David Henry Hickman High School
David Henry Hickman, "Kewpie of the Month for November 2005"
Kewpie of All Time


David Henry Hickman was born November 11, 1821,
died June 25, 1869, at age 47 and is buried
in Columbia Cemetery.
More than 50 years after his death,
the Columbia Board of Education
voted to name a new school after him,
David H. Hickman High School.
Brian W. Kratzer photos

"The Hickman History"


PART 1: Hickman family took root in county with move
to Missouri in early 1800s

PART 2: Younger Hickman was influential local leader

PART 3: Along with successes, tragedy hit Hickman

PART 4: Hickman’s legacy lives on at local high school

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See the orginal story courtesy of  "The Columbia Daily Tribune"
and written by Harold Lynch, a Kewpie of the Class of 1947

Hickman family took root in county with move to Missouri in early 1800s

Researched and compiled by HAROLD LYNCH First of four parts

Published Sunday, January 2, 2005

The end of the War of 1812 with Great Britain and the signing of the peace treaty with 19 American Indian tribes in 1815 at Portage des Sioux near St. Louis drove a rush for settlement in the Missouri Territory.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Cooper and his group of pioneers had blazed a trail in 1808 and 1810 to the Boone’s Lick area of Howard County. Immigrants from Kentucky followed them, traveling the trail from St. Charles County to Howard County.

The years of 1816, 1817 and 1818 saw a large increase in population in the Missouri Territory. An estimated 30 percent of the immigrants were from Madison County, Ky., and almost 60 percent came from a group of 15 counties in central Kentucky. Among the early pioneers from Kentucky was David M. Hickman, who first visited this area in 1817. After making his appraisal for future settlement, he returned to Bourbon County, Ky.

On April 27, 1818, he married Eliza Johnston, daughter of William and Rachel Johnston, also of Bourbon County.

The population of 3,692 was sufficient to organize Boone County on Nov. 16, 1820. The act vesting Boone with all the privileges and immunities of a county became effective Jan. 1, 1821.

The first territorial legislature appointed John Gray, Absalom Hicks, Lawrence Bass, David Jackson and Jefferson Fuleher as commissioners to determine the permanent seat of justice for the new county. They were authorized to receive donations of land or, if necessary, pay up to $10 per acre. The town of Smithton, which was temporarily being used as the county seat, was rejected as the permanent administrative center because of its lack of an adequate supply of water. The commissioners took the Smithton town plan and moved it about a half-mile east. The site, named Columbia, was adopted as the Boone County seat on April 7, 1821.

Even though the county commissioners had been prepared to pay for land required for the county seat, the Smithton Co. trustees donated 50 acres of land in town lots, two public squares, $2,000 in cash notes and two wells of constantly flowing water.

The company gave the county court 10 acres in town lots, the sale proceeds of which were to be used for bridges over the Moniteau, Roche Perche, Hinkson and Cedar creeks on the St. Charles to Franklin road. It also donated 10 acres adjoining Columbia on the southwest, on condition that the state university be established there.

Probably in late summer 1822, Hickman returned to what is now Boone County.

His father-in-law, William Johnston, and other relatives and slaves made the journey with him from Bourbon County.

Hickman would contribute to early education in Boone County, and his son, David H. Hickman, would make a significant impact on community development and education as a businessman and legislator. Hickman High School, which opened in 1927, was built on remnants of his estate in north Columbia.

The elder Hickman purchased his first 80 acres of land on Oct. 21, 1822. At the same time, Johnston purchased 160 acres. On Dec. 18, 1822, Hickman purchased another 80 acres. All the land is located about six miles south of Columbia.

No one knows whether they remained for the winter or returned to Bourbon County. Sometime during the next year, however, they apparently moved their families and possessions to Boone County.

By now, David and Eliza Hickman had two sons, William T., born Sept. 2, 1819, and David Henry, born Nov. 11, 1821. David Hickman continued to purchase parcels of land and built his plantation. His family also grew in 1824 with a third son, James Hickman.

