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Absalom Hicks (1774-1824) History of the Family after his Will, IN THE RUSH TO SANTA FE: HICKS FAMILY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI PART II by Maryellen H. McVicker

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Date: 1824 to 2009
Location: Boone's Lick, Missourimap
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Absalom Hicks and Elizabeth Davis Hicks

This is a history of the Hicks family after the Will of Abaslom, telling what happened and how things ended up for the entire family. Absalom died when Elizabeth was 49 years old and she lived to be 86 years old. Pioneers of the Missouri Frontier.


Article written in the

SANTA FE TRAIL ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY VOLUME 24 FEBRUARY 2010 NUMBER 2


IN THE RUSH TO SANTA FE: HICKS FAMILY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI PART II by Maryellen H. McVicker

[This concludes Dr. McVicker's article, continued from the last issue.]

ON November 5, 1824, the family held a private sale. James E. Fenton, Young E. Hicks, Daniel McSwain, Joseph Fountain, and Silas Riggs were the only purchasers.

James Fenton had married Susan Hicks on November 30, 1820, in Howard County, Missouri. Joseph Fountain married Hannah Hicks on March 12, 1812, in Christian County, Kentucky, and Silas Riggs married Sally (nicknamed Sary) Hicks on March 18, 1819, in Howard County, Missouri, so the three were sons-in-law of Absalom Hicks.

Young E. Hicks was a son, and McSwain was Young's brother-in-law. Now flush with funds, the estate paid Hybert Brink for mending one check reel, the pit in one crank wheel, one head on a little spool, two big wheel whirls, and an additional $3 for making a coffin, presumably for Absalom Hicks. More bills piled in as 1825 rolled around and the estate paid $4.50 to Daniel Blue for making shingles and then 37.5 cents to Peter Stice for planks for a coffin, again presumably for Absalom. The shingles were probably the 4,800 sold the previous year to Elizabeth Hicks in the estate sale.

In 1825 Hybert Brink and Hardemann Stone were paid for two scholars, so evidently Uncle James Hicks was no longer teaching the family children and one child must have quit schooling. The estate also paid stud fees for one mare and Elizabeth stated that her late husband, Absalom, had $55.87 in cash when he died. She does not state what she did with the money.

The November 9, 1826, local newspaper says the estate is now settled as much as possible for Absalom Hicks in his will gave all the household items to Elizabeth with the provision of who was to inherit them once she died. Nobody thought about the fact she would live for many more years. Again, on February 22, 1828, settlement of the estate was advertised in the newspaper.

In 1829 Young Ewing Hicks paid the tuition for James Madison Hicks, Willis Hicks, and Jenette Hicks, so three of the family were back in school.

When did the family get involved Elizabeth Hicks in the Santa Fe Trail? What made them decide to head west? Where did they get the money? The answer to all these questions obviously revolves around Young Ewing Hicks, who appears to be the family member who did the traveling. Public notices in newspapers from 1826 announce a letter for him at the Columbia, Missouri, post office. There are also announcements in 1829 and 1835. He was gone to Santa Fe at those times, so perhaps 1826 is his first trip west?

By 1826 Young E. Hicks was a justice of the peace for the county.

That fall his cousin, Absalom Hicks, Junior, died. Absalom was the son of James D. Hicks and Sarah Davis Hicks and was called Junior in many legal records to differentiate him from his uncle who was Young's father, Absalom Hicks. At this time period, the terms senior and junior often were to differentiate age differences in family members, not father-son relationships.

Absalom Junior had married Theodoshia Winn on December 20, 1821. In five years, the couple had two children (James and Sarah, nicknamed Sally). No evidence exists to show what killed this young man, but he also made a will. on his death bed which was admitted to court on October 9, 1826, appointing the widow, Theodoshia, and Cousin Young Ewing Hicks as the executors. Both renounced all rights to administer the estate and Elijah Winn, Theodoshia's father, took over as executor.

This Absalom Hicks Junior and Theodoshia Winn Hicks had a farm made up of land purchased from the farm of Elijah Winn and Reverend Daniel McSwain: Two estates within two years with men of the same name with property and interconnected land and money is enough to give even the most dedicated researcher a migraine.

Why did Young turn down the job? He certainly had experience with estates, and he was a justice of the peace with practical experience. Perhaps he turned it down because he wasn't in Boone County much of the time. Maybe' he was gone on the Santa Fe Trail. Young Ewing Hicks would have had money from his father's estate to purchase items to sell.

Certainly he was traveling to Santa Fe by 1828, as told by a story in the Bench and Bar of Boone County, MO by North Todd Gentry:”

About 1828, Young E. Hicks and Richard Gentry, the former a county judge and the latter a justice of the peace, left Columbia in company with Amos Marney and others, to engage in the Santa Fe trade. As they neared Rocheport, they met a couple of young people on 'horseback and evidently in great haste. Inquiry developed that they were running away to Boonville to be married. Justice Gentry was outside of his township, so he feared he did not have jurisdiction, but Judge Hicks knew he did have jurisdiction, so he performed -the ceremony, all parties being on the old state road. Judge Hicks was seated in his wagon, the bride and groom were on the same horse."

Young E. Hicks had been elected a county judge in 1827. Hicks and Marney were to be business partners for several years. On October 12, 1830, a Mexican passport was issued to "the citizen of the United States of North America Young E. Hicks and his servants, Patricio Ryder, Juan Reynolds, and Santiago Callahan to enter the state of Chihuahua and Sonora on commercial business."....The passport was issued at Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe trade must have been lucrative because on May 8, 1830, Young E. Hicks bought out his sister, Sally Hicks Riggs and her husband, Silas, in their share of the estate of their father, Absalom Hicks.

Six years had now passed since the father had died and mother. was going strong. Slaves, the family farm, and household items were not to be divided until Elizabeth died.

Perhaps Sally needed money. Maybe Young got tired of trying to keep all the bookwork required. --For whatever reason,

Young paid them $100.00. Included in the sale was the Riggs' interest in one adult male slave, one adult female slave, and two young male slaves. Young E. also bought the share of Absalom's estate held by his oldest sister, Hannah Hicks Fountain, and her husband, Joseph.

Eventually he purchased the interest of all his other sisters as well. There had to be money flowing into the coffers to buy out six sisters.

However, he did not buyout his two brothers. Absalom Hicks had specified in his will that Young was to receive 159 acres of land and "the next negro child that should be born to my negro family during the life of my wife, if any and if there should be an increase in my negro so that my son Young E. Hicks gets the negro that has been before mentioned then I want all the property left in my wife's hand at the expiration of the widowhood to be equally divided among my daughters."

He also ordered that enough money be taken out of the estate to purchase 160 acres (a quarter section) of land for his second son, James Madison Hicks, whom the family called Mattison, plus a slave boy named London, a horse, saddle, bridle, one bed and furniture, two cows and calves.

On February 1, 1830, Mattison married Tabitha Brink and Elizabeth and Young paid him as per the will.

On May 17,1827, a brother named Willis Hicks married Elizabeth Foster. Willis was left 160 acres already purchased by his father, a slave boy named William, one horse, saddle, bridle, two cows and calves, plus one bed and furniture. Nothing needed to be purchased or recorded at the county courthouse for Willis. It was already within the family.

The sisters also received slaves as part of the estate and no doubt furniture as well. Those unmarried at the time Absalom died were given furniture in the will. Many Southern parents gave slaves as wedding presents to their children when they married and also furniture.

When Absalom died four of his nine children were already married. Probate records show that the married daughters (Hannah, Sally, and Susan) had already received their slaves at the time of the death of Absalom. The younger sisters (Eliza, Martha (Patsy), and Jenette R.) also received their furniture and slaves when they married, plus a horse, saddle, bridle, and two cows and calves just like the boys. Probably the four already married had received the same thing at their weddings.

By buying out his sisters, Young simplified the estate down to himself as the other two brothers received their portion when they married and came of age. It seemed like a good idea. It turned out to be a nightmare because Young E. Hicks died before his mother.

Along with the family estate matters and other business concerns, Young Ewing Hicks became a business partner of Amos Marney. They located their business west of Hallsville, Missouri, in the center of Boone County and continued the yearly trek to Santa Fe. Hicks and Marney also loaned money to other traders or people in need of cash.

The May 1, 1834, Missouri Intelligencer ran a public notice: "Notice is hereby given that a promissory note executed by me to Young E. Hix for about the sum of $3,344 given in December 1832 is paid off by me. I paid Amos Marney $3000 at Chihuahua and to Archibald Stevenson the agent of Marney and Hix about the sum of $344. I, by my agent, have demanded the note since it was paid off by me and the said Hix, and Marney & Hix, refuse to deliver it up to me. This herefore, to forewarn all person from receiving said note by assignment or otherwise. Solomon Houck."

Amos Marney had lived in Christian County, Kentucky, also. He married Fancy Flint there on November 21, 1816. Like the Hicks family, the Marneys had come west to the Boonslick. The families were not only business partners, they intermarried for several generations.

For example, Young's son, Absalom, married Elizabeth Marney on November 16, 1843, in Boone County. During the Gold Rush, Amos went to California with his son, Amos Marney, Junior, and others from Boone County. The son died there, but Amos returned.

In 1854 Amos Marney endorsed Whig candidate James S. Rollins for the Missouri General Assembly.

In 1834 the firm faced a court case. According to Jacob U. Payne, Archibald Stephenson (Stevenson), who was an agent of Hicks and Marney, sold 160 acres of land, two horses, six cattle, two cows with calves, and two heifers to Austin A. King. However, Stevenson had used this land and livestock as collateral for a loan he had with Jacob U. Payne for $1,000 and also he borrowed $400.13 from Payne with the promise he would pay it back plus 10% interest in six months from the date of April 27, 1831. If he did not make a payment, Payne would recover the land and could sell it for the payment. Six months came and went. A year came and went. Two years came and went. Payne got tired of waiting for his money and went to court asking not only for the loan repayment plus interest but also court costs. Now the situation gets sticky. Evidently, the land was sold to Stephenson by Joseph Brown sometime in 1825. Brown was a prominent Boone County citizen who had a town called Brown's Station named after him. Brown acquired it from Joseph Fountain who had acquired it as a land grant using collateral from the estate of his father-in-law, Absalom Hicks, from the federal government when John Quincy Adams was president.

Joseph and Hannah Hicks Fountain paid $166.80 for the property in early 1825, a year after her father died. Young E. Hicks bought out the share of the Absalom Hicks estate from his sister, Hannah Hicks Fountain, and evidently this land was part of the buyout.

The land was sold to Joseph Brown who then almost immediately sold to Young's business agent, Archibald Stevenson. Now Stevenson had sold the land to Austin A. King. To settle Jacob U. Payne's loan, on June 29,1833, the land was sold at public auction and the business firm, Hicks and Marney, purchased it back at the sale. However, Stevenson did not payoff the loan to Payne with the money acquired from the sale. How he got the money is not stated, but the clear implication is that his bosses gave the money to him and he pocketed it.

This so angered Payne that he sued everybody, including his former lawyer, Austin A. King.

On March 8, 1834, Boone County Circuit Judge David Todd (uncle of future First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln) ordered Young E. Hicks and Amos Marney to appear in Columbia in court on June 4, 1834.

Young E. Hicks hurried to hire Abiel Leonard, the foremost lawyer in the Boonslick. Interestingly, all the signatures of Amos Marney are followed with "by Young E. Hicks," so Marney must have been out on the Santa Fe Trail at this spring time of year (perhaps giving Hicks power of attorney to sign for him). Leonard's papers do not record how the suit was resolved, but deeds in the Recorder Office at Boone County show that on June 1, 1835, Young E. Hicks sold to Amos Marney the northeast forty acres of the disputed 160 acres tract of land for $175 with the notation that it was to be held in trust of the benefit of 1. M. Payne (relationship, if any, to Jacob U. Payne not noted). Leonard must have been satisfied with his payment for the case and Young Hicks must have as well because in 1839 he hired Abiel Leonard again to sue William Raymond and John M. McGee.

On January 1,1838, Raymond and McGee had hired slaves from Young E. Hicks and now there were payment problems. The document in the Leonard file sounds like Hicks was not going to be in Boone County and hired Leonard to take care of the problem in his absence, presumably while he was in Santa Fe. Matt Field reported meeting "Hick & Barney [Marney]" on the Trail in 1839.

A St. Louis newspaper, the Missouri Argus, announced July 9, 1840, that "Boone County Santa Fe traders have arrived in Independence with 30 wagons from the company of Hicks and Marney."

Young E. Hicks had disposable income and could make donations as well.

In 1839 there was a contest to choose the location for the state university. The county and town that raised the most money would get the institution. The serious contenders were all in central Missouri, specifically Fayette in Howard County which already had a college and in Callaway County to the east of Boone County. Boone County had a population of less than 14,000 persons at that time. A committee was formed to canvas the county and secure pledges for the fund drive.

Young E. Hicks pledged and then donated $500.00. Sister and brother-in- law, Sally Hicks Riggs and Silas Riggs, gave $100.00. Young's nephew, Caleb Fenton, also gave $100.00. Joseph and Hannah Hicks Fountain gave $10. Lots of other Boone County residents did the same and the University of Missouri came to Columbia. The land which the committee of five had selected and saved for a university when they selected the site of the county seat was too small for a major university and part of it had already been used as a cemetery.

In 2009 that land is still in use as the Columbia Cemetery on West Broadway and a section of the cemetery in the front cannot have burials as per the agreement of the early 1820s in case another institute of higher education wants to locate there. The committee was thinking ahead of the times in 1821 when they set up the county seat.

Like Amos Marney, Young E. Hicks became involved in politics in his later life. He was a delegate representing Boone County at the Whig Convention held in Rocheport in 1844, where one of the speakers was a young politician from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. Later that summer Hicks was a delegate to the St. Louis Whig Convention.

In 1848 he was also a delegate to the Whig State Convention. Along with his business interests in Santa Fe and his political activity, Young E. Hicks and his immediate family also bought and sold Boone County land. Thirty-two transactions are recorded between 1823 and 1851 when his estate was evidently finally settled. Most of the transactions are to family members and some were gifts to his children. Regardless of the intent, they show a man involved in real estate.

In late fall of 1846 his daughter, Susan E. Hicks, married William W. Stone. This happy event helped offset the problem with his sister, Martha (Patsy) Hicks Winn. She married John B. Winn, Junior, in 1832, and in 1835 the couple was given her share of her father's estate. Unfortunately, the marriage fell apart. John was a teacher at least part of the time; in 1832 he was paid to teach the minor children, Sarah and James Hicks, of Absalom Hicks Junior and Theodoshia Winn Hicks, who had now married Washington Wills.

Eventually John became a farmer as well as an educator. In 1842 John had a real problem. He had both a wife and a pregnant mistress. This certainly is not the first menage-a-trois as the French termed it, but it was a crisis. A divorce followed, and an irritated Patsy moved home to momma.

On February 28, 1842, 19-year-old Permelia Gentry gave birth to a son named John William Winn, and on March 8, 1842, she married the father, John Winn.

Permelia Gentry was 10 years younger than he and maybe one of his students. Martha (Patsy) is listed in the 1850 census. In the same census, John B. Winn is listed as living with his wife, Permelia, a 17-year-old son, Willis (son of Martha [Patsy]), and another 7-year old named John. It must have been a nasty divorce although no records could be found to substantiate this. Likely the divorce required a decree from the Missouri State Legislature.

Martha (Patsy) is listed in both the 1850 and the 1860 census, so she lived at least 20 more years after John married Permelia Willis is listed in his father's will when John B. Winn died in 1888.

Feeling angry and betrayed, Martha (Patsy) even changed her name back to Hicks.

This certainly added to the household, of Elizabeth Hicks, who was now in her 80's and no doubt, Young E. Hicks was involved in caring for all these people.

Tragedy had also struck the household of Young Ewing Hicks. The Columbia Statesman, June 27, 1845, reported: "DEATHS: Died at the residence of her father, 12 miles North of Columbia, on Sunday the 15th inst., Miss ELIZABETH, youngest daughter of Young E. and Margaret Hicks, aged 17 years." A lengthy eulogy followed.

Her father, Young Hicks, may have been on the road to New Mexico at the time. In July 1845 "Mr. Hicks" was captain of a trade caravan comprised of 27 wagons that left from Council Grove and traveled via Bent's Fort to Santa Fe, some going on as far as Chihuahua. Hicks, in company with six other men, arrived back in Independence on February 3, 1846, having left Chihuahua on December 1, 1845, and departing from Santa Fe on January 1, 1846.

Young Ewing Hicks died of unknown causes on August 24, 1849, at the age of 47. He had lived an average life expectancy for ante-bellum America. The family buried him in the local cemetery near his father. No doubt his mother experienced many emotions as she stood by his grave.

On November 6, 1842, Susan Hicks Fenton had died, so this was the second of her nine children to be buried as well as her husband and grandchildren.

Earlier in the summer Elizabeth had also stood by the grave of her son-in-law, Joseph Fountain, who died July 22, 1849. He was buried in the front yard of his farm about four miles to the northeast of the family cemetery. His tombstone states "He died in peace with all mankind." The estate of Joseph Fountain has been used in scholarly journals as an example of a typical slave-holding family and their living standards in the antebellum Upland South.

In his will Joseph Fountain left slaves not even conceived yet as property to other family members. The cause of death is not known but two doctors attended to Joseph Fountain: Dr. James H. Dye and Dr. John McCargo Angell. A bill in the probate records from the local general dry goods store shows that the day before Joseph died Hannah Hicks Fountain went to the store and bought a pair of silk gloves. She also purchased whiskey, sugar and coffee plus a dozen screws and seven yards of fabric which is the right amount for a burial shroud. It was considered sexually suggestive for a woman to shake hands without wearing gloves. Whiskey, coffee, and sugar would be required to feed all the people coming for the funeral and screws were used to screw the coffin lid in place. It was obvious that Joseph was going to die.

His coffin was made by Willis Harvey Angell, who was a cabinetmaker and the father of Dr. John McCargo Angell and Lucy Ann Angell Fountain, for a fee of $3.00.

In 1989 Joseph and Hannah's tombstones were removed to Red Top Christian Church in Hallsville because the cemetery had been destroyed. The actual bodies were never found.

Earlier in 1849 Elizabeth and Young E. Hicks submitted a slave inventory of Absalom Hick's estate to the Probate Court. Elizabeth had seven slaves and had already given three slaves to daughters as per instructions in the will.

With Young’s death, left to carryon was his aged mother, his wife Margaret, his five surviving children, and seven siblings.

According to oral tradition in the Hulen family of Hallsville, Young Ewing and Margaret McSwain Hicks adopted two abandoned or orphaned American Indian girls and raised them up as their own daughters. They must have been brought back by Young E. Hicks from one of his expeditions.

The elder girl they named Theodosia Hicks and when she was 22 she married Absalom (called Abner) R. Hulen. The couple had seven children and in the 1890s was on their way to Indian territory to claim Theodosia's Indian rights when she "took sick and died." Abner and the children settled in Harrison County, Arkansas.

Young's son, James E. Hicks, and his son-in-law, William W. Stone, were appointed executors of the estate.

Young E. Hicks died without a will. Under Missouri law, the widow was automatically entitled to 1/3 of the estate and the children were to receive the other 2/3. Evidently the orphaned girls had not been formally adopted as they did not share in the estate. Since there were three living children, Margaret McSwain Hicks elected to' take 1/3 so each heir would receive the same amount.

The October 5, 1849, newspaper announced that Young Hick's slave, Sam, had run away and that anybody finding him was to return him to the estate.

The estate was valued at $7,076.70. Young loaned money to people, he hired slaves and with the money paid to the white owner came clothing for the slave. One rental agreement in his estate shows that he hired a "negro boy named Bartlett" for $24 for a year and promised to feed him and give him two shirts, two pairs of shoes and socks, pay any doctor bills, provide a cap and blanket. Bartlett was still under contract when Young Hicks died.

Another large bill from the local blacksmith shows a family that was constantly having equipment repaired and horses shod. In 1849 alone the bill came to $20.49. Then there was his father's estate. His mother, Elizabeth Hicks, was still alive and he had bought out his six sisters. That estate could not be closed until Elizabeth died.

Before that happened, Young's daughter, Susan E. Hicks Stone, died on April 4, 1852, in childbirth with her third child who was named Young Hicks Stone. He died at the age of seven in 1859. Two weeks after the death of Susan, her daughter, Lizzie Stone, died at the age of three. Perhaps Susan was already ill when she had her baby. They were all buried next to Young E. Hicks.

Elizabeth Hicks paid still more visits to the cemetery to bury a grandchild and great-grandchildren.

Young's son, James E. Hicks, went to California in April 1850 as part of the Gold Rush, along with the Marney men.

James returned to Boone County in 1851.On April 3, 1855, he married Elizabeth Keen of Audrain County, Missouri, daughter of James Keen. He became involved in a plan to bring a railroad to Sturgeon in northern Boone County.

He appears to have been a man of much vision and not much common sense. He invested his own money and his money from Young's estate and evidently that of his brother, Absalom Hicks, as well as others. The depot did not work and in 1861 his farm was sold to pay the debts and eight slaves belonging to Absalom Hicks were also sold and the money given to James A. Marney.

The sale of property belonging to James E. Hicks went to payoff a loan to Prewitt & Price which is still a bank in operation in the Boonslick in 2009, only today it is called Boone County Bank.

James solved his financial dilemma and social embarrassment by moving the entire family to California, including his widowed mother, Margaret McSwain Hicks. They left Sturgeon on May 17, 1861, when the Missouri Statesman reported that "A company of Thomas B. Bond, James M. Keen [father-in-law to James E. Hicks], James E. Hicks and family, W. W. Stone and family [widower of Susan E. Hicks Stone], B. T. Rockford, and others' left Sturgeon last week for California.

Margaret McSwain lived to be 83 and died in April 1885 at the residence of her granddaughter, Kate Hicks Neely, in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California.

Her short obituary states that she was the sister of the late Daniel McSwain who was a pioneer preacher of the Merced River settlements in Sonoma County, so her brother ended up in California as well.

Already living in California before the 1861 family migration was Willis Hicks, brother to Young Ewing Hicks, who had moved there by 1851. According to census records James E. Hicks moved next door.

Within six months after they left Missouri, Elizabeth Hicks succumbed as well. She died on October 30, 1861, from cancer in her left hand. She was 88 years old. She had seen much change in her lifetime.

The third child of Young E. and Margaret McSwain Hicks was named Absalom Hicks after his paternal grandfather. He served in the Missouri State Legislature in the 1850s and in 1853 was listed as a judge at the Boone County Fair. He gave the commencement address for the University of Missouri in 1852.

In 1857 he won a prize at the fair for his exhibit.

During the Civil War he sided with the Confederacy and convinced his uncle, James Madison “Mattison" Hicks, to enlist. Mattison was promptly captured by Union forces and sent to the infamous Myrtle Street Federal prison in St. Louis where he died on May 22, 186~. His body was returned to the family cemetery and buried next to his brother, Young E. Hicks, and his parents, Absalom and Elizabeth Hicks.

After the war, this Absalom Hicks moved to Texas because conditions in Missouri were not conducive to former Confederates.

In August 1862, the estate of Absalom Hicks, who died in 1824, was still in probate. His widow, Elizabeth, was now dead. His sons James Madison and Young Ewing were dead. His daughter Susan Hicks Fenton was dead. The two sons, James Madison (Mattison) and Willis, had received their part of the estate. Since Young Ewing Hicks had bought out his six sisters, he was the only heir left to the estate. But he had died without a will and so his estate was probated by Missouri state law. His widow, Margaret McSwain, elected to share equally with her three children. The only problem was that one of the children, Susan E. Hicks Stone, was also dead and her 1/4 of the estate would go to her only surviving child, Catherine Stone.

Then there was the financial problems of James E. Hicks, son of Young E. He sold to Eli Bass his part of Absalom's estate before he moved to California. The widowed Margaret McSwain Hicks gave her slaves and interest in Absalom Hicks's estate to her son, Absalom Hicks, and that was sold at the same sale where James's property was auctioned and William Simmons bought the slaves and any remaining interest in the 1824 Absalom Hicks estate and all the money went to James Marney.

In other words, Margaret had been too trusting of her sons and now her inheritance was gone.

The guardian of Young E. Hicks's granddaughter, Catherine Stone, wrote to the court to ensure that Catherine received her share of the estate and to remind the judge that her part had not been sold or pledged in any way. The children of Jenette R. Hicks Marney also were part of the mess and entitled to a share of the slave money. Evidently when she married, she did not receive all her portion of the slaves.

The ending of the Civil War made this a moot point anyway as slavery was abolished.

The conflict tore this family apart. Elizabeth Hicks was born before the 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain. When she died the country was embroiled in a horrific war that tore apart her family. One son, Mattison, died in Federal prison as a Confederate soldier and her grandson, Absalom Hicks, ended up in Texas because he was also a Confederate. Her great-granddaughter, Mary Simmerson Cunningham Logan (daughter of John M. Cunningham and Elizabeth Fountain Cunningham who was the daughter of Joseph Fountain and Hannah Hicks Fountain), was married to the Union general, John Alexander Logan, for whom Logan Circle is named in Washington, D. C. Later, he was a candidate for vice-president of the United States on the ticket with James Blaine. His Republican ticket would be defeated by Grover Cleveland.

Mrs. Grover Cleveland campaigned in the Boonslick for her husband in the summer of 1892, and a newborn great-great-great-granddaughter of Absalom and Elizabeth Hicks was named Frances Cleveland Sappington when she arrived on July 27. She hated the name her entire life and dictated that the Cleveland part be left off her tombstone.

Another great-granddaughter, Hannah Fountain Angell, moved to Illinois with her husband, James Madison Angell, during the war to escape the problems of Missouri. When they returned, they took money from the estate of Elizabeth's grandson and Hannah's father, Absalom Fountain (son of Joseph and Hannah Hicks Fountain), and started a bank in Centralia, Missouri.

In 2009 a great-great-great-nephew has an insurance agency in the building. Oral tradition in the family says that James and Hannah were the only family members to whom everybody spoke as they were gone during the war and escaped the terrible accusations and finger pointing of the time.

By this time, the Santa Fe Trail was mostly a memory.

This answers the final four questions posed at the beginning of this paper-how did Young Hicks end up in an unkempt and virtually destroyed cemetery? Where did his family go? Why didn't somebody still care for these burial plots? What happened to the money made in Santa Fe? Young Ewing Hicks was buried in the family cemetery along with his parents, his brother, his daughter, and two grandchildren. When all his immediate family left for California, the people who were most interested and cared about the cemetery were gone from the landscape.
The dead brother’s widow, Tabitha Brink Hicks, remarried and was buried with her second husband. The cemetery is on private property and in Missouri a cemetery cannot be disturbed, but there are no laws requiring it to be maintained. A tornado went through the cemetery in May 2005 and broke off several stones. Ironically, a nearby house and barn were totally destroyed while the stones damaged were merely laid over and not broken.
The money made on the Santa Fe trade was lost in the Sturgeon depot fiasco in the early 1860s. The family coped by moving to California. It wasn't until the 1970s that local family members once again became interested in the cemetery and those buried there.
The Hicks family experienced most of the major problems and the major happy times of any family. They were born, married, and some divorced. They had children, worked hard, made good business decisions, made poor business decisions, and eventually died. Along the way they followed the patterns of Southern 19th-century Americans in their lifestyle, beliefs, and quest for money.
Many descendants from the seven children of Absalom and Elizabeth Hicks who remained here still live in the Boonslick, walking their path of life in much the same way for better or for worse.
NOTES
Resources from Maryellen H. McVicker
  • Probate Records of Absalom Hicks. etc.
  • Newspaper index file in Newspaper Reference Library. State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia. Missouri.
  • Will and Probate Records of Absalom Hicks. Junior, on file in Probate Office of Boone County Courthouse, Columbia, Missouri.
  • North Todd Gentry, Bench and Bar of Boone County, Missouri (1916), 111.
  • "Passport Records 1828-1836, Mexican Records from the Port of Entry at Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory," 1830, New Mexico Genealogical Society, <http://www.nmgs.orgjartpass.htm>.
  • Recorder Office, Boone County Courthouse, Boone County. Missouri, page 405 of Book for 1830.
  • Will of Absalom Hicks.
  • Missouri Intelligencer, May 1, 1834. 3.
  • Marriage Record on file in Christian County, Kentucky.
  • Columbia Statesman, May 5. 1854, 2.
  • Lyn McDaniel ed.. Bicentennial Boonslick History (Boonslick Historical Society: 1976),61.
  • Recorder Office, Boone County Courthouse, Columbia, Missouri, Book F. page 147.
  • Abiel Leonard Papers, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
  • John E. Sunder, ed., Matt Field on the Santa Fe Trail (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), 54; Missouri Argus, July 9, 1840, 2.
  • Switzler. History of Boone County, 255.
  • Columbia Statesman, Feb.1, 1844,2. ,Ibid, May 31, 1844, Ibid, March 3, 1848, 2.
  • Boone County Recorder of Deeds Office, Boone County Courthouse, Columbia. Missouri.
  • Liberty Weekly Tribune, December 5, 1846,3.
  • U.S. Federal Census. 1860, Boone County, Missouri, Ibid. 1850 & 1860, Boone County, Missouri.
  • Columbia Statesman, June 27, 1845,3.
  • Louise Barry, comp., The Beginning of the West (Topeka: Kansas State Historical So- February 2010 ciety, 1972), 556, 570.
  • Columbia Statesman. August 31, 1849,3.
  • James William McGettigan, Jr.. "Boone County Slaves: Sales, Estate Divisions and Families, 1820-1865, Part 2," Missouri Historical Review, 72 (April 1978): 289.
  • Probate Records of Joseph Fountain, Boone County Courthouse, Columbia, Missouri.
  • Maryellen Harshbarger McVicker,. Reflections of Change. Boonslick Cemeteries (PhD. Dissertation, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1989), 296.
  • Genealogy notes of Ida May Sharpe Hulen (Mrs. Benjamin Hulen).
  • Probate Records of Young Ewing Hicks on file in Probate Office, Boone County Courthouse, Columbia, Missouri.
  • Columbia Statesman, October 5, 1849, 3.
  • Probate Records of Young Ewing Hicks.
  • Cemetery Inventory of Middletown Cemetery west of Hallsville. Missouri, from extant tombstones in 1969.
  • Columbia Statesman, April 12. 1850,2., Ibid, January 3, 1851, 2.
  • Deeds on file at Boone County Recorder of Deeds Office, Boone County Courthouse, Columbia, Missouri.
  • Announcement of Sheriff Sale for the May Term of the Circuit Court of Boone County, Missouri, 1861, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
  • Boone County Bank Records on file in bank in Columbia, Missouri.
  • Columbia Statesman, May 17, 1861, 3.
  • San Joaquin Valley Argus, April 18, 1885.
  • Columbia Statesman, November 15, 1861.
  • Switzler, History of Boone County, 1007.
  • Military Service Record of James Madison Hicks, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri; and tombstone in Middletown Cemetery, Boone County, Missouri.
  • Cemetery Inventory of Middletown Cemetery.
  • Columbia Statesman, May 10, 1867, 2
  • Final Probate Records of Absalom Hicks, on file in Probate Office, Boone County Courthouse, Columbia, Missouri.
  • Logan, Reminiscences, 3.
  • McVicker. Reflections of Change, 322. 66. Ibid.
  • Boone County Missouri marriages as contained in original marriage books A and B 1820-1848, http://files.usgwarchives.net/mo/boone/vitals/booneco1.txt




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