History of Reno
Overton Hickman, Treasurer of Reno county, is a native of West Virginia, having been born in the town of Fayetteville, that state, on October 23, 1874, son of John and Mary (Huddleston) Hickman, the former of whom, born in old Virginia, March 15, 1821, died in January, 1906, and the latter, born in that section of Virginia known, since the war period, as West Virginia, April 27, 1844, died on March 15, 1901, both having spent their last days in this county.
John Hickman was the son of William Hickman, a Virginian, who was the son of an Englishman who came to America in 1755 and later fought in behalf of the colonies during the Revolutionary War, William Hickman, in his generation, also having fought against England, during the War of 1812. John Hickman was a merchant and hotel keeper at Fayetteville. In 1882 he and his wife and three children came to Kansas, settling in Miami county, where they lived for two years, at the end of which time, in 1884, they came to Reno county and bought a quarter of a section of land in Medford township, where they established a permanent home, Mr. Hickman and his wife spending the remainder of their lives there. They were Baptists in their religious persuasion and Mr. Hickman was a Democrat in his political belief and a Mason in his fraternal affiliations. He and his wife were the parents of three children, the subject of this sketch, who was the second born, having two sisters, Anna, wife of Minor A. Chappel, a retired farmer now living in Hutchinson, this county, and Sarah, who married Frank Hamilton (should be Humiston) and is also a resident of Hutchinson.
Overton Hickman was eight years of age when his parents moved to this state and was ten when they came to Reno county, consequently his youth and early manhood was spent on the farm in Medford township, where he remained until his marriage in 1901. Some time later he bought a farm in that same township, on which he made his home until 1909, in which year he moved to Hutchinson, the county seat, where he became a salesman for the International Harvester Company. In 1911 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Reno county, in which capacity he served for a year and in 1912 he engaged in the automobile business, he and his partner having the agency for the “Overland” car in this section.
Ever since the days of his early manhood, Overton Hickman had given thoughtful attention to political affairs in Reno county and for years served as precinct committeeman in behalf of the Democratic party. During his residence in Medford township he had served as township clerk and also had served the public to advantage as a member of the school board, during which latter incumbency he helped to organize and inaugurate the first consolidated graded school established in Reno county. In 1912 the Democrats of Reno county made him their nominee for the office of county treasurer and he was elected in the ensuing election in the fall of that year. So satisfactory did his services in this important office prove, that he received a second nomination in 1914 and was again elected and is now serving his second term in that office, making one of the most popular officials in the court house.
On June 16, 1901, Overton Hickman was united in marriage to Emma (Hodges) Wyatt, a widow, who died on August 29, 1909, leaving two children, Clarice, born on August 30, 1903, and Norena (should be Norma), August 18, 1905, and on February 15, 1911, Mr. Overton married, secondly, Anne (Love) Chenoweth, who was born in the state of Mississippi, daughter of William A. Love, now a well-known farmer of Westminster township, this county. Mr. And Mrs. Hickman are members of the Congregational church and take an active interest in all good works hereabout. Mr. Hickman is a member of the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America, in the affairs of which orders he takes a warm interest. He is the owner of a quarter of a section of good land in McPherson county, besides his interests in this county, and is considered quite well circumstanced.
Phyllis Long on
November 16, 2003.