Villagers fly 100-year-old American flag in tribute to special former resident

Members of Hickling History Group and distant relatives of Fred Maltby Warner, who left the village in the 1800s and became a US governor, holding a 100-year-old US flag gifted to them EMN-170718-144902001
Members of Hickling History Group and distant relatives of Fred Maltby Warner, who left the village in the 1800s and became a US governor, holding a 100-year-old US flag gifted to them EMN-170718-144902001
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Villagers will today (Thursday) pay a special tribute to a man who left their community 152 years ago for a better life in the United States and become a long-serving state governor.

Fred Maltby was the youngest child of a Hickling family which adventurously set sail across the Atlantic only to suffer tragedy and grief almost immediately.

But, Fred overcame this terrible adversity in his childhood to become the first foreign-born Governor of Michigan for three terms of office.

He lived in a mansion house in a township called Farmington and the American 46-star flag which flew there has now been sent to Hickling villagers and will be flown today from the village hall, on what was Fred’s birthday.

Hickling villager Carol Beadle said: “Many distantly related members of Fred’s family still live in the village.

“Farmington Museum volunteers keep in touch with the Hickling History Group, who send them regular packages of items for display in the museum.

“The museum has a room displaying the many items Hickling villagers have sent them, including the story of local delicacies such as Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

“On July 20 it is Fred’s birthday and so Hickling can commemorate this event with Farmington, they have kindly sent the villagers this American 46-star flag.

“It was flown in Farmington when Fred was Governor of Michigan and so is over 100-years- old.”

When the Maltbys left Hickling in 1865 they had four young children.

Within a few weeks of arriving in America, the mother died, leaving her husband alone with the children, including four-month-old Fred, and thousands of miles away from family and friends.

The three youngest children were put up for adoption aside from the oldest, who stayed with his father but died just a few months later.

Carol, a member of Hickling History Group, added: “Fred was adopted by the Warner family and he was blessed with caring, adoptive parents, a good education and in-born determination to do well.

“He became Fred Maltby Warner and the large mansion he lived at in Farmington has now become a museum dedicated to his life and achievements.”