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In August 2008 Jim Hicks from Portland, Oregon, in the United States, contacted Cradley Links, asking if we would like some old postcard images of Cradley. Jim, full name James Hingley Hicks, has inherited the postcards from his great-grandfather, Joseph Hingley, who visited Cradley, his birthplace, in 1911.


Many of these postcard images are part of the "Hickman Series", believed to have been commissioned by Sam Hickman, proprietor of the newsagents shop in Colley Gate.


Joseph took back with him many photographs of Cradley and these and other family photos found their way into a "Family Chest" now in the safe-keeping of his great grandson.



Jim Hicks has kindly emptied his "family chest" of photos for Cradley Links. The photograph (left) is of Joseph Hingley and his wife Mary, Jim's great grandparents. The photograph was taken in Progress, Oregon, the town given its name by Joseph (its first postmaster), in September, 1898.


Joseph kept a diary during his travels in 1911 that gives many insights into Cradley as it was then and the changes that he saw, in people and places, compared with when he left for America in 1873. Joseph's great grandson Jim Hicks has transcribed this diary and illustrated it. Cradley Links has more about the diary, on a page devoted to its contents.


Jim has supplemented the Cradley pictures with a number of portait photographs of his Hingley family members and these are all reproduced below. This Hingley family line is known to us back to James and Mary, whose children were Noah (b. 1806), Samuel (b. 1808), James (b. 1810), Benjamin (b. 1813) and William (b. 1816). Our Jim is descended from the second son Samuel and Eliza Walker, through their son Joseph (1850-1925), the youngest but one of 10 children, who travelled back to Cradley in 1911, and his son Howard.


Joseph died 25 May, 1925, Portland, Oregon, USA. He married Mary Edwards Asbury, born 30 Mar 1846, in 1871. She was born in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex (near Hastings), and died 17 Sept 1900, in Portland, Oregon. Joseph and Mary had six children in Oregon, the youngest of whom was Howard, Jim's grandfather.


Jim tells us there is a story to the arrival of three Hingley brothers to the new world in the 1870s and he will share it with us in due course. The aforementioned Joseph, an older brother Noah and his younger brother Simeon arrived in New York on the same boat on 18 July, 1873. Noah and Joseph made their way to Oregon, but Simeon reached Sacramento, California and went on to Australia.


Jim is still writing his family history (aren't we all?) but in the meantime, he has sent us copies of the photos and here they are, "back in Cradley" after a century across "the pond".

Postcards of cradley 1911
Hingley Postcards of Cradley 1911

Joseph Hingley and his Wife Mary. The great grandparents of Jim Hicks. Taken in Progress, Oregon, the town given its name by Joseph in 1898

The Hingley Family Chest