He was born on 9 April 1845, in St Clair Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, to Conrad Ickes and Elizabeth Lingenfelter (6; 3 (19 in 1864), 7 [15 in 1860], 8 [25 in 1870], 9 [35 in 1880], 10 [55 in 1900], 11 [66 in 1910]). He was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania (3).
In 1850, he was living in St Clair Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, with his parents (12). His father was a farmer, who owned $1500 in real estate (12).
In 1860, he was living in St Clair Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, with his parents (7). He had attended school, and was "serving" (7).
On 27 December 1863, he married Ellen Elizabeth Harbaugh, in Schellsburg, Bedford County, Pennsylvania (6). They had six children (6):
(According to the 1900 and 1910 censuses, his wife had had six children, four of whom were living (10, 13). However, the 1900 census also mentions two daughters who are not on this list, Georgia and Ida; they are also not listed with them in the 1880 census.)
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, and had a fair complexion, grey eyes, and light hair (3).
He was a substitute (1, 3). His service was credited to the sixteenth congressional district (3). He was mustered into service on 7 October 1864 (1, 15 [8 Oct 64], 22). He was enlisted for one year, at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, by Captain Boil (3). He was a private in company I (1, 24).
The regiment forwarded his descriptive list somewhere (3).
In 1870, he was living in St Clair Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania (8). He was a dry goods merchant, who owned $4000 in personal goods (8). He was living with his wife, Ellen, and their children John, Conrad, and Horace, along with Elizabeth Smith (8).
In 1880, he was living in Pleasantville Borough, Bedford County, Pennsylvania (9). He was a storekeeper (9). He was living with his wife E Ellen, their children John, Conrad, Horace, and Allegra (who were all attending school), along with Elizabeth Smith (9).
He was a member of Nebraska Grand Army of the Republic, Post 12, Sidney, Cheyenne County, Nebraska (2; see also 4).
In 1890, he was living in Sidney, Nebraska (15).
He was elected Cheyenne County treasurer, and became treasurer in January 1890 (11, 17). He had county funds in the Exchange Bank, which was "financially embarassed" about 1889. Ickes "went broke trying to make good the county losses, turning over all his private funds and property in an effort to save his bondsmen" (11). According to a different report, one of his sureties was the American Bank of Sidney, Nebraska, which the county board found unacceptable (17). When he did not, the county board appointed Edward McLernon treasurer (17). He requested a writ of ouster when Ickes did not turn over the treasurer's books, etc. (17).
He applied successfully for a pension on 5 October 1891 (5, 22).
In 1892, he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Chappel, Nebraska (16).
In April 1896, he visited an eighth-grade history class in Park School, Lincoln, Nebraska, and talked about the Civil War (20).
In 1900, he was living in ward 3, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, which he was renting (10). He was an insurance agent (10). He was living with his wife and daughters Allegra (a stenographer), Georgia, and Ida (10).
On 29 April 1907, he again applied for a pension (22).
In 1910, he was living in ward 2, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, which he owned (11). He was an insurance agent (11). He was living with his wife Elizabeth E, and their daughter Allegra, who was a stenographer at a creamery (11).
In 1910, he visited Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for the first time in nineteen years (21). He delivered the Memorial Day address in Pleasantville, his former home (21).
The town of Ickes was named after him (18). It was "more of a watering stop for stock than a haven for human beings", with a post office near spring-fed water holes (18). It never had more than eight or ten persons, consisting of a postmaster and ranch hands (18).
He died on 17 [or perhaps 16?] February 1917, in Lincoln [or Wahoo?], Lancaster County, Nebraska (6, 14 [16 Feb], 19 [Saturday, Wahoo], 22 [17 Feb]). A funeral service for him was held at 3 PM on 19 [or 18?] February 1917, at Heaton's Chapel (4, 14, 19). It was led by Reverend E L Fleck, with the assistance of members of Farragut post, GAR (4, 14, 19).
His widow applied successfully from Nebraska for a pension on 27 February 1917 (5, 22).
