8601 Continues: The Hicks House History

Well, things just got interesting.

As many of you who’ve been following along with the Hicks Family History are well aware, I’ve been looking for some time for proof that Dr. John H. Hicks actually lived at 8601 Dixie Highway, and while it seemed likely, I couldn’t actually find anything by way of hard fact to prove that such a speculation was true.

New Evidence: Part I

Enter the 1956 public record on Ancestry.com, which shows Dr. John H. Hicks with an office at 524 S 28th Street, Louisville, KY, and his residence (denoted as “r”) simply listed as “Valley Station Ky”.

John Hicks 1956 Valley Station

Now this was a landmark finding.  Not only does this record show Dr. Hick’s medical office, confirming that this is in fact our John H. Hicks, but it shows him as living in Valley Station, and while there’s no address listed, it’s no stretch of the imagination to presume that Dr. Hicks, who would’ve been in his 70s, had left his home in Louisville and was living with his son’s family.

What’s even more incredible–especially in spite of my initial research–is the presence of a 1960 directory that also shows Dr. Hicks with an office at 524 S 28th Street and still residing in Valley Station.

While I cannot prove definitively that Dr. Hicks was at 8601 Dixie Highway starting in 1956 as there is no address listed, there are a few compelling reasons to believe this is in fact the case:

1.  That’s what the oral history of the area says.  Many, many people who claim to have known the Hicks family or grew up nearby have commented on this blog and many others to say that this is in fact the Dr. Hicks home.

2.  The chances of Dr. Hicks NOT living with his son and yet coincidentally moving to Valley Station as an aging gentleman are very slim.

3.  The house looks like it has a set-up on the side for a doctor’s office.  While there’s no way I can confirm that, common sense argues that this is likely the case.

New Evidence: Part II

Now for the second piece of new evidence that keeps this seemingly solved story a mystery: on a yet another repeat search of Google for 8601 info, I found the following websites that now show a “year built” for 8601:

http://www.homesnap.com/KY/Louisville/8601-Dixie-Highway
http://www.trulia.com/homes/Kentucky/Louisville/sold/263039-8601-Dixie-Hwy-Louisville-KY-40258

You see that?  Year built: 1962.

New Mystery

Now, here’s what I’m trying to wrap my head around.

The house was allegedly built in 1962 per the above sources.

Dr. Hicks reportedly lived at the house.

Dr. Hicks died in 1960 per the Ancestry.com death record.

New Hypotheses

See the issue?  So if the white house we’re seeing on Dixie Highway wasn’t built until 2 years after Dr. Hicks died, how the heck did he have a medical practice there?  The following are my best guesses at explaining this conundrum:

1.  Dr. Hicks was living in Valley Station, but the family lived at a different house, probably on the same land.  Several people have commented that there used to be more houses owned by the Hickses on this land.  Did the family live at one of these homes while Dr. Hicks was alive and build 8601 after his death?

2.  The 1962 build date is incorrect and Dr. Hicks did in fact live at 8601.  This seems to be the most compelling theory so far given the oral history and the house layout, which both suggest that a doctor once lived and practiced at 8601.

3.  The 1960 death date for Dr. Hicks is incorrect.  This could be owing to two things: a) the Ancestry.com date has been transcribed incorrectly.  As I cannot actually see this record myself, I cannot verify that the 1960 date is correct.  b) The John H. Hicks who died in 1960 isn’t our John H. Hicks.  Also unlikely, especially based on the family tree that links Dr. John H. Hicks with this death date.

That’s all for now.  Until the next clue comes my way!

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12 thoughts on “8601 Continues: The Hicks House History

  1. The 1962 Record or building permit that you found is more then likely for the residence at the top of the hill closer to Timothy Hills. My Great uncle John Howell Hicks Jr. built that house at the top of the hill at or about that time period (1962).

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    • That makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any land records or building permits online for the property, so the only thing I had were the linked records above which do not verify the source of their information and, as you suggested, could easily be talking about a different house on the same property.

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    • Hello to who ever owns this page or is this a blog, as I have never replied on a blog before, anyway I have a copy of Dr. John H. Hicks’ obituary that even has his photo in it, and he did die 11-7-1960 and he was from Grayson Co.,Ky.. I have researched the Hick family as I have a “Grayson Co.,Ky. History” group and a “Louisville, Kentucky History-Back In The Good Old Days” group on Facebook. I tell you about my Facebook groups because I would be glad to share the obit of Dr. Hicks with you, but I don’t have a clue how to post it in this forum, but I could share it via my Louisville history Facebook group.

