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Part 7

12 Jan 2006
Higgins Brothers New Hampshire

               Higgins Brothers New Hampshire Click for larger version
Source: The Granite monthly: a New Hampshire magazine devoted to history


In 1871 Mr. Edd. F. Higgins made a beginning in a small store in Manchester, N. H., which has grown into the largest house-furnishing store in the state. Soon after starting, he perceived that the city of Manchester and the surrounding country needed an establishment at which good, honest goods could be purchased at reasonable prices, and set to work with the end in view of gradually building up and maintaining such an establishment. He soon associated with himself his brother, Mr. H. F. Higgins, under the firm name of Higgins Bros., and to their small stock of crockery, cutlery, &c., they began to add the cheaper grades of furniture, at the same time increasing the size of the store by taking additional room from time to time as needed. In February, 1878, having carefully felt their way along amid the breakers of the business depression then

sweeping over the country, they decided that the generous support given by the public warranted them in still further catering to the wants of their patrons. Accordingly, after leasing the entire building of Wells block, in which they were situated, they fitted up in the basement a carpet room, the best in the state, and opened a large and varied assortment of carpetings, which venture proved an immediate success. During the summer following the floor area of the main store was nearly doubled by adding the next store north of theirs, and, the partitions being removed, they had the largest and handsomest store not only in Manchester, but in the state.

Still their increasing trade, and the desire to please an appreciating public, urged them on to greater efforts. They began the manufacture of upholstered furniture; their carpet department was moved from the basement to the floor above, thus affording better light for the display of these goods, and making it easier of access to purchasers ; their means for manufacturing and finishing cabinet furniture were increased so far as their always limited room would allow; their force of competent workmen was augmented, and every effort was made to keep abreast of the times.

At this juncture they opened a branch establishment in Concord, N. H., and under the able management of Mr. W. C. Patten, their former head clerk, who now entered the firm of Higgins & Patten, a prosperous business was transacted for two years, when, owing to the ill health of Mr. Patten, this branch of the business passed into other hands.

They now more clearly than ever saw in the near future the necessity of having still more commodious quarters and enlarged facilities for a constantly growing business. Various plans were thought of, discussed, and rejected; all feasible projects for securing the needed accommodations were eagerly scanned and then given up, until just as it was almost decided to remodel the building in which they were situated, the City Hotel, one of Manchester's best known landmarks, was offered for sale, and seeing in its purchase the consummation of a long coveted scheme, they quickly seized the opportunity, and in July, 1884, the old City Hotel passed into their hands, and became devoted to their uses.

After several months' labor and the expenditure of a large sum of money, it was fitted for their business, and was occupied by them in October, 1884. The first floor front is devoted to crockery, china, glass, silver-ware, and kindred goods. Passing from the crockery department towards the rear, and ascending a short flight of broad steps, one enters the best lighted and most commodious carpet room in the state of New Hampshire. Here may be found imported and domestic carpetings and rugs, in many grades and styles, and hard to suit is the person who cannot here find what he searches for. Passing to the next floor above, the purchaser, or visitor (for visitors are always welcome,), is in the midst of a bewildering array of easy chairs, patent rockers, divans, and parlor suites, and after entering the drapery department one sees displayed upholstery goods, lace curtains, and drapery material in profusion, luxurious Turkish chairs, and the finest of parlor furniture, upholstered in plushes, spun silks, damasks, and various beautiful coverings. After resting and feasting one's eyes, the ascension of another flight of stairs brings one where lovers of fine cabinet work may see an elegant lot of chamber suites, side-boards, parlor and library tables, mirrors, bookcases, desks, and all the things which are needed to make a home perfect in its appointments.

The firm had now nearly reached the goal of its ambition, that being to have a perfect house-furnishing establishment; but the senior member, notwithstanding his success in establishing and maintaining such a prosperous business, became desirous of seeking "fresh laurels in pastures new," and on the 1st of February of the present year he sold his interest in the business to Messrs. W. C. Patten and H. P. Crowell, whose long experience well fits them for the positions they now occupy in the concern. They, together with the remaining partner, Mr. H. F. Higgins, have put the business on a still firmer and more lasting basis by organizing a stock company, with the name of Higgins, Brothers Company, and incorporated March 14, 1887. The new concern propose not only to maintain the high reputation of the former firm, but to add to its lustre so far as possible by giving their patrons more and better goods for* their money than ever. Their wide experience
enables them to purchase and construct their goods at the lowest possible cost. Their upholstering is all done by first class workmen under their personal supervision and every piece of furniture is guaranteed and represented. Mr. Crowell's long connection with the wholesale crockery and glass trade, and more recently with the furniture trade, eminently fits him for the business, and Mr. Patten's connection with the old firm as bookkeeper and head salesman for years is a sufficient guaranty that all purchasers may safely entrust their orders to him. At the present time, although the season is so backward, they have connected with their establishment, in various departments, twenty two persons, producing and selling goods, and their enterprise well merits the success in the future that has resulted in their efforts in the past.

