2015 Hall of Fame Inductee
As a youth, Holt Hickman worked the ranches. When he was not in school he made frequent trips with his father to the stockyards to buy and sell cattle. He remembered thousands of head of cattle in the pens, the smells, the sounds, and "the excitement of it." After graduating from SMU, Hickman joined his father's company, Fort Worth Battery and Automotive. He and his wife, Jo, had two children, Brenda & Brad, and for the next 30 years, the Stockyards would be the last thing on his mind. Mr. Hickman was the founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Hickman Companies, a diverse collection of more than 50 business entities in the areas of commercial real estate, oil and gas, farming/ranching and entertainment.
In the 1980's Hickman's interest in the Stockyards would be rekindled as he began purchasing property in the historic Northside district. In 1988, Mr. Hickman and partners reopened the legendary Billy Bob's Texas and the rest, as they say, was history. With their deep love of Fort Worth and the western way of life as the driving force, he and Jo then opened the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2001. Home to the John Justin Trail of Fame and Sterquell Wagon Collection, the largest lifestyle wagon collection in the world, the Hall of Fame also houses one-of-a-kind memorabilia from over 150 men and women who have shown excellence in the sport, business and support of rodeo and the western lifestyle in Texas. Mr. Hickman also spearheaded the arrival of a tourist train into Stockyards Station, an 85,000 square foot project that Hickman developed with Dallas businesswoman Lyda Hunt Hill.
Today, the Fort Worth Stockyards is one of the top tourist attractions in the state of Texas. Due to his business success, Mr. Hickman was able to devote much of his time and energy to the great city of Fort Worth, which he referred to as "The Center of the Universe." Congresswoman Kay Granger best sums up Mr. Hickman, "His energy, generosity and vision will continue to enhance our city's cowboy heritage for generations to come." Mr. Hickman's numerous accolades include Outstanding Business Executive from the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame, Business Executive of the Year (2000) from Texas Wesleyan's 31st annual Business Hall of Fame Ceremony, Golden Deeds Award (2006) and induction into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Texas Trail of Fame.
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