When Hickman High School was built in the 1920s, two urns were placed at the school’s north entrance. Much has changed since then, including the addition of a gym, pool and cafeteria, but the most recent alteration is one the school didn’t anticipate.
One of the historic urns is missing, and what happened to it remains a mystery.
“No one knows that someone took it,” said Charley Blackmore, a Hickman graduate and school enthusiast. They only know that it is gone. When the urn went missing also remains unknown.
The guessing game began last week when Blackmore learned the urn was gone. Faculty at Hickman reached out to him for help locating or replacing it.
Blackmore said the urn could have been broken over the years without being noticed, either during construction or an attempted robbery. He added that stealing the urn would be difficult for one person.
“It would take somebody that’s used to lifting incredible weight to pick that urn up by themselves,” Blackmore said.
The remaining urn still sits in the original place, and Blackmore said he recommended moving it to a more secure location “to preserve the historic value.”
For the past 20 years on his own time and dollar, Blackmore has run a website called kewpie.net that functions as a one-stop-shop for Hickman news.
At least 5,000 Kewpies have registered on his website, making it the easiest way for Hickman to connect with anyone who might have information on the missing urn.
Currently, Blackmore is brainstorming solutions. One viable but expensive option is to replicate the urn, but so far, he hasn’t found anyone up for the task in Columbia.
Blackmore said a replica would cost around $4,000.
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