In 1878, James S. "Pappy" Meek and his wife, Mary Ann, sold the former building located at 10 South Main Street to their son-in-law, Willis Hickam, Sr., who then began his practice of law. As a matter of interest, James S. Meek had been the retiring Clerk of the Owen Circuit Court, and by tradition, all outgoing Clerks of the Court were automatically admitted into the practice of law. Although he never practiced law, his notoriety as Clerk of the Owen Circuit Court is well documented in many abstracts of title to real estate transactions in Owen County, Indiana.
Captain David E. Beem, who achieved his rank during the Civil War, became an associate with Willis Hickam, Sr., until approximately 1880. The practice of law was at that time conducted principally upstairs at 10 1/2 South Main Street, with the first floor variously occupied as a grocery store, shoe store, jewelry store, and used furniture store. Thereafter, one by one of the Hickam family began to join the practice of law at the same address. Hubert Hickam joined the firm in 1913, and Willis Hickam, Jr. (Elliott's father) in 1916. Thus, for a brief period, all three Hickams were in the same law firm and it probably was the largest law firm in the County at that time. It would not return to three practicing lawyers in the firm until 1985. Hubert served in the State Legislature shortly thereafter, and in 1919 moved to Indianapolis to join with James W. Noel in the practice of law, and their association ultimately grew to the rather prestigious partnership of Barnes, Hickam, Panzer, and Boyd (now Barnes & Thornburg), formally established in 1939. Hubert practiced until his death in 1979.
Meanwhile, in Spencer, Indiana, in approximately 1924, Willis Hickam, Jr., due to illness, had to reduce his practice to his home. James E. Rodenbeck was taken in as an associate during this time. He left in the 1920's and another associate, Freal McIntosh, came into the office. Mr. McIntosh was an All-American football player from Michigan, and was extremely well received in the community. He died an unfortunate and tragic death very early in their association, about 1930.
A new drug appeared in the marketplace in the 1928 to 1929 time period, and resulted in a miracle cure for Willis allowing him to reopen the office again in 1929. Lee W. Kirkpatrick also associated himself with the firm by sharing space. He was well known and highly respected. He later practiced by himself until his untimely death in 1954. Elliott Hickam joined the firm in 1948 after serving a tour of duty in the Army Air Corps in New Guinea during World War II. Hickam Field, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was named in honor of Elliott Hickams uncle, Horace Hickam.
The building was remodeled first in 1948, and again in 1963 at which time the partnership moved downstairs and consisted of Willis Hickam, Jr. and Elliott Hickam. As Willis reached a time of retirement, Richard W. Lorenz, formerly of Vernon J. Petri's Law firm in Spencer, Indiana joined the firm in 1977. A partnership was thereafter formed, continuing in the name of Hickam & Hickam. In 1985, C. Thomas Spencer, formerly practicing in Bloomington, Indiana and acting as the trust officer for the Peoples State Bank in Ellettsville, Indiana, joined the firm as an associate, and in 1990, became partner. In August of 1990, John R. McKay, a lawyer practicing law in Washington D.C. with the firm of Kurrus and Kirchner, joined the firm as an associate, and later became partner in 1993.
The original building burned on January 12, 1990. Like the Phoenix, the building rose from the ashes through the efforts of Elliott Hickam and Richard W. Lorenz when the struture was rebuilt upon the same grounds and opened its doors on February 4, 1991.
In April of 1998, Jack R. Woodruff and Maryann Williams, formerly of Woodruff and Williams P.C., joined the firm and for a very brief time the firm was known as Lorenz, Spencer, McKay, Woodruff & Williams. The partners later renamed the firm to Hickam & Lorenz, P.C. in 2002.
Richard W. Lorenz, John R. McKay, and Jack R. Woodruff are the currently practicing attorneys in the firm.
In 1999, the firm was honored with an Indiana Lieutenant Governor's Centry Business Award. The firm is recognized as the oldest family law partnership in the State of Indiana.