Born six miles north of here near Courtland in the Berlin-Ivor District of Southampton County, African American Benjamin Hicks made his living by farming. Highly respected for his industrious and creative talents, he used the anvil, forge, and woodworking devices in his machine shop to improve peanut farming methods. By 1902, Hick had received a patent for his invention of a gasoline-powered machine for stemming and cleaning peanuts and is noted for his contributions to the development of the peanut harvester. Hick's picker is believed to have helped revolutionize farming in Southampton and the peanut growing area. He is buried on his farm.
Year On Marker: 2008
Original Sponsor: Southampton County Historical Society
Geographic Location: Southampton County
Physical Description of Location: 16058-16138 Ivor Road (State Route 616), just north of intersection with St. Lukes Road, Courtland, VA 23837. Marker is when traveling south on Ivor Road.
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