William Adams "Wild Bill' Hickman

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William Adams Hickman

Also Known As: "Wild Bill", ""wild bill" hickman"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Booneville, KY, USA
Death: Died in Lander, Fremont, Wyoming, United States
Place of Burial: Lander, Fremont, Wyoming, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Edwin Temple Hickman and Elizabeth Adams Hickman
Husband of Lerona Minerva Vanderhoof; Bernetta Waters Hickman; Minerva Emma Hickman; Sarah Basford Hickman; Hannah Dyantha Hickman and 6 others
Ex-husband of Sarah Elizabeth Hickman Beebe Berry
Father of Elizabeth Helen Meacham; Sarah Katherine Butcher; George or William George Hickman; Bernetta Walters Hickman; Rebecca Hickman and 24 others
Brother of George Washington Hickman; Thomas Jefferson Hickman; Martin Dickerson Hickman; Warren Elisha Hickman; Rhoda Ann Hickman and 10 others

Occupation: farmer, rancher
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Adams "Wild Bill' Hickman

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...William Adams Hickman, also known as "Wild Bill" Hickman (April 16, 1815 - August 21, 1883), was a frontiersman. He also served as a representative to the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Hickman was baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1839 by John D. Lee. He later served as a personal bodyguard for Joseph Smith, Jr. and Brigham Young. Hickman was reputedly a member of the Danites.

In 1854 Hickman was elected to the Utah Territorial Legislature. He was an important figure in the Utah War. He torched Fort Bridger and numerous supply trains of the Federal Army.

Hickman was excommunicated from the Mormon Church in 1868. Shortly thereafter, 9 of his 10 wives left him.

Around Sept 1871, while under arrest for the murder of Richard Yates years earlier, Hickman wrote an autobiography/confession in which he confessed to numerous murders. Years later, his confession was given to J.H. Beadle, who published it under the sensational title Brigham's Destroying Angel. It's unclear how much of the account is factual and how much is exaggerated, but in his confession he implicated Brigham Young as being the one who ordered Yates' murder, as well as most of the other murders to which Hickman confessed. Federal law enforcement authorities at the time gave Hickman enough credence to hold off charging him with the murders so that he could be a material witness in a case they were attempting to build against Brigham Young. During this time, Hickman was held at Fort Douglas, guarded by the military, rather than in a local jail cell because federal authorities believed Hickman needed witness protection from a perceived threat by the Danites.

Nothing ever became of the case against Brigham Young, and Hickman, who had struck a deal with federal law enforcement to testify against Young if he were ever brought to trial over ordering these and other murders, was never convicted of the crimes to which he confessed, although he lived the remainder of his life as somewhat of a pariah.

Hickman was rumored to have been involved with the Mountain Meadows massacre, and was consequently excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It should be noted that after his death, it was proven that he was in no way related to the incident, and was thereafter reinstated with his covenants as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LDS online records show he fathered 36 children. He was the grandfather of Mormon metaphysical and inspirational author Annalee Skarin. He died in Wyoming in 1883..."

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Wild_Bill%22_Hickman

Additional Information:

http://hickmansfamily.homestead.com/williama.html


William Adams "Wild Bill" Hickman (April 16, 1815 – August 21, 1883) was an American frontiersman. He also served as a representative to the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Hickman was baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1839 by John D. Lee. He later served as a personal bodyguard for Joseph Smith, Jr. and Brigham Young. Hickman was reputedly a member of the Danites.

In April 1854, Hickman was asked by Brigham Young to go to Green River and establish a ferry under church ownership. Hickman found the area to be overrun by ferries, along with a growing uneasiness between Mormon ferrymen and mountain men. Instead, Hickman established a prosperous trading post at Pacific Springs near South Pass, twenty-six miles east of Green River. Hickman was appointed sheriff and county prosecuting attorney, assessor and collector by Judge Appleby in 1854 at Fort Supply, twelve miles south of Fort Bridger. In August 1854, Hickman was elected to the Utah Territorial Legislature for the area of Green River.

On 8 February 1856, Hickman, along with Porter Rockwell, and at the request of Brigham Young, carried the mail from Independence, Missouri to Salt Lake City. Porter Rockwell carried the mail from Fort Laramie to Salt Lake, and Hickman from Laramie to Independence. The trip took Hickman nearly four months to complete.

