Col. George Dennick Wick

George Dennick Wick

Colonel George Dennick Wick was born in Youngstown, Ohio on 24 June 1854.

He was the son of Paul Wick (1824-1890), a banker, and Susan Abigail Bull (1826-1882). His father was a native Ohioan whilst his mother was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and they had married in September 1845. He had five known siblings: Myron Converse (1848-1910), Alice (b. 1850, later Powers), Harriet (1862-1949, later Ford), Frederick Henry (1865-1921), Mary (1870-1949, later Pollock).

He appears on both the 1860 and 1870 census records living with his family in Youngstown. He was educated in various public schools in Youngstown after which he went to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and graduated in 1876. His first business venture was in Chicago with Wick, Bonnell & Co rolling mills and he worked with John Meek Bonnell, an in-law and the father of Caroline Bonnell. He later moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he became engaged in the sale of iron commodities.

He was married to a prominent Cleveland socialite Mary Caroline Chamberlain (b. 19 February 1861) in her home city on 1 October 1879. He and his wife appeared on the 1880 census living in Cleveland, Ohio and he was described as an iron merchant. Successful and influential in his industry, he was credited with the organisation of iron and steel companies and for the creation of several mills. In 1882 he had returned to Youngstown and became associated with, among others, the Trumbull Iron Company of which he became president. By 1897 he was president of the Mahoning Valley Iron Company. Following a stretch of ill health George retired temporarily in 1902 but later resumed his work in the iron business. He acquired the title of Colonel in 1896 when he was appointed as aide de camp to Governor Asa Bushnell. This also made him a staff officer of the state national guard.

George and his wife Mary had only one child, Mary Natalie (b. 1880). His wife died on 2 March 1893. He was remarried on 10 June 1896 to Mary Peebles Hitchcock, also of Youngstown, and they had a son, George Dennick Jr, on 19 March 1897.

George's health had been frail for several years and it was decided that a vacation to Europe might benefit his wellbeing and prevent him having to retire. Along with his wife and daughter, a cousin's daughter Caroline Bonnell would accompany them and they departed Youngstown in February 1912, leaving behind their son who was at school in Wallingford, Connecticut. They spent time in Naples, Venice, Paris and lastly London. In France they met Washington Roebling and Stephen Weart Blackwell who would also be aboard the Titanic on the voyage home. The family boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (joint ticket number 36928 which cost £164, 17s, 4d). Also joining them at Southampton was an English in-law, Elizabeth Bonnell.

Mr and Mrs Wick were in their cabin at the time of the collision. Natalie Wick and Caroline Bonnell came to the cabin to tell them that a crew member had advised them to put their life jackets on. Mr Wick did not believe that anything could be wrong; "Why, that's nonsense, girls," he said, "This boat is all right. She's going along finely. She just got a glancing blow, I guess." The young women left and soon the Wicks were told to go to A deck. They went up and the two young women found them. After Caroline Bonnell brought her aunt Elizabeth Bonnell up, the group went up to the Boat Deck.

The Wick and Bonnell ladies got into lifeboat 8. George Wick was last seen waving at them from the railing. He died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

A memorial service was held in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio on 24 April 1912. A family member travelled to Halifax, hoping to identify his body but it was never recovered. Up to the time of his death he had been a director of the Dollar Savings & Trust Co, the First National Bank,  The Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company, the Federal Building Company, and the Paul Wick Estate. Socially he was a member of the Youngstown Club and the Youngstown Country Club. Fraternally he was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity of Williams college.

Stones for George D. Wick and his wife Mary are located in Lot 748, Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown, Ohio. There is also a stone for his first wife, Mary Chamberlain Wick.

His son George was later married to Ruth Kuhn (1899-1974), a Tennessee native, and had three children: Marie Antoinette (b. 1919), George Dennick (b. 1922) and David Kuhn (b. 1927). He lived in various places, including Ohio and Connecticut and he eventually died in Columbus, North Carolina on 13 March 1975.

Wick Grave Grave
(Courtesy: Phillip Gowan USA)


Articles and Stories

Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) 
Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) 
Washington Times (1912) 
Christian Science Monitor (1912) 
Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) 
Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) 
Daily Northwestern (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 

Comment and discuss

Wick Family (7 posts)
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Gavin Bell, UK
Homer Thiel, USA
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA

References and Sources

Christian Science Monitor (Massachusetts), 19 April 1912.
Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), 17, 18, 19, 20, 25 April 1912
Biographical History of North-eastern Ohio (1893) Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) George Dennick Wick Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #312, updated 13th January 2020 15:06:29 PM)