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Who Were Herbert and Emily Pickett?

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Courtesy Herbert pickett, Jr.

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Who were Herbert and Emily Pickett?

Herbert E. Pickett
Herbert Elmer Pickett
Emily Pickett
Emily Ames Pickett

Herbert Pickett, Jr. writing:

      Herbert Elmer Pickett was born October 10, 1889 in the Trickey Family home on Main Street, Worcester, New York. His father was Elmer Ellsworth Pickett. He was the youngest of ten children, born March 2,1858, and grew up in Clapper Hollow, near Charlottsville, New York. He came to Worcester and worked as a hired man on the Trickey farm. Eventually, he married the boss's daughter. Although he had no more than a third grade education, he had an excellent mind, a strong sense of integrity, a sense of humor, and, Dad said, inherent Pickett prejudices. He lived with us six years, so I knew him and loved him well.

      Herbert's mother was Ellen Augusta Trickey, daughter of John and Elizabeth Young Trickey. She was born in Dover, New Hampshire, January 23,1846, where her father was engaged in the lumber business. He moved to Boston, and the family lived in Waverly, Mass., where Ellen had as good an education as was available for girls in that time. In the panic of 1873, John cosigned too many notes for friends, but was able to cover himself, when he had a stroke, and when recovered was penniless. He went to work in a livery stable, where a man he had helped financially drove in, and discovered him. He said to John, "My checkbook is yours. What do you want to do?" John said, "I want to live in the same town as my daughter, married to a minister in Worcester, New York." So John moved there with his wife, his daughter, Ellen, and his sons Edward and George. He built a large house, still there, and the largest barn in Otsego County. He developed a dairy farm with Jersey cattle, and hired a number of men, including young Elmer Pickett. Before he died, John gave his blessing on the marriage and a while after his passing, Elmer and Ellen were married. Ellen was twelve years older, he 28 she 40. After a still-born girl, Herbert was born in 1889. His mother was 45.

      As Herbert grew up, he became an avid reader. In High School, he discovered he could get credit by reading and taking the N.Y. State Regent's exams. As a result, he was able to graduate at the age of 15. Ellen was determined that he would be more than a farm hand. Through the minister of the local Congregational Church, he applied to Philips Academy, Andover Mass., and was accepted on full scholarship. A cousin, Orrin Pierce, also went and they roomed together three years. Herbert could have gone on to college then, but took a fourth year. He said he had so many good things going, such as selling snacks out of his room, he couldn't afford to go to college. He went on to Yale, where he was two or three years older than most of the other students. Academically, like his sons, never quite made Dean's List. He joined Beta Thetas Pi fraternity, where he was president. A group of students thought eating in the college "Commons" was expensive, so he organized their own eating club, known as the "Beanery." A lad from Brooklyn, named Kimball Ames, joined him in this. Also he was his roommate in Connecticut Hall, the oldest structure on campus.

      Athletically, he went out for Freshman crew, and made the second boat. He quit for two reasons. He didn't like working sitting down and going backwards. Second , he did not like a sport where his achievement depended on the opinion of another, the coach. He joined the track team and specialized in the hammer throw. Here his achievement was measured in feet and inches, not on opinion. In the meet against Princeton in 1912, he had a good day, and the superior Princeton man had a bad one, and Herbert won by eight inches. This had two results. Herbert got his major Y as a junior, and I became a minister. The tiger star was Guthrie Speers, later our pastor in Baltimore. One Thanksgiving ,about this time, Kimball Ames took his roommate to Brooklyn for the family dinner, where he met Kim's 18 year old sister, Emily.

      Emily Ames was born September 13, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was Paul Kimball Ames, who was born in Old Town, Maine, September 7,1862, the son of a lumberman. (Interesting that two grandparents were in the lumber business.) At some point, the family moved to Bethel, Maine. Paul's mother was Agnes Guptil Kimball, who had a brother named Hanibal Hamlin Kimball. (The name came from a family friend in Bangor, who was U.S. Senator from Maine and Abraham Lincoln's Vice-president.) Anyway young H.H. went to the New York Medical College, then moved to Minneapolis, Minn. as a surgeon. He was always called "Uncle Doctor" in the family. He did quite well, of course, but had no children. He considered Paul and his sister Grace as his own. So Paul went to Philips Exeter Academy and then to Yale in the class of 1886. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, he went to Law School at Columbia University, New York. Somewhere along the line he went to a wedding in Attleborough, Mass. and became enamored of a member of the bridal party, Mary Elizabeth Lamb, born October 30,1859. In due course they were married. Three children came rapidly. Hamlin Kimball first, then Ruth and then Emily, who was named for her mother's sister. When the boy was in his teens, at Uncle Doctor's suggestion, the name Hamlin was dropped and he was just our uncle Kimball.

      So Paul entered law practice in the gay and roaring nineties, hoping to make his fortune. It didn't quite work out that way. Somehow he was named as receiver of a bankrupt hotel on a sand bar named Long Beach, for the Town of Hempstead. The family lived in Rockville Center during the winter, but moved to a cottage on the beach during the summer while Grandpa managed the hotel. Here the children learned to swim and loved the beach life. Many adventures happened, such as the time a dead whale came ashore. Sadly, this era ended when the hotel burned to the ground. Its site is now a city, a suburb of New York.

      Emily's mother, Mary Elizabeth, shortly after Emily's birth , came down with rheumatoid arthritis and was an invalid until her death in 1912. One winter she went to Thomasville, Georgia and Beaufort South Carolina, seeking help at those places and little Emily went with her. After the Long Beach fire, about 1908, Uncle Doctor came through again and helped them build a house at 456 East 19th Street in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Uncle Doctor demolished his home in Minneapolis, his wife having died, and sent all his furniture and other items to the new house. It was also the home for Paul's sister Grace, a graduate of Smith, 1892, and a teacher in the Flatbush Academy. Emily went to Erasmus Hall High School. In her Senior year at Thanksgiving, her brother brought his Yale roommate, a gangling, six foot four inch character named Herbert Pickett. (I have snapshots of this event!) A year or two later, this Yale Senior walked from Worcester to Ulster Park, where Paul was beginning one of a series of disastrous attempts at farming. There, he proposed to Emily. She accepted on the condition that she finish her course at Smith. They were engaged for three years, while Herbert was a teacher at the Gilman Country School, Baltimore, Maryland. So a couple of weeks after graduation, they married, June 28,1916.

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