Merced Sun Star
Feb. 12, 1935


James Hicks

James K. Hicks, 70, died at his home at Cressey, and he will be buried in the Hicks family plot in Odd Fellows cemetery. The burial commitment will be private, but the services preceding at the Ivers and Alcorn chapel, tomorrow morning at 11, will be public with the Rev. W. A. Cash, vicar of St. Luke's Episcopal church, in charge.

James Hicks was a printer of the old hand composition days. He learned to set type on the Merced Express, later worked at the case in print shops in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Jose. He worked for Pete Higgins on the Livivngston Chronicle and after Bert Adams bought the Chronicle, Jim worked for Adams ten years or until the Chronicle went on the linotype basis.

Of late years Hicks has been caretaker for a rock crushing outfit at Cressey on the Merced river. We went down there to see him not long ago. Jim was "batching it" in a comfortable cabin with a few cats. He had that same composure and sense of humor which he used to have in Merced when he and Bill Dowst (Dave's brother) used to keep things from getting too dull.

James Hicks and Bill Dowst were inseparable companions. They were fond of playing practical jokes on the citizenry. One day Doc Kearney was in town from Mariposa, Jim and Bill got on Canal street where they laid for Doc, and as the latter came along Jim Hicks was in the throes of a bad "fit." Dowst was working over Jim frantically, Doc Kearney took off his coat and worked hard for half an hour trying to restore Jim to normalcy. The drinks were on the Mariposa medico who to square himself had to buy for most of the town.

Jim could talk Chinese so well that in the Superior court he was frequently used as an interpreter in Chinese cases.

The Hicks family was very prominent in the early days of Merced. James E. Hicks, the father, was elected county assessor in 1865. In 1869 he was elected county clerk and was in that office when the county seat was moved to Merced in 1872. In 1877 Hicks was succeeded as clerk by John Simonson. Later Hicks served as justice of the peace. His son, Edward A. Hicks, was county clerk in the middle nineties. Ed Hicks was the father of Edward Hicks, present mail carrier in Merced.

 There were seven children in the James Hicks line of whom two survive - Mrs. Flora Catts, Stockton; Mrs. Edna - Blevin- Harris, Oakland. The others were Mrs. Maggie Stoneroad, Edward A. Hicks, Jennie Hammatt-Sellmay, Mrs. Kate Turner and James Hicks.

Transcribed by: Alma Stone