John Milton Bickel was born in Elkhart, Indiana, December 18, 1847, and is the son of Benjamin and Catharine Bickel. His mother dying when he was six years old he was taken by his grandparents, with whom he lived until he was eight years old, when his father having married again he returned home and lived until he became of age. He was educated in the Seminary of South Bend, Indiana, and the Collegiate Institute of Goshen, Indiana. He began teaching at the age of eighteen and followed it seven consecutive years. In the fall of 1871 he came to Daviess county and settled on a farm in Colfax township, three and one-half miles southwest of Winston, where he pursued farming until 1876, when he engaged in the implement business in Winston, continuing until 1880. In 1880 and 1881 he taught a six months term of school in Winston, and during the summer of 1881 was employed by the Shull Brothers, of Kansas City, to sell farm implements in Missouri and Kansas, and in the fall of that year began in the employ of C. Aulman & Co., of Ohio.
March 18, 1869, Mr. Bickel married Miss Hettie, daughter of Adam and Esther Fry, of Venango county, Pennsylvania. They have four children; viz., Eudora, William R., Ettie May and Benjamin F. Mr. and Mrs. Bickel are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Winston. He is a charter member of Winston Lodge No. 371, I. O. O. F., and is P. G. of that order.