Board of School Directors
H. V. Wilson, President Angus Taylor, Clerk Robert Schaad
The first school house built in Hickory District was a log structure which was built in 1834. This house was erected on what is now known as the Houck farm. It was destroyed by fire in the latter part of 1834. The building and board for the teacher were donated by David Carr, Sr.
B. F. Nelson taught this first school with an enrollment of twelve pupils. This was the first school on Sangamon Bottom, in Cass County.
In 1836 a second log house was built. This building, which was donated by Mr. William Cole, stood on the farm now owned by R. C. Taylor.
In 1840 a log school house was built near the present school site. The land upon which this house was built was donated by David Carr, Sr. Mr. James Grout was the first teacher in this building.
In 1857 the old log house was torn down and a comfortable frame building erected on the same site. This building served as a school house until the present brick building was erected in 1881.
It was here, at Hickory, nestling under her bluff which overlooks the scenic Sangamon bottom, that the rugged pioneers of Cass County established the Sangamon Bottom Schools. It was within these early boundaries, a few years later that Stephen A. Douglas, under a wide spreading tree, made his first political speech. When General Lippincott returned from the Civil War he bought this tree, shipped it east where relics were made from it. It was here that the little church, whose influence is responsible for the moral tone of the community, was founded by these same pioneers.
The first free rural mail route in Cass County was inaugurated at Hickory.
Miss Emma Suffern has taught here since 1897.
“When care and time our memories blot,
When years our measure fill,
We’ll think sometimes of the old dear spot –
The school house ‘neath the hill.”
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From “An Illustrated History of Cass County Schools” – 1902.
Hickory Home Guards
This picture represents a company of pupils of the Hickory School known as the Hickory Home Guards. This little company of boys under their captain, Willie Wilson, take much pride in their little organization and are able to execute some of the military drills in excellent style.