John Wick Jr
, founder of Wickboro(now part of Kittanning Borough) was
born in 1859. His parents, John Sr., a shoemaker by trade, and his
mother Sophia were born in Germany, emigrating to Kittanning in 1856.
John Jr. attended public school to age 11, when he began to earn his own way at .50 cent per day. Later, he learned the shoe making trade from his father and pursued this business for some time. From his savings he was able to embark on a merchantile trade, and from this the pottery business. He erected the Wick China Company, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, manufacturing semi-porcelain dinner and toilet ware. In 1892 he and his brother Fred purchased a large tract of of land which they laid out and named Wickboro. Seven hundred lots were sold, upon which houses were erected and sold. Along with his brother Fred, Dr. Charles Jessop and Orr Buffington he established the Wickboro Brick Company, which later became the Kittanning Brick and Fire Clay Company. In 1898, with Capt. J. B. Ford, he erected the Ford China Company(later Eljer) plant at what is now Ford City, and in 1900 bought out Capt. Ford to become the sole owner. He donated the ground for the Kittanning Plate Glass Plant, and in 1913 he built the Wick Opera House.
He married Ursilla B. Kinsey of East Liverpool, Ohio in 1885. One daughter Kathryne B. was born, who later became the wife of Marcus Allison Smith of Pittsburgh, and a mother of one son Marcus Allison Jr.
* The site of the current YMCA built in Kittanning in 2011 was the former site of Wick China Company.