Beech Mountain, North Carolina has been long recognized as the home of nationally renowned storytellers, such as Ray Hicks, Stanley Hicks, and Orville Hicks. The Hicks family of Beech Mountain, North Carolina originated from David Hicks, who migrated from England to America approximately between 1740 and 1750. He settled in western North Carolina, the state of Franklin, and eastern Tennessee and died in 1792. His descendants intermarried with the Harmon and Presnell families and settled in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
Stanley Hicks (1911-1989) was born to Roby and Buna Vista Presnell Hicks and raised on Spice Creek in western Watauga County. He married Virgie Presnell. He sold instruments out of his home and at Jack Guy’s store on Beech Creek. Handcrafting banjos and dulcimers ran in his family with both his father and grandfather Sam Hicks making them. Hicks also worked for the Works Progress Administration and traveled for work. In 1980, the North Carolina Folklore Society presented Stanley Hicks with its highest honor, the Brown-Hudson Award. In 1983, he received the National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, along with his cousin Ray Hicks.