Columbia’s oldest operating high school is named for David Henry Hickman, who donated part of his estate — which had formerly been home to a horse race track and grandstand — for construction of the new school in 1927. Legend has it the school gained its Kewpie mascot after a school secretary placed her Kewpie doll in the center of the court during a basketball game and the entire game was played around it without it being broken — as the team won, it became a good luck charm. The school’s motto is “Keep smiling.” As a two-time Blue Ribbon School and a Missouri Gold Star School and being named in the top 5 percent of high schools in the nation by “Newsweek” magazine in 2006, Hickman has had a lot to smile about.
Sam Walton, class of 1936, founder of Wal-Mart.
Frederick Chapman Robbins, class of 1932, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954.
Claire McCaskill, class of 1971, first woman elected to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.
Heath J. Meriwether, class of 1962, Former Columbia Tribune reporter, now publisher of the Detroit Free Press.
1104 N. Providence Road,
Year school opened: 1927
Number of students: 1,689
Students per classroom teacher: 18
Smithton Middle School: Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary, Derby Ridge Elementary, Midway Heights Elementary, Parkade Elementary, Paxton Keeley Elementary, Russell Boulevard Elementary, Shepard Boulevard Elementary, West, Boulevard Elementary, West Middle School: Benton Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Grant Elementary, Parkade Elementary, Russell Boulevard Elementary, West Boulevard Elementary