Image of an etching of the company building

Census Scan:
     - Image includes Hadley Higgins age 20


Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age
Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
Edmund F. HIGGINS Self M Male     W 33 ME Furniture Dealer ME ME 
Martha S. HIGGINS  Wife M Female W 25 NH Keeping House MA MA 

Source Information:
Census Place Manchester, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Family History Library Film 1254763 
NA Film Number T9-0763  Page Number 33A 


Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age
Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
Merrill W. HIGGINS Self M Male     W 42 ME Works Locomotive Works ME ME 
Myra E. HIGGINS   Wife M Female W 35 ME ME ME 

Source Information:
Census Place Manchester, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Family History Library Film 1254763 
NA Film Number T9-0763 Page Number 36C 

New Hampshire City Directories Manchester 1877
Edmund F. Higgins & Hadley F. Higgins, Crockery and Furniture.
                                 1054 Elm (in 1877) Both board 93 Pearl

also listed in same City Directory is
Merrill W. Higgins, Machinist, house 93 Pearl

Census Scans:


. . . . 
Charles E Higgins
Ellsworth Maine etc 1928

1928BarHarborEllsworthEtcCityDirCharlesHiggins.jpg (11829 bytes)

Chas. M. Higgins
  Brooklyn NY

The Century- a popular quarterlyVol49Iss 6 Apr 1895.gif (25759 bytes)

Higgins Implement Co, IL 

  HigginsImplementFront.jpg (62635 bytes)

  HigginsImplementBack.jpg (49069 bytes)

Higgins Electric Service
  Merle P Higgins
  Bangor ME 
  MerleHigginsBangorMaineDir1957.jpg (34087 bytes)

1930 Charles E Higgins Office Supplies
  Bangor ME 
  CharlesHigginsBangorMaineDir1930.jpg (33340 bytes) 

Higgins Dairy Farms 
  Bangor ME 
  HiggnsDairiesBangorDir1945.jpg (25911 bytes)

J H Higgins
  Scrap Metal Dealer 
  Providence RI

   JHHIGGINSScrapIron.jpg (21815 bytes)

   JHHIGGINSScrapIronProvidence City Directory1938.jpg (47248 bytes)

John Higgins
 New Britain Conn 

NewBritainConn1913HigginsAuctionCompany.jpg (126779 bytes)

Dr. Edward S Higgins
  Detroit MI 

  DrEdhigginsDentistPCimg1.jpg (36142 bytes)

  DrEdhigginsDentistPCimg2.jpg (15463 bytes)

Dr Higgins Tooth Powder
   Higgins Laboratories    

Hig's Store
Higgins General Store 
Centerbrook Conn
F Arthur Higgins Prop

Click for Enlarged Version 
Click to Enlarge  

Higgins & Wilkie Inc
Higgins&WilkieIncWatertownNY1944.jpg (301741 bytes)

Higgins Garage  Maine
  John Y Higgins Prop 

HigginsGarageAdvert1935AuburnMaine.jpg (71235 bytes) 

Higgins Livery Stable  RI

JosephHigginsLiveryStableGeorgiavilleRI1874.jpg (66340 bytes)

R R Higgins & Co  MA

RRHigginsMassachusetts1900.jpg (194111 bytes) 

Rich  & Higgins 
 Dover NH
Rich&HigginsCompanyDoverNH1886.jpg (111949 bytes) 

Pettis & Higgins 
Pettis&HigginsProvidenceRI1892.jpg (109147 bytes) 

Patrick Higgins
1877 Pawtucket and Central Falls Rhode Island City Directory 

HigginsGroceries1877Pawtucket&CentralFallsRI-CtyDir.jpg (186101 bytes) 

View 1870 RI Census Scan 

1880 Census Household:

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age
Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace 

Patrick HIGGINS Self M     Male W 43 IRE Retail Grocer IRE IRE 
Mary HIGGINS    Wife M Female W 40 IRE Keeping House IRE IRE 
Mary E. HIGGINS Dau S Female W 10 RI IRE IRE 
John F. HIGGINS Son S Male     W  8 RI IRE IRE 
Other S Female W 30 IRE Works Cotton Mill IRE IRE
    Other S Female W 21 IRE Works Cotton Mill IRE IRE 
Thomas DUFFIE Other M Male W 40 IRE Laborer IRE IRE 

Source Information:
Census Place Lincoln, Providence, Rhode Island 
Family History Library Film 1255214 
NA Film Number T9-1214 Page Number 361B 

Central Falls info from 

City of Central Falls Rhode Island 
Central Falls Rhode Island, was formerly a part of the Town of Lincoln, and was incorporated as a city February 21, 1895. Central Falls, the smallest municipality in the state, is also one of the most densely populated cities in the country.

   This information compiled by Michael James Higgins
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