Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois
Eighth Edition, Revised and Extended
Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1897
WILLIAM HARDING SPIKINGS, a well-known contractor and public-spirited citizen of northwest Chicago, was born May 3, 1848, within a few rods of his present residence. He is the oldest son of Richard Y. and Cornelia A. (Harding) Spikings, of whom extended notice will be found elsewhere in this volume.
William H. Spikings spent his early years on the old homestead, which was near the North Branch of the Chicago River. He attended the common schools of the district, then a part of the town of Jefferson, and later he completed his education at the Newberry, Franklin, Ogden and Mosely schools of this city, graduating from the latter in 1866. On leaving school, he chose the trade of wire-working, in which he became quite proficient, but in order to take up work more in keeping with his vigorous nature, he became a member of the Northwestern Bill-Posting Company. This enterprise was quite successful, though at that time this method of advertising was still a novelty. In 1867 Mr. Spikings opened a brick yard on the old farm, where he manufactured brick about seven years. Much of the product of this yard is still in use, being seen in many of the finest houses of Irving Park and vicinity.
Having acquired a considerable knowledge of building, he began taking contracts for the erection and moving of houses and other structures. In this line of work he has since continued with marked success, making a specialty of raising and moving various kinds of buildings. As an evidence of his versatility, it may be mentioned that he manufactured bricks for the fine residence he now occupies, and that he built the same throughout, having the assistance of only one man. On his own estate he has built several houses, which are good evidences of his skill as a mechanic.
January 1, 1874, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Spikings and Miss Minnie Steele, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden, at which place her parents are buried. This union was blessed with five children, as follows: Alice Cornelia, Florence Matilda, William Robinson, Frank and Richard Young. The three eldest children are graduates of the Jefferson High School. The second is the wife of Dr. F. I. Brown, of Irving Park, and the third is in the collecting department of the mercantile establishment of Marshall Field & Company. The family is connected with the Reformed Church of Irving Park. Mr. Spikings contributed a lot for the benefit of the branch of the church in his vicinity.
Fraternally he is a member of Jefferson Lodge, No. 103, Independent Order of Mutual Aid, and Court Irving, No. 45, Independent Order of Foresters. Since attaining his majority, he has been an adherent of the Republican party, and has been judge of election in his ward for manjyears. He is a warm supporter of the free educational system, and for about thirteen years previous to the annexation of Jefferson to the city, acted as school director. Though modest and unassuming in manner, he is, moreover, genial and companionable, and has many warm friends among all classes.