Capt. James Bailey Hickman, who passed from this life November 6, 1919, had been a resident of the valley since August 1896. He was born in Snowhill, Maryland, June 30, 1832. He was descended from old colonial stock, and several of his ancestors were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. His mother, Katharine LeKurts, was of French ancestry. The LeKurts family was very prominent in Maryland in the antebellum days, being the owners of large plantations and many slaves.
Capt. Hickman received a common school education. He set out early in life to make his own living and taking a westerly course it brought him to the Ohio river, where he secured employment on the river boats. He, in due time, became a marine engineer and in such capacity sailed on many different steamboats on the Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, Cumberland, and Green rivers, before he retired in 1892. He made his home in Evansville, Indiana, for many years, after which he lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, until he came to Tropico in 1896. Here he lived retired, excepting for the time he was in charge of setting up the machinery in the Art Tile Factory, when that plant was being built. His favorite recreations were fishing and hunting. He was an active member of N. P. Banks Post, G. A. R. On August 12, 1862, he enlisted in Co. E., 65th Indiana Volunteers and served until the close of war. He was advanced on his merits to the rank of corporal, sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and was commissioned a captain shortly before he was mustered out of the service. Fraternally he was an Odd Fellow.
At Evansville, Indiana on June 27, 1864, he married Eugenia Adelaide Louise Wilson and they became the parents of two daughters, Adelaide H. and Cora Bailey; and one son John James. Adelaide became the wife of David H. Imler, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Cora received a normal school education and taught school for a time. She has also been society correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and the Glendale News. She was one of the organizers and the first Matron of Glen Eyrie Chapter, Order Eastern Star; is a life trustee of G.A.R. Hall; and a member of Eschleholtzia Chapter, D.A.R. For three years she was state corresponding secretary of the Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Association, the Tuesday Afternoon and Thursday Afternoon Clubs. She was one of the organizers of the Tropico Improvement Association and was its first secretary, and one of the few who secured the traveling libraries for Glendale and Tropico.
Miss Hickman was united in marriage to Frank Porter Stearns, June 24, 1922, at Palm Villa, her home in Glendale. Mr. Stearns is a native of Paris, Maine, but came west and located in Shawnee, Oklahoma, twenty-five years ago. In 1921 Mr. Stearns came to Los Angeles where he became identified in the business world. He was mayor of Shawnee for ten years and prominently identified with all of the business, political and social activities of that city.
From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 353-354.