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (Adam Ickes)
2 Nebraska GAR membership index, searched 30 December 2004 (Adam Ickes)
3 company I, descriptive roll, #17 (Adam Ickes)
4 death notice, Nebraska State Journal, Monday 19 February 1917, page 6 (Adam Ickes)
5 pension index, by name (Adam Ickes)
6 c:\chesnu.get, on Rootsweb WorldConnect Project (searched 12 April 2005) (Adam Ickes)
7 1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Bedford County, St Clair Township, page 14 handwritten = page 468 stamped (Adam Ickes)
8 1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Bedford County, St Clair Township, page 16 (Adam Ickes)
9 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Bedford County, Pleasantville Borough, page 28, supervisor's district 8, enumeration district 235 (Adam Ickes)
10 1900 census, Nebraska, Lancaster County, Lincoln ward 3, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 52, sheet 6A = stamped 279A (Adam Ickes)
11 History of western Nebraska and its people. Edited by Grant L Shumway. Lincoln, Nebraska: The Western Publishing & Engraving Co., 1921. Pages 176, 189. (Adam Ickes)
12 1850 census, Pennsylvania, Bedford County, St Clair Township, stamped page 164 (Adam Ickes)
13 1910 US census, Nebraska, Lancaster County, Lincoln, ward 2 North, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 55, sheet 10A (Adam Ickes)
14 death notice, Lincoln Daily News, Saturday 17 February 1917, page 8, column 3 (Adam Ickes)
15 1890 US census, veterans' schedule, Nebraska, Cheyenne County, Potter Township, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 97, page 1 (Adam Ickes)
16 'The fourth at Sidney', Omaha [NE] World Herald 5 July 1892, page 2 (Adam Ickes)
17 'A Cheyenne county fight', Morning World-Herald [Omaha NE] 5 September 1891 page 4 (Adam Ickes)
18 'Old water holes all that is left of pioneer town of Ickes'. Evening State Journal (Lincoln NE), 25 July 1936, page 2 (Adam Ickes)
19 Death of Adam Ickes. The Lincoln Daily Star (Lincoln NE), 17 February 1917, page 3 (Adam Ickes)
20 [visit to a middle-school class]. The Evening News (Lincoln NE), 11 April 1896, page 5 (Adam Ickes)
21 [visiting Bedford]. Bedford Gazette, 10 June 1910, page 5. (Adam H Ickes)
22 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company I (Adam Ickes)
23 'The fourth at Sidney', Omaha [NE] World Herald 5 July 1892, page 2 (Adam Ickes)
24 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Adam Ickes)
A complete roster of the county officers has been hard to obtain. Some of the offices have been created since the organization of the county but the persons who have been trusted with the public funds are as follow: ... Adam Ickes ....
In 1876, there was but one bank in the Panhandle of Nebraska. It was located at Sidney. A private bank, the first in this part of the state, was established by Raynolds and Wallace and was called the Cheyenne County Bank." [sic] A. H. Raynolds was from Canton, Ohio, and was a relation of President McKinley. William Wallace was for years connected with the Omaha National Bank, and a figure of prominence in the financial world. After establishing and operating their bank for a time Raynolds and Wallace sold to Saxton Brothers, who were also from Ohio, and also related to McKinley. That bank continued to operate and was known as the Exchange Bank. It went to the wall in latter [sic] financial depressions, and the assets were taken over by Morgan and Johnson, who ran it for a number of years. About 1889, Mr. Morgan shot himself and the bank becme financially embarassed. The county treasurer, Adam Ickes, had county funds in it and he went broke trying to make good the county losses, turning over all his private funds and property in an effort to save his bondsmen.[Nebraska State Journal, Monday 19 February 1917, page 6]
The funeral of Adam Ickes, seventy-two years old, who died at Wahoo Friday night, will be held from Heaton's chapel Monday afternoon, Rev. E. L. Fleck assisted by members of Farragut post, G.A.R., will have charge of the services. The body arrived in Lincoln Saturday afternoon.
