Johann Georg Feick
1/23/1849 - 11/11/1932
George Feick, the youngest son in the family was born in January of
1849. Several months after his birth his oldest brother, 20 year old
Johann Philip left the home place to make his fortune in Ohio. George was
the eighth child born to this family and was but six years old when his
mother died in 1855. The year 1965 finds him living in Frankish-Crumbach
with his sister Catherina Elizabeth who was wed that year to Johann
Philipp Riedel II. George was at this time an apprentice carpenter. In
1866 he was working as an apprentice on the Lutheran Church and the master
carpenters were stern task-masters. They used to vent their wrath on the
apprentices in a very physical manner and one day, after being cuffed
about for cutting wood for the pulpit in a manner the master carpenter
found displeasing, he returned to his sisters home and said, "Ach, that's
it! No more beatings for me, I'm going to America." and in July of that
year, 1866, young 17-year-old George and his 24-year-old cousin
Margaret Feick, set out on a sailing vessel for the United States.
Margaret was the daughter of his Uncle George Feick who had inherited the
family home in Steinau. Philip and Elizabeth Catherine Feick had built
their home across the road from the home place in Steinau. Margaret was
heading for Crestline where a sister was waiting for her.
They traveled as brother and sister, the
parents of each feeling that this was much safer for both. Margaret, after
being in Crestline for a bit, married Friedrich Bietsch (which was
anglicized to Frederick Beach).
On arriving in the States, George lost no
time in developing his skills in the carpentry trade. He worked for his
brother, Adam, in Adam's building firm until they set up a joint firm, A.
Feick & Bro. Philip, the oldest brother was never a part of this firm.
Perhaps he did work with the, certainly they several times had to finish
jobs that Philip had contracted for and could not finish. From letters
left behind it seems that they felt obligated to take care of Philip.
Philip did not seem to have the drive that his two younger brothers did.
The firm of A. Feick & Bro. flourished.
Both Adam and George built large, comfortable homes on Miami Avenue, now
Central Avenue. Adam's home was torn down after the death of his wife and
his children erected the "Adam Feick Flats". George's home is stall
standing as is the garage he built to be their first office. George later
built a store and office building on the corner of Central Avenue and
Decatur Street and housed his office on the second floor.
It is George Feick who built the Feick
Building in downtown Sandusky, long Sandusky's "skyscraper". He built the
first three floors and later added five more stories. It was constructed
so that an additional five stories could be added to the section at the
rear of the building but these never were built.
The following excerpts from local history
books tell more about Johann George Feick I of Sandusky:
Both John A. Feick and George Feick Sr. are
written about in most of the histories of the state of Ohio and the
histories of Erie County. However, the biographies of both which are found
in Galbreath's "History of Ohio" which was published in 1925 are the most
accurate. After one has read histories, biographies and obituaries of both
men and their sons, one begins to feel that everyone is taking credit for
the construction of everything built by Feicks in the 1800's. The
following is from Galbreath's "History of Ohio" page 395, volume III:
For half a century much that is substantial
and prominent in the City of Sandusky has born the impress of the
individuality of George Feick. Mr. Feick is a contactor and builder whose
work finds striking testimony in many familiar structures not only in Erie
County but elsewhere. These include some of the notable public and
institutional buildings. many of the qualities of durability and strength
which he has introduced into his buildings have been found latent factors
in his own character, and accounts for his success.
Coming to the United States at the age of
seventeen, he has molded his destiny by his own efforts and honorable
purpose. He was born at Steinau, Kreis Dieburg, Hesse Darmstadt, January
23, 1849. He was reared in his native land, was confirmed in the Lutheran
Church, and had a common school education. For three years he also served
an apprenticeship at the cabinetmaker's trade. With this experience and
qualifications he set out in 1866 for the new world, and on July 10th of
that year joined his brothers, Philip and Adam, in Sandusky. For several
years he was employed by Adam Feick, but in 1872 they formed a
copartnership, which endured to their mutual satisfaction and success
until the death of Adam Feick in 1893.
While the Feick brothers were associated in
partnership they erected many fine buildings, some of which may be
mentioned as follows. Tenth Ward School Building; Erie County Jail; part
of the Ohio soldiers and Sailors Home; the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern
Railroad stations in Sandusky and in Painesville; Talcott Hall for Oberlin
College; the State Capitol Building at Cheyenne, Wyoming.
