Doc Hickman

[Editor: Doc’s wife Linda called to tell us that Doc had died in February, 2023, (no obituary). Doc’s story below is one of my favorites, full of Garden Home history…and fun! And the photo of the kids and the big dog is my favorite. Doc was 90 years old.]

Doc Hickman has been remembered by Robert Feldman, Jack Steele and others as a good friend in the 1940s at Garden Home Grade School. Doc recalls that he lived on a small 21 acre farm with a few cows, chickens and a special pig called “Old May.” The lane they lived on became known as Hickman Lane which is located off of Miles Court just north of the Garden Home intersection. At one time the Ole Oleson family farmed the Hickman property, now Hideaway Park, and other parcels of land.

Betty the St. Bernard with L-R: Cousins Bill Norris, Doc Hickman, Lou Anne Hickman and Eilene Norris. Courtesy Doc Hickman. See post.

Betty the St. Bernard with L-R: Cousins Bill Norris, Doc Hickman, Lou Anne Hickman and Eilene Norris.
Courtesy Doc Hickman. See post.

Blue Baby: In the 1930s, Doc was born to Dene and Emma Hickman. At birth Doc was called a “blue baby” and required immediate medical care.* Dr. Clark and Dr. Warren saved his life and he was officially named Clark Warren Hickman but was always called Doc by his family and friends. Doc also had a sister Lou Anne (Azar) and a brother Dick.

One time the Hickman barn caught on fire, they all dashed out and saw that the dad had put a light bulb in a can for heat and some straw got pushed into the can. Old May, the pig, was in the barn and they quickly let her out, the little pigs were safely out in a pen. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Doc spent a good deal of time at the Feldman home. Mrs. Feldman drove the milk route and son Robert Feldman and Doc would run the bottles up to the homes as she drove along. Doc’s father-in-law had a business with a mobile truck washing business. They were hired to wash out the swimming pool when Aaron Frank would have it drained at his farm.

Zollings: The Hickmans sold the Hideaway Park property to Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District. The Zolling Nursery was located just south of the park property, now at 6750 SW Oleson Road. Mr. Zolling raised prized camellia plants for sale and competition. The Hickman children had permission to walk through the Zolling property for a shortcut to school. One time a friend picked a special camellia that was destined for a show and Mr. Zolling was very angry.

Duck hunting: Nicols Riding Academy was located on Nicol Road, just north of the Frank Farm and the Hunt Club. Nicol Road now leads to Oregon Episcopal School off of Scholls Ferry Rd, just east of Portland Golf Club. Going down Nicol Road, Doc and his friends would access a lake at the Portland Golf Club and pay younger children to run around the lake at to scare up the ducks for duck hunting. During one of these events, the Nicols Riding Academy was holding an exhibition and the gun shots scared the horses, sending a very angry Mr. Nicols down to find the troublemakers.

The Marugg barn was a magnet for Garden Home kids. “Old man Marugg” didn’t care if they played upstairs in the barn moving the hay bales about to create tunnels, forts, wars, etc.

Vanport Flood: During high school, Doc worked for the Schallberger Dairy farm. It was located off of Scholls Ferry Road, just south near the Raleigh Hills intersection. In 1948 at the time of the great Vanport flood in north Portland, Mrs. Schallberger had gone to Switzerland to visit family. One of the family members had taken a nice photo of the dairy farm to send her but then forgot to turn the dial to move the photo on to the next space on the camera. Another photo of the terrible Vanport flood got overlaid on top of the Schallberger farm to present an alarming photo. They were afraid to send this photo to Switzerland fearing that it would be misinterpreted. After the Vanport flood, a young family stayed the summer with the Hickmans in their 7 bedroom house until they found other housing.

Von Bergen Home

Von Bergen Home

The Hickman farm was located in the area of the Von Bergen dairy farm on the east side of Oleson Road in the Miles Court area. At one time, they lived in the Von Bergen home. The Von Bergen grandchildren recall selling a portion of their farm to the Hickmans. Doc knew John and Mary Von Bergen. The Stark and the Wolf families also lived in the area. Both families married into the Oleson family.

Garden Home people: Doc remembers “Old Man Webber” who lived down in the area just north of the train station, currently Old Market Pub. His long white beard was reportedly due to his comment to his then wife that he would shave the beard when she returned to live with him. He was known to just get off a too-crowded bus and walk to or from Portland.

Cousin Billy Norris would help Roy Floyd with one of his jobs, reading the water meters. Roy was the local ice man. A special treat was to put a chunk of ice in a gunny sack to haul home to feed the ice cream maker in a time when ice cream was not easily available.

The Cadonau family ran the Alpenrose Dairy which was then off of Vermont. They suffered a severe fire at the dairy, causing them to move up Shattuck Road to the vacant Elco Dairy property, presently the outstanding Alpenrose Dairy facility.

In 2002, Doc’s mother Emma Hickman died at almost 104 years of age.

Doc and wife Linda live in Dallas, Oregon and have three children. Doc has retired from the trucking industry. Doc’s cousin Eileen Norris was married and lived in The Dalles, Oregon.  She was tragically murdered by her son who then killed himself.

*Blue baby refers to an impairment of the baby’s circulatory system or an Rh factor problem which at that time required blood transfusions.

See also:

Telephone interviews by Elaine Shreve Dec. 2011, Jan. 2012

Below are notes by Elaine Shreve from a driving tour of Garden Home with Doc Hickman, August 13, 2016:

Original Hickman home was at 6535 Miles Court.  It was an old house and knocked down, new one in its place.  Their farm stretched into this whole area.

ELCO Dairy was located on Shattuck.  When Alpenrose burned at its original location close to Hayhurst, they relocated to the ELCO site.

The Hunt Club was located at the now, far end of Hunt Club Road.  Once their event was so big that the Franks had to open up their stables for the horses.  As a kid, Doc worked some events.  Once with a steeple chase, he’d go around and put the gates back up after the horses knocked them down.  Once the Club gave away a pony at an event.

The Cannery was a busy place, you had to label the correct number and the name of the contents on each can.  Once so many peaches came in that they put out a call to the community women to come and peal peaches.

The railroad station and the switching tracks and sidings and the trestles took up the area from the road down to electric substation east to beyond the (now) Baptist Church.

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5 Responses to Doc Hickman

  1. Pingback: History of the Alpenrose Dairy | Garden Home History Project

  2. Pingback: Lou Anne Azar obituary | Garden Home History Project

  3. Pingback: October 2021 Update – Garden Home History Email | Garden Home History Project

  4. Pingback: October 2021 News | Garden Home History Project

  5. Pingback: March 2023 News | Garden Home History Project

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