Friday Feb 24th, 2023
John S. Hicks, son of a former slave, was born in Virginia on February 14, 1845. He began in the ice cream business in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1864. He moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1878 and soon built his business in a large, modern building at 1216 State Street. He housed his ice cream “factory” in the basement, an ice cream parlor on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor, which he shared with his wife Frances and daughter Ida. The sidewalk in front of his establishment was concrete, the first of its kind on State Street.