He was an important figure in the Utah War. Hickman torched Fort Bridger and numerous supply trains of the Federal Army.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Bill_Hickman


Wild Bill Hickman From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Adams "Wild Bill" Hickman (April 16, 1815 – August 21, 1883) was an American frontiersman. He also served as a representative to the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Hickman was baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1839 by John D. Lee. He later served as a personal bodyguard for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Hickman was reputedly a member of the Danites.

In April 1854, Hickman was asked by Brigham Young to go to Green River and establish a ferry under church ownership. Hickman found the area to be overrun by ferries, along with a growing uneasiness between Mormon ferrymen and mountain men. Instead, Hickman established a prosperous trading post at Pacific Springs near South Pass, twenty-six miles east of Green River.[1] Hickman was appointed sheriff and county prosecuting attorney, assessor and collector by Judge Appleby in 1854 at Fort Supply, twelve miles south of Fort Bridger.[2] In August 1854, Hickman was elected to the Utah Territorial Legislature for the area of Green River.[3]

On 8 February 1856, Hickman, along with Porter Rockwell, and at the request of Brigham Young, carried the mail from Independence, Missouri to Salt Lake City. Porter Rockwell carried the mail from Fort Laramie to Salt Lake, and Hickman from Laramie to Independence. The trip took Hickman nearly four months to complete. .[4]

He was an important figure in the Utah War. Hickman torched Fort Bridger and numerous supply trains of the Federal Army.

Excommunication and later life Hickman, a practicing polygamist, was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1868.[5] Shortly thereafter, nine of his ten wives left him. According to his autobiography, Hickman's excommunication immediately followed his refusal to commit an assassination at Brigham Young's request.[6]

Around September 1871, while under arrest for the murder of Richard Yates years earlier, Hickman wrote an autobiography in which he confessed to having committed numerous murders. Years later, his autobiography was given to J.H. Beadle, who published it under the sensational title Brigham's Destroying Angel. It's unclear how much of the account is factual and how much is exaggerated, but in his confessions Hickman implicated Brigham Young as being the one who ordered Yates' murder, as well as most of the other murders to which Hickman had confessed. Federal law enforcement authorities at the time gave Hickman enough credence to hold off charging him with any murders so that he could be a material witness in a case they were attempting to build against Young. During this time, Hickman was held at Fort Douglas, where he was guarded by the military, because federal authorities believed Hickman needed witness protection from a perceived threat by the Danites.

Nothing ever became of the case against Young. Hickman, who had struck a deal with federal law enforcement to testify against Young if he were ever to be brought to trial, was never convicted of the crimes to which he confessed, although he lived the remainder of his life as somewhat of a pariah.[citation needed]

Family Hickman had ten wives. He married his first wife, Bernetta Burchartt on 30 Aug 1832, second wife was Sarah Elizabeth Luce, married in 1849. Third wife was Minerva Emma Wade, married on 1 May 1849. Fourth wife was Sarah Basford Meacham[7], married in August 1850. Fifth wife was Hannah Diantha Horr, married in 1853. Sixth wife was recorded only as an "Indian woman" and seventh wife was Sarah Eliza Johnson, married to both women on 28 March 1855. Eighth wife was Mary Lucretia Horr, married in March 1856. Ninth wife was Martha Diana Case Howland, married in November 1856, and his tenth wife was Mary Jane Hetherington, married in 1859. Online genealogical records of the LDS Church show he fathered 36 children.[citation needed] Another source lists 39.[citation needed] Hickman was the grandfather of Mormon metaphysical and inspirational author Annalee Skarin. Hickman was also the grandfather (through Minerva Emma Wade) of the esteemed Mormon and Western artist, Minerva Teichert.[citation needed] His is also the great-great-grandfather of speculative fiction author Tracy Hickman. He died in Wyoming in 1883.

Hickman was re-baptized by proxy into the LDS Church on May 5, 1934.[8]

Notes

Hilton 1988, pp. 36.
Beadle 1988, pp. 100–101.

Hilton 1988, pp. 53. Hilton 1988, pp. 61–66. Hilton 1988, pp. 119–121.

Brigham's Destroying Angel; p .[page needed]
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=72280125
Hilton 1988, pp. 137–138.

