REV. L. B. WICKERSHAM.
REV. L. B. WICKERSHAM, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Atlantic, Iowa, is a gentleman who holds a warm place in the hearts of the people to whom he ministers, and one who has attained popularity in the lecture field. In this connection a sketch of his life will be interesting, and we are pleased to present the following:
L. B. Wickersham was born September 29, 1856, in Belmont county, Ohio, the son of poor but respected parents, J. and Susana (Bonham) Wickersham, both natives of Ohio; his father a stone-cutter by trade. The Wickershams are of English origin. James Wickersham, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Ohio and was by occupation a farmer. Great-grandfather Wickersham was a native of Pennsylvania. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Wickersham, Mahlon Bonham, was a native of Ohio, and it is supposed that he was of Scotch-Irish and English descent.
The subject of our sketch was the second son and third-born child in his father's family, and when he was eight years old they moved from Belmont county to Morgan county, Ohio, where he spent the next ten years of his life, going thence to Morrow county, same State. At the early age of ten years he was hired out to work, and from that time on he earned his own support. After he was twenty-one he worked by the year for A. B. Newson, a prominent farmer of Morrow county. He acquired sufficient knowledge to enable him to teach, and then for four years he taught district school in Morrow county. In 1882 Mr. Wickersham came out to Iowa and located on a farm in Mills county, and after one year spent in agricultuaral [sic agricultural] pursuits here he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His first appointment was at Coin, Page county, where he labored most acceptably until 1886, that year being sent to Shenandoah in the same county, and serving as pastor at the latter place five years. His next pastorate was at Grace Church, Des Moines, and in 1893 he came from there to his present charge at Atlantic. The congregation here numbers between six and seven hundred, they have a fine house of worship, and the organization is the strongest in the county. Mr. Wickersham began the study of theology when he was only ten years old and has devoted more or less of his time to it ever since. Since he entered the ministry his work has been characterized by great earnestness and attended with much success. Few ministers, indeed, have in the same length of time accomplished as much as the Rev. Mr. Wickersham; and in addition to his regular pastoral work he has delivered numerous lectures in various places. Among his most popular lectures we note those of "Blighted Childhood," "Young People in Society," "The Marvels of a Good Book," "Day Dreams," and "What Are You Going To Do About It?" As a speaker he is original, impressive and at times eloquent, and he possesses to a marked degree that peculiar power called personal magnetism.
Mr. Wickersham was married in 1878 to Miss Rosella Kelly, a native of Morrow county, Ohio, born January 4, 1856, the fourth in the family of six children of John and Cristia Kelly. Mr. and Mrs. Wickersham have five children, -- Wade, Grace, Jessie, Joyce and Chase.
From A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Volume II, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896, pp. 983-984. Transcribed July, 2015 by Cheryl Siebrass.