Wednesday, April 3, 2013

William Leon Hicks

William Leon Hicks
My grandparents made pretty babies. I've always thought the Hicks family were a handsome lot. Uncle Bill in particular.

William Leon Hicks passed away in his sleep March 23, 2013; he would have been 90 this September. I'll miss the way he giggled when recanting family tales and the way his eyes danced. I say my thanks for having really gotten to meet him two years ago and kick myself for not having gone for a visit sooner. We tell ourselves that there's always time.

I spent some time this morning reading my past posts and realized that I'd not properly introduced my mother's family other than through the odd story. So here goes.

Thurman and Julia (Pigg) Dudgeon
Tillman Hicks was born 03 November 1894 in Cosby, Cocke County, Tennessee to James Wiley Hicks and Laura Jane Dennis. He married my grandmother, Fleda Frances Dudgeon 17 September 1921 in Richmond, Ray County, Missouri. Frances was the daughter of Thurman Emerson Dudgeon of Ireland, Taylor County, Kentucky and Julia Ann Pigg of Orrick, Ray County, Missouri.

Laura Dennis and Wiley Hicks
Frances and Tillman had seven children:
Bertha Frances (my mother); Billy Leon (who later changed his name to William)
Rosemary; Wilbur Gardner; Zella Mildred; Walter Thurman and Lewis Dennis Hicks. All of the kids were born in Orrick. Their high school graduation photos are posted below along with photos of Frances and Tillman as youngsters.

A couple of years ago, I ran across a self-published work by William E. Paulson entitled "Orrick, as I Remember." He wrote the publication in 1974 after reading "Ray County History" (1973) and not finding much about Orrick. So he knocked on doors and picked through old scrapbooks and sifted through deeds to piece together a really nice overview of the town's origins, who owned which properties,  how the schools evolved and what kids did to pass the time before Final Fantasy and Facebook. I ordered the book (really just a copier print with a stapled binding) from the Ray County Historical Society, but I'd be happy to look something up for readers. Email me at: or just leave a comment below.
Top left to right: Bertha, Rosemary, Mildred, Thurman. Bottom left to right: Wilbur, Tillman and Frances. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of Dennis. Bill Hicks' graduation photo is included in the upper left corner of this post. 


  1. Donna now you can post the picture of Dennis. I am so glad that I could complete your set. I am thoroughly enjoying reading your blogs.

    1. Thanks Dea! You're pretty wonderful.