Who is Edwin Alfred Hickman?
February 27, 2013
Did you know that Hickman Mills was actually Hickman’s Mill? When the community around Hickman’s Mill applied for a federal post office, the clerk in Washington accidentally put it down as Hickman Mills. Hickman’s Mill was a steam-powered grist and saw mill that was owned by Edwin Alfred Hickman. Hickman was born in Kentucky in 1819. He left Kentucky in 1840 for Missouri. He first lived and taught school in Independence until he bought the land in Southern Jackson County in 1847. In 1854, he sent the petition to Washington, D.C. for the post office because a little village had sprouted around the mill.
He originally prospered from the settlers and traders who were traveling on the trails out west. Unfortunately, the mill went bankrupt in 1857 because timber became scarce, so he went to Colorado to try his hand at mining. He later returned to Missouri and enlisted in the Missouri State Guard. Soon afterward, the guard joined the Confederate service. He fought in the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, where he was wounded and his right arm was amputated. He continued to serve until he became quartermaster with the rank of Captain at Clarksville, Texas. In 1865, he returned to Jackson County to live. He and his wife, Mae Intree Oldham, had one son.
In 1868, a post office did open in the little community. Hickman donated land to build the present day Hickman Mills Community Church at 5809 Red Bridge Road. He was appointed deputy assessor of Jackson County and eventually served as mayor of Independence. In 1872, Hickman built a chart to solve math problems, and in 1876, he published a book called Arithmetical Geometry.
Rail service eventually arrived to the community, connecting it to Kansas City. It wasn’t until 1961 that Hickman Mills was eventually annexed to the city.
Blue Ridge Branch