Three years later, tragedy struck the Hickman household when Eliza died on June 14, 1827, leaving a husband and three young sons, many relatives, and friends to mourn her death at age 24.

After some 20 months, Hickman married Cornelia Bryan on Feb. 12, 1829. She was the daughter of former Kentuckians Morgan and Sarah Bryan of Boone County.

Hickman and some of his neighbors in the southern Two Mile Prairie area became concerned for the education of their young sons. In 1829, they organized the Bonne Femme Academy on the north bank of Bonne Femme Creek, about six miles south of Columbia. It was an academy for male students and first opened on the third Monday of May 1829, with Warren Woodson as teacher. Hickman was one of the trustees.

During the decade of the 1820s, immigrants continued to flow into Boone County, and by 1830, the population had more than doubled to 8,859. David and Cornelia added four sons and one daughter to their family. One son died 12 days short of his first birthday.

Hickman continued his interest in the development of Boone County and in the establishment of a state university in Columbia. That might have motivated him to seek election to the Missouri General Assembly, where he represented Boone County for two terms, from 1838 to 1842. During his tenure, the University of Missouri at Columbia was organized and began operation.

No doubt David H. Hickman took advantage of the teaching available at the Bonne Femme Academy and Columbia College, which opened Nov. 3, 1834, and was the predecessor of the University of Missouri.

The younger Hickman confirmed his Baptist religious commitment in August 1839 at age 18 when he joined Little Bonne Femme Church in southern Boone County. In the U.S. census of 1850, he is listed as age 28 and single, which was somewhat unusual for that time.

Part 2
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Younger Hickman was influential local leader

Researched and compiled by HAROLD M. LYNCH Second of four parts

Published Sunday, January 9, 2005

In the late 1840s, reports of the discovery of gold in California caught the attention of many Central Missourians, and about 140 Boone Countians headed west from Columbia in April 1849. They took the northern route to the gold fields by way of St. Joseph, the Platte River, Fort Laramie, the South Pass at the Rocky Mountains, Fort Hall on the Snake River, the Humbolt River and the Carson River. The distance from St. Joseph was about 2,000 miles.

Despite the irregular and makeshift postal service to and from California, a number of letters got back to Columbia, and many of them were printed in the Missouri Statesman newspaper. From them, it is possible to follow the progress of this first group en route to California and the group members’ quest for gold.

The reports caught David H. Hickman’s enterprising spirit, and in the spring of 1850, he brought together teams of oxen and mules with wagons loaded with materials and laborers. They set out for a location on the North Platte River about 130 miles west of Fort Laramie.

Hickman, whose father and mother were among the early settlers present at the birth of Boone County, was an entrepreneur, statesman and legislator who was particularly interested in education. His name graces, among other things, Hickman High School.

In an April 20, 1850, letter to the Missouri Statesman written at Fort Kearney, about 200 miles from St. Joseph and about 450 miles from his destination on the Platte River, Hickman reported that the weather was cold and feed for the livestock was nearly exhausted. There was no danger from the American Indians except their stealing or driving off the stock. Some bison had been killed and brought into the camp. The party had high hopes of making the trip in safety.

After arriving at the location Hickman thought was most practical for crossing over to the south side, the party began building ferryboats and rafts.

A June 11, 1850, letter to William Switzler at the Missouri Statesman from Hiram Buff said: "We have just crossed at Hickman’s Ferry. They are running four boats and when hurried can cross 500 teams per day. At an average of $7.50 per team."

Another letter to Switzler, written at Hickman’s Ferry and dated June 25, 1850, said: "I have not time to write more, but must say a word about the ferry. Messer’s. Hickman and Company have three good flatboats, which carry two wagons at a time each and make the trip in six to ten minutes. Ropes are stretched from bank to bank. The boats working on pullies are driven over by the force of the current. They crossed about four thousand-six hundred wagons here this spring. Signed, yours truly, R.R.P."

