Beginnings: For centuries, miles of prairie grass spread across the spot that would become Hicksville. When Welsh settler Robert Williams proposed in 1648 to buy a large portion of the eastern plains, including Hicksville, the Matinecock Indians didn't think they were giving up much as they preferred to live in the forest. Most British settlers were just as uninterested because it was so remote. The land lay vacant for almost two centuries, until Jericho businessman Valentine Hicks, son-in-law of the nationally famous Quaker preacher Elias Hicks, turned his attention to the prairie land he had acquired.
Photo: At St. John's Protectory, Hicksville (Photo from "Long Island To-day" by Frederick Ruther, 1909)