Captain William Augustus Prickitt
born 20 Mar. 1839 died 6 Jan. 1929
There are many towns that have historical societies and even historic houses available for tours and visitation, but the thing that makes us unique is the historical significance of not only our buildings and millers, but also the historical contributions of the Prickitt family. William A. Prickitt was born near Colts Neck, and attended the district school there, followed by furthering his education totally through his own efforts. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in 1862 as a private in 14th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. He quickly moved through the ranks to Captain. Where he was attached to Company G, 25th Regiment United States Colored Troops, and credited his men with saving him during a life-threatening illness. He respected them so much that he carried a 2-inch, leather pocket photo album with photos of 17 men, identified by name. (more information: Civil War Soldiers: Discovering the Men of the 25th United States Colored Troops, by Shayne Davidson).
Capt. Prickitt was mustered out December 1865, when he came home and engaged in the banking and insurance business in Trenton, NJ. Then, he went to New York and became a member of the Stock Exchange. In 1873 Capt. Prickitt acquired 3 tracts of land in a Sheriff’s Sale, 41 acres on the South side of the Manasquan River, 14.75 acres containing a gristmill and dwelling house, and 69 acres North and East of the other 2 tracts, formerly owned by Isaac Nesbit. In 1876, Capt. Prickitt retired to the farm with his family, and lived on the West side of the road. and J. Marshall lived next to the mill (the now MacKenzie House).
When Capt. Prickitt retired to Lower Squankum, Howell, his dairy on Gilman Farm had a reputation of long-standing for the quality of its milk and for the extreme cleanliness which characterized its service to customers. In 1887, Capt. Prickitt invested in the facilities for canning. The care which was used in every branch of the business paid well, for Gilman Farm canned goods were quoted high in the wholesome catalogues. In November 1897, he received an appointment as United States Consul to Rheims, France where he represented the U.S. for many years. Then, he was promoted and transferred to Auckland, New Zealand, where he was located as Consul General. The two assignments lasted 20 years. During that time, Gilman Farm was operated by Prickitt’s daughter and son-in-law, Jennie and Franklin Patterson, and maintained the same quality and reputation as was set by Capt. Prickitt.
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Obituary: The Monmouth Democrat, 10 January 1929
Captain William A Prickitt of Farmingdale, passed away Sunday morning Jan 6, 9am, at the home of his daughter Mrs. Corwin Knapp Linson, of 27 Hooper avenue, Atlantic Highlands. He was born in Monmouth County in 1839, and would have completed his 90th year had he lived until March 20th. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having served as private, corporal and sergeant in the 14th Regt. New Jersey Vols, and later as captain of the 25th U. S. Colored Infantry. He was a member of the Loyal Legion and Grand Army of the Republic, and had been since 1916, president of the Reunion Association of the 14th Regiment of New Jersey. From 1897 to 1905, he was American Consul at Rheims, France, and was then promoted to the rank of Consul General and transferred to Auckland, New Zealand, from which office he resigned in 1914 The remaining years of his life he spent quietly at his home on the Lakewood Road where, since his wife's death in 1918, his daughter, Miss Louise Prickitt, has resided with him. He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Franklin Patterson, and Mrs. Corwin K. Linson, both of Atlantic Highlands, and Miss Louise Prickitt of Farmingdale, and also by five grandchildren and one greatgrandchild.
Capt. & Mrs. Prickitt are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Farmingdale, NJ
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Obituary: The Monmouth Democrat, 21 February 1918
Mrs. Elizabeth Prickitt, wife of former United States Consul Wm. A. Prickitt, died after a brief illness, last Thursday, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Corwin Knapp Linson in New York City. Captain and Mrs. Prickitt, and their daughter, Miss Louise Prickitt left their home at Lower Squankum recently and went to the home of their daughter intending to remain until spring. Mrs. Prickitt was 79 years of age, and with Captain Prickitt and their daughter returned to their farm several years ago to reside permanently after a residence abroad for a period of nearly twenty years. Captain Prickitt was in the U. S. Consulate service during his absence and represented the United States at Rheims, France, for many years. He was then promoted and transferred to Auckland. New Zealand, where he was located as Consul General a long time. Mrs. Prickitt traveled extensively, and, accompanied by her daughter, made a tour of the Holy Land from France. She was an exceptionally interesting conversationalist, cultured and well informed. She was a member of the Farmingdale Fortnightly Club and greatly interested in its activities. Funeral services were held at her late residence in Lower Squankum last Monday afternoon. Besides her husband, Miss Prickitt, who resides at home, and Mrs. Linson of New York, Mrs. Prickitt is survived by another daughter, Mrs. Franklin Patterson of Atlantic Highlands.