An account of Hickman’s ferry company returning to Columbia appeared in the Aug. 16, 1850, issue of the Missouri Statesman. It said: "The Ferry Company of D.H. Hickman reached home in good health on Sunday last" - Aug. 11, 1850. "Their location on the Platte River was about 130 miles west of Fort Laramie and 730 miles from St. Joseph, Missouri. They left the ferry location for home on the 8th of July. Previous to their leaving the great body of the emigration had passed. Yet on their homeward trip, they met about 500 wagons before reaching Fort Laramie and nearly 600 more between the later place and Fort Kearney. Of this number about 700 were Mormons en route for the Great Salt Lake.

"According to the register of the Commanding Officer at Fort Laramie, the number of wagons that had passed that post, before the Ferry Company left, was about 10,300. The number of emigrants, of at least 50,000."

After his success with the ferry company, Hickman could pursue his interests in business development, educational expansion and politics.

Hickman’s father, David M. Hickman, died June 14, 1851, and the younger David Hickman seemed to follow his father’s interests. Apparently, he replaced the elder Hickman in the management of the Bonne Femme Academy, as seen by the advertisement on Oct. 24, 1851, seeking new students: "Primary department tuition $7.50 per session of 5 months, and High School $10 per person. Apply to David H. Hickman, Theoderick Jenkins or Austin Bradford living near the academy."

On March 27, 1852, Hickman attended a meeting of the Whigs of Cedar Township at Bass’s Mill in Boone County. There the group approved the recommendation of the Feb. 17 Whig meeting in Columbia to divide the county into two townships. A portion of the Whigs in Cedar Township, the Southern District, met at Rock Bridge Mills on April 24, 1852, and nominated Hickman to represent Boone County in the next General Assembly. Then, at the May meeting of Boone County Whigs, Chairman Maj. James Rollins asked the candidates to address the people. James Gordon, Stewart Hatten and David Hickman spoke. Gordon and Hickman favored organizing the proposed new county of Bourbon out of portions of Boone and other counties.

Even though the proposal did not materialize, the Boone County Court during its June 1854 term ordered the creation of Bourbon Township out of parts of Perche and Rocky Fork townships. The place for holding elections was to be the town of Bourbonton, whose name was later changed to Sturgeon. Hickman, no doubt, suggested the name Bourbon in honor of his birthplace of Bourbon County, Ky.

On Aug. 2, 1852, voters elected Gordon, Hickman and Stephen Wilhite as representatives from Boone County to the Missouri legislature for the term of 1852 to 1854. During Hickman’s term in the seventeenth General Assembly, he expressed his concern about the lack of financial support for public education. In 1853, he co-wrote legislation that required 25 percent of the state’s revenue to be appropriated for the common schools of Missouri, and the General Assembly approved it.

Even though he was active in the legislative process for two years, Hickman maintained his business, political, educational and agricultural interests in Boone County.

At a meeting of the Boone County Agricultural Society on May 7, 1853, he was elected a director. Then on Oct. 7, 1853, Hickman was appointed acting county surveyor in the absence of James Harris. He previously had served as deputy surveyor for Boone County in 1845 during William Shields’ absence.

The Boone County Agricultural and Mechanical Association elected Hickman vice president at its annual meeting on April 14, 1855.

At 34 and still single, Hickman was becoming more and more involved in the community’s promotion and development.

Enthusiastic about good agriculture, he recognized the benefits of quality livestock. This might have encouraged him to invest in the Central Missouri Stock Importing Co., which held a meeting March 3, 1856, at the City Hotel in Columbia. After election of the board of directors, Hickman was appointed the company’s secretary.

The closing of the Columbia Female Academy in 1855 after two decades of operation created a void and a concern for re-establishing a women’s college in Columbia. Within a few months, Hickman and a group of residents who were members of the Baptist church circulated a subscription list, and they proposed articles of incorporation on March 15, 1856. The institution was to be a joint stock company. Each person who subscribed $100 would get one share of stock and one vote.

