He was born on May 31, 1840 in Concord, New Hampshire to Joseph Pearson Stickney (1796–1877) and Lucretia Gibson Stickney (1809–1840).
In 1881 Stickney and his partner, John N. Conyngham, purchased the large Mount Pleasant Hotel, in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, from lumberman John T.G. Leavitt. It was later demolished.
In 1894 he married Carolyn S. Foster (1869–1936) of Waltham, Massachusetts. There were no children from the union.
He constructed the luxurious Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire which opened in 1902 - the year before his death. The Mount Washington is one of the few surviving grand hotels of the Gilded Age.
He died on December 22, 1903 in New York City.
In 1913, his widow was remarried to Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge (1862–1922), a French aristocrat.
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