Charles Wynter Hicks

Cochise County Treasurer 1909 – 1914

Charles Wynter Hicks was born in Canandaigue, New York, July 9, 1859, the son of Jennie Clark and attorney and state Senator Edwin Hicks. Charles came to Bisbee in 1895 from Los Angeles and worked for the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad for eight years. Mr. Hicks served three terms as city clerk of Bisbee, Bisbee postmaster for 10 years and Tombstone City Clerk.

Mr. Hicks served as Cochise County Treasurer six years but did not violate the term-limit law due to law changes surrounding Arizona statehood. After a loss in the 1906 election to J. N. Gaines, Charles won the election in 1908 for the 1909-1910 term. The Enabling Act was signed June 20, 1910, by Congress with the provision that officials elected in 1908 would remain in office until the President signed the statehood proclamation; therefore no election was held in 1910 and Treasurer Hicks’ first term was extended until  February 14, 1912, when President William Howard Taft signed the proclamation of admissions.

All state and county officials were elected in December 1911 along with vote for statehood. Hicks was reelected for a second term with 1529 votes to Frank Ramsey’s 1424. Many, including Governor-elect  Hunt, thought the term was for only one year; however the constitution provided that the second state election – the first after Arizona’s formal entrance into the Union “shall be held in the first even-number year after the President’s proclamation is issued” so those elected held office three years – 1912-1913-1914. This was also passed in the first Arizona civil law book of 1913. Charles W. Hicks served two three-year terms.

Charles and his wife Mary Anna “Mattie” Baskwell had three children: daughter Josephine Grace Hicks (Mrs. James T. Kingsbury) and two sons Edwin Charles Hicks and William James Hicks. Treasurer Hicks passed away December 24, 1947, in Bisbee and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery. At the time of his death, he was listed as having six grandchildren and seven great- grandchildren.

Photo courtesy Tombstone Courthouse