At an initial meeting of the stockholders on May 26, 1856, Eli Bass, David Hickman, James Harris, Richard Branham, William Hickman, Moss Prewitt and Warren Woodson were elected curators. The curators then elected David Hickman president, Woodson secretary and Prewitt treasurer. Hickman and Woodson were to draft bylaws. To Hickman, Branham and Woodson were assigned the responsibilities of locating an executive officer for the Columbia Baptist Female College. The committee reported to the Board of Curators on June 16, 1856, that Professor William Rothwell, manager of the Elm Ridge Academy in Howard County, had been selected as president and would begin his duties at the opening of the college the first Monday of September 1856.

From the beginning, there were some administrative difficulties, and the board authorized Hickman, its president, to take charge of the college and employ a staff of teachers. The college opened for its first semester as planned with 70 students. The Missouri legislature approved the college’s charter Jan. 17, 1857. As president of the board, Hickman continued to guide the college’s success.

Part 3
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Along with successes, tragedy hit Hickman

Researched and compiled by HAROLD M. LYNCH Third of four parts

Published Sunday, January 16, 2005

During Columbia’s first decades, residents enjoyed considerable prosperity and a wide range of business activities. An extensive network of private credit arrangements and a good deal of primitive bartering took the place of modern banking.

Columbia's Hickman High School is named after David H. Hickman, whose parents were among the early settlers of Boone County. Hickman was a well-known businessman, legislator and advocate of education in the mid-19th century.

By the 1840s, though, businesses in Columbia operated on a cash basis. This development created the need for banks to provide the cash necessary for the new style of merchandising.
Moss Prewitt, a successful merchant, and his son-in-law James Parker opened an exchange and banking house in Columbia in early 1856. Nine months later, in January 1857, the Missouri Statesman mentioned that "among the many institutions which we have in our midst, none are of more permanent value and usefulness than the exchange and banking establishment of Messer’s Prewitt and Parker. Their house presents a safe and reliable medium of deposit, combining the advantages of exchange with that of a saving institution."

In May 1858, Parker left the banking business and joined David H. Hickman in forming a freight company to haul government stores from Fort Leavenworth to Utah in preparation for an expected war with the Mormons over polygamy. Both Hickman and Parker suffered from pulmonary complications. They hoped to combine business profits with improved health caused by physical work and outdoor living.

Hickman was a well-known businessman and entrepreneur, a former legislator and a great advocate of education. He became involved in an astonishing array of business ventures and civic activities in mid-19th-century Columbia. Hickman High School was later named to honor him.

After Parker left the bank to work with Hickman, another of Prewitt’s sons-in-law, Robert Beverly Price, came into the business.

On Feb. 7, 1859, the Exchange Bank of St. Louis opened books at the Prewitt and Price private bank to issue capital stock for a new Columbia branch, and $60,000 was promptly pledged. The same day, stockholders elected five directors: Eli Bass, David Hickman, J.F. Baker, Jonathan Kirkbride and John Rollins.

In January 1860, Hickman was elected by the joint session of the Missouri General Assembly to the University of Missouri Board of Curators with three others from Boone County: Bass, William Duncan and Robert Todd. At its first meeting, on March 15, 1860, the board elected William Allen president and Todd secretary. Not satisfied with an organizational proposal, Hickman moved that the university be reorganized with a faculty of five regular professors for English, language and literature; mathematics; natural sciences and natural philosophy; Latin and Greek languages; and moral and intellectual philosophy or political science. The board president was to select one of the faculty members. Also, a principal was to be appointed for a primary department. The plan was adopted unanimously.

After maintaining his bachelor status for so many years, Hickman finally married Anne Bryan in St. Joseph on Sept. 15, 1861. Bryan was a niece of Hickman’s stepmother and the daughter of Milton and Zerilda Moss Bryan, formerly of Boone County.

The outbreak of the Civil War divided border state Missouri and Boone County, which was known as part of Little Dixie. Late in the 1850s, with the breakup of the Whig Party, Hickman, like many other Boone County residents, joined the Democratic Party.

The second session of the Missouri Convention, in July 1861, dissolved Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson’s popularly elected secessionist government, established a new pro-union state government and named Hamilton Gamble as governor. Both the state government and the Western Department of the U.S. Army in St. Louis issued orders to tighten control over Missouri.

On Oct. 16, 1861, the state convention enacted an ordinance requiring anyone holding civil office to take an "oath of allegiance" within 60 days. Anyone who failed to take the loyalty oath would be removed from office.

The order included members of the university’s Board of Curators. In January 1862, Gamble appointed F.T. Russell, M.R. Arnold and Odon Guitar to the board to replace Hickman, Bass and Duncan, who either refused to take the oath or simply resigned.

As if the sadness and anxiety created by the Civil War were not enough, on Nov. 10, 1863, David and Annie Hickman’s only child, Sallie, died at the age of 16 months.

During the war years, advances that led to profound changes by Columbia institutions were made in banking laws. Even though the local branch of the Exchange Bank of St. Louis was prosperous and sound, on July 27, 1863, its stockholders put it in liquidation. On the same day, a major portion of the stockholders organized the First National Bank of Columbia, with capital of $50,000 and plans for increasing it to $200,000. The board of directors of the new bank consisted of Hickman, Prewitt, Jonathan Kirkbride, James Harris, Bass, John Machir and James Waugh. Hickman was elected president, and Price was elected cashier.

First National Bank of Columbia was the original nationally chartered bank in Missouri and thus avoided the risks of mutual exploitation involved in the parent branch arrangement.

In February 1864, the General Assembly adopted legislation allowing savings associations in county seats to encourage local exchanges that could pay interest on savings and make loans. The legislation provided a security advantage to bankers during a significantly lawless period.

The horrors of war were closing in on Central Missouri. On July 15, 1864, Bloody Bill Anderson’s guerrilla gang raided Huntsville and robbed five merchants of $30,000, and the Randolph County treasury was rifled of $18,000. On Sept. 27, Anderson’s guerrillas perpetrated the massacre at Centralia. In Columbia, merchants and bankers wondered whether they would be next.

On Sept. 30, cashier Price published a notice that the First National Bank of Columbia was closing. Creditors were asked to present their claims for payment.

Then, on Nov. 10, 1864, Hickman, Price, James Harris, Prewitt and Archibald Young organized the Boone County Savings Association, with capital stock of $10,300, divided into shares of $100 each. Hickman was elected president and Price cashier.

Savings associations were not required to keep large cash reserves or to publish financial reports.


Beginning in 1836, there had been considerable interest in connecting Columbia with some railroad system, and several attempts failed. Finally, in 1857, Hickman pulled together a number of prominent Boone County residents and organized the Boone County and Jefferson City Railroad Co. Its first mission was to build a railroad from Columbia to Centralia and connect with the North Missouri Railroad. But the Civil War intervened, and construction was postponed.

With the end of the war, plans for the railroad moved forward. At a meeting on Dec. 16, 1865, stockholders elected the board of directors. The directors were: Hickman, Rollins, Todd, J.L. Stephen, S.F. Conley, Harris, M.G. Singleton, Waugh and Henry Keene. They elected Hickman president, Todd secretary and George Pratt engineer. Construction started on May 21, 1866.

The Hickmans, meanwhile, eagerly anticipated the arrival of a second child. On Oct. 14, 1866, Annie Hickman gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Mary D. A few months later, in feeble health, Annie went to St. Joseph to visit her parents, other relatives and friends. While at the home of her sister Sarah, wife of Gen. George Hall, Annie died at age 28 on July 9, 1867. Her body was returned to Columbia and buried at Columbia Cemetery. Her death was not the final loss Hickman would suffer during that period.

The Boone County and Jefferson City Railroad was completed Oct. 29, 1867, and was leased to the North Missouri Railroad Co. In less than 15 months, on Jan. 12, 1869, the company stopped paying rent, and the Columbia-to-Centralia line was eventually sold in foreclosure.

The town of Hickman had been platted and a depot established a half-mile south of Hallsville. J. Kelly, proprietor of the new town, began offering lots for sale on July 11, 1867. But because of organized resistance by Hallsville residents, the town of Hickman persistently refused to grow. By 1875, there were four other railroad stations between Columbia and Centralia.

