Historic Markers Across Florida



R. O. Hicks House



Marker ID:  
Location: 401 Tompkins Street, Inverness, FL
County: Citrus
Coordinates: N 28° 50.211    W 082° 20.052
  28.83685    -82.3342
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None
 



Text:

R. O. Hicks House


According to the old family bible, Robert Orval and Emma (Demoss) Hicks, Tennessee farmers, married in 1888 and established a successful steam boat business, carrying fruit and vegetables down the Withlacoochee River just east of Inverness. A freeze in 1894/95 killed the citrus groves, causing Mr. Hicks to sell his boat and with the proceeds built this house in 1899/1900. Mr. Hicks designed the octagonal-shaped house in the belief that it would conserve space, yet have the same cooling effect as other “Cracker” type houses with central corridors, and the eight-sided roof would better withstand hurricanes. He added the picket fence to keep out the livestock. The oldest child Eva, was the first and only graduate of Citrus High in 1908, and a WWII Army Nurse. The other children were Agnes, Tommie, and the youngest, Robert Flint. Robert met Bessie (Delaney) Hicks, a school teacher from Ohio, and married in 1930, but moved back to Florida shortly thereafter to help his dad whose health was failing, operate their groves. The grove located at Hick's Point, close to Gospel Island bridge, was operated by the Hicks family until sold in 2003. After the death of Robert O., daughter Eva lived out her life in this house. Robert Flint and Bessie raised their children, daughter Barbara and son Lynn in this house. “Miss Bessie” taught school for 22 years in Citrus County, and lived in the house until it was purchased by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005. Three days before the dedication of this plaque, “Miss Bessie” turned 100 years old (May 15, 2006)

Dedicated May 18, 2006
City of Inverness and the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce