Lora A. Prickett
The business enterprise of Gas City has no stronger nor better managed institution than the CUSTER LUMBER COMPANY, of which LORA A. PRICKETT is the active head. He is one of the progressive younger business men of that community.
Mr. Pricket, who represents one of the old families of Grant county, was born in Pleasant township, near Japala, September 5, 1874. His boyhood was spent in his father's homestead, and his education was supplied by the public schools and the Marion Business College of Marion. In 1896 he was taken in as a clerk and general all-around man with THE HUMPHREYS LUMBER COMPANY of Marion. He readily adapted himself to the business, and in 1900 was sent to Gas City to manage branch the branch office of the company. The business has a long record, having been established in Marion thirty-five years ago by D. Humphreys and Company. The original firm was at 14th and Washington streets, Marion, Indiana, and at the junction of Main Street and the Pennsylvania Railway trucks, Gas City, a site peculiarly appropriate for shipping facilities and the general convenience of the trade.
In 1900 Mr. Prickett joined Joseph L. Custer, a member of the Humphrey's Lumber Company, and together they took over the Gas City end of the business as a separate concern, and carried on a partnership arrangement under the name of the CUSTER LUMBER COMPANY. In 1905 the company was incorporated with a capital stock of twelve thousand dollars and with the following officers: JOSEPH L. CUSTER, president; R.J. CUSTER, vice president; and L.A. PRICKETT, secretary-treasurer and manager. In 1907 JOSEPH L. CUSTER died and the subsequent changed in the personnel of the company brought about its following officers and directors: MRS. L.A. PRICKETT, president; T.A. PRICKETT, vice president; and LORA A. PRICKETT, secretary-treasurer and general manager. The company is a close corporation, owned and managed by the Prickett family, and Mr. Prickett is the largest holder of stock and practically proprietor and active head of the flourishing concern. They do a big manufacture an extensive line of interior finishings. From four to five skilled workmen are constantly employed in the milling department, beside those who look out for the office details and the general work of the lumber yard. The advertising motto of this concern is: "Good wood goods," and it has been the ambition of the proprietors and it can be said of them that they have succeeded in fulfilling to the very letter the standard kept up in this motto. Although their business is of a local character, they send out frequently carload lots to outside points.
Concerning the Prickett family the genealogical record places it in Grant county at the very early times, and they were certainly here before the Indians had left the country. Mr. Prickett is the grandson of WILLIAM PRICKETT, whose residence when first known was in the state of Ohio. He was married in Pennsylvania to CATHERINE RICE. While WILLIAM PRICKETT and wife were living in Ohio on a farm, their son, who became later the REV. THOMAS PRICKETT and the father of the Gas City business man, was born November 1st, 1826. A few years later, when Thomas was still a child, the Pricketts left Ohio, and settled in Grant county, in the wilderness of Pleasant township. WILLIAM PRICKETT was one of the hardy pioneers, and was assisted in the strenuous efforts to make a home by his loyal wife and his youthful son, Thomas. They cleared up the land, and in time had improved a good farm near Jalapa. There WILLIAM PRICKETT and his wife died when old people, among the leading members of the First Methodist religious organization in Pleasant township.
REV. THOMAS PRICKETT was reared on a farm, followed farming as his regular vocation and the means of support for his family, and with that combined his work as a local preacher in the Methodist church. He was a useful citizen in every walk, is still well remembered in his section of the county. Late in life he returned to Sweetser, where his death occurred in 1897. He was for many years a Democrat, but sometime before his death became a staunch Prohibitionist, and was a man who voted his principles. He was twice married, and his first wife was MISS SUSANAH ALEXANDER. She died in the prime of life leaving three children. She was one of the active workers in the Methodist church and assisted her husband in religious affairs. REV. THOMAS PRICKETT married for his second wife MISS NANCY WHITE. Mrs. Prickett, who is now seventy-nine years of age, still in possession of all her faculties and a highly respected woman, lives on west Third Street in Marion, and all her active career has been as a worker and prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. She is a native of Randolph county, Indiana, having been born at an early time in that county's history. She came to womanhood in Grant county, and has lived here long enough to have witnessed nearly all the improvements which have been made by white men. She became the mother of five sons and five daughters, and LORA A. PRICKETT was next to the youngest in her family.
MR. L.A. PRICKETT was married in Grant county to MISS ANNA SHARON who was born in Franklin township in the suburbs of Marion, in 1877. With a public school education, she entered upon life's duties well prepared and has proved not only a good home maker, but a good business woman. Her parents were JAMES and NANCY (LYTLE) Sharon. Her parents were natives of grant county, and spent most of their time in Franklin township, though some years ago they took up their residence in Sweetser, where Mr. Sharon died in 1902. Mrs. Sharon makes her home in the village, and is now seventy-nine years of age. Both were old time Methodists, and honest upright people, a certain definite moral influence in their community, where they were always esteemed for their sterling worth. Mr. Prickett and wife are the parents of three children: MARTHA HELEN GWENDOLINE, aged eleven years and now attending the public schools of Gas City; RICHARD CARLTON, aged five years; and MARY ADELAIDE, eighteen months old at this writing. Mr. Prickett has just completed a fine new bungalow home in the best residential section of East Main Street, and there he and his family are prepared to enjoy the best comforts of domestic existence. They are active members of the First Methodist Church, Mr. Prickett being an official in the society, and he is well known in fraternal affairs, having passed the different chairs of the Masonic Lodge, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, having represented the last two in the Grand Lodge and is also affiliated with the Improved Order of Red Men. In politics he is a Democrat.
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