Hickox, Virgil

Born: 1806-07-12 Jefferson County, New York

Died: 1880-02-02 Springfield, Illinois

Virgil Hickox left New York in 1828 and settled in St. Louis, where he worked as a carpenter for five years. After spending a year at the Galena lead mines, Hickox came to Springfield in 1834, where he opened a store and worked as a merchant for nineteen years. Hickox married Catharine Cabinis in October 1839, and together they had ten children. In 1851, Hickox united with other businessmen in organizing a company to build a railroad from Alton, Illinois, to Springfield. He was actively associated with the Alton & Sangamon Railroad until May of 1874. Hickox developed the law regarding the assessment and taxation of railroad property, which was in force from 1855 to 1872. From 1839 to 1841, Hickox was a director of the State Bank of Illinois. By 1860, Hickox owned real estate worth $25,000 and personal property worth $10,000, and his household included two servants. He was chairman of the Democratic State Committee for nearly twenty years, and was a longtime personal friend and political ally of Stephen A. Douglas.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 376-77; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860) Sangamon County, IL, 141; Joseph Wallace, Past and Present of the City of Springfield and Sangamon County Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1904), 1:122-23; Illinois State Journal, 3 February 1880, 3:4-5.