solid foundation.
We have been active in the Congregational Church in Elkhorn, both of us having
served in a number of capacities over the years. Vic has been moderator, and as
chairman of the building committee when our Christian Education Building was
erected in 1970. He was a member of the Elkhorn Kiwanis club and the
Walworth-Fontana Rotary Club, with 27 years perfect attendance in the Rotary
Club. Helen has enjoyed serving as piano accompanist for music contestants from
the Elkhorn school for about 15 years, and has pinch-hit as organist at the
church on occasion. Also - she spent eight years working on this genealogy
project, searching libraries and county courthouses across the country, writing
hundreds of letters, and becoming acquainted with hitherto-unknown relatives.
All three of our children were born in Watertown, although when Todd was born we
were living in Walworth. Alan only lived to be 26 months old. Kirt and Todd
graduated from Elkhorn High School, where both excelled in instrumental music.
Kirt graduated from Carroll College in 1964 with a degree in business
administration, having spent his junior year at the University of Hawaii, in
Honolulu. Todd graduated from the School of Music of the University of
WI-Madison in 1976, with a degree in music education. In 1980 he received his
master's degree in conducting, also in Madison.
Kirt took over management and ownership of the A. K. Rubber Products Co. Inc. in
1980, and Todd is now assistant professor of music at Muskingum College in New
Helen Means (Bickett) Fiegel died
October 25, 1988, at Lakeland Hospital, Elkhorn, Walworth Co., WI, at age 76. Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Watertown,
Jefferson Co., WI.
Helen Means (Bickett) Fiegel Death Certificate.
Daily Gazette, Janesville, Rock Co., WI, Thursday, October 27, 1988
Fiegel, Helen B.
ELKHORN - Helen B.
Fiegel, age 76, of 434 Oakland Lane, died on Tues., Oct. 25, 1988 at the
Lakeland Hospital, Elkhorn, following a long illness. She was born on Aug.
28, 1912 in Yellow Springs, OH, the daughter of LeRoy and Gertrude (Baker)
Bickett. She was a 1935 Accounting and Commerce graduate of the University
of Wisconsin. She married Victor Fiegel on Oct. 16, 1938 in Watertown;
he preceded her in death on Nov. 9, 1985. In 1952 they founded the A.K.
Rubber Products Co. in Walworth and relocated to Elkhorn in 1957. A talented
musician and scholar, she possessed an inquiring mind and was always in
pursuit of knowledge. She was a member of the Elkhorn's Women's Club,
Daughter of the American Revolution, and Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. She
served in a variety of capacities as a member of the Congregational United
Church of Christ. She was dedicated to education, musical activities and
many other worthy causes. She is survived by 2 sons, Kirt of Elkhorn and
Todd of Pocatello, ID; 2 grandchildren, Andria and Laurie. She was preceded
in death by one 1 son, Alan, and 1 sister, Ruth. Funeral services will be
Fri., Oct. 28, at 1:30 P.m. at the CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST,
Elkhorn, with the Rev. Jay Karlow officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hill
Cemetery, Watertown. Friends may call at the church from 12:00 Noon on Fri.
until the time of services. Mmemorials in her name may be made to the
Elkhorn Area High School Scholarship Foundation, Inc. BETTS FUNERAL
HOME, Elkhorn, is handling arrangements.
Fiegel was honored with a retirement party March 23, 2017, at the Elkhorn
Chamber of Commerce Building, Elkhorn, Walworth Co., WI. Kirt was a Charter
Member of the Elkhorn Rotary club as well as being a major contributor to the
Rotary Foundation, club President and Assistant Governor. His club wants to
honor him for his 48 years of service with Rotary.