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Alfred Sikes  1790 - 1869


    Alfred Sikes was born 9 Feb 1790 in Suffield, CT and was the son of Victory Sikes and Lucy Burbank.  Alfred Sikes was born and lived on a farm on the State Line, bounded by the Connecticut River on the East and the Highway on the West.  His father Victory had initially passed on this farm to Alfred's older brother Alexander, but when both Alexander and his wife died at a young age, Alfred became the next owner of the farm.  He was married to Abigail Stebbins, the daughter of John Stebbins and Sarah Ball, on 15 Jul 1816 in Suffield, CT by Rev. Ebenezer Gay.  They had nine children. 

     Part of Alfred's farm extended over the State Line into Agawam, Massachusetts.  His dwelling house stood a few rods south of the State Line.  His farm was known as Indian Spring farm, as many Indian relics were found upon it.  Alfred was regarded as a substantial citizen of the town and was a man of decided opinion.  It was related of him, that when a survey for the NY, NH and Hartford RR was taken running through his farm, he was bitterly opposed to it, as were some others in the town.  His reason was that if a RR was built through his farm, it would injure the sale of his horses, as he was interested in the raising of horses.  The RR was built on the east side of the river, and not through his west side farm.  [Interesting that today, the highway follows the railroad as it runs up on the west side of the Connecticut river, from Hartford, crosses over before reaching Suffield and then follows the east side of the river up to Springfield.  How very different Suffield would have been, had the freeway cut through town along the west side of the river.]  Alfred lived to see the market price for horses much increased.

     He served as a volunteer for a time in the War of 1812 - 1815. He received the title of Captain of the Suffield Infantry.  He was at New London to protect the city against the invasion by the British.  Capt. Alfred Sikes had a nickname, "Captain Ramrod".  He had a dream that his company were in a sham battle and some one failed to draw out the ram rod, so he was shot with it.  He stayed away from training that time and this was the reason he did so.

     In his last days, his son Chester ran the farm.  One day, after Chester had given the cows some grain, Alfred went along and scooped up some and put it back in the bin.  Hans Boyce, brother in law to Chester, saw him and grabbed a handful and threw it over the Captain and said, "You old walking corpse, you would have died long ago, if you hadn't been afraid of the funeral expenses."

    Capt. Alfred Sikes died 10 Nov 1869 in Suffield of congestion of the lungs.  He is buried in the Old Center Cemetery behind the Congregational Church in Suffield, next to his wife Abigail.  She died 12 Apr 1865 "of paralysis".   Today the Indian Spring Farm buildings no longer exist.  Major electrical power lines run across the property. 

Sources of information:  1) Sykes family history compiled by Clara Ruth Sykes and acquired by William G. Sykes; 2) Richard Sikes and His Descendants by Arthur M. Sikes, Jr. 

Laraine Clark.  [3rd great grand daughter of Alfred and Abigail (Stebbins) Sikes]     clarkRN@msn.com     




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