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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The early memories of Thomas V. Bickle cluster around scenes in Cornwall, England, his native country and the home of ancestors for generations uncounted. The qualities that have given force and virility to the Anglo-Saxon race appear in his own character and have brought him a gratifying degree of material success as well as a reputation for remarkable skill as a pharmacist. It was his good fortune to enjoy excellent advantages in his home land and in addition to having a thorough classical training he also had exceptional opportunities as a student in the Westminster College of Pharmacy, in London, from which he was graduated with the class of 1895, with the degree of M. P. S. Although the family did not occupy a position of wealth they possessed high social stand- ing and considerable means, so that he had opportunities for travel and culture not open to all. His father, Thomas Bickle, Sr., was an Englishman of high standing in Masonry and a leading member of the order in the country. For some time he occupied the position of instructor to the present King of England, then stationed as midshipman on the boat, Britannia, at Dartmouth.

After having been engaged as a pharmacist in England for a number of years in 1905 Thomas Bickle came to the United States and later traveled considerably throughout the continent on a tour of inspection. During this period of travel he remained in Colorado for three months. The year 1906 found him a newcomer in Sacramento, where his excellent credentials secured for him a business position on the very day of his arrival. The firm that was his first employer retained his services for two years, after which in 1908 he associated himself with P. F. McMorry. The death of the latter in October of the same year caused the establishment to be put on sale by the estate and he immediately purchased the same, since which time he has conducted the pharmacy on the same principles of integrity, skill and accuracy that gave to the store its early enviable reputation. The store is located at No. 529 K street and numbers among its regular patrons a large proportion of the leading residents of the city.

About a year before leaving England the marriage of Mr. Bickle was solemnized in Devonshire and united him with Miss Minnie Rowe, a native of England and the daughter of a leading farmer of Devon. Since becoming a resident of the west Mr. Bickle has entered into the activities of the Foresters of America, while prior to his departure from England he long had been influential in the Masonic Order. It was his happy fortune to be identified with the United Grand Lodge of England during the period when the late King Edward of England, then Prince of Wales, held office as grand master. Besides this fortunate early experience in Masonry Mr. Bickle has maintained a later interest in the order and gives his influence toward the philanthropies that characterize its history. In addition he has been interested in and identified with the Sons of St. George. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011