During the last thirty years Mr. George
Feick has been in the contracting and building business alone, and during
a greater part of the time has had as his capable associate his son, Emil
Augustus Feick. In this time the work has gone forward characterized by
the same ability and skill as in earlier years. George Feick was the
contractor who built the Law Building of the Ohio State University at
Columbus; the Edward Gymnasium for the Ohio Wesleyan University at
Delaware; several buildings for Oberlin College, including the Severance
Chemical Laboratory; the Warner Gymnasium; the Carnegie College Library
and the Phinney Memorial Chapel, the Men's Building, Rice Hall, Keep
Cottage, the Administration Building; and in 1915 he built the handsome
new Sandusky High School building.
In 1916 the contracting firm of the George
Feick & Sons Company was incorporated, with George Feick, Sr., president;
Emil A. Feick, vice president, and George Feick, Jr., secretary-treasurer.
They have since built the Savings Bank and Mohican blocks at Mansfield,
Ohio; the Hotel and Administration Building for the Lakeside Association
at Lakeside, Ohio; the St. Joseph's Church at Marblehead, Ohio; and
various buildings in Sandusky, and have just finished the Feick Building,
an eight-story office building, the first floor of which is occupied by
the Citizens Banking Company.
|Friday, June 23, 2006
Hi, I stumbled on your Feick-Gregory
Family Album website today and found it fascinating. My mother was Antoinette
Elizabeth Feick, daughter of Emil Feick (older brother of
George, Jr.) and Louise DeLor. I've always known
intellectually that there were still Feicks in Sandusky, but they didn't
become real until I started looking at your album. My father was Clark
E Center, also of Sandusky. The Center-Feick connection is a long
one, for according to the 1880 census, my g-grandfather Clark Center
lived four doors down the street from Adam Feick and five or six
doors down from George, Sr. My mother had some interesting
stories about her 'grandpa' (George) whom she adored. If you're
interested in hearing some I'd be glad to pass them on.
Clark E. Center, Jr.
|Saturday, June 24, 2006
My mother, as I said, adored, and perhaps
was in awe of, her grandfather. He was the patriarch of the family when
she was little -- and beyond. Indeed, when she found herself in a bad
marriage, she didn't divorce until after his death. She said simply that
she couldn't divorce while he was alive.
Mother studied art at the Carnegie
Institute for a while, and she lived for a while in New York City, also
studying art, I believe. She left New York like this: Her roommate was
in the chorus line in Shubert's (?) Follies. One night she was ill and
couldn't go on. Mom said, " I know all your routines, I can do it,
I'll go on in your place!" And she did, doing a creditable job. The
next day, her father and grandfather knocked on her door and took her
home. It seems a friend of her grandfather was in the audience,
recognized her, and immediately called him. George and Emil took
the next train.
Did you know that George, Sr. once
buggy whipped a man? He always allowed his horse to stop when it needed
to relieve itself. He was driving his buggy through the streets of
Sandusky when he came upon a man, also in a buggy, who refused to let
his horse stop, making it continue down the street while relieving
itself. George drove up to him and gave him several lashes with his
buggy whip, shouting "How would you like it if someone did that to
Christmas in the Emil Feick household
when mother was a little girl went like this: On Christmas eve there
were no decorations, just a good deal of excitement. After the children
(mother and her brother Dick) went to bed, the decorating began, the
tree went up, and the presents were put out. On Christmas morning mother
and uncle Dick came downstairs to find the decorated tree with presents
under it. They were allowed to open one(!) present, then sat down to
breakfast. After breakfast the family went to church, followed by
Christmas dinner at grandpa's house. I suppose, but don't remember her
saying so, that George, Sr's other children in Sandusky brought their
families as well. At any rate, Christmas dinner and the subsequent
visiting went on far too long for impatient children. They'd have to
open their other presents at home in the very late afternoon or evening.
That all I recall just now. I remember
various family members visiting us when I was a child, but I'm blurry on
names. I recall my mother's aunt Olga. I think she was married to a man
named Carlton (first name) Tell me of the Feicks still in Sandusky.
There are no Centers left there, so I don't expect to learn much about
that side of my family. But I do have a number of photographs from the
Feick side, mostly unidentified. If you or other family members would
like to see them and perhaps identify them, I'd be happy to scan a few
at a time and send them.
I'm in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I'm in charge
of the special collections library at the University of Alabama (http://www.lib.ua.edu/libraries/hoole/).
My mother and dad lived in Chicago, Whiting, Indiana, and New York City
before moving to Oak Ridge, Tennessee during WWII. I grew up near there,
went to college in Alabama, and stayed. I haven't been to Sandusky since
my uncle Dick died in 1953. I was six.