Born: September 15, 1857, in Burlington, Vermont

Died: February 1, 1930

Married: Gertrude L. Pope (1859-1893), c. 1880; Lillian Coffin March 31, 1900

Children: With Gertrude Pope: Bertha Wicker (Mrs. David) Palmer 1886-1943; Bess Wicker (Mrs. Andrew) Callanan 1891-1948

Dr. Charles F. Wicker came to Saranac Lake in 1880; he was one of the original village trustees of Saranac Lake in 1892. 1 He also served as coroner for Franklin County.


1881-1928: Then & Now, a manuscript by Dr. Charles Wicker

As I look back forty seven years – to the time I began practice here – I note some changes – and as my mind wanders back, I am going to try and recall some of my experiences.

My first glimpse of Saranac Lake was between Xmas & New Years 1880, when at the suggestion of Dr. H. A. Tallmadge of Keeseville – a noted surgeon of his time – He told me if he was a young man he would locate at Saranac Lake. I decided to look the field over. – so Mr. F. W. Pope my wife’s uncle got a team and started. The snow was very deep and drifted and we made only Franklin Falls the first night. We were up early next morning and got as far as Bloomingdale, where we stopped at the Hardware Store of Mr. R. H. McIntyre, who Mr. Pope knew. After a long visit in which Mr. McIntyre advised me to locate there as at that time Bloomingdale was a “big town”, but to me it looked “lonesome” and I said to Mr. McIntyre and Pope let’s look Saranac Lake [over], so we came in, went to the “Blood Hotel,” had dinner and a good one, then went to call on Dr. E. L. Trudeau who boarded at “Lute Evans.”

I found him very pleasant and kind. After telling him my plans, he was kind enough to tell me that it would be an experiment, but that if I decided to come he would do all he could to keep me. – While we [talking?] some one came for him to go & see a patient. He turned to me and said Doctor here is your chance – go & make this call for me. He gave me his medicine case – I went and saw the patient a child of Mac Smiths.

On my return from the call, he said he had been thinking the matter over and as there was a larger surrounding [country?] Harrietstown, Paul Smiths and North Elba, he rather thought it would be a fair opening for me.

I had decided to come and so told him. We then left, drove to Franklin Falls & stayed again over night, reached Keeseville next day & began to make arrangements.

I had no money, but my father in law Mr. Pope staked me to a horse and cutter. Mr. F. W. Pope lent me some money with which I bought at Ausable Forks what furniture we needed, also groceries, hired a team at the Forks to bring the goods. We landed here on December 31st 1880 and moved into the house of [Louisa?] Morgan where we had 4 rooms. My office upstairs in the hall. After I had arrived here, had paid for all our expenses I had less than $30. left to begin life in.

I began practice then on Jan. 1st 1881 – But it was not a “nerve-wracking” practice. I did not need an assistant. About Jan. 15th as I had to register at the County Clerk’s office at Malone, I started one morning with a lunch in my cutter & oats for my horse, drove as far as Merrillsville where Mr. Littlejohn kept a Hotel. I stopped and asked if I could drive my horse in the barn floor, feed him & eat my own lunch. He was very kind, said yes, but that I must come in and eat a warm dinner as his guest. I did so, told him who I was and where I was going. He told me how to go and where to stop, at the Franklin House. The horse and I were both very tired when we reached Malone, had our supper and went to bed.

Next morning I registered, $1. fee, paid my Hotel bill $1.50 bought a lunch and started for home. The trip cost me less than $5.


Plattsburgh Sentinel, September 26, 1902

A burglar entered the house of Dr. C. F. Wicker, one night recently was startled, however, by some one coming in late and fled leaving his plunder.

Footnotes

1. Adirondack Daily Enterprise Weekender, November 6, 1993, p. 2