Even before the Civil War, Columbia was growing at a steady pace. But with the opening of the railroad, the demand for construction of more business buildings and residential homes increased. This in turn created the need for real estate brokers, and Hickman and Price operated one of the most prominent firms. Hickman also developed a 23-lot subdivision - bounded by Broadway, Price Avenue and Walnut and Short streets - that bore his name.

With the building boom came the requisite to protect the properties, and some Columbia businessmen saw an opportunity to establish local insurance ventures. At a meeting of the Boone County Mutual Insurance Co. in May 1864, Hickman was elected to the board of directors.

Late in 1867, with the railroad in operation between Columbia and Centralia, Hickman turned his attention to another enterprise. Again, he called on his business friends to join him in the organization of the Columbia Fire Insurance Co. On Jan. 27, 1868, the following officers were elected: president, Hickman; vice president, Machir; secretary, Irvine Hockaday; and general agent, C.S. Stone. The board of directors consisted of: Hickman, James Stephens, James Rollins, Machir, Price, Harris, Squire Turner Jr., James Matthews and Prewitt. The initial stock of the company was worth $100,000, and its charter provided for increases up to $500,000.

Part 4
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Hickman’s legacy lives on at local high school

Researched and compiled by HAROLD M. LYNCH
Published Sunday, January 23, 2005

David Hickman’s decision to resign from the University of Missouri Board of Curators rather than take a loyalty oath came into play again in 1868, when Boone County Democrats nominated him for a seat in the state Senate.

At the Democratic Convention in Mexico, Mo., on Aug. 19, 1868, W.D. Hunter of Audrain County opposed Hickman, who received 50 votes to Hunter’s 35. L.M. Conklin, his Republican opponent, however, persuaded the Board of Registrars to disfranchise Hickman because he had not taken the oath of allegiance six years earlier during the Civil War. Hickman did not appeal. In response to the nomination of James Rollins to replace him as the Democratic candidate, Hickman published the following statement: "The foregoing action of the committee meets with my most cordial and hearty approval."

In May 1869, Hickman, as president of the recently organized Columbia, Rocheport and Arrow Rock Railroad Co., traveled to Marshall seeking subscriptions to complete construction of the railroad to connect to the Louisiana and Missouri River Railroad at Marshall.

Not long after his return home, Hickman became dangerously ill. He died on June 25, 1869, at age 47. At the time, Hickman was president of the Boone County Savings Bank; the Boone County and Jefferson City Railroad Co.; the Board of Curators of Columbia Baptist Female College, which later became Stephens College; the Columbia Fire Insurance Co.; the Columbia, Rocheport and Arrow Rock Railroad Co.; the Board of Trustees of William Jewell College in Liberty; and presiding officer of the Missouri Baptist Association. He also was active in real estate brokerage and promotion and the development of businesses.

Hickman’s funeral was held Sunday, June 27, 1869. The morning began with the arrival of a train draped in mourning and filled with more than 100 friends to pay tribute to his memory. Other mourners began to collect in front of the Baptist church to await the arrival of the procession. At Hickman’s residence, relatives and a number of friends assembled to accompany the pallbearers to the church. The procession reached the church at 11 a.m. and entered in the following order: The Rev. H.M. Richardson followed by James Rollins and James Stephens, two lifelong friends of Hickman, succeeded by the remains borne by Judge James Harris, Robert Smith, William Switzler, John Machir, R.B. Price and Professor G.H. Matthews.

Every available seat on the floor and gallery was occupied in the spacious Baptist church. Many were forced to stand, and some were unable to gain admission.

Richardson delivered the funeral discourse, which occupied 2½ columns in the July 9, 1869, issue of the Missouri Statesman newspaper, which reported that the funeral procession from the Baptist church to Columbia Cemetery was the largest ever witnessed in Columbia. At the gravesite, Hickman was placed next to his wife, Anne Hickman, who had died just two years before.

