(1883 - 1962)
A distinguished chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and a native of Williamson County.
Descendant of 1849 settlers from Alabama, he was a son of Nathaniel Franklin and Mary J. Porterfield Hickman. He attended the Liberty Hill Normal and Commercial College, and (with interruptions to teach school) earned a law degree at the University of Texas in 1910.
For 16 years he was an attorney in Dublin (Erath County) and Breckenridge (Stephens County). Oil was discovered in both areas, and with boom conditions his practice included some historic cases.
Elected Associate Justice (1926), he became in 1928 Chief Justice, Court of Civil Appeals, Eastland. He was appointed to the Supreme Court Commission of Appeals in 1935; became an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 1945; and on Jan. 7, 1948, was appointed Chief Justice — a post he filled until 1961. He is credited with 433 opinions of the Texas Supreme Court.
A devout Christian, he taught a Bible class about 50 years, and served 1921-62 as a trustee of Southern Methodist University. He married (1) Ethel Markward (d. 1921) and (2) Lena Pettit, who survived him.