Garrett Van Sickle was born September 28, 1828 in Cayuga County New York. He was raised by his parents William and Sarah Robinson Van Sickle on their farm in Cayuga County New York. He was one of ten children. Garrett was named after his grandfather Garrett and great grandfather Gerrit Van Sickle. He married Antoinetta Pease in 1855. They had 4 children together. Sadly Antoinetta passed away just a few days after the birth of their fourth child Antoinette in early May of 1864. Garrett got remarried in the winter of 1868 to Magdalena C. Chamberlain. In the fall of that same year Garrett received his first patent for a device for unloading hay. It primarily consisted of a sling pulley system to pull hay up into the barn. Garrett and Magdalena had two sons together before she also passed away at the age of 45 in 1874. Garret patented a Hay Carrier in 1874 and began manufacturing them shortly after. Garrett remarried again to Mary C. Westfull in 1876. Garrett is recorded in the History of Ontario County Ny published in 1878 as owning a manufacturing company adjacent to the Empire Drill Company. Adjoining the works of the Empire Drill Company is the manufactory of the Champion Hay and Grain Unloader, the invention of G. VAN SICKLE, Esq., of Shortsville. Mr. VAN SICKLE is the sole proprietor of this new and handy implement, a decided advance upon the now old-fashioned horse-fork. The skill which originates and the energy which brings a useful invention before the public are in themselves a prospective fortune; and the perfect adaption of VAN SICKLE‘s “Unloader” to its work is calculated to bring it into general demand.” Garrett’s son Charles joined the business sometime soon after and the company name was changed to G. Van Sickle & Son. Charles passed away at the young age of 26 in October of 1882. Garretts third wife It appears that Garrett sold the business sometime after that before the turn of the century. The Champion Hay and Grain Unloader is shown in advertising and catalogs of that period as being manufactured by The Star Seeder Company. Garrett’s third wife Mary passed away in November of 1895. Garrett passed away in November of 1902 shortly after sitting down to tea.. At the time of his death he was reported as having sold his farm and being a machinist. From Ontario County Chronicle 19 November 1902
Shortsville, N. Y. – “The people were surprised Sunday morning to learn of the sudden death of Garrett Van Sickle, who died at the tea table, Saturday night, Nov. 15. He had been in usual good health until the moment of his demise. He came to this place over 30 years ago, and was respected by all who knew him. He sold his farm a few years since, and worked exclusively in the machine shop, in the basement of the old cart factory, now owned and occupied by George Freshour. Mr. Van Sickle leaves two sons and two daughters.” Garrett Van Sickles’s Champion Hay and Grain unloader continued to appear in the Star Seeder company’s advertising up until at least 1905.
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