References Hilton, Hope A. (1988), "Wild Bill" Hickman and the Mormon Frontier, Signature Books, ISBN 0-941214-67-2 Beadle, J.H. (1904), Brigham's Destroying Angel: Being the Life, Confession and Startling Disclosures of the Notorious Bill Hickman, Danite Chief of Utah ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wild Bill' Hickman and the Mormon Frontier Ogden Standard Examiner , John Devilbiss


It was Christmas Day afternoon 129 years ago when William A. Hickman, standing in front of the Townsend Hotel on First South and West Temple in Salt Lake City, dared another man to shoot him.


Hickman, who was well-known locally as "Wild Bill," was quick with his temper and fast with the pearl-handled Colt and Yaeger revolvers that he kept slung around his hips.


As a soldier, bodyguard and spy for Brigham Young, Hickman, who stood about six feet tall, was no stranger to confrontation. He had used his guns many times before and wouldn't hesitate to use them again.


Recounting that bloody Christmas Day encounter, Hickman said he was in the alley outside the hotel when Lott Huntington drew his gun on him. Hickman was close enough to grab the cocked pistol with one hand while drawing his knife with his other. Just as he was about to plunge the knife into Huntington, he heard someone shouting not to do it. He hesitated.


At that moment, Hickman said someone stepped between them. Huntington then stepped back a few feet and shot Hickman in the thigh.


"I drew my pistol, but before I got it out of the scabbard, he shot at me


again," he wrote later. "As I brought my pistol on him, he wheeled to run. I shot. He jumped some three feet high, clapping his hand behind him. He then ran out from the alley about 50 steps, wheeled, shot twice at J. Luce, then at John Flack, upon which the boys returned the compliments."


Hickman's "boys" were a group of some 20 men labeled by Brigham Young the "Hickman Hounds," men said to often take matters into their own hands. It seems a few weeks earlier Hickman's gang had a run-in with a rival gang, of which Huntington was a member.


The colorful tale can be found in Hickman's 1872 autobiography, "Brigham's Destroying Angel." For those who crave American West genre, it probably doesn't get any better than this—that is, unless you're Mormon.


It seems Hickman dug his own grave when he hastily wrote his autobiography, which claimed that Brigham Young ordered him to kill men without benefit of trial.


From the time his book appeared in local bookstores on Feb. 5, 1872, to his lonely death 11 years later. Hickman was despised by Mormons for the way he vilified their prophet, and by Gentiles for the deeds he claimed to have committed out of loyalty to that prophet.


When Hope A. Hilton first read the book her great-grandfather wrote about himself, it sparked a flame of curiosity that grew brighter over the years.


Was he really as bad as he made himself out to be? Why did he implicate Brigham Young and other high Mormon officials? Why did he betray those whom he had once loyally obeyed? Why did the Mormon Church turn its back on him and all but exclude him from its history?


These were questions the Salt Lake City woman thought deserved answers, but they were answers that kept eluding her whenever she approached her relatives—who either tried to change the subject or became overly defensive. She decided to settle the matter herself. She turned to journals, letters, court records and the church archives in hopes of retracing his controversial life and placing it in perspective.


This month, Signature Books of Salt Lake City has published those finding in the book, "Wild Bill" Hickman and the Mormon Frontier ($9.95).


Hilton said Hickman's autobiography, under the hands of anti-Mormon editor, J.H. Beadle, focused only on the sensational and failed to consider the setting in which he acted—namely a frontier territory that had essentially declared war on the United States.


She was referring to the 1857-58 "Utah War," which, among many things, was a last-stand effort by Mormons to quell an attempt by U.S. Army troops to march to Utah and remove Brigham Young from the office of governor.


In such a setting, she said, there is a thin line between a war hero and an outlaw—and it's unfair to judge a person's actions during war in the same way you would during peace. The standards are different—a distinction Hickman and Young were not afforded, she said.


"History has willingly accorded Hickman credit for his misdeeds and personal failings while overlooking many of his contributions to the Mormon frontier," she wrote in her preface. "I believe he deserves a nore prominent place in Utah and Wyoming history."


A frontiersman all of his life, Hickman was born in 1815 in a log cabin in western Kentucky. He joined the Mormon Church when he was 21 years old.


Hilton said Hickman was a man loyal to the church and to Brigham Young through most of his life. The greatest display of this loyalty came during the Utah War period—a bloody time in which Hickman is said to have killed some 54 men under direct order from Brigham Young.


Hilton believes that because the war was not exactly a victory for Brigham Young, the church downplayed its significance. She also believes it used Hickman as a scapegoat in much the same way it did John D. Lee in blaming him for the massacre at Mountain Meadows—an offshoot of the Utah War.


