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On Monday, May 5, 2014, the Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri (CWRTWM) received the 2014 W.Z. Hickman Award for Historic Preservation from the City of Independence.  Accepting the award was Mick Calvert, CWRTWM 2014-05-05 wz hickman award-1President and Pat Gradwohl, CWRTWM First Vice-President.  Several CWRTWM members also attended the awards ceremony.

In 2001, the Heritage Commission developed an annual awards program to honor the challenges of preserving Independence’s rich heritage. These awards are intended to recognize the efforts of individuals, organizations, and projects that display an exemplary commitment to historic preservation in Independence.

In 2002, these awards were distinguished by the name “The W.Z. Hickman Awards for Historic Preservation,” in honor of the pioneering efforts of one of Independence’s first historic preservationists. In addition to being considered an authority on matters of local history, William Zere Hickman (1845-1921) also 2014-05-05 wz hickman award-2organized the “Old lainsmen’s Association” of 1909, who assisted the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution in marking the original path of the Santa Fe Trail. In 1916, he also led a citywide movement to see the 1827 Log Courthouse preserved and restored in Independence, for the benefit of future generations and in 1921 authored the book History of Jackson County.

The Missouri Civil War Museum at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri celebrates its grand opening on June 29, 2013.  To read more about the project, read all about it in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The museum's website is:



Bryan Ivlow, a board member from the Jesse James Farm, spoke to the Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri during our April 2013 meeting on Civil War and American Revolutionary War guns.  He has been collecting guns since he was young and has an impressive collection.  He has also built a few rifles himself.  Bryan also leads the ball and power shoot at the Jesse James Farm and is an historian on fire arms.

Battle of Randolph, Missouri, 1861

The following was researched and written by the late Vera Haworth Eldridge, a well known local historian. It was published in the August 2, 1981 edition of the Liberty SUN newspaper. It isn't mentioned but I suspect the consumption of alcoholic beverages may have played a role in this battle.

It has been said that the only major battle of the Civil War in Clay County was the Battle of the Blue Mills Ferry when the Confederate soldiers were crossing the Missouri River at that ferry and were followed by Union troops.  The Southern men hid in the thickets on the side of the road and ambushed the Union men.  This skirmish lasted nearly an hour.  The action allowed the Secessionists to escape safely to the south of the river so they could join the State Guards in Lexington.  According to Gatewood's 1885 history, the Federal loss was 14 killed and about 80 wounded.  The State Guards lost 3 in the field and 2 more died of wounds the next day with 17 or 18 wounded.  The Federal dead were buried on William Jewell College grounds.  This, of course, was not of much consequence as a battle, but the incidence of brutal skirmishes on both sides caused general unrest all over this part of the country.  When Peggy Smith, librarian in the Missouri Valley Room, called with the clipping from the Kansas City Journal published on 14 November 1904 concerning the battle of Randolph, Missouri in July 1861 the writer had to admit the story was a new one and worthy to be published.  So here it is slightly edited:

The Jacksons at the Battle of Liberty / Blue Mills Landing reenactment"This reenactment was presented in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Blue Mills Landing (aka The Battle of Liberty). The original battle occurred approximately 4 miles south of Liberty, Missouri on September 17, 1861. The reenactment was presented Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Shoal Creek Park in Kansas City, Missouri."

-Tony Meyers

To watch a great video presentation of this event, click here.  You can also view videos of the David Rice Atchison and Alexander Doniphan speeches which were also reenacted on the Liberty courthouse steps.

Battle of Blue Mills Landing

LOCAL HISTORY BOOKS you should know about from the
Jackson County Historical Society

missouristarMissouri Star: The Life and Times of Martha A. "Mattie" (Livingston) Lykins Bingham by Rose Ann Findlen.

This is the first comprehensive, book-length biography of Kansas City pioneer, featuring two never-before published portraits, and making extensive use of rarely viewed excerpts from her scrapbook and her original journal, "Recollections of Old Times in Kansas City," written before her death in 1890, and donated to the Historical Society in 2009. This book also uses cluster history/genealogy techniques to place Mattie within a larger context and her inspiring work to found The Lykins Institute and the first Confederate Women's and Orphans' Home.