This is a picture of panning gold in California, but
the scene was repeated at Pike's Peak in 1859,
and in Utah at Bingham beginning in 1864.
Martin Dickinson Hickman
We don't know very much about Martin D., or "D", as he was known in the family. He married Sarah Reid on 6 July 1843 at Randolph County, Missouri. He earned a medical diploma and was a respected physician in Davenport, Iowa. In 1859 he went to what is today known as Colorado to mine gold with his teen-aged son and his brothers Easom, Thomas, Warren, and two others--probably James and Josiah. He was instrumental in helping to organize what was then known as "Jefferson Territory" on 3 December 1859. Then on 19 December an election was held and the following named city officers were chosen for the newly-formed city of Denver, with their terms of service set to end in October, 1860:
"Mayor, John C. Moore; Recorder, C.A. Lawrence; Marshal, W.. Sisty; City Clerk, J.C. Spencer; City Assessor, P. Talbott; Treasurer, S.S. Curtis; Engineer, E.D. Boyd; Street Commissioner, John C. Nelson; City Attorney, D.C. Collier; Councilmen, H.J. Rogers, Thomas Pim, C. Badolet, N.G. Wyatt, John W. Jones, J.H. Gerrish, M.D. Hickman, John Shear, Thomas Pollock, A. Jacobs, J.B. Atkins, and A.C. Hunt.
--Jerome C. Smiley, History of Denver, 1901, p.633.
He did not serve out his term. A few months later he was killed by a claim jumper. Here is how the incident was recorded in Wilford Woodruff's diary:
Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Vol. 5, p. 462
4 June 1860 We obtained the mail to day. I learned that Dr Hickman Brother to Wm. Hickman was shot dead through the Head at Pikes Peak. I am preparing to go North with the presidet this morning.
Presidents Young Kimball & Wells with a large company with about 30 Carriages & waggons started For Cash valley. Soon after we started it began to rain and it rained for some two hours. We drove to Farmington & spent the night. I spent the night with Ezra Clark. 16 miles.
--Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898, Typescript, Signature Books, 1983.
This map is from Randolph B. Marcy, The Prairie Traveler.
A Hand-Book for Overland Expeditions, New York,
Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1859, p.296.
It appears that Martin had a son Nathaniel who was with him and Thomas and Warren in Colorado when he was killed. Compare the facts as you know them to this biography:
Mr. Hickman is the senior member of the large and enterprising firm of Hickman & Graff, who are engaged in a general merchandising and commission business, on the corner of Pine and Chestnut streets, in Leadville [Colorado]. He was born in Randolph County, Mo., in 1844. At the age of seven years, he, together with his parents, removed to Davenport, Iowa, and attended school at the Iowa College until 1859, in which year he accompanied his father, who was then a leading physician in Iowa, to the State of Colorado, arriving in Denver the same year, and shortly afterward settling in Central City, where he engaged in mining. In the spring of 1860, the sudden and unexpected loss of his father, necessitated the return of young Hickman to Iowa, where he re-entered Iowa College, and completed his education. In 1864, he returned to Central City, where he engaged in mining and merchandising. In 1867, he closed up his business and departed for Cheyenne, W.T. The arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad at that time causing quite a boom there, Mr. Hickman there engaged in merchandising business, where, for a period of two years, he met with great success. In 1870, he removed to Wichita, Kan.,and there again engaged in merchandising, and also did some farming. Mr. Hickman again returned to Denver, and from 1873 to 1876, was employed by J.K. Doolittle, as book-keeper. In the last-named year, he went to Los Vegas, N.M., representing the Singer Sewing Machine Company, as their Territorial Agent. He held the position for one year, when he again branched out in the merchandise business for himself. Near this point, he purchased a large ranch, which he still retains, and engaged in raising stock. This ranch is considered one of the largest and best managed in that section. In January, 1879, Mr. Hickman arrived in Leadville, and immediately commenced devoting his attention to mining, to which he still gives a large portion of his attention. He purchased four lots, on the corner of Leiter avenue and Chestnut street, and erected a large and commodious building, in which the firm of Hickman & Graff first commenced business, they being the foremost merchandising house of the day, a business in which they have met with great success. Mr. Hickman is now Alderman of the First Ward, having been <p.340> elected in the spring of 1880, for a term of two years, by a large majority over his opponent. His integrity and uprightness, coupled with his cordiality, have justly won for him great popularity. In mining, he has been quite fortunate, realizing a handsome sum out of the mines that are now owned by the Ocean & Seneca Mining Company. He is still interested in the Little Anna, on Evans' Gulch, also the Star of Vienna and the Plata Verde; also other very promising properties.
--O.L. Baskin & Co., History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado, 1881, pp. 339-340.
To learn more about Martin's murder, click here or here. To read more in Wilford Woodruff's diary, click here. To return to the Hickman Family Index page, click here.