Hilton said Hickman appears to have been acting under war orders in all of the deaths except for one—the murder of "Spanish Frank." In this particular case, she called it a "crime of passion" in which Hickman gunned down Frank Moreno, whom he claims ran off with one of his wives and four of his children.


Before his wives started leaving him, Hickman was married to as many as 10 at one time. In all, he fathered 35 children. The burden to care for them was great, particularly since he never worked at a steady job and was never paid by Brigham Young for any of his services, Hilton said.


She said that is the main reason he took employment between 1863 and 1865 as a government guide and Indian spy for Brigadier General Patrick Connor.


This decision was not looked upon favorably by Brigham Young, who distrusted men who accepted government employment, Hilton said. On two occasions he asked Hickman to quit the job. For the first time in Hickman's life, he disobeyed an order from his beloved prophet. In time he "lost the confidence of both government and church," Hilton wrote.


Feeling betrayed by Brigham Young and desperately in need of money, Hickman accepted an offer of some $50,000 to write a book chronicling his years with Brigham Young, Hilton said. The book became an instant best seller among non-Mormon readers, she said, particularly those living in the East who were hungry for any news about the Mormons and the "Wild West."


Hilton said Hickman probably received only $500 for his efforts.


While the book may have been a big hit outside of Utah, within the borders, Hickman became an instant outcast.


Hilton recorded that in 1873 Tom Monaghan, a writer for a Kansas magazine, wrote of Hickman: "Today he walks the streets of Salt Lake City shunned like a leper by every respectful man, no one pays attention."


He called him a "religious fanatic" and accused him of "murdering many in order to secure happiness in the next world."


Hilton wrote that if Hickman received any compensation for his "confessions" it would not have made up for the years of anguish he and his family subsequently suffered. He was a man who by then lived outside the church, a man who feared for his life, a man both broke and broken.


On Aug. 21, 1883, in a cramped sod dugout west of Lander, Wyoming, with only his first wife and a few of his children nearby, he quietly died.


Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought Looking back at the early days of the Church in the West, it is often difficult to sort out just what kind of lives our forebears lived. How much "wild West" was there in the West, how much frontier experience, and how much was tempered by the efforts of Church members to import the amenities of the various cultures represented among those who came to Zion? Some of the early Saints had access to considerable "civilization," even though the vagaries of crops and weather imposed unavoidable hardships. Others, by choice or otherwise, had to deal with Indians and frontier elements in ways that were very much a part of the free-spirited, wilder "mountain man" traditions.


Hope Hilton has tried to sort out the contradictions that surround one of her ancestors, William A. ("Wild Bill") Hickman, who gained such a reputation as an outlaw that members of his family in later generations were often reluctant to mention his name. Motivated initially by curiosity about discrepancies between family traditions and Hickman's autobiographical Brigham's Destroying Angel , Mrs. Hilton has searched widely in original sources and has put together a fascinating and believable picture of a significant life on the Mormon frontier.


William Hickman was a convert to the Church in the early Missouri days. When he moved to Nauvoo to meet Joseph Smith in 1939, the Prophet was so impressed that he had the twenty-four-year-old Hickman immediately ordained to the Council of Seventy. Hickman joined Hosea Stout and Orrin Porter Rockwell as bodyguards for Smith. After the martyrdom, Hickman and a few others continued in a similar assignment of Brigham Young and other leaders during the move west.


By turns cattleman, wagon-train master, gold miner, lawman, lawyer, legislature, ferryman, and gang-leader, Hickman moved from close association with Brigham Young to increasing involvement with the rougher elements of the community. Excommunicated in 1868 and increasingly bitter, he vented his spleen in a "rough book" that accused President Young and many former associates of all kinds of malfeasance. He died in 1873 in poverty and pain in Lander, Wyoming. In 1934, with the approval of the First Presidency, a nephew performed a proxy rebaptism, almost one hundred years after Hickman's original decision to join the Latter-day Saints.

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William Adams "Wild Bill' Hickman's Timeline

1815
April 16, 1815
Booneville, KY, USA
1833
April 13, 1833
Age 17
West Paris, Randolph, Missouri, USA
1835
February 23, 1835
Age 19
Huntsville, MO, USA
1837
1837
Age 21
Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri, USA
1838
October 1838
Age 23
1841
1841
Age 25
Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri, USA
1843
1843
Age 27
Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri
1844
February 29, 1844
Age 28
Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri