Kirk E. Wicks

Kirk E. Wicks. Impelled by the indomitable spirit which has characterized the pioneers of American history, two brothers of the Wicks family, prominent and respected members of the Society of Friends in western New York left their native state, where they had been educated in the schools and colleges, and came to Michigan in the early fifties. They settled near Kalamazoo and engaged in the general merchandising business, but in a short time the younger of the two purchased a farm in Allegan county where he settled with his family to become pioneer residents of that section. It was on this farm in 1869 that Kirk E. Wicks was born, the boy who was destined to become one of the most prominent attorneys-at-law in Grand Rapids and master in chancery, Western District of Michigan, United States district court. The boy lived the normal, healthy life of the farmer boy of his day, attending the public schools of his district and later the high school. By the time he had reached the age of seventeen years he had absorbed all that the schools of his section could teach him and he then became a teacher. During this time he formed the desire to study law, and as soon as practicable he entered the law school of the. University of Michigan, from which he was graduated with the class of 1892, being admitted to practice at the bar in the same year. In 1893 he came to Grand Rapids to enter the law firm of Blair, Kingsley and Kleinhans as a clerk. Soon after, Blair dropped out of the partnership, and in 1900 when Kleinhans left the firm to form a partnership with Loyal E. Knappen, the firm of Kingsley and Wicks was established, an arrangement which continued with success until the death of Mr. Kingsley in 1913. Mr. Wicks was appointed referee in bankruptcy in 1901 by United States District Judge Wanty and continued to hold that position until his resignation in 1917. The law firm of Wicks, Fuller and Starr was formed in 1916, but the following year, when Mr. Wicks became trust officer of the Michigan Trust Company, he severed his connection with the firm only to re-enter the partnership in 1919 after his resignation from the Michigan Trust Company. In 1922 Mr. Wick was appointed master in chancery, Western District of Michigan, United States District Court, a position which he still retains. Mr. Wicks, through the many years in which he has practiced law in Grand Rapids, has won an enviable reputation as a counsellor. The thoroughness with which he handles matters submitted to his care, and his forcefulness as an advocate have gained for him the name of being one of the most successful of the Grand Rapids attorneys, and he has won the respect and admiration of those with whom he has come in contact, both in a professional and social way. Mr. Wicks first married Lillian Born, the daughter of E.B. Born, of Allegan, Michigan, and to them was born one son, Kirk E., Jr., who is now a resident of Chicago. Mrs. Wicks died in January, 1918, and in 1921 he married Margaret Weisgerber, a member of a prominent family of Ionia. Mr. Wicks is a member of both the American and State bar associations, and is also active in civic affairs. He is president of the Grand Rapids Bar association, president of the Family Service Association, a member of the Kent Country Club, the Masonic Country Club, and the University Club. In fraternal circles he is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Shrine, and is actively interest in the affairs of the Westminster Presbyterian church with which he is affiliated.

Transcriber: Nancy Lesser
Created: 4 March 2003