Cornelius Hicks Article Copyright of Sam Hicks All videos and pictures copyright of Sam Hicks.
Cornelius Hicks and his wife Vashti (Stanley) Hicks were born in England during the early 1800s. They came to America and settled in New England circa 1860. Soon after, he started a horse business at 856 Hampden Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Cornelius and his sons ran the business, which came to be known as "Hicks Bros". Large crowds would gather around the property to place their bids on the horses for sale. The youngest son, Job Hicks, took over the business in the early 1900s when his brothers died. Job became a well-known local figure, and his business enjoyed success for decades. He also held an interest in politics, but was never able to gather enough support to win local office. During the 1920's and 1930's, the auditorium adjoining the barn was used for political rallies. If you ran for local office in those days, it would do you well to see Job Hicks for a place to air your views. Hicks Avenue in Holyoke is named after Job.
Job's oldest son, Cornelius Grover Hicks, was an extremely talented artist. He was a student at Pratt Institute. He painted two posters for the American Red Cross and illustrated for several magazines, including Collier's Weekly. Unfortunately, he died of Tuberculosis at the age of 32. Had he lived longer, he may have won widespread fame.
Job's son Hugh Hicks was an auctioneer who owned a building on the family property called "Village Barn". He held auctions in Wednesday and Friday nights for a variety of items. These auctions often drew large crowds. A small concession stand sold soda pop and potato chips during these auctions. Hugh's sense of humor made sure that every auction was a fun time. The Village Barns was open during the days for the sale of merchandise as well. Hugh's business lasted from 1929 to his death in 1955.
In the late 1930s, the horse business began to decline. In 1939, Job's youngest son Edward Hicks started "Eddie's Furniture Co.", which overlapped with the Hicks Bros horse barn. He began selling used funiture in an area called "the arena" on a dirt floor. "The arena" was where horses were lead from the barns to be viewed by buyers, then sold and taken away. The furniture was pushed towards the back during the auctions, and then put back in place after the horse auctions. In 1947, Edward Hicks, who was by then married and had started a family, took over the entire arena. He put in flooring and put wallboard on the walls and also started buying new furniture to sell. In 1952 he took over the back part of the large barn and half of the hay loft. Then, in 1955 after the death of his father Job, Edward came into possession of the entire barn and arena. The last horse was sold in the winter of 1955.
When Edward died in 1976, his son Edward Hicks Jr. inherited Eddie's Furniture. After one year, he decided to move to Ohio where his wife's family lived, and his younger brother Job (named after their grandfather) became the owner. In 1983, the youngest brother Peter Hicks became the manager and primary salesman. Job and Peter have run the business ever since. In the 1980s, Eddie's Furniture began producing local television commercials. Peter had the idea to use his children in the commercials beginning in the early 90's. Since then, the ads have been a huge success, and Eddie's Furniture is now fairly well known throughout western Massachusetts.
To this date, there are over 75 descendants of Job Hicks living today. Another notable descendant of Job is Peter Skerritt Jr., a video game enthusiast who holds the recognized world record high scores for two arcade games. Many members of the Hicks clan are aware of their gypsy heritage, and some a small vocabulary of Romany passed down by their ancestors.
NOTE: Eddie's Furniture may relocate this year, which would require another revision to this article.
Here is a Links To sam's youtube page and includes videos of Job & Eddie Hicks.
Job Hicks Video