Birth: Feb. 8, 1837, New York, USA; Death: 1918
David Banks Sickels, author; born at New York, February 8, 1837; to Dr. John and Hester Ann (Ellsworth) Sickels; educated by private tutors; graduated Kennett Square Institute, Pennsylvania, as civil engineer which profession he followed for several years. War correspondent for Eastern and Western newspapers during Civil War; appointed a.-d.-c. on staff of governor of Arkansas, 1870 with rank of Colonel; was intimate friend of General Sheridan; member and represented banking firm of Clark, Walcott & Company. abroad several years; fiscal agent State of Arkansas, 1866 - 70; traveled extensively in Far East and was diplomatic representative of the U.S. to Siam, 1876 - 81; also acting consul of Royal Netherlands Government; with Lyman W. Briggs, founded the American Surety Company, 1882, of which was 1st secretary, then treasurer and vice president until retired, 1906, to engage in literary work; now vice president 23rd Ward Bank of New York, which he organized; treasurer Universal Trust Company. Lecturer on Oriental subjects and Eastern religions. Member Society American Authors, Holland Society, Pall Text Society (London), Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Historical Society (Sioux City, Iowa), Friends Society (San Francisco), St. John's Guild, Chinese Guild (Hong Kong), life member Y.M.C.A. (parent society), Mason (lodge and chapter). Clubs: Lotos (executive treasurer), Authors, Quaint (New York), Republican (Harlem), Young Men's Republican (president), Winnisook, Junior Constitutional (London), Author: Leaves of the Lotos, 1896; Land of the Lotos, 1899. Home: 41 W. 124th St., Office: 215 W. 125th St., New York.
-Who's Who In America by John W. Leonard, Albert Nelson Marquis
David Banks Sickels, banker; born New York, February 8, 1837; son of John and Hester Ann (Elsworth Sickels; educated by private tutors and at Kennett Square Institute, Pennsylvania; War correspondent for Eastern and Western newspapers, during Civil War; appointed a.-d.-c. on staff of government of Arkansas, 1870, with rank of lieutenant Colonel; diplomatic representative of U. S. to Siam, 1876-81; returned to New York, 1882, and with Lyman W. Briggs founded American Surety Company, of which he is now vice president and treasurer; receiver Harlem River Bank; director Union Dime Savings Institute; director and treasurer Universal Trust Company, etc. Author: Leaves of the Lotus, or, Life and Scenes in the Far East, 1899, Residence: 49 W. 119th St. Office: 100 Broadway, New York.
"Who knows we have not lived before
In forms that felt delight and pain?
If death is not the open door
Through which we pass to life again?" --- David Banks Sickels
There are no friends like the old friends
And none so good and true;
We greet them when we meet them,
As roses greet the dew;
No other friends are dearer.
Though born of kindred mold;
We love, we trust the new ones-
We treasure most the old." ----- David Banks Sickels
Find A Grave Memorial# 66987258 Created by: Rhonda, Record added: Mar 16, 2011
Parents: John Sickels (1796 - 1875), Hester Ann Elsworth Sickels (1797 - ____)
Siblings: Frederick Elsworth Sickels (1819 - 1895), Theophilus Elsworth Sickels (1821 - 1885), Jackson Elsworth Sickels (1828 - 1911),
Birth: Sep. 20, 1819, Camden, Camden, New Jersey, USA
Death: Mar. 8, 1895, Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri, USA
Kansas City Journal, March 9, 1895, page 3
DEATH OF MR. F. E. SICKELS. THE FAMOUS INVENTOR AND ENGINEER
STRICKEN IN HIS OFFICE. Twenty Minutes From The First Signs Of Illness Life Had Departed - The Deceased Had An International Reputation.
Frederick E. Sickels, an inventor of world wide fame, and for the last seven years the chief engineer of the National Water Works Company, died very suddenly yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock in a small adjoining, the office of Major B. F. Jones, the superintendent of the company. Mr. Sickels was at the office as usual yesterday morning and appeared in good health.
