In 1750 John Frederick Bicking came from Winterberg, Germany, and established a paper mill on Mill Creed, a small stream emptying into the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia, and made paper for the colonial government. John Frederick Bicking had five sons, three of whom were paper makers. Joseph Bicking erected a paper mill on Beaver Creek, at what is now known as Fisherville, East Brandywine township. These two mills were the first paper mills operated in Chester County. S. Austin Bicking, who in 1881 erected the first paper mill in Downingtown, was a great grandson of John Frederick Bicking, and a son of Samuel Bicking, who operated the Fisherville Mill, after the decease of his father, John Bicking.
Mr. Bicking purchased the old saw mill property at the corner of Lancaster and Brandywine Avenues, and erected a mill for the purpose of manufacturing paper. Mr Bicking later purchased the Shelmire Mill and converted it into a modern paper mill. The production of the mill in 1881 was about one ton per day. At the present time (1909) the capacity of both mills is over forty tons per day.
Since the decease of Mr. Bicking ( July 13, 1906), the business has been conducted by his heirs, three of his sons, Samuel P. Bicking, Joseph Austin Bicking, Parke Bicking, and a son-in-law J.P. Moore, being actively engaged in the management of the two mills. Frank S. Bicking, another son, operates a paper mill at Bridgeport, Pa. A market for the products of the mills is found from Maine to the Pacific coast.