Jacob Ickes, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Jacob Ickes is known as a Bedford County gunsmith from a tax list, a census record, his estate inventory, and a map that identifies his gun shop.

1842: Calculating from information on his tombstone, Jacob Ickes was born in 1842.

Dueling 1850 census records: In a transcript of the 1850 census of Union Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, Peter Ickes is listed as a 46-year-old farmer. Also in his household are 46-year-old Sarah, 20-year-old Jacob, 18-year-old Elisabeth, 13-year-old Alexander, and 8-year-old Mary. The Jacob Ickes in this census record was born circa 1830, which is too early to be the 37-year old gunsmith identified in an 1880 census record referenced below. This is Jacob Claar Ickes, who is buried in the Upper Claar Cemetery in Bedford County, where the inscription on his tombstone includes the following: "Jacob Claar Ickes 1830-1897 son of Peter & Margaret S. C. Ickes".

The following Union Township census record shows an 8-year-old Jacob Ickes living in the household of Charles Ickes. The Jacob Ickes in this census record was born circa 1842, which is about the right age to be the 37-year old gunsmith identified in an 1880 census record referenced below.

1855: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that a Jacob Ickes is identified as a single free man and a son of Peter Ickes in the 1855 tax records of Union Township. This is a reference to the wrong Jacob Ickes, and is not included in the 1991 Whisker & Whisker book or the 2001 Whisker and Yantz book.

1860: In the 1860 federal census of St. Clair Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania the 17-year old Jacob Ickes was an apprentice wagon maker who was staying at the home of master wagon maker David Defibaugh (age 43) and his wife Paulina. The Jacob Ickes in this census record was born circa 1843 and is about the right age to be the 37-year old gunsmith identified in an 1880 census record referenced below.

1865: A Jacob C. Ickes of Union Township is listed in the 1865 Militia enrollment of Bedford County.

1867: The following item is from the April 26, 1867 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper. The gunsmith Jacob Ickes in the 1880 census had a wife named Mary.

The wedding was also announced in the April 26, 1867 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper:

1867: The following notice was published in the June 7, 1867 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper. I don't know which Jacob Ickes it pertains to.

1867: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" puts the gunsmith Jacob Ickes in Union Township in 1867.

1867: The 1870 census suggests that Jacob Ickes had a daughter named Laura who was born circa 1867.

1869: The following item is from the 1913 book "Records of the Annual Hench and Dromgold Reunion". I am not sure which Jacob Ickes it pertains to.

1870: The following excerpt is from the 1870 census of Union Township. The Jacob Ickes in this census record was born circa 1844, and is about the right age to be the 37-year-old gunsmith in the 1880 census. This 1870 census record suggests that Jacob Ickes had a son named Sherman who was born in 1870.

1870-1876: The Whiskers' 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" puts the gunsmith Jacob Ickes in King Township from 1870 to 1876. This is in tension with the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" , which states, "King township was part of Union until 1876."

1876-1880: The 2001 book puts the gunsmith Jacob Ickes in East St. Clair Township from 1876 to 1880.

1876: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts Jacob Ickes in the area of Weyant in Bedford County in 1876. The populated place known as Weyant is in present-day King Township.

1876: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Jacob Ickes is identified as a gunsmith in the 1876 tax list of East St. Clair Township, Bedford County. Kauffman indicates that Jacob Ickes became a wagonmaker.

1877: The following image from the East St. Clair portion of the 1877 book "County Atlas of Bedford Pennsylvania" identifies the residence of a "J. Ickes" near Spring Meadow P. O., and identifies an adjacent gun shop.

1878: In the 1878-1879 edition of "Farquhar's Official Directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" an individual named Jacob Ickes is identified as a wagon maker in Spring Meadow, East St. Clair Township.

1880: Jacob Ickes is enumerated as a 37-year-old gunsmith in the 1880 federal census. Living in his household are his 40-year-old wife Mary, 13-year-old Laura, and 10-year-old Sheridan. The individual in this census record was born circa 1843.

1882: Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" puts Jacob Ickes in Spring Meadow in 1882 based on a directory entry, and mentions a superposed percussion rifle/shotgun combination gun. Sellers identifies Whisker as his source.

1890: Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" puts Jacob Ickes in Spring Meadow in 1890 based on a directory entry. Sellers identifies Whisker as his source.

1898: There are two individuals named Jacob Ickes who are buried in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. One died on July 13, 1898 at age 55 and is buried in the Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery (40.16714928, -78.51687746) near the northern edge of East St. Clair Township and near Osterburg and St. Clairsville, Bedford County. This individual was born in 1842. In older records, this is referred to as the Reformed Church Cemetery. The 2001 book indicates that the gunsmith Jacob Ickes is the individual who died on July 13, 1898. The other Jacob Claar Ickes was born in 1830 and died in 1897 (according to his tombstone) and is buried in the Upper Claar Cemetery (40.28765807, -78.51465187), which is well north of East St. Clair Township, in Bedford County.

1898: The 2001 book reports that the estate inventory of the gunsmith Jacob Ickes was filed on August 30, 1898. Of particular interest are blacksmith bellows valued at $8.00, gunsmithing tools valued at $1.00, Gun augers valued at $0.75, a lathe valued at $1.00, a blacksmithing fan valued at $3.00. planes valued at $3.00, a vice valued at $0.50, a brace and drill bits valued at $0.25, a grindstone valued at $1.00, a drawing knife valued at $0.10, a screw plate (i.e., threading die) valued at $0.10, chisels valued at $0.25, and hammers valued at $0.60.

1908: According to the May 22, 1908 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper, the Jacob Ickes who is buried at the Reformed Cemetery near St. Clairsville was a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. I haven't been able to find him in the manuscript roster o the 204th (5th heavies), but I do know his grave has a G.A.R. star marker.

1918: Mary Ickes, the wife of Jacob Ickes, died on July 21, 1918 at nearly 87 years of age and is also buried at the Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery.

Work product:
Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle" mentions a superposed gun (one rifled barrel, one smooth) that has an inlaid brass plate on the barrel that identifies Ickes as the maker.

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