At noon, he went out to the Midland Hotel for luncheon, as was his custom. He returned to the Water Works building at about 1:30 o'clock, and on going to his office, which is upstairs, complained of nausea. It was suggested to him that he lie down for some minutes and so Mr. Charles Jones and Mastin Simpson assisted him down stairs to the little room adjoining the office of the superintendent. This room contains the only couch in the building. Mr. Sickels nausea increased after he had laid down and Dr. W. F. Kuhn was summoned. He arrived almost immediately, Dr. Kuhn felt his pulse, and knew in an instant from the fluttering of Mr. Sickels heart that the case was a hopeless one.
He tried heroic remedies, however, and administered a hypodermic injection in order to keep up if possible the strength of the dying man. While doing so he asked Mr. Sickels whether he had ever before suffered an attack of the kind. Mr. Sickels replied that he had once before been ill in the same way, and about a minute after saying this breathed his last. His death was entirely painless. The attack from the time he came into his office until he died was not over fifteen or twenty minutes in duration.
The remains were taken to Stine's and Mr. John Sickels, a son at whose house at Quindaro Mr. Sickels had been living for some time past, was summoned.
The funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at the Central Presbyterian church. Mr. Sickels' Pastor will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Dr. S. M. Neel. The remains will then be taken to Paterson, New Jersey, for burial. Mr. Sickels leaves a wife and five children. His wife lives in Paterson.
Mr. Sickels was the inventor of the Corliss engine which was one of the wonders of the Centennial, and the steam shut-off system which revolutionized the steam machinery of the world and is the system in vital use in propelling all ocean steamships.
He was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1819 and was there before 76 years of age. His boyhood was spent in New York City. He was born on a farm and never received more than a common school education. He was for a short time a rod man for the Harlem Road, and then, at the age of 17 years, was apprenticed to the Allaire Machine Works of New York.
While in that capacity he devoted his spare moments to the study of physics, thus laying the foundation of his inventive skill. It was while he was still in the employ of the Allaire Company that he invented the famous steam shut-off. He had noticed in his work that there appeared to be a defect in a stationary engine and set about remedying it. The result was the invention.
It was a very great device, for it reduced the expense of fuel one-half and doubled the power of the steam employed. He secured a patent on his invention May 1829. A certified copy of the original model is now in the patent office. The invention was eagerly taken up by machinists, and Mr. Sickels found himself suffering from numerous infringenments. The most persistent of these infringers was Corliss, the engine builder of Providence, Rhode Island, who had been a fellow apprentice of Mr. Sickels in New York City.
Mr. Corless took advantage of the invention before the patent had been secured, and made use of it in his work. Mr. Sickels had recourse to the courts, and, after years of litigation, obtained protection. His next step was to seek injunctions against the users of the machines, but in this he was unsuccessful. The courts refused the injunctions on grounds of public policy. Had he been successful Mr. Sickels would have been worth millions of dollars.
Mr. Sickels second invention was that known as the differential motion. His purpose was to apply it to the steering of steam vessels. The invention, contrary to the genral rule, was a success at the very first trial. The patent on the differential motion was granted in 1848. His effort to secure exclusive rights over the steering apparatus was as productive of litigation as the effort to secure a patent for the steam shut-off, it was fully twelve years before he was granted protection, and even after that the patent was constantly infringed upon. Wearied of thse adversities, Mr. Sickels turned to civil engineering, He came West and aided in the constructing the Union Pacific Railroad.
He was also one of the engineers who constructed the large bridge in Omaha. He invented a means of anchoring the bases of bridge piers. Between 1840 amd 1842 he secured six patents. Mr. Sickels took a model of his patent to England, but his trip was fruitless on account of the bitter prejudice prevalent there. His steam apparatus was exhibited at the New York Palace of 1853, the London International exposition of 1862 and the Centennial of 1876.
Of late years Mr. Sickels had spent his time in engineering. He took out during that time about twenty additional patents, most of them devices, for ship building. He became the consulting engineer of the National Water Works Company twenty years ago, and seven years ago, he came to this city as the chief engineer.
