Polk County, Florida


1821 - 1890

Wiley Hicks was born in 1821 in South Carolina or Georgia. The 1850 census and his widow's pension application state that he was born in South Carolina and the other census records state Georgia. Wiley spent most of his early years fighting Indians in the Florida Seminole Wars.

His first enlistment was as a private in Captain William B. North's company of Mounted Columbian Rangers in Warren's Regiment of Florida Militia. He volunteered at the age of 16 at Camp North on January 21, 1837. He was mustered in March 29, 1837 at Fort Reed and was mustered out at Camp North on June 5, 1837.

Wiley's second service was in Captain North's Company of 2nd Regiment of East Florida Mounted Volunteers commanded by Col. W. J. Mills. He volunteered at Camp North on June 16, 1837 and was mustered in September 26th. His company was involved in skirmishes with the Seminoles near Fort White, Fort Fanning and Fort Lancaster. He was mustered out December 18, 1837 at Fort Gilliland.

Wiley was a Third Corporal in Captain Robert Sanderlin's Company of the 12th Regiment 1st Brigade of Florida Militia. He enrolled on March 31, 1838 at Fort Brown and was discharged at Fort Brown on July 31, 1838.

Wiley Hicks served two enlistments in Captain William Cone's Company of 1st Regiment of Florida Mounted Militia. The first was from August 16, 1840 to September 15, 1840. He was mustered in again on November 23, 1840 at San Pedro and mustered out at Fort Macoomb on March 3, 1841. His company was involved in battles near Camp Pleasant and Fort Jackson.

Wiley Hicks married Elizabeth Whittimore in Camden County, Georgia on April 15, 1841. She was born in Georgia in April 1827. They had twelve children but only ten are known.

1. Isabella Hicks, born 1843.

2. Henry Hicks, born October 1845; died September 24, 1919; married 1st Phoebe Tillis about 1865 Mdash; Phoebe was the daughter of Richard Tillis of Polk County; married 2nd, on November 21, 1886 Mrs. Marcilla M. (Smith) Rutledge, widow of Sherrod J. Rutledge.

3. Eli Hicks, born 1846; married Phoebe __________.

4. James Hicks, born March 1849; died 1913; married Mary Ann M. Durden on April 25, 1878 in Bradford County, Florida.

5. Francis "Frank" Hicks, born 1851; married Elizabeth _______________.

6. Wiley Hicks, Jr., born 1856; died 1935; married Caroline Elizabeth Ballard on June 1, 1879 in Polk County.

7. George W. Hicks, born October 1858; died 1940; married Ada Ardell ___________.

8. Mary Elizabeth Hicks, born February 7, 1865; died December 13, 1906; married on June 9, 1884 in Polk County, John B. Tillis, son of Richard Tillis.

9. William Benjamin Hicks, born October 4, 1867; died April 29, 1938; married on June 23, 1887, Bettie Peters, daughter of William Seaborn Peters.

10. Robert E. Hicks, born August 15, 1870; died January 1, 1928; married Mary ____________.

Wiley Hicks lived near the St. Mary's area for about a year after his last Indian War service, then moved into Alachua County near the Suwannee. On November 6, 1850 he applied for bounty land based on his military service. Warrant #5863 for 160 acres was issued to him on July 5, 1851.

During the Civil War, Wiley was a member of Company A of 1st (Reserves) Florida Infantry of the Confederate Army. His sons, Eli & Henry were also members of the Confederate Army.

Near the end of the war Wiley moved to Waldo, Florida where he operated a dry goods and grocery store. About 1870 Wiley moved to Polk County settling in the Medulla area. Wiley died there on February 10, 1890 and was buried at Fitzgerald Cemetery.

Mrs. Elizabeth Hicks applied for a widow's pension on August 29, 1898. She received this pension until her death on December 3, 1904. She was buried in Fitzgerald Cemetery at Medulla, Florida.

SOURCES: Census mdash; 1850, 1860, 1870 Alachua County, Florida; 1880 Polk County, Florida, 1900 Polk County; bounty land applications, 1850; widow's pension application; National Archives military records; Mrs. Cora Hall, Miss Minnie Burnett.


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