1892 – 1972
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU)curates about 40 vascular plant specimens collected by Rassie Everton Wicker, who usually signed his specimens “R. E. Wicker”. Two are isotypes of Liquidambar styraciflua f. rotundiloba which he collected near Pinehurst, Moore County, North Carolina in 1931. Though the tree near Pinehurst has since died, a tree he gave to Dr. William Chambers Coker in 1930 still grows in the Coker Arboretum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Most of Wicker’s herbarium specimens were collected in his native Moore County, North Carolina, but there are a few from Hoke and Lee Counties as well.
In addition to NCU other herbaria which curate specimens collected by Rassie Everton Wicker include the Field Museum (F) and the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (GH).
“Rassie Everton Wicker, son of James Alexander and Lucretia Millis Wicker, was born March 6, 1892 near Cameron, N.C., and died October 16, 1972 in Pinehurst, N.C. He married Mary Magdalene Loving. He attended what is now North Carolina State University for one year. He was elected Moore County Surveyor in November 1912. He became a Certified Engineer and served as engineer for Pinehurst, Inc., until his retirement.
Rassie Wicker was a master craftsman who produced beautiful pieces of furniture. He was a mechanical and architectural engineer as well as a civil one. His interests included science, music, astronomy, horticulture, and botany. He was best known as a writer and historian. He compiled much of the information used by Blackwell Robinson in his The County of Moore 1747-1847. Errata and Addenda [for The County of Moore 1747-1847] was authored by Wicker and edited by J. Atwood Whitman. In 1969, Wicker typed his own book Miscellaneous Ancient Records of Moore County, N.C. , a book now in its third printing. All are available from the Moore County Historical Association.”(1)
“He frequently took interested persons on long hikes to points of interest in the Sandhills, and with Paul Green and Phillips Russell of Chapel Hill he searched out sites of early Highland Scots homes.”(2) “In 1953, Rassie Wicker and Phillips Russell among others accompanied Paul Green when they discovered the millstone from Flora Ann and Allan MacDonald’s homesite (the loyal Brits resided in North Carolina for two years before the start of The American Revolution!). Paul Green described his passion in searching for the site for several years before they finally found the millstone, which he brought to his home in Chapel Hill.”(3)
Rassie E. Wicker’s daughter, Eloise Wicker Knight, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and deposited vascular plant specimens in the Herbarium.
PUBLICATIONS (likely an incomplete list):
Wicker, Rassie E. 1971. Miscellaneous ancient records of Moore County, N.C. Moore County Historical Association.
Wicker, R. E. [1963 or 1965?] A map of Pinehurst North Carolina. [North Carolina?]: Village Printers, Inc.
Wicker, Rassie E. [1956?] Map of the region of Moore County, 1747 to 1847: showing stream names and road locations. [North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]
Wicker, Rassie E. 1955. Owners and occupants of the House in the Horseshoe on Deep River, Moore County, N.C., 1747-1955. [archival & manuscript material in the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]
Wicker, Rassie E. 1953. The home of Flora MacDonald in North Carolina. [archival & manuscript material in the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]
Wicker, Rassie E. 1952. Highland settlements in Anson County: 1772-1776. [archival & manuscript material in the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]
Giles, George W. and Rassie E. Wicker. 1952. Patent #2619260 Fertilizer Distributor. United States Patent Office. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/58/80/56/98f9a7d3736888/US2619260.pdf accessed on 10 April 2020.
Wicker, Rassie E. 1942. Notes on the life of Philip Alston. [archival & manuscript material in the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]
1. Knight, Eloise Wicker. 1994. Wicker, Decendants of Kenneth Wicker and Isabella Currie of Moore County, N.C. Published privately by E. W. Knight. Excerpts kindly provided by Richard Wicker.
2. Melvin, Katharine S. 1996. Wicker, Rassie Everton. Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/wicker-rassie-everton accessed on 10 April 2020.
3. Pers. Comm. J. Kenneth Moore to McCormick on FaceBook post 10 April 2020.