Founded by an engineer, Colonel Sam Robertson, on Gulf Coast Railroad that in 1904 reached this area colonized by Mexico about 1770. First called "Bessie", for child of Railroad official B. F. Yoakum, then "Diaz", to honor Mexican president; the present name honors landowner Benjamin Hicks.
Land and water company and sugar company opened here in 1906. Robertson was first Postmaster in 1907, with Miss Kate Purvis, teacher.
City was incorporated June 27, 1911: J. M. Breen, Mayor; J. Scott Brown, J. H. Haines: Commissioners.