Darwin & Axie Hindman
Civic leaders & volunteers
Year Inducted: 2017
Tireless, committed, loyal, adventurous, unselfish, effective, kind-hearted. These words describe Darwin and Axie Hindman. Together, this married couple has made a tremendously positive impact on their chosen community for nearly 60 years.
Darwin grew up in Columbia and Axie in Platte City, Missouri. They met while attending the University of Missouri in 1958. Both would graduate with honors before Axie began a teaching career, and Darwin, after serving two tours of duty as an Air Force pilot, completed law school and opened a private law practice. They raised two children, Ellen and Darwin (Skip) before Axie returned to the university for her master’s degree in library science and soon after accepted a position as the science reference librarian at Ellis Library. Axie would go on to become the coordinator of computer-based reference at Ellis and the coordinator for electronic licensing for MU’s Library Systems and MOBIUS. She would also become an active volunteer in Columbia with the Girl Scouts and the League of Women Voters.
In 1995 Darwin decided to run for mayor of Columbia. He served five terms for a total of 15 years – twice the length of service of any other previous Columbia mayor. His accomplishments included initiating the Columbia 2000 Visioning Committee, and working to obtain Stephens Lake Park, Flat Branch Park and the John William ‘Blind’ Boone home for the city of Columbia. Most famously, Darwin is considered the ‘Father of the Katy Trail,’ having formulated the idea and pushing the initiative that would convince city leaders to acquire the right of way to build the trail and heading the Katy/Missouri River Trail Coalition – a citizen-led effort to establish the now beloved trail. Darwin received national acclaim for obtaining a $22.5 million grant to make Columbia more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
Axie provided her time and leadership to the ‘One Read’ program, MU’s Friends of Music, the Missouri Symphony Society, and Meals on Wheels. Together, Darwin and Axie have been named the Women’s League of Voters’ ‘Citizen of the Year.’