Carter M. Hickman, 95, Md. legislator for 5 terms, Eastern Shore
By Frederick N. Rasmussen
February 21, 2006
Carter M. Hickman, a former educator and Queen Anne's County Democrat
who served for two decades in the House of Delegates, died of
complications from pneumonia Saturday at a retirement home in
Westborough, Mass. He was 95.
Mr. Hickman was born in Felton, Del., and raised in the Queen Anne's
community of Roberts Station. He attended the one-room Crane Swamp
School and graduated from Church Hill High School.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Washington College in 1931 and a
master's degree in education from Columbia University in 1934. He also
did graduate work at the University of Maryland and University of
Mr. Hickman taught mathematics and science and coached boys' athletics
teams from 1931 to 1942 at Sudlersville High School. He was principal
of Centreville High School for seven years until being named supervisor
of Queen Anne's County high schools in 1949.
In 1954, Mr. Hickman left education when he purchased Greensboro Supply
Co., a feed and grain business that he operated until 1966. He also had
been a real estate salesman for C.E. Anthony Jr. & Co., and later
owned Queen Anne's Realty Co.
Mr. Hickman was elected to the first of five terms in the House of
Delegates in 1962, and during his career he served as chairman of the
Legislative and Executive Committee, vice chairman of the Judiciary
Committee and as a member of the Land Use and Open Space Committee.
He also served on numerous gubernatorial commissions, including panels
on the state fire code, interest and usury, drug addiction, education
and salaries of elected officials. He had represented the state on the
Agricultural Committee of the Council of State Governments and was
chairman of the Legislature's Democratic Caucus.
"He was a grand fellow, and I remember him so well," John Hanson
Briscoe, a former House speaker and retired St. Mary's County Circuit
judge, said yesterday. "He was handsome, distinguished-looking and
reserved and always impeccably dressed.
"And whenever Carter stood up to speak, everyone stopped talking and
listened because he rarely took to the floor. He didn't believe in all
that malarkey of making endless speeches. He wasn't trying to cure all
the ills of the world, but when he did rise, it was like a priest or a
holy person had risen to speak."
A conservative Shore Democrat, but "a little more toward the center"
than others, Mr. Hickman enthusiastically backed civil rights
legislation and the Equal Rights Amendment, Judge Briscoe said.
"He was a courtly Southern gentleman who smoked a pipe and sat in front
of me in the House of Delegates," Senate President Thomas V. Mike
Miller of Prince George's County recalled. "He may have been from the
Eastern Shore, but he always took the wide view of issues affecting the
entire state. He really was a great leader."
"Mr. Hickman personified what it meant to be a representative of the
people," said Carvel Payne, former director of the state Department of
Legislative Services. "He thought things out and had lots of common
sense. Members sought him out for advice and counsel, and his word,
once given, was golden."
After retiring from the House of Delegates in 1982, Mr. Hickman
returned to his 200-acre Walnut Hill Farm in Church Hill, where he had
lived since 1948.
In 1999, the Queen Anne's County District Court building was named for
He was a member and lay leader of Church Hill Methodist Church and a
member of the Lions Club and of the board of the old Chestertown Bank.
He moved last year with his wife of 68 years, the former Marion
Hardesty, to the Westborough retirement home, to be near their
daughter, Suzanne H. Pratt of Cambridge, Mass.
Plans for services were incomplete yesterday.
Also surviving are a son, David H. Hickman of Washington; four
grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun