University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the John Edward Hickman Papers, 1845-1994

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hickman, John E. (John Edward), 1883-1962
Title: Hickman, John Edward, Papers
Dates: 1845-1994
Abstract: Correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, speeches, cartoons, and printed material comprise the John Edward Hickman Papers, 1845-1994, documenting Hickman’s life and career as Texas Supreme Court Justice as well as the activities of his second wife, Lena Pettit Hickman.
Accession No.: 80-2; 2011-060; 2012-098; 2016-168
OCLC No.: 70709677
Extent: 7 ft. 3 in.
Laguage: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

One of seven children, John Edward Hickman (1883-1962) was born to Nathaniel Franklin Hickman and Mary J. (Porterfield) Hickman on a farm in Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Texas. After the death of his father at a young age, Hickman worked to help support the family. A graduate of Liberty Hill Normal and Business College, Hickman taught school first at Hog Mountain in Bell County and then in Lampasas, where he served as principal of the high school for two years. Hickman graduated from the Law Department of the University of Texas at Austin in 1910 and acted as Quizmaster from 1910 to 1911. Thereafter, he attended the 1911 class reunions regularly.

In 1910, Hickman was admitted to the Texas Bar and practiced law for 16 years, first in Dublin and later in Breckenridge. Two years after the death of his first wife, Ethel Markward, Hickman married Lena Pettit in 1923 and moved to Breckenridge. He was elected as an Associate Justice of the Eastland Court of Civil Appeals in 1926 and delivered his first opinion the following year. Hickman continued to serve on that court until 1935, when he was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court to succeed Judge Richard Critz. He became an Associate Judge following a constitutional amendment increasing the number of justices to nine in 1945. Upon the death of Judge James P. Alexander, Governor Beauford Jester appointed Hickman Chief Justice, to which position he was reelected in 1948 and 1954 without major opposition. From 1952 to 1953, he served as the Chairman of the Conference of Chief Justices and retired from the Texas Supreme Court in 1960.

Hickman’s second wife, Lena Pettit Hickman, was president of the State Officials Ladies Club and the Austin Lawyers' Wives Club. In 1971, the Austin American-Statesman named her one of Austin’s outstanding women. She was also an active member of the University Methodist Church (now University United Methodist) in Austin with her husband, who organized and taught a popular men’s Sunday school class, the Men's Fellowship Class, for over thirty years. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University from 1921 until his death.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, speeches, cartoons, and printed material comprise the John Edward Hickman Papers, 1845-1994, documenting Hickman’s life and career as Texas Supreme Court Justice as well as the activities of his second wife, Lena Pettit Hickman. A large amount of professional correspondence and printed materials concern Hickman’s election campaigns, while a small quantity of personal correspondence focuses on Hickman’s work as a Sunday school teacher at University Methodist Church and congratulates him on his appointment as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, 1948. Furthermore, Lena Hickman wrote editorial comments on correspondence she felt was indicative of her husband’s character. A 1905 journal and an autograph book, 1906-1907, relate to Lena’s childhood. Additionally, documents pertaining to the Hickman and Hill families, 1845-1956, such as legal documents, stock certificates, and deeds, shed light on the business affairs of John Augustus Hill and William Hickman Hill.


"Hickman, John Edward." Handbook of Texas Online. (accessed July 13, 2016).


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons):
Hickman, John E. (John Edward), 1883-1962 -- Archives.
Hickman, Lena Pettit -- Archives.
Hill, John Augustus
Hill, William Hickman
Hickman family
Hill family
Subjects (Organizations):
University of Texas at Austin. School of Law.
Texas. Supreme Court.
University Methodist Church (Austin, Tex.)
Political campaigns--Texas.
Sunday school teachers--Texas.
Williamson County (Tex.) -- History -- Sources.

Related Material

See also: Lena Hickman Papers, 1863-1994.

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Lena Hickman Papers, 1863-1994.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Edward Hickman Papers, 1845-1994, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers



4zd108 Professional Papers
Associates of J.E. Hickman
Assorted historical materials and articles
Candidate as associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court, 1946
In the Supreme Court, December 21, 1960
Memorial, 1949-1959
On retirement of judges, 1952, 1957, 1958
On induction of new judges, 1948-1959
On induction of new lawyers, 1950-1960
Administration of oaths of office, 1952,1955
Congratulatory, 1945
Congratulatory, 1948
4zd109 Congratulatory, 1948
Election, 1926
Freedoms foundation, 1950-1960
4zd110 Letters of commendation, 1946-1958
Supreme Court Building, 1959-1960
Correspondence and assorted materials
Elections, 1926-1954
4zd111 Following the death of J. E. Hickman, 1962-1974
Conference of chief justices, 1949-1959
Correspondence and speeches
Campaign for reelection, 1948
Dedication of State Bar Building, 1952-1957
Dedication of Townes Hall and Tarlton Library, December 3-5,1953
Financial documents, 1960-1961
Lists of foreign lawyers
Memorials, J. E. Hickman, 1962-1963
2.325/W28a Funeral Service and Memorials, J. E. Hickman, 1962-1972
4zd114 Speeches
Associates of J. E. Hickman
J. E. Hickman
Our challenge, delivered at annual dinner, Dallas Bar Association, January 29, 1943
Remarks upon his induction into office of chief justice, January 7, 1948
Education's army, delivered at commencement of University of Texas, Austin, March 31, 1948
Remarks at convention of State Bar at Houston, July 3, 1948
Our challenge, delivered before congregation of University Methodist Church, April 3,1949
An intimate talk about our Supreme Court before State Junior Bar Meeting at Fort Worth, June 30, 1949
Address at ceremonies honoring memory of Governor Beauford H. Jester, July 12, 1949
A living endowment, delivered at Founders' Day ceremonies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, March 24, 1950
Remarks upon opening of court in tribute to Chief Deputy Clerk Joe P. Byrne, March 22, 1950
Remarks at last session of Supreme Court in which Associate Judge Hart participated as a member of the court, November 8, 1950
Remarks on induction of Honorable Clyde E. Smith as associate justice, November 15, 1950
Remarks at ceremony honoring memory of Judge C. S. Slatton, June 19, 1951
Greetings from Supreme Court and introducing Chancellor James P. Hart at annual dinner, State Bar, Dallas, July 7, 1951
Greetings from conference of chief justices at judicial dinner, Waldorf-Astoria, New York, September 18, 1951
Detached persons delivered before Men's Club, Highland Park Methodist Church, January 7, 1952
Wallace Hawkins, The Friend, January 18, 1952
Remarks at a ceremony in which oath of office was administered to Meade F. Griffin, January 2, 1951
Response at Centennial of first sitting of Supreme Court with that of federal district court at Tyler, April 7, 1951
Remarks at ceremony awarding Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously to Private Lieutenant/Colonel Whitt Moreland, August 4, 1952
Greetings from conference of chief justices at National Legal Aid Association dinner in San Francisco, September 13, 1952
Robert Gerald Storey, The Man, delivered at banquet in Dallas, October 2, 1952
Yellowstone Park Conference, American Bar Regional Section, November 1952
Remarks upon Associate Justice John H. Sharp, December 17, 1952
Remarks before administering oath of office to Judge Frank P. Culver, Jr., January 2, 1953
Some types of American lawyers, annual banquet, Virginia State Bar, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, August 8, 1953
4zd115 A message from the Conference of Chief Justices, Boston, August 24, 1953
Observations of J. E. Hickman on the Leonardo Da Vinci display in Austin, Texas, November 8, 1953
Some observations on the role of a law school, dedication ceremonies, Townes Hall and Tarlton Library, December 5, 1953
All letters, greetings, and remarks regarding State Bar Building, Austin, January 22, 1954
The lawyer of tomorrow, annual Lawyers Day Banquet, College of Law, the University of Ohio, Columbus, April 24, 1954
Remarks upon opening of court in recognition of passing of Associate Justice Graham B. Smedley, June 23, 1954
Remarks of J. E. Hickman at induction of Honorable Ruel C. Walker as associate justice of Supreme Court, October 19, 1954,
How we meet ourselves, April 20, 1955
Cooperation with laymen program, American Bar Association, Dallas, August 29, 1956
Greetings to State Bar on celebration of 75th anniversary, May 27, 1957
Remarks upon induction of Honorable Joe R. Greenhill as Associate Justice, October 1, 1957
Remarks upon retirement of Associate Justice Few Brewster, October 2, 1957
Cornerstone laying ceremonies, the Supreme Court Building, December 2, 1957
Remarks honoring memory of Associate Justice Few Brewster, January 11, 1958
Remarks on occasion of memorial services for Judge John H. Sharp, March 29, 1958
Statement regarding Justice Garwood for the Texas Law Review, May 20, 1958
Hamilton's induction proceedings, January 5, 1959
Some types of American lawyers, reception, Dallas Bar Association, May 2, 1959
Remarks on occasion of memorial services for Judge Richard Critz, September 21, 1959
Remarks on occasion of memorial services for Judge W. M. Taylor, November 19, 1959
Ceremony formally opening quarters of the Texas Supreme Court in the Texas Supreme Court Building, December 3, 1959
Response by Judge Hickman, December 21, 1960
Materials and data for speeches
Miscellaneous materials
Tributes and correspondence, retirement, 1958-1962
4zd108 Personal Papers
1911 Law class reunions, University of Texas
Articles, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and speeches
4zd109 Correspondence
From men in the service, 1947, 1952
General, 1926-1961
4zd110 Invitations, 1942-1959
Personal, 1923-1961
Southern Methodist University, 1926-1961
4zd111 Diplomas
Honorary Doctor of Laws, Southwestern University, 1953
Honorary High School, Eastland High School, 1957
Methodist church
Correspondence, brochures, articles, 1921-1962
2.325/W28a "Class Memories" folder, correspondence, brochures, articles, 1950-1972
2.116/OD1199 Diploma, May 12, 1902
4zd115 Watercolor painting of Old Main Building at University of Texas at Austin by Janet Downie, Bluebonnet Studio, 906 Trinity St., Austin, TX, undated
4zd112 Printed Materials
Newspaper clippings, 1925-1962 and undated
4zd113 Broadsides
Election, 1928, 1946, 1954, 1955
Southern Methodist University, alumni association
Assorted publications
Texas Bar Journal
4zd114 Texas Bar Journal
Texas Law Review
2.325/Lo3c Newspaper clippings, 1926-1974 and undated
Printed material
2.325/W28a Certificates, brochures, articles, 1928-1955 and undated
2.116/OD1199 Poster, December 12, 1959
2W53b Photographs
1911 Law Class Reunions
American Bar Association and Conferences of Chief Justices activities, 1948-1960
Hi-Y Club, Breckenridge, Texas, [ca. 1925]
Hickman and classes, 1904-1908
Lampasas baseball team [Duplicate copy, restricted for conservation purposes], 1908
Hickman and family, 1887-1954
Hickman and Lena (Pettit) Hickman
Hickman making speeches, 1955-1957
Miscellaneous activities, 1940-1961
Sunday school classes, 1918-[ca.1963]
Supreme Court, Swearing in ceremonies, 1948-1960
Texas Supreme Court, 1935-1961
3S203 Texas Supreme Court, September 21, 1945
2.116/OD1278 1911 Law Class Luncheon, Dallas, Texas [Restricted for conservation purposes]
Panoramic photograph of general conference of Methodist Episcopal Church South, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 2, 1924
Conference of Chief Justices, "Visit to Virginia," September 1950
Morning Tower Bible Class, Breckenridge, Texas, 1925
Morning Tower Bible Class, Breckenridge, Texas, July 9, 1939
Southern Methodist University board of trustees [Restricted for conservation purposes] [ca. 1930s]
4Q259 Photographs
4Q260 William Hickman Hill family papers, 1887-1956
John Augustus Hill documents, deeds to property, 1845-1923
4Q261 Misc. Speeches, 1943-1958
Tributes, 1962
Watercolor cartoons, undated
Certificates, 1927-1932, 1965
Lena Hickman journal, 1905
Lena Hickman correspondence, 1931-1977
Guest log books, [ca. 1940s-1970s]
2.325/W28a Guest log books, 1929-1971
4Q261 Lena Hickman autograph book, 1906-1907
2.325/J84c Pamphlets, newspaper clippings, sheet music, and other documents commemorating Lena Hickman on the occasion of her birthdays, particularly her 100th, her charitable contributions, and her death, 1982-1994
Correspondence, 1962-1987
School assignments
Photographs and slides of Lena Hickman, including her eighth grade class photograph, her relatives, and the Hickman home, 1906-1982