Image of Hickox, Virgil

Hickox, Virgil

b. July 12, 1806, in Jefferson County, New York; d. February 2, 1880, in Springfield, Illinois. Hickox left New York on August 25, 1828. He proceeded to St. Louis where he worked as a carpenter. In 1833, he went to the Galena, Illinois, lead mines, where he stayed only a year. On May 5, 1834, Hickox came to Springfield, Illinois, where he opened a store and worked as a merchant for nineteen years. Hickox married Catharine Cabinis in October 1839, and they had ten children. In 1851, Hickox united with other businessmen in organizing a company to build a railroad from Alton, Illinois, to Springfield. He was actively associated with the railroad until May of 1874. Hickox developed the law regarding the assessment and taxation of railroad property, which was in force from 1855 to 1872. From 1839 to 1841, Hickox was a director of the State Bank of Illinois. In 1850, Hickox was a merchant and owned real estate valued at $6,500. By 1860, his real estate was worth $25,000 and he owned personal property worth $10,000. Governor John M. Palmer appointed Hickox to the office of canal commissioner in May of 1869. He held that position for two terms. In January 1874, Hickox became the president of the Springfield Savings Bank. He was also the chairman of the Democratic State Committee for nearly twenty years. Hickox was a longtime personal friend and political ally of Stephen A. Douglas.
John Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield: E. A. Wilson and Company, 1876), 376-77; Sangamon County, Illinois, Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; Sangamon County, Illinois, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860; Joseph Wallace, Past and Present of the City of Springfield and Sangamon County (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1904), 1:122-23; Illinois State Journal, 3 February 1880, 3:4-5. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.