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Jay County Obituaries

Commercial Review, Thursday, January 28, 1909, pg 4


Jay county lost in the death of Andrew J. Bickel, her oldest living native. His death occurred at the home of his son William Bickel, in Pike township, at 10 oclock Wednesday night, after an illness of a complication of diseases, coupled with the infirmities of old age. Mr. Bickel was the first white male person born in Jay county, first seeing the light of day in Pike township, November 8, 1833. He was at the time of his death, aged 75 years, 1 month and 11 days. His parents George and Nancy Bickel moved to this county from Preble county, Ohio. Ten children were born to them, Andrew being the oldest son. They made the journey from Ohio by team and first located in the woods of Pike township, when but six or eight families were living in the township. The father cleared and improved his Pike township land, and lived on this farm until his death in 1877. Andrews youth was spent in helping his father clear their land and his education was gleaned from the subscription school of that early age.


He was married in November, 1857, to Miss Elizabeth Tharp, a native of Perry county, Ohio. Seven children were born to this union and this is the first death in the family. After his marriage he lived on his fathers homestead and then bought adjoining land where he lived until 1881, when he moved to Wayne township. Here he resided until a few years ago.


During all of Mr. Bickels life he has never lived outside of Jay county and has always been one of its most enterprising residents. He has seen the wonderful changes that have taken place in the county, seeing it transformed from a wilderness into its present prosperous condition.


He leaves seven children to mourn his death, they being: George W. Bickel, of Madison township; W.J. Bickel, of Pike township; Margaret, wife of Thomas Metz, of North of Portland; Rebecca, wife of Noah Allen, of South Meridian street; Simeon Bickel, of Madison township; Christina, wife of Frank Shaffer, of Denison, Ohio, and Alice, wife of Grant Short of Jackson township. There are also left six sisters, Christina, wife of Warren Ashley, of this county; Elizabeth, wife of John Ashley, of Jackson township; Jane, wife of Samuel Loy, of Starke county, Ohio; Harriett, wife of Lewis Loy of Jackson township; Nancy Ann, wife of Lewis Stoner, of this county, and Mrs. Matilda Runkle, of Muncie. Mr. Bickel was the grandfather of thirty-eight children and the great-grandfather of four children.

Newspaper clipping - estimated date 1909



Andrew J. Bickel, son of George and Nancy Bickel was born in Pike township, Jay county, Indiana, November 8th, 1833. He was the first baby born of white parents in the above township. His early childhood was spent in the then almost unbroken forest. He passed through all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. He saw his native country transformed from the unbroken and trackless forest to one of the most progressive and wealthy agricultural counties of the state, and in his last days it was a joy to him to look upon the progress his home county had made, much of which he could claim as the fruits of his own life work. His entire life of three-fourth of a century was spent near the scenes and surroundings of his childhood.

 He was married on November 27, 1857 to Elizabeth Tharp, who was his faithful helpmate for over a half century. To this union was born seven children, three sons and four daughters. They are George W., William J.; Sarah M.; Rebecca A.; Simeon F.; Christina and Adela A.

 On January 20, 1909 Father Bickel fell asleep at the ripe age of 75 years, 2 months and 12 days, honored and respected by all who knew him. He was a friend to everyone, and his whole life was characterized by truthfulness, honesty and frankness. As a neighbor he was ever ready to lend a helping hand. As a husband and father his home and his family was his first concern -- always believing that it demanded his first attention. He leaves to mour (sic) his departure his aged wife, seven children, thirty-eight grand-children and four great-grand-children.


nO (sic) January 22, at 2 p.m. funeral services were held at Antioch church by Rev. S.A. Armstrong, after which interment was made in the Antioch cemetery, where we bid farewell to all that was mortal of our brother until the resurrection morn.


Card of Thanks


We desire to express our heartfelt thanks to our kind friends and neighbors who so tenderly remembered us in the hour of our affliction. Your words of sympathy and deeds of kindness will never be forgotten, and will ever remain with us and abiding benediction.

Elizabeth Bickel and Children. ---- By S.A. Armstrong.


Submitted by: Mary Lou Hudson

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