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      • Hi Straw,

        Thanks for your comment! Is the obit in a PDF or photo format? I have not been successful in finding Dr. Hick’s obit online and would be very curious to know more about the man who lived and worked out of this well-known home.

        Thanks!
        WW

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  2. I stand corrected. I stated that Doctor Hicks’s office in Louisville was on Market St. It was at the 28Th. St. address. He kept two office’s one on 28Th. and the other one was at his residence at the 8601 Dixie Hwy. address. I have been told that he charged different prices from one office to the other. He charged more at the office in Louisville then he did at the 8601 Dixie Hwy. address. He said that a lot of the people where farmers and could not afford the city prices. We ( the family ) still has several of his record books and he would deliver a baby, and the family paid him with a ham or a bushel of corn. Or they would do work on his farm. I have been told by family members that he delivered more then 5000 babies in his carrier.

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  3. If you are interested in getting information “from the horses mouth” contact John Howell Hicks Jr, son of Dr. Hicks who is 91 years young and now lives in Clarksville Indiana. His address and phone number are in the southern Indiana phone directory. While he has some computer hassles with his connections — he has a great deal of information on the history of the houses and family. I am John Hicks’ daughter and I also live in Clarksville Indiana, throughout my life in school at Waller, Wilkerson and Pleasure Ridge Park, I met hundreds of people who told me my grandfather delivered them – everyone knew and loved Dr. Hicks. I remember him as a gentle man, who was very tall and “round” like Santa Claus with a mop of white hair that fell into his face all the time. He wore glasses that slide down his nose and he peered over the glasses to look at you with his peircing blue eyes. He always wore a three piece suit and he smelled like penicillin, because he mixed the powder with sterile water in his office, as was the practice at that time. I still have an old metal cabinet from his office in the bottom of that large white house, and it reeks of the same smell after all these years!

    He dearly loved my grandmother and I remember them kneeling, praying, holding hands at the Church of the Open Door at second and college. I remember in my early childhood, dressing up on Sunday with my brother John (the third) and waiting for Papaw, Dr. Hicks to come and take us down town to church. When my sister was born and got old enough, she and I would sing “Victory in Jesus” (my mother made us learn all the verses) for my grandfather and my brother always got Dr. Hicks a Kleenex to wipe the tears from his sweet face. I was 13 years old when he died and I will always remember my visits with him and getting off the school bus on Dixie highway and walking up over the creosote tressels on the railroad crossing up to visit my wonderful grandparents.

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    • What great memories! I am Gay Bunting’s grandaughter. So John hicks senior was my great grandfather.
      I remember my grandmother always talking about how much they (her parents) loved each other.

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      • I met you years ago at your grandmothers passing – Your grandmothers parents, Dr. John and Albennie were very much in love, they held hands, whispered secrets and laughed with each other. The got down on their knees and prayed together in church and at home. I dreamed of having what they had, I adored their love from the time I was a very small child going to church with them and my brother John. Their influence on my life has been tremendous, what a blessing to have known and loved them. Kevan

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    • Dr. Hicks is my Great Great Great Grandfather. I am Zelma’s granddaughter. Zelma is Stanley’s daughter. My Papaw(Stanley) use to call me Albennie(his mom which I assume I your grandmother). I was curious if you have anu pictures? I love to learn about my family’s history. If you have anything you are willing to share with me like stories, pictures, heirlooms, anything PLEASE contact me it would mean a lot. If he is my Great Great Great Grandfather what are you to me??

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      • Hello Ashleah,

        Thanks for reading my blog!

        Just to clarify, I am in no way related to the Hicks family or any of the other families/homes that are researched and posted on this site. I am just a curious passer-by with an eye for photography and a love of history. Your great-great-great grandfather’s home is a forgotten treasure and I wanted to photograph it for posterity as it is vulnerable to the elements, vandals, and the whims of the city of Louisville.

        The folks to whom you are directly replying are likely your first cousins, perhaps once or twice removed.

        All the best,
        WW

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  4. I love old history! I happened upon this blog yesterday so I thought I’d take a ride out to the place on Dixie. The last thing I read (2014) was that the house was to be burned by PRP FD in a controlled burn. I’m glad to say the house is still standing. The side door, (well there’s not even a door there) was wide open. I was too chicken to go in though. And I had a heck of a time getting up the drive in my little car. The old barn to the right of the drive is still there as well. I couldn’t get any further up the drive to see the other buildings because of my car. I didn’t wanna get stuck. 🙂

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    • Hi Amy,

      I’m so glad to hear this house is still standing! I haven’t heard anything about the plans for this property since the 2014 article you referenced. Hopefully, that doesn’t turn out to be this home’s fate.

      ~WW

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