Ernest Sherlock Hickok was born in Summit in 1903 and was a lifelong resident. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1924 he worked as an insurance agent. He was also known as a prominent collector and appraiser of sporting books and prints. Like many in his family, he was a music aficionado and an accomplished pianist.
Actively involved in the Summit community throughout his life, he served as President of the Summit Common Council and as Chairman of the Summit Republican Committee. He was President of the Board of Managers of John E. Runnells in Berkeley Heights, and he also served on the New Jersey Council for the Arts and the New Jersey Museum Board. He represented the Library on the Board of Trustees of the Manley-Winser Foundation. When he was one year shy of 80, he joined the Summit Library Board of Trustees serving as Secretary and then as President.
After his passing in 1992, it was agreed by the Summit Library Board of Trustees to dedicate the library conference room to Ernest S. Hickok’s memory and in recognition of his service to and love of the library. Library Trustee Brenda Byrne offered a resolution commemorating the years of community service given by Ernest Hickok, which was adopted unanimously. The reception took place in March of 1993. Former Library Trustee Bette Mell made a presentation to the Hickok family and Library Trustee Betty Bufford told stories about Bernie Hickok, as he was known to his friends.
The room was initially on the lower level but after the 1998 renovation it was moved to the first floor with the approval of his daughter Sarah Bockus.
The Hickok Room was updated in 2016 and is a vibrant meeting space hosting programs enjoyed by children, teenagers and adults.
Many thanks to Adult Services librarian Irene Vershinin for researching the contributions of Ernest Hickok to the Summit Free Public Library and the Summit community.
Photo credit: Tom Mizisko