He, with General Sooy Smith and Mr. Campbell, the engineer of the Croton acqueduct in New York, considered the scheme to tunnel the Missouri River here. This was in 1887, Mr. Sickels declared the idea impractical. Accordingly the Qyindaro station was built, Mr. Sickels was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, and an abolitionist at a time when to be an abolitionist was a cause for prejudice. He knew all the early inventors of this country, and was the last of the group to die. Such were Howe, Erricson, Cooper, Hoe, Morse, Goodyear and McCormick. His death will be a great loss to the water works company. He had a world wide reputation, and his name found in all the libraries.
Kansas City Journal. March 9, 1895, page 3, transcribed by Rhonda Holton
An American inventor who would have been worth millions of dollars if he had been less confiding in those whom he regarded as friends died a poor man in Kansas City, and was buried in the cemetery at Paterson, New Jersey, by his brother David Banks Sickels.
Frederick E. Sickels, age 76, chief engineer of the National Water Works Company and inventor of the Corliss engine. He was born in either Gloucester Couty, New Jersey or New York, New York in 1819. His father, Dr. John Sickles, was Chief Health Officer of New York City and his mother was Hester Ann Elsworth Sickles.
Young Sickels apprenticed at the Allaire Shops. When Frederick was still a young man he noticed the slow-closing valve in the Watts engine and devised his brilliantly simple method of obtaining the quickest closing valve possible.
Frederick is also in a famous painting "Men Of Progress" where all the subjects are inventors.
In 2007, Frederick E. Sickels received The National Inventors Hall of Fame award for inventing the Valve for Steam Engines. Sickels gave us the first practicable form of expansion gear in 1841.
Find A Grave Memorial# 39684214, Created by: Rhonda, Record added: Jul 20, 2009
Parents: John Sickels (1796 - 1875), Hester Ann Elsworth Sickels (1797 - ____)
Spouse: Rancine Augusta Shreeves Sickels (____ - 1895)
Children: Isabelle Bouquette Sickles Condie (1854 - 1929)
Siblings: Theophilus Elsworth Sickels (1821 - 1885), Jackson Elsworth Sickels (1828 - 1911), David Banks Sickels (1837 - 1918)
Birth: 1796 New York; Death: 1875
Dr. John Sickels was born about 1796 at New York, a son of Johannus and Catherine Bouqette Sickels. He married Hester Ann Elsworth about 1816 at New York. To this union they had the following children: William B. Sickels (engineer & chemist), Frederick Elsworth Sickels (inventor), Theophilus Elsworth Sickels (engineer), Hester Ann Sickels, Jackson E Sickels (chief engineer), Eleanor Ellen Sickels, Hannah Sickels, Catherine "Kate" Sickels, David Banks Sickels (civil engineer) and John Fletcher Sickels. Dr. John Sickels, was Chief Health Officer of New York City.
Birth: Dec. 28, 1821, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Feb. 3, 1885, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died at 63 years of age.
Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volumes 10-11, by American Society of Civil Engineers. (November Proceedings)
Theophilus E. Sickels was a son of Dr. John Sickels, an old New York citizen, member of the Cholera Commission of that city during 1828 and 1832, and afterwards Medical Inspector of that city; an ardent politician, an original thinker, and a man of large reading and marked ability. Mr. Sickeks received an academic education and, like his father, was a classical scholar, although particularly excelling in mathematics and physical science.
He entered his profession in 1839, at the age of seventeen, as an assistant in the construction of the Aqueduct, under Mr. John B. Jervis, Hon. M. American Society of Civil Engineering. Subsequently he was engaged upon the Erie Railway; upon the enlargement of the Erie Canal; and upon the Bear Mountain Railway. From 1848 to 1850 he was a resident engineer upon the Boston Water Works. He was also engeged upon the construction of the United States Dry Dock at Brooklyn, and in 1852 was the chief engineer of the Phildelphia and Baltimore Central Railroad; 1857 to 1860, chief engineer and general superintendent of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. Subsequently he was engaged upon the construction of the bridge over the Harlem River at Third Avenue, New York. In 1868 he became the chief engineer and general superintendent of the Union Pacific Railway, resigning that office in 1874, but retaining so greatly the confidence of the management, that he held the position of its consulting engineer at the time of his death.