|Name||Conrad Ickes||Elizabeth Ickes||Daniel [?] M [?] Ickes||William Ickes||Adam Ickes||Mandella Ickes|
|Occupation of males over 15 years||Farmer|
|Real estate owned||1500|
|Birthplace||" [sc. Pa]||"||"||"||"||"|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year|
|Over 20 & can't read/write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Name||Conrad Ickes||Elizabeth "||William "||Adam "||Richard W "||Eliza Va [?]||Mary Griffith|
|Value of real estate owned||4500|
|Value of personal estate||500|
|Place of birth||" [sc. Penna]||"||"||"||"||"||"|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year||1||1||1|
|Cannot read & write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Name||Ickes Adam||Ellen||John||Conrad||Horace||Smith Elizabeth|
|Occupation||Dry Goods Merchant||Keeping House||Domestic Servant|
|Real estate value|
|Personal estate value||4000|
|Birthplace||" [sc. Penna]||"||"||"||"||"|
|Father foreign born|
|Mother foreign born|
|Birth month if born within year|
|Marriage month if married within year|
|Attended school past year|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old||1|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...|
|dwelling visit #||13|
|family visit #||13|
|name||Ickes Adam||_ E Elen [?]||_ John [?] E [??]||_ Conrad S||_ Horace B||_ Alegra||Smith Elizabeth|
|month born if born in year|
|relationship||wife||son||son||son||daughter||mother in law|
|married during year|
|occupation||Storekeeper||Keeping house||Laborer||at home||at home|
|school this year||1||1||1||1|
|[many families are listed at the same address]|
|name||Ickes Adam||_ E Ellih [??]||_ Allegra||_ Georgia E||_ Ida|
|birth date||Apr 1845||Sept 1843||May 1873||Febr 1874||Jan 1876|
|# years married||38||38|
|mother of how many children?||6|
|# of children living||4|
|# years in USA|
|occupation||Insurance Agt||Stenographer||At school||At school|
|# months not employed|
|# months in school||9||9|
|free or mortgaged|
|# of farm schedule|
|street||G [?] Street|
|house nr||1820 [?]|
|family nr||99 [?]|
|name||Ickes, Adam||_ Elizabeth E||_ Allegra|
|#years present marriage||47||47|
|mother of how many children||6|
|how many living children||4|
|occupation||Agent Insurance||None||Stenographer Creamery|
|out of work 15 Apr 1910?||No||No|
|# weeks out of work 1909||0||0|
|school since 1 Sep 09|
|owned free or mortagaged||F|
|nr on farm schedule|
|civil war vet||11-0-1 [?]||10-8-2-9|
|deaf & dumb|
SIDNEY, Neb., July 4.--Sidney has been patriotic today. Ex-Treasurer Adam Ickes delivered an oration at Chappel, Judge Leroy Martin at Redington, Rev. E. Lee Fleck at Harrisburg, Hon. Henry St. Rayner at North Platte and Judge George W. Heist at Sidney. The oration here was one of Judge Heist's best efforts. Mr. C. D. Essig made the hit of the day in a comic song locally applied. The street parade was the best known to Sidney, fire works were magnificent.
LINCOLN, Neb., Sept. 4.--[Special.]--The following cases were filed with the clerk of the supreme court today:[...]
Edward McLernon vs. Adam Ickes. Error from Cheyenne county. This is a very interesting case. The defendant was elected treasurer of Cheyenne county and has held that position since January, 1890. He had for his sureties, among others, the American bank of Sidney. On August 10 the county board notified Treasurer Ickes that the surety was not considered good by them and that he would have to give a new and better bond. He neglected to do so, and then the board of commissioners appointed the plaintiff in this action as treasurer for said county after having first declared the office vacant. McLernon's bond was approved by the county board, and on the 31st of August he demanded the books, papers, etc., of the office and Ickes refused to vacate or turn over the county property to McLernon. He now asks a writ of ouster and that the defendant be declared not entitled to hold the office of treasurer of Cheyenne county.
Judge Ogden's attention was given to the tempestuous oratory of attorneys yesterday morning, the case of McIntosh against Johnson supplying the text for a great deal of argument. The suit is a rather interesting one in many ways. It grows out of the suicide at Sidney, Neb., a few years ago of Chat Morgan, an Omaha man who was running a bank in that town. On deposit in Morgan's bank was $18,000 of the money of Cheyenne county, deposited there by the treasurer, Adam Ickes. When the bank's affairs were looked into after the death of Morgan it was found that there was no money to be found, it having disappeared before the suicide.
When it came to a settlement Treasurer Ickes discovered evidence which caused him to believe that Frank Johnson of Omaha was a partner with Morgan in the business. It was shown that Mr. Johnson had contributed $10,000 to the bank, but when it was demanded of him that he make good the treasurer's loss he claimed that he had merely lent that amount to Morgan, and that he was in no wise responsible for the bank's debts. Nevertheless he made a settlement with Ickes on a narrow margin, and was thus able to claim an interest in the bank's assets. The settlement was insufficient to clear the county and when Ickes was succeeded by J. J. McIntosh as treasurer, the latter brought suit against Johnson for the full amount of the $18,000. There is a law which provides that a county treasurer is the custodian of the county funds, and that he must present them when they are demanded. By the provisions of this law it was claimed that McIntosh had no cause of action against Johnson, even if he was interested in the bank. The only person who could sue was Ickes, and if McIntosh had any case, it must be against Ickes, who had no authority for placing the money in the bank in the first place. But Ickes had in the meantime transferred all his property, and so had his bondsmen, and the county commissioners looked vainly for some responsible party whom they might sue for the money. This suit was brought against Johnson, but the latter asserts that his settlement with Ickes was a settlement of the matter finally, as far as he is concerned. His attorney claims that the county's only recourse is to sue Ickes and his bondsmen. On this ground they demur to the petition and ask that the suit be dismissed.
Aside from the interest in the case brought up by these facts is the additional one that it will be in a way a settler of the vexed question as to whether the treasurer of Douglas or any other county has a right to place the funds of the county in any depository and to draw interest on them. The law, as it now reads, provides that the treasurer shall be the custodian of the cash and no permission is granted him to keep it in any other place than the county safe. Treasurers all over the state have been accustomed to depositing in some bank and drawing interest for themselves. A decision in this case will go a long way to decide the point.
J. J. McIntosh, treasurer of Cheyenne county, was asking $9,000 in Judge Blair's court Monday as a balance due on an $18,000 account which Cheyenne county had with Frank B. Johnson, one of the proprietors of the now defunct Bank of Sidney. This balance was an account still due, 1889, it is alleged, when S. C. Morgan, Johnson's partner, died tragically and the bank failed. The court decided that the evidence failed to show that Johnson was interested in the bank at the time of the deposit and decided in his favor.[51 Nebraska 33; 70 NW 522]
During 1888, and a part of 1889, the defendant, Frank B. Johnson, and one S. C. Morgan were partners engaged in a general banking business at Sidney, Cheyenne county, under the firm name and style of the State Bank of Sidney. In the latter part of June, 1889, Mr. Morgan died, leaving the defendant the sole surviving partner, and the bank being insolvent at the time, closed its doors, and did not afterwards resume business nor pay its depositors. From January 7, 1888, to June 26, 1889, both dates inclusive, Adam Ickes, the treasurer of Cheyenne county, in his official capacity deposited in said bank, on open account, large sums of money belonging to the county, and withdrew a portion thereof as required for use. On the day the bank suspended payment Mr. Ickes, as such county treasurer, had upon deposit therein county funds to the amount of $ 17,357.40. Plaintiff is the successor in office [***2] to the said Adam Ickes, and as such instituted this suit to recover from the defendant, as surviving partner, the sum of $ 11,857.40, alleged to be the balance due the county of Cheyenne on account of the moneys so deposited in said State Bank of Sidney. A trial of the issues raised by the pleadings was had to the court, resulting in a finding and judgment against the plaintiff. Two defenses are relied upon by the defendant to defeat the action, to-wit: (1.) Neither the county of Cheyenne nor the plaintiff ever had any [*35] legal claim against the defendant or the State Bank of Sidney on account of the funds deposited by Treasurer Ickes. (2.) Accord and satisfaction. These propositions will receive attention in their order.
The first contention is to a greater or less extent sustained by two decisions of this court, viz., State v. Keim, 8 Neb. 63, and First Nat. Bank of South Bend, Ind., v. Gandy, 11 Neb. 431, 9 N.W. 566. The first case was an action by the state to recover certain public funds belonging to it which had been deposited with the defendants, who were engaged in the banking business at Falls City, under an agreement that it should [***3] be delivered upon demand. It was held there could be no recovery, since the deposit was unauthorized, and there had been no ratification of it by public law. The writer by no means concedes that an illegal or unauthorized deposit of state moneys in a bank constitutes no cause of action in favor of the state to recover such moneys; but accepting the decision in State v. Keim to be sound, is it decisive of the question before us? We do not think so. After it was rendered the legislature, in 1879, passed the following act, which received the approval of the executive:
"An act to provide for the collection of public funds and moneys.
"Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska:
"Section 1. That in all cases in which public moneys, or other funds belonging to this state, or to any county, school district, city, or municipality thereof, have been deposited or loaned to any person or persons, corporation, bank, copartnership, or other firm or association of persons, it shall be lawful for the officer or officers making such deposit or loan, or his or their successors in office to maintain an action or actions for the recovery of such moneys deposited or loaned, [***4] and all contracts for the security or payment of any such moneys or public funds made shall be held to be good and lawful contracts binding on all parties thereto; Provided, Nothing herein contained shall be construed to in any manner affect the [*36] liability of any surety or signers of any official bond heretofore or hereafter given or made in this state.
"Sec. 2. All actions heretofore brought by any public officer, either in his own name or officially, for the recovery of any public [**523] moneys heretofore loaned or deposited shall be sustained, and all remedies allowed in other cases, by attachment or otherwise, shall be admissible and allowed in such actions as in other cases." (Compiled Statutes, ch. 8, secs. 40, 41; Session Laws, 1879, p. 156, secs. 1, 2.)
It was the decision in State v. Keim, supra, doubtless, which prompted the legislature to enact this law, for the purpose of authorizing the collection by suit of public moneys illegally loaned or deposited by their custodian,-- a remedy which this court had ruled did not theretofore exist in this state. If the act above quoted is to be given prospective operation, and not a retroactive [***5] effect merely, then it is very evident that the present action is maintainable. It is argued by the defendant that the purpose of the act of 1879 was to legalize prior contracts made by treasurers for the depositing or loaning of public funds and to empower the treasurer making such loan or deposit, or his successor in office, to collect the same by suit, and that this law has no prospective application. The case of the First Nat. Bank of South Bend, Ind., v. Gandy, 11 Neb. 431, 9 N.W. 566, is authority for such interpretation. The question there involved was whether county moneys deposited in a bank by county treasurers prior to the enactment of the present depository law are subject to garnishment process in a suit to recover a debt of the officer depositing the same. It was held that they were, since it did not lie in the mouth of Mr. Gandy, or any of his privies, of which the depository bank was one in respect to the funds, to assert that they were not the individual moneys of Mr. Gandy, which alone he had a right to deposit in bank, and the latter might lawfully receive from him on deposit. The only reference made in the opinion in that case to the law of 1879 [***6] above quoted is the following: [*37] "I do not deem it necessary to make any reference to the act of February 24, 1879, cited by counsel for defendants in error, further than to say that by its own terms said act only covers cases of loans of public funds made before the passage of said act, and so does not apply to the case at bar." We are persuaded that the author of that opinion either misread the statute, or had not in mind three well recognized rules which should have obtained in ascertaining the meaning, scope, and effect of the act. The statute is in some respects a remedial one, and therefore should receive a liberal construction. ( Rogers v. Omaha Hotel Co., 4 Neb. 54; Swearingen v. Roberts, 12 Neb. 333, 11 N.W. 325; Harmon v. Omaha, 17 Neb. 548, 23 N.W. 503; Wright v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co., 19 Neb. 175, 27 N.W. 90; State v. Fremont, E. & M. V. R. Co., 22 Neb. 313, 35 N.W. 118.) Again, an imperative rule of construction is that effect, if possible, must be given to every clause and part of a legislative enactment. ( Hagenbuck v. Reed, 3 Neb. 17; McCann v. McLennan, 2 Neb. 286; [***7] King v. State, 18 Neb. 375, 25 N.W. 519; State v. Babcock, 21 Neb. 599, 33 N.W. 247.) Another familiar canon governing the interpretation of statutes is that they will be given a prospective operation unless a contrary intention is plainly expressed. ( State v. City of Kearney, 49 Neb. 337, 70 N.W. 255, and cases cited.) There is nothing, either in the title or the body of the act, which indicates the least intention on the part of the legislature that the law should operate retroactively alone. On the contrary, it is manifest that it cannot be so construed if effect is given to each word and clause of the statute in question. That it was the purpose to legalize actions then pending for the recovery of public moneys brought by any officer either in his individual name or officially, and also to legalize prior contracts for the deposit of such money cannot be successfully disputed; but that the law was intended to have a retroactive effect alone we deny. The interpretation contended for by defendant renders meaningly the words "or hereafter" used in the proviso clause of section 1, which declares that "nothing herein contained shall [***8] be construed to in any [*38] manner affect the liability of any surety or signers of any official bond heretofore or hereafter given or made in this state." Construing the words "heretofore or hereafter given" in connection with the rest of the section in which they appear shows that the act was to have both a prospective and retroactive effect, and was intended to apply to, and cover, contracts or deposits made after the passage of the act, as well as those made prior to its adoption. The act in unmistakable terms empowered the bringing of suits upon contracts which should thereafter be made for the deposit of public funds, and not merely actions upon contracts which had been made before the passage of the law. To construe the act so as to give it both a retroactive and prospective application, effect can be given to every word therein contained, while the language of the law, without a forced or arbitrary construction, will not support a mere retroactive effect. The decision in First Nat. Bank of South Bend, Ind., v. Gandy, supra, is disapproved.
The facts upon which the defense of accord and satisfaction is predicated are these: In December, 1889, after the [***9] death of Mr. Morgan, the defendant entered into an agreement with Mr. Ickes, the county treasurer of Cheyenne county, by the terms of which Mr. Ickes, as county treasurer, accepted certain real estate in the city of Omaha of the agreed value of $ 6,000, owned by Mr. Johnson, and the promissory note of the latter for $ 3,000 in settlement of the amount due from the bank for the county funds which had been deposited therein. Mr. Ickes at the time executed and delivered to Mr. Johnson a receipt, of which the following was a copy:
[*39] That the above mentioned note was subsequently paid by the defendant is conceded. Whether the county commissioners accepted the benefits of said settlement and ratified the same with full knowledge of the facts, in our view it is unnecessary to determine, since the compromise is not binding for want of a consideration. [***10] It was admitted by the defendant upon the trial that he was a partner of Mr. Morgan in the State Bank of Sidney, and that at the time of the death of the latter there was on deposit in said bank, to the credit of the county treasurer of Cheyenne county, the sum of $ 17,357.40. No payments had been made upon this indebtedness at the date of the compromise. There was therefore at that time a liquidated amount due from the defendant as sole surviving partner of over $ 17,000, and this admitted liability was settled by the acceptance of property and note of the defendant of the actual and agreed value of over $ 6,000 less than the amount of the indebtedness. The acceptance of part of a liquidated demand past due, in full settlement, is not a bar to an action on such demand. In this case the amount of the indebtedness was admitted, and the defendant being the sole surviving partner, there was no room for dispute that he was liable for the payment. There was no consideration for the agreement to accept a lesser sum than the amount due; hence there is no complete accord and satisfaction. The proposition is too plain to require the citation of authorities in support of it. The judgment must [***11] be reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings.REVERSED AND REMANDED. [Evening State Journal (Lincoln NE), 25 July 1936, page 2]
SIDNEY, Neb. (AP). One of the last outposts of a frontier civilization that sprung up with the building of the railroad was the old town of Ickes, population seven, located in Cheyenne county about 35 miles northwest of Sidney.
Actually there is no town left on the old site of Ickes, altho [sic] the census maps list it as possible the smallest town covered by the 1930 population county. There never was much of a town, pioneers recall, but the old postoffice and frame ranch house that once occupied a remote spot on the western prarie were welcome sights to many a frontiersman and rancher in the days of horse and buggy travel.
Ickes was named after Adam Ickes, western Nebraska pioneer. The postoffice was near a series of water holes fed by springs, and Ickes was more of a watering stop for stock than a haven for human beings. Yet the old settlement lived for years after civilization settled the panhandle, and it became somewhat of a tradition in the rich history of western Nebraska.
Adam Ickes was the first treasurer of Cheyenne county. In those days Cheyenne county covered most of western Nebraska and it was a good week's journey to cover it from border to border by horseback or buggy. The town of Ickes actually consisted of a crew of ranch hands, together who whoever happened to be postmaster at the time. Never in its history did Ickes have more than eight or ten persons.
Nothing remains to mark the old town site except a few scattered farm dwellings and the old water holes. Pioneers can point out the exact spot where the old postoffice was located, but that section is now served by rural mail route. Adam Ickes has been dead many years and no other members of the family are living in Cheyenne county.[The Evening News (Lincoln NE), 11 April 1896, page 5]
Adam Ickes, a veteran of the late war, entertained the eighth grade history class of the Park school yesterday afternoon by narrating important facts about the war. He told of the number of troops called for and the number that responded. He named the number slain in the important battles and also the number who were starved in rebel prison pens. He also gave interesting accounts of how the armies advanced on each other; the duties of picket and skirmish lines and many other interesting things. Comrade Ickes took part in many important battles, and was just twenty years old on the day Lee surrendered to the silent captain at Appomattox.[The Lincoln Daily Star (Lincoln NE), 17 February 1917, page 3]
Adam Ickes, aged 72 years, died Saturday morning in Wahoo. The body will be brought to Lincoln tonight. The funeral will be held Monday at Heaton's chapel. Rev. Fleck will be in charge. G.A.R. services will also be held.[Bedford Gazette, 10 June 1910, page 5]
Adam H. Ickes of Lincoln, Neb., was in Bedford for several days recently greeting old friends. At his former home, Pleasantville, he delivered the Memorial Day address. This is Mr. Ickes' first visit to his native county in nineteen years.