In the past several days, I have given you the very beginnings of the information that they police and the newspaper had to give. Dr. Hickman was buried on February 4th and by that time, thousands of dollars had been generated in reward money. Governor Joseph M. Brown issued the maximum amount the state could offer towards a reward for the arrest and evidence of the culprit: $200 in 1910, which is about $5,000 in today's money.
The police have identified various nefarious characters, interrogated them before finally deeming and granting their innocence of this crime.
So now-- here we are: I have more pieces to provide, but am unsure as to how to provide them. Do I state my questions? Do I rewrite articles in verbatim? Do I list the characters and follow their trail? Do I do this whole thing chronologically? And, I have to be honest-- there is a lot of fluff in these news articles. Dr. Hickman was, apparently, a little like Jesus in the way he is described and it gives me pause- was he really as good as these articles make him out to be?
I have some excerpts from the coroner's report. When do I introduce this information? Dr. J.R. Littleton was very thorough and opened a whole new box of worms when it came to how he died, even using the expression, "Dead men tell no tales."
Only today, I read an "intimate sketch" of the distinguished physician and learned that we share the same alma mater as the majority of fellow Augustans, The Academy of Richmond County. Granted, I was in the class of 1999 and he had to have been somewhere along 1870ish as he was born in 1852. We are only 130 years apart; so close. Didn't people graduate from high school earlier back "in the day?"
The sketch of his life says that the tourists who visited the city for the season would seek him out for his counsel and knowledge... "and to those who had not the money to recompense him for his service he was a ministering angel in physician's guise."
Really? A ministering angel in physician's guise? I mean, don't get me wrong-- I think a lot of my husband and say very, very nice things about him. I put him on a pedestal, even. But, my pediatric intensive care husband, who has saved many... many lives has never been called a "ministering angel in physician's guise," at least to my knowledge. Honey, let me know if that changes, um-kay?
And then the question begs- what was he doing on Milledge Road? How did he get there? WHY did he go there? And where exactly was he murdered?
And herein lies my problem, I know why he was on Milledge- I just found out. But, do I tell you, fair readers, why he was there or do I let it unfold chronologically? When I tell you, do I go ahead and drop the fact that this was under suspicious circumstances? The fact that one of the officers of the Kings' Mill had a bullet hole through his door- where do I drop this little tidbit in the conversation? The Kings' Mill where, I'll have to double check my notes, T.I. Hickman- the good doctor's baby brother- is president in 1910.
Or, since I did not get to the conclusion faster, has everyone lost interest and I need to get back to pretty pictures of my kids?
All these questions...