Article originally published In Columbia Tribune on May 8, 1988
Whatever Happened to the Hickam House?
By Francis Pike of the Tribune Staff and Midge Crawford for the Boone County Historical Society
The two-story farmhouse, south of Columbia at 300 E. Old Plank Road, is owned by Jim and Natalie Forward. It was built about 1848 and originally had seven rooms -- four with fireplaces -- according to Natalie Forward.
The original patentee of the land was Joseph Hickam, who obtained 171 acres on December 4, 1818, by a patent from President James Monroe.
Hickam was born in Washington County, Virginia in 1804 and came to this area of Missouri in 1816, living with his parents, and later in his own homestead of 600 acres, one mile west of Columbia. He served on the county court one term and also served the county as justice of peace, assessor, superintendent of bridge building and school commissioner.
Joseph turned the land over to his son, John, in 1820, who built the present home before his death in 1848. John and his wife, Christian, had five sons and four daughters, who were left 10,000 acres of land by their parents.
The 171-acre farm with the Hickam home went to sons Joseph, Ezekial and george Hickam.
In 1853, Boone County organized a committee to build a plank road from Columbia to Providence, a town located south of Columbia on the Missouri River. In 1854, the road was built and it ran past the Hickam home.
The farm and home changed hands through the years, belonging successively to the Johnson, Sterne and Berry families. The Forwards bought the home from Charles and Trudy Madden in 1958.
Reproduced with permission from The Columbia Tribune