In 1874, he was designated by the President, General Grant, as his personal choice, as one of the commission of seven engineers to consider and recommend to Congress the proper method for securing an open mouth to the Mississippi River. In the performance of this duty Mr. Sickels visited Europe, and joined in the report upon which the action of Congress was based, esulting in the notable improvement of the South Pass. Mr. Sickels was an earnest advocate of the jetty system.
In 1876, Mr. Sickels was one of the judges of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and in 1878 was the representative of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the Paris Exposition. He was afterwards connected as chief or consulting engineer with various enterprises in different parts of the United States, and at the time of his death was the consulting engineer of the South Pennsylvania Railroad. In an inspection of one of the tunnels in course of construction on that road, he inhaled the fumes from an explosion, from the effects of which he never recovered.
Mr. Sickels built the Omaha bridge of the Union Pacific Railway, one of the earliest constructions with iron tubular piers. He was at the time of his death constructing a bridge over the Arkansas at Little Rock.
Mr. Sickels large experience in the United States was supplemented by frequent visits abroad. His wide and accurate professional knowledge, his cultivated judgement and the great personal purity of his character, made him the adviser and trusted counselor of many of the men who have had to do with the great undertakings in public works in the United States for many years past. Although constantly connected with active and important engineering works, Mr. Sickels; manners were very modest and unpretending and only when he bacmae ardent in the dicussion of professional topics, would one appreciate the range of knowledge and his power of concise and lumious expression in the discussion of professional topics, would one appreciate the range of knowledge and his power of concise and luminous expression. Mr. Sickels home was at Kennett Square, Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he had a delightful residence. He retained, however, his professional office in New York up to is decease. He was a widower and leaves but one daughter.
Mr. Sickels was elected a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, February 21st, 1872.
Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends (1853-1940's) pages 80
Theophillus E. Sickels
We miss from our company this year also, the familiar form and kindly face of Theophillus E. Sickels. Since we last met he has joined the companionship of the sainted dead. One of the most modest of men, no casual acquaintance revealed half his worth. To hear him talk in the freedom of his own home was a revelation. His breadth of information, and the graceful and instructive manner in which he could impart it to other, were always a pleasant surprise and are now a pleasant memory. All unconsciously to himself this unostentatious man became a teacher of whom the wisest could learn something. A good judge of human nature, as becomes the man of affairs, his was the keen insight which grasps quickly and accurately the situation. It seemed natural to him to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. Nor were his virtues in these respects of the intellect simply. His Many unobserved acts of generosity and good-will, his sympathy with advanced thought in nearly all its phases, his deeply humanitarian spirit, were the expressions of a warm heart. It is with an ever increasing sense of personal and public loss, that we think of the earthly end of this life so useful to its fellows. It is with sincere gratitude and satisfaction that we bear our testimony to its quiet but sterling character. If manhood means honest thinking, warm loving and consistent living, then we may indeed stand up before all the world and say "Here was a man."
Theophilus E. Sickels, Chief Engineer and superintendent of Union Pacific Railroad
Once the location and type of bridge had been settled, Dodge plunged into the engineering problems. Four bridges then under construction on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers were using piles as a foundation. After consulting the engineers on these projects. Dodge and Williams concluded that the depth of quicksand at south Omaha ruled out piling. Only one bridge in the country over the Harlem River in New York, had been erected using iron piers sunk by forced air. Dod contacted its engineer, Frederick E. Sickels, and learned enough to convert him to that approach. Several prominent, asked their opinion, assured him that iron piers could not withstand the river's swift current, ice gorges and masses of driftwood. Only one, William Alpine, offered encouragement. McAlpine had been in charge of sinking the Harlem piers and took a keen interest in the Omaha project. He provided Dodge with a steady stream of technical advice.
In May Dodge submitted his plans for an iron-truss structure resting on iron piers at an estimated cost of $1.7 million. Where the money would come from remained a mystery. The pledges from Omaha and Council Bluffs would not be forthcoming for some time, and the company had all it could do to raise money for constructing the road. Nevertheless, in September the board let a contract for the bridge to L. B. Boomer. The committee invited the Iowa roads erminating at Council Bluffs to become partners in the project; all declined and would later regret the decision. By the year's end no solution had been found, but work on the bridge had begun. In October the company hired Theophilus E. Sickels to supervise the work. As an assistant under his brother on the Harlem bridge, Sickels was familiar with the technique of using iron piers. Boomer put his work in the charge of Gen. William Sooy Smith, a splendid engineer and former conrade of Dodge.
