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Monday, March 4, 2024

William Wallace Wickel (Another ‘www’ connection)

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William Wallace Wickel was born January 22, 1844, in Ephrata, Lancaster County, PA, the youngest child of Johann Henry Wickel and Rebecca Schmincke.

He attended the local schools and then the business college at Cornell University in Itasca, NY.

William married Sarah Ann Weitzel on January 27, 1871, in Reamstown, PA, and they were the parents of a daughter, Susanna Rebecca, who married Louis William Oswald.

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Prior to his marriage, William taught school for a while and then became a storekeeper in Reamstown, PA.

The Wickels came to Naperville in about 1873 and William was first employed by Martin Brown as a clerk in his grocery store on the Northeast corner of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue. William purchased the drug store next to the Brown grocery store that was operated by Dr. Morse and Dr. Daniels in 1881, and for several years he was in partnership with Dr. John A. Bell.

On February 3, 1886, he received his diploma from the Chicago College of Pharmacy. He operated the pharmacy business for more than 30 years and sold it to his son-in-law, Louis William Oswald, when he retired in 1915.

This business became Oswald’s Pharmacy. Today that location is the home of the Ramsay’s Kitchen restaurant.

Oswald’s Pharmacy is still in business, owned by Williams’s descendants, and is now located in the Naper Plaza shopping center.

William and his family united with Reformed Church of Lancaster County, PA, the College Chapel congregation upon arriving in Naperville and then became charter members of the Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church when it was founded on April 20, 1890. He served as Sunday School Superintendent and as class leader and Sunday School teacher.

For several years it was his duty to set off the fireworks for Independence Day during the annual Fourth of July celebration.

William Wallace Wickel became a member of Euclid Lodge No. 65, A.F. & A.M. on January 19, 1875. He died October 31, 1927, in Naperville, DuPage County, IL and was buried in the Naperville Cemetery.

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Tim Ory
Tim Ory
Tim Ory is a fifth-generation Naperville native, descended from Francois Sebastien Ory, who immigrated to America from Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1844. Signing off as "Tim Ory, Historian, Euclid Lodge No. 65 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons," Tim adds that he continues to research the History of the Masonic Lodge and Naperville every day. Contact him at tjory@sbcglobal.net.

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