|Motto: "Where Everybody Is Somebody"|
Location of Hico, Texas
Hico is a small city located in Hamilton county inCentral Texas. The population was 1,379 at the 2010 census. The town motto is "Where Everybody Is Somebody!"
Hico was named by its founder for his unincorporated hometown in Calloway County in southwestern Kentucky near Murray, just north of the Tennesseestate boundary. The original site was on Honey Creek, but when the Texas Central line part of the historic Katy Railroad was built nearby, the citizens moved two-and-a half miles to the rail line. Hico was incorporated in 1883 and became the Hamilton County shipping center. Over the years, it became a cattle and cotton market. Today ranching and tourism dominate the local economy.
In 1903, Kentucky-based evangelist Mordecai Ham held the first of his seventy-five Texas revival meetings in Hico. There were 150 professions of faith in Jesus Christ.
Hico has a small diner with a regional reputation: the Koffee Kup Family Restaurant, located at the main town intersection of Highway 281 (north-south) and Texas State Highway 6 (east-west). From the outside the restaurant appears small, but it can seat 116 and is open for all three meals. Owned by Lynn E. Allen (born 1947),a former Hico School Board member, the Koffee Kup is known throughout the region, having been featured on Bob Phillips's Texas Country Reportersyndicated television series. The restaurant is particularly known for its chicken-fried steak,strawberry pie, and other custard pies. Adjacent to the Koffee Kup is the historical home of photographer Frank Rufus Wiseman (built 1903), which houses antiques and a chocolate company.
Each July Hico hosts Old Settlers Reunion at City Park. During the week the "Citizen of the Year" is recognized. Hico High School, which maintains a popular football team under Coach Keith Wood, holds its homecoming observance at the same time as Old Settlers Day. Hico claims that its Old Settlers gathering, which dates to 1882, is the oldest of its kind in Texas. It has been held each year since 1882, except during World War II.
Hico has maintained a post office since 1861, and the first mail was carried by horseback. An early Hico business was Hico Ice and Cold Storage, which began in 1905. In time, it developed a major shipping market for eggs, chickens, and turkeys. The weekly newspaper, released on Thursdays, is the Hico News Review, edited and published by Jerry E. McAdams (born 1951). The publication is a Texas Press Association Award winner.
Across Highway 281 from the Hico News Review is the First Baptist Church, one of several congregations in the community. The historic First United Methodist Church, also on Highway 281, was organized in 1881, with some twenty-five charter members. Six area churches later merged to become the Hico Methodist body. The current yellow brick sanctuary dates to 1903. The church is known for it support of both Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts.
Ranch life, including horseback riding, hayrides, and camping, can be experienced at Timber Creek Ranch some ten miles southeast of Hico on Texas Highway 6.
Hico also hosts the Annual Texas Steak Cookoff in May. It boasts thousands of guests every year.