Developing Ideas

     The history of Hickman County is very important to the people of not only Hickman County but to the counties that were created out of the "Mother" county or Hickman County. 

     Hickman County was known to early French explorers as the "Iron Banks", to the Chickasaw Indians as "the Dark and Bloody Land" or the "Happy Hunting Ground," to the early settlers as "the Promised Land," and finally to one and all who live here as "God's Country" or "Home". 

     Organized in 1822, Hickman County was named for Capt. Paschal Hickman, a hero of the War of 1812.  From gently rolling knolls, abrupt hills, and deep ravines, to the rich bottomlands next to the river, all can be found in this 225-square-mile county.  The county is an agricultural region with mainly corn and soybeans being grown.

     It is bordered on the north by Carlisle County, on the east by Graves County, on the south by Fulton County and Tennessee and on the west by the Mississippi River.

     It is impossible to know the exact date that explorers first stepped foot in Hickman County and surrounding area.  It is thought that as early as the summer of 1780 could have found men in the vicinity of the as that is the same year that Fort Jefferson, in  Ballard County today, was constructed. 

     Before Kentucky was admitted as a state, its territory was part of Virginia.  Even though the Chickasaw and Cherokee claimed it as a hunting ground, Virginia's Legislature authorized that land warrants be issued along the Mississippi, Ohio and other rivers.  These warrants were to benefit soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War.  Almost immediately, surveyors were sent to locate the warrants.  But due to the hostility of the

Indians did no more than establish the corners of various warrants.  The first of these warrants were laid along the Mississippi River in what is now Hickman County and embraced an area of 4,000 acres.  This warrant served as a basis for all later ones that were issued.  Virginia decided to pass another act to divide this tract into town lots and also appointed trustees to control and to sell them.  This was the beginning of the town of Columbus. 

      Several years passed with no attempt to settle in this part of the state, due mostly to the Indian hostility.  The first building on the town site was a block house, built in 1804, and used as a fort by troops of the United States during the Aaron Burr's conspiracy.