Boomer and Smith came to Omaha in November and had their machinery in place by early January 1869. On March 12, despite temperatures below zero, the first column was hoisted into place and driven down all of two feet. Ten days later it reached forty-three feet below surface. Although Sickels was optimistic, he made little headway. Defective castings broke on column two nearly thirty-five feet below water was were difficult to remove. Boomer had trouble getting money for the project. He could not get the company to pay for bridges he had already put up, let alone advance funds for the Omaha span. No one had figured out a way to finance the bridge. The Iowa roads kept aloof, Jesse Williams thought, because "they profess to be afraid of a Job inside. They say the UP have commenced it without an arrangement and that they are bound to build it any how."
In April Duff replaced McComb as head of the bridge committee, but nothing changed. The company got caught up first in the race to Promontory and then in the financial horrors of its aftermath. Boomers pleas for funds fell on ears deafened by the cries of contractors for money. While he joined the line of waiting creditors, the work slowed to a trickle, then stopped altogether in July. For months the bridge lay dormant, one more casualty of the crisis in management that threatened the company's very survival.
In Many respects the years 1869-73 were themselves a bridge between two eras. The road had been constructed but sill lacked an identity. No one yet possessed a clear vision of its destiny. Immersed in the struggle to to stay afloat and distracted by their own squbbling, most directors were slow to formulate policy or even devise an administrative structure. Suspicion and distrust marred every level of decision making. The vacuum of leadership grew even worse with out the Doctor, who had at least provided motion if not direction. During these years different presidents, each one more promising than the last, failed to give the company a sense of direction. By 1873 the Union Pacific found itself drifting aimlessly in a depressed economy, a piece of corporate flotsam caught in a whirlpoop of scandal that threatened to tear it apart, In the desperate search for an identity it came away stripped of respectability as well.
Amid this turmoil men long associated with the company were forced out or simply left. A disgusted Jesse Williams quit as government director in November 1869. Snyder and Hoxie were long gone, and Evans soon joined Reed in seeking fresh prospects. Of the engineers only House and Morris lingered and both quit when Dodge resigned as chief engineer. Apart from being ill, Dodge took an intense dislike to Hammond and his methods. One of Hammond's first acts as superintendent was to assist that the engineering department he placed under his control. As Duff's man he took a harsh view of the old hands, an attitude that outraged Dodge. In Dodge's opinion the company was losing the wrong men for the wrong reasons. To Oliver he said only that "no doubt Mr. Hammond prefers his own men;" privately he complained to Dillon about those who "take pleasure in building up the rascalities and corruptions of Durant, rather than say a word commendatory of those who brought the company to a full knowledge of their condition"
In January 1870 Dodge turned the office of chief engineer to T. E. Sickels, who had been on hand less than two months, Although he remained on board, Dodge left with harsh feelings unsolved by testimonials by Oliver and the directors.
Sickels promised to complete the work in a year if the company would "go on without fear of curtailment." But how to get the money? Bartlett offered the opinion that the company could under its charter build the bridge, issue bonds and levy tolls to pay for it.
-Union Pacific, pages 260- 263, 1862-1893, by Maury Klein
Spouse: Lydian Ann Taylor Sickels (1831 - 1876)
Children: Mary Elsworth Sickels (1855 - 1876), Rosalie Sickels Pusey (1858 - 1932), Howard Taylor Sickels (1866 - 1866)
Siblings: Frederick Elsworth Sickels (1819 - 1895), Theophilus Elsworth Sickels (1821 - 1885), Jackson Elsworth Sickels (1828 - 1911), David Banks Sickels (1837 - 1918)
Burial: Longwood Cemetery, Kennett Square, Chester, Pennsylvania
Maintained by: Rhonda; Originally Created by: Kimberly
Record added: Apr 23, 2011; Find A Grave Memorial# 68805017