Monday, January 23, 2012

NACE HICKS, SR.



Nace Hicks, Sr.

Nace Hicks was born in Bayou Maringouin, Louisiana to James Henry Hicks and Rachel Scott Hicks on March 1, 1875.  Not much is known about his early childhood and I don't have many memories of my maternal grandfather because I was only eight years old when he died.

Nace was named after his great grandfather, Nace Butler, who was a slave on a Jesuit plantation in Maryland.  It is not known if he knew or remembered his great grandparents because he was about two or three years when they passed.

Nace was a carpenter by trade and prior to that he worked as a laborer in sawmills. On June 3, 1920 he married Willie Estes of Mississippi. Willie's parents, Augustus and Lula Jones Estes,  moved to Fullerton, Louisiana where Gus was employed in a sawmill. Fullerton is where Nace met Willie and it is where their first daughter, Augusta, was born.  

The Hicks family was enumerated in New Orleans on the 1930 census.  At this time the family consisted of four children: Augusta, Wilma, Marion and Gladys. Four more children were born between 1930 and 1938: Nace, Jr., Robertine, Onita, and Elois.

Big Daddy, as he was known to the Bayonne siblings, was a devout Catholic. No household chores  not even ironing clothes to attend church was allowed. He donated his time and skill in building and repairing St. Monica Catholic Church and School. Nace built an altar with a place to kneel and pray in the corner of each classroom.

Nace Hicks died on February 21, 1950 of prostate cancer. It was Mardi Gras Day.