From the Missouri Northwest State U. web site:
Since 1931, the Northwest Missouri State University football team has been playing the Truman State University Bulldogs for possession of a 30-inch piece of hickory. It represents one of the most intense rivalries in college football. The Old Hickory Stick game, played annually between Northwest Missouri State University and Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.), has the distinction of being the oldest traveling trophy game in Division II college football.
In 1930, U. W. Lamkin, president of Northwest Missouri State University, sent President Eugene Fair of Truman State University the stick of wood that would soon receive the fitting name “The Old Hickory Stick.” President Lamkin found the stick on the very farm where Fair was born, located within the Northwest Missouri State district. The stick had been turned in the woodworking shop at Northwest, and the lettering on the stick listed the scores of every football game between the two colleges from 1908 to 1930.
The symbolism of the Old Hickory Stick is that both schools can claim ownership of the trophy, since it was found in an area connected to both Northwest and Truman. In 1931, the annual football game between the two schools was inaugurated as a means of determining who would own the trophy for the following year. After the game, the winner dips one end of the stick in paint of their school color.
Who would’a thought?
— Al Navas