The obituary concluded with the following: "There was never known in Columbia a more solemn death, with greater sorrow and profound sympathy for the Christian life, charitable nature, enterprising public spirit, that the deceased has fastened upon the affections of his fellow-citizens, in a manner never before truly realized."


PART 1: Hickman family took root in county with move to Missouri in early 1800s
PART 2: Younger Hickman was influential local leader
PART 3: Along with successes, tragedy hit Hickman
PART 4: Hickman’s legacy lives on at local high school

Hickman requested the custody and rearing of his daughter be entrusted to his sister, Sarah Young, the recent widow of Archibald Young. The Boone County probate court appointed Thaddeus Hickman, an uncle, as guardian and later as curator of Mary Hickman. Some time later, Price became her curator and executor of Hickman’s estate.

The directors of the Boone County Savings Association commissioned Charles Stewart of Jefferson City to paint a portrait of Hickman, their late president. The Nov. 2, 1870, issue of the Jefferson City Peoples Tribune newspaper said, "The completed portrait has been suspended in the building of the Savings Bank. We deem this an eminently appropriate tribute to one of the most worthy citizens Boone County had ever claimed. No man has probably done more for her weal or left behind lasting marks of his wisdom, liberality and enterprise. Such a token of appreciation is highly befitting from an association of which he consecrated a large portion of his time and labor."

The 1870 U.S. Census shows Mary Hickman, 3, living in the household of her aunt, Sallie Young, and her four children. Mary Hickman grew up in Columbia and attended Stephens College, where she became an accomplished pianist and performed in several recitals and musical exercises. She graduated on June 7, 1883, and enrolled at the University of Missouri.

On June 3, 1885, she married Capt. John Price, son of Col. James Price of Jefferson City. The couple immediately left on a special train for Jefferson City, their future home.

The Prices had two sons. Hickman Price was born June 9, 1886, in Jefferson City, and Andrew Price was born Feb. 18, 1890, in Denver.

Anticipating her marriage and move to Jefferson City, Mary rented the Hickman residence and its surrounding 40 acres first to J.B. Bell of Colorado City, Texas, and later to the Hatton family, who was living there when the house burned on Feb. 10, 1887. The land was then developed for use as a fairground, with a horseracing track and temporary facilities. It was also used for carnivals, and some high school games were played there.

On March 19, 1925, the Columbia school board reported it had obtained an option on the 40-acre estate. The price for the property was $27,500, which was said to be well below the real value of such a piece of land because the title to the property was not clear. The district used its power of condemnation to obtain a clear title.

On Dec. 15, 1925, residents approved 7-1 a bond issue of $415,000 for construction of a school building on the site and some other school improvements. On Dec. 17, 1925, the school board approved a resolution by Sanford Conley suggesting the school be named "David H. Hickman High School." The cornerstone for Hickman High School was placed in a brief ceremony Sept. 16, 1926, and the building was opened for classes a year later.

When the new high school’s name became known, two respected residents approved of its namesake and described Hickman in their letters of endorsement.

From Edwin Stephens, president of Stephens Publishing Co.: "David H. Hickman was one of the greatest citizens and finest characters Boone County has ever had. He was a model citizen, a true Christian, a patriot, a leader in educational and civic affairs. The board of education appropriately honors his memory in naming in his honor the building, which is to stand upon the site of the home he owned and where he passed away with honors. And to the regret of the community which he so unselfishly and so ably served and when he had scarcely reached the prime of life."

From Judge David Harris of Boone County Circuit Court: "He was a gentleman in manner, a Christian in spirit and a natural leader by the soundness of his judgment, the force of his character and the disinterestedness of his motives. ... Measured by the years, his life was a short one. Yet, I can think of no former citizen of Columbia whose life was richer, fuller or more worthy of emulation by the youth of Columbia, who in the years to come may receive instruction in the schools of your city."

Harold Lynch, a 1947 Hickman High School graduate, retired in 1990.
This project is the product of research using primary documents,
public records and published histories including William Switzler’s
"History of Boone County" and John Crighton’s
"A History of Columbia and Boone County."
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