Woman of the Century/Margaret R. Wickens
WICKENS, Mrs. Margaret R., worker in the Woman's Relief Corps, born in Indianapolis, Ind., 3rd August, 1843. Her father, Thomas Brown, was a native of Dublin county. Ireland. Her mother was Judith Bennett, of Cumberland county. New Jersey, a descendant of the Bennetts of Mayflower and Revolutionary fame. Margaret was the older of a family of two daughters. In 1854 the family moved to Henderson, Ky. Their detestation of slavery was strong, and their house became a station on the underground railroad. For having aided needy colored fugitives, Mr. Brown was imprisoned in Frankfort. Ky., for three years, and his family were compelled to remove to the North. In 1857 he was released and joined his family in Indianapolis. There he was honored by a public reception, in which Lloyd Garrison and other prominent men participated. In 1859 he removed to Loda, Ill. In 1861 he enlisted in the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, but his strength was not sufficient to enable him to enter the service, and he was obliged to remain at home. MARGARET K. WICKENS. Margaret taught in the Loda high school, where her sister, Harriet, was also employed. She did all she could do to aid the Union cause. In 1864 she became the wife of Thomas Wiley Wickens, and they removed to Kankakee. Ill. Five children were born to them. Mrs. Wickens was a temperance advocate from childhood. She joined the Good Templars in Indianapolis, and was one of the first members of the Illinois Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In that order she worked for prohibition legislation in Kansas. She served as district president of her union for several years and went as delegate to the national convention in Minneapolis. After settling in Sabetha, Kans., she was, in 1885, elected department president of the Kansas Woman's Relief Corps. She was reelected in 1886. Her department grew from fifty-nine to one-hundred-forty-nine organized corps in two years. She attended the national convention in California and was there appointed national inspector, which position she resigned in order to care for her State department She has served her department two years as counselor, as a member of the department and national executive boards. In the St. Louis convention she was elected a member of the executive board. In 1891 she was made general agent for the United States of the National Grand Army of the Republic Memorial College. In Detroit, 5th August, 1891, she was elected national senior vice-president of the Woman's Relief Corps. In October of that year she was elected State president of the Rebekahs of Kansas. In the Washington, D. C, convention, 24th September, 1892, she was elected national president of the Woman's Relief Corps. Her work is of the most valuable character. She lives in Sabetha.