|HISTORY OF TOLLAND COUNTY, CONNECTICUT
by J. R. Cole
W. W. Preston & Co. New York 1888
Page 483 - 484
Rockville Public Library, Rockville, CT
RATCLIFFE HICKS—Ratcliffe Hicks, the grandfather of the subject of this biographical sketch, was a celebrated sea captain of Providence, R. I. His father was Charles R. Hicks, a native of Providence, and for many years a successful dry goods merchant in New York City. He married Maria A., daughter of Judge Elisha Stearnes, of Tolland county. The children of this marriage are: Ratcliffe, Emma H., wife of H. F. Downing of Springfield, Mass., Richard S. and Minnie H.
The eldest of these sons, Ratcliffe Hicks, was born in Tolland, October 3d, 1843, and pursued his preparatory studies at the Monson Academy and the Williston Seminary, after which he entered Brown University in 1860, and was graduated from that institution in 1864. Deciding upon the law as a profession he entered the office of Judge Waldo, of Tolland, as a student, and was admitted to the bar in 1866. Mr. Hicks the same year began practice with the present United States Senator Platt of Meriden, and continued this business relation for three years, the ten succeeding years having been spent alone. From 1879 to 1881 he pursued his profession in the city of Hartford.
He was married in 1879 to Mrs. Wilbur F. Parker, daughter of Jared H. Canfield, of Meriden, Conn., their only child being a daughter, Bessie. Mr. Hicks speedily attained both success and distinction in his profession. His practice was large and caused him to be identified with many of the most important cases in the New England courts, notably the celebrated Sprague suit in Rhode Island, where a fee of ten thousand dollars was received, doubtless the largest on record in that state.
Mr. Hicks in 1881 made the tour of Europe, and on his return the following year was made executor of the estate of his father-in-law, lately deceased. Abandoning the law, where a career of brilliant distinction awaited him, he has since devoted his energies to commercial life.
Continuing the business he organized a joint stock company, known as the Canfield Rubber Company, with a capital of ten thousand dollars, which, under his judicious management, has so increased as to represent now a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, with a surplus of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and sales representing one million a year. He has made twenty voyages to Europe, chiefly in the interest of his business, and established large foreign connections, with a corresponding demand for the products of his factory.
Mr. Hicks has on one or more occasions been diverted from his regular pursuits to enter the arena of politics. He represented his constituents in the Connecticut legislature in 1866, was from 1868 to 1874 attorney for the city of Meriden, and for three years attorney for the county of New Haven. An Episcopalian in his religious creed, he fills the office of vestryman of the church in Meriden.
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