Neil Bicknell and Jennie Bumpus Bicknell
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Crosby County Biography

In Remembrance of

Neil and Jennie Bicknell
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Rose Spray



N. Y. "Uncle Nell" Bicknell was born in Madisonville, Tennessee, August 8, 1860 and one of his earliest memories was of watching Union Soldiers marching through his hometown. This was Sherman´s march to the sea which terrorized the country.

His wife, the former Miss Jennie Bumpas, was born in Farmersville May 22, 1869. Her family had lived in Collins County since before the Civil War.

In his early 20´s "Uncle Nell" made a trip to the Pacific Northwest. He traveled to California by train, and then on up to Washington Territory by boat. After working a while in the northwest, in 1884 he decided to see the southwest before settling down and came to Denton where he lived three years, earning a living by selling fruit trees. It was while at Denton he met Jennie Bumpas at Farmersville.

In 1887 he accompanied S. R. Ellis and family to the Llano Estacado. They first built a sod house near the newly settled Quaker settlement at Estacado. During this time he drove a freight wagon. In 1894 he married Jennie Bumpas and settled about one mile west of the present Pleasant Hill Community, living in a half dugout, then moved to a farm near Estacado in 1899. He assisted in building the courthouse in Estacado, having along with Temple Ellis, hauled the lumber from Colorado City, Amarillo and the salt flats in Stonewall County. When the freight wagons were replaced by the railroad he went into cattle raising and farming. The Bicknells then moved to Emma where he became associated with First National Bank. In 1910 the bank moved to Crosbyton and the name was changed to Citizens National Bank. For many years he was a stockholder, director and served as president during some of the depression years. This was on of the few banks that did no go under during this period.

Uncle Nell was an enthusiastic supporter of Crosby County Old Settlers Reunion at Hank Smith´s Rock House, serving as president several years. He assisted in preparations and dearly loved to dance the "Jig".

Another Bicknell came to this area in 1901 ----- W. N., N. Y. Bicknell´s brother. He did some farming and ranching but was more interested in watch and clock repair and selling jewelry. He started this business in Estacado, working out of his home, then opened stores first in Emma and then in Crosbyton. He never married.

N. Y. Bicknell died August 26, 1941, Mrs. Jennie Bicknell died November 25, 1951 and W. N. Bicknell died July 26, 1934.

N. Y. and Jennie had one surviving child, Iona, who was born in 1900 and married Odis V. Sims in Crosbyton in 1919. They have two children, Odis V. Sims, Jr. And Elizabeth Tannery. (Mrs. Iona Bicknell Sims)

Source: "A History of Crosby County 1876-1977" © Crosby County Historical Commission 1978; Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas.
Transcribed by Cheryl McDonald

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