| Born on:
18 Jan 2009
State of America
USA > Wisconsin
The State of WISCONSIN
Source: Portrait and
biographical record of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of
the county. Chicago : Excelsior Pub. Co., 1894.
GEORGE HIGGINS, who is widely and favourably known
to the citizens of the town of Greenbush through his connection with
the post office for so many years, either as Postmaster or
assistant, has been a resident of that town since the fall of 1860.
Mr. Higgins is a native of the Green Mountain State, and was born in
West Haven, Rutland County. His parents were Dan and Hannah Higgins,
natives of Connecticut, and for many years residents of Rutland
County, where their deaths occurred. George Higgins was reared and
educated in his native State, and in early life was engaged in
agricultural pursuits. In 1860 he came West and located in Sheboygan
County, Wis. He was accompanied by his sister, Miss Harriet Dorinda,
who has since presided over his home. On coming to Greenbush, he
purchased land, and for several years was engaged in farming.
In politics, Mr. Higgins was a Whig in early life, and cast his
first Presidential vote for Gen. Taylor. On the disruption of the
Whig party, he associated himself with the Republican party, and has
since been identified with that political body. Since his residence
in Greenbush, he has held various local offices. He was chosen Town
Clerk at an early day, and held that office for several years, and
was elected Chairman of the town in 1862. In 1865 Mr. Higgins was
chosen Assessor of the town, serving his constituents most
acceptably. In 1887 he was appointed Postmaster at Greenbush by
President R. B. Hayes, and served under his and the following
administrations of Presidents Garfield and Arthur. On the election
of Mr. Cleveland in 1884, by the expressed wish of the people,
regardless of party, he was continued in office, but resigned after
a year and a-half s service under the Democratic administration. D.
T. Sullivan was appointed to succeed Mr. Higgins,
but he retained the latter as Deputy, so he continued in the office,
in company with Albert Keach, who had been appointed Assistant
Postmaster. While serving in that capacity, he was appointed
Postmaster by Benjamin Harrison on his accession to the Presidency,
and filled that position untilhe was superseded by Albert Keach, the
present incumbent. The latter retains Mr. Higgins as Deputy; so that
he has been connected with the Greenbush Postoffice, either as
principal or deputy, since 1877, covering a period of sixteen years.
It is but fair to state in this connection that the management of
the business of the office while in his care has been most
satisfactory to its patrons and the postal authorities.
Mr. Higgins has a brother, Alvarizo, who came to Wisconsin one year
prior to the time that he and the sister came. The brother afterward
married Mrs. Elizabeth Helen Ward, the widow of a Union soldier, and
now resides in Greenbush.
Socially, Mr. Higgins is a member of Acassia Lodge No. 176, A. F. &
A. M., of Plymouth, and of Greenbush Lodge No. 78, I. O. O. F., of
Greenbush. He has belonged to the last-named lodge since 1869.
For thirty years Mr. Higgins and his sister have lived in Greenbush,
and have endeared themselves to their fellow-townspeople by their
many worthy traits of character. As a public officer, he has ever
been prompt and exact in the discharge of duty, courteous and
accommodating to all with whom he comes in contact, whether in a
business or social way. He and his sister are held in high regard by
all who know them.
also see onsite
George Higgins and sister Miss. Harriet
Source- Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) April 30
wealth of their kindly dispositions was lavished on those 'round about
them-lived in Greenbush at a somewhat later period (from 1860 on) than
other pioneers I have written of, the wish to give you glimpses into
their lives is too strong to be put off longer. Before we live over
their lives here, I wish you to go back with me, and through a nephew, Daniel
F. Higgins, a Lawyer, of Joliet Illinois, learn of the history of
the Higgins family. The record, which was compiled in 1883, is dedicated
to his cousin, Sarah M. Higgins, who between the years 1850 and
1860,was a resident of Greenbush and taught school here.
Although "Uncle George" and "Aunt
Harriet" as they were called once, perhaps because they
I am the first quoting directly
from his work and then to condense into my own words.
"Tradition states that there
lived in some of the colonies three brothers by the name of Higgins.
Where they hailed from I was unable to ascertain. They entered service
in the revolution, and became seperated, and never since knew of each
others whereabouts. The first we learn definitely of our family is that
Samuel Higgins and his family removed from Killingworth, Connecticut to
Castleton, Vermont in the year 1781, from thence to Benson, Rutland
County, Vermont in 1788. The name of his first wife is unknown. The name
of his second wife was Temperence Kelsey. Samuel Higgins
died June 30,1811,in the 68th year of his age, Temperence, second
wife of Samuel Higgins, died in 1831 at 73 years old."
Two children were born of the first
marriage at Killingworth, Connecticut. One of the eight children of the
second marriage, Dan ,Born August 27, 1784,at Castleton, Vermont,
is the father our Greenbush members of this branch of the family. His marriage
in 1806, to Hannah Le Barron, took place at Killingsworth.
They came to Benson, Vermont, where
Dan Higgins was a farmer, and where most of their lives were
spent, although their home was at West Haven, Vermont and La Roy,N ew
York for short periods.
Eleven children were born to Dan
and Hannah Higgins. Four came to Greenbush; the subjects of our article,
Harriet, born at Benson, August 5, 1822; George, born at
West Haven, September 6, 1826; Alvariso and Olney. Three settled
in Illinois, Dan in Pike County, Chauncey in DuPage
County, Harry in Will County. Their sister Temperence and
brothers James, Alphonso and Francis married at
Benson and spent their lives there farming their "Green
Mountain" State. Dan Higgins died in 1859 and his wife in
1860, at Benson, Vermont.
In tracing the generations I find
farming largely to be their occupation. About 1847 or 1848, Warner
Higgins, cousin of George and Harriet, came here. This
will be given in another article, as well as the lives here of the Olney
and Alvariso Higgins families.
In the "Green Mountain"
state the children of Dan and Hannah Higgins were
educated. George Higgins taught school for several years and then
followed the family trend to till the soil. The mother passed away in
April 1860. In the Fall of that year George Higgins and sister Harriet
came to Greenbush, perhaps because their brother Alvariso was
here. They liked this part of God's country, with its hills and
ruggedness of outlines, no doubt seeming to something like their native
state, that they spent the remainder if their long lives here, and in
Greenbush cemetery, on a hill where the suns rays rest freely at all
times of the day, their last resting place lies.
The Warren William's farm
was their first home, when their brother Olney came the farm was
sold to him and George and Harriet moved to the
settlement. The white house with green blinds on the brow of the hill to
the west opposite the mill pond, which in those days was quite like a
small lake, gradually took on the characteristics of the brother and
sister whose home it was. Both were lovers of flowers and fruits and the
cultivation of the rare grapes which they delighted to give their
friends, was one of their pleasures.
Quaint, true to life in the best
sense, faithful in their beliefs, and with the faculty of justice very
strongly marked, the years passed quietly in a companionship as perfect
as it was rare. Neither seemed to miss the wife or husband which neither
found; and their joy in and love for each other was a delightful phase
of life which was a true inspiration to their neighbors and friends
through the years.
They were members of the F.W.
Baptist church, which adjoined their home, faithful in this as in
all their acts throughout their
lives. This faithfulness of service and marked trait of justice, soon
bore fruit in the community about them. In 1862, George Higgins
acted as chairman of the town, in 1865 was assessor and somewhat later
was clerk for twelve years. He was a Whig and cast his first
Presidential vote for General Taylor. With the changing of the Whig
Party into the Republican; he was a lifelong member of this party; his
last Presidential vote being at the age of eighty-six years, being cast
for William H. Taft. In 1887 he was appointed Postmaster of Greenbush
Office, and held this position through nearly twenty years, either as
Postmaster or Deputy, but at last deafness and ill health forced him to
give up the duties he filled with marked success.
During the years in the "Big
Store" where the Post Office was located, many discussions were
entered into as to various local and national problems. These were
surely "Radical" ideas in those days and
each was absolutely sure of their opinions, but when "Uncle
George" appeared verdicts were given over into his hands to decide
and were abided by without question.
Equally faithful in his social
life, he was a member of the Plymouth Acassia lodge # 176 A.F. and A.M.
and from 1869 on of Greenbush I.O.O.F. lodge.
Dark days came into his life near
the end. This little poem called "Broken Boughs" by Issabel
expresses how an active soul feels when ill health, bring activity in a
physical sense to an end.
"Among the glad green boughs of spring,
A broken limb high in the air creaks,
wind tugged, or like some hurt thing, that tries to pray,
I know its prayer!
For I have seen a sick man lie in a screened porch, village way,
And in his eyes as i passed by,
read clear what withered
In 1903 his beloved sister passed
away in the eighty first year of her age. "Uncle George" sent
for his niece, Mrs. Mary E Smith, daughter of his brother Alvariso.
Mrs. Smith 's husband had died in California several years earlier and
was free to come. She became the able helpmate of her Uncle for the
remaining years of his life. April 21, 1913, at the ripe old age of
eighty seven, his spirit gently left his frail body.
His funeral from the old F. W.
Baptist church, April 23, was attended by Greenbush I.O.O.F. lodge in a
body. Plymouth Masonic lodge gave their burial services at the grave.
This little verse from a poem he
prized highly, expresses fittingly a memorial to George and Harriet
Higgins, who shed a quiet, happy influence in Greenbush, which lives on
and on as long as any remain who knew them.
"Oh change, stupendous change,
there lies the
The sun eternal breaks,
the new immortal wakes-
Wakes with his God."
View 1880 Census Details
MRS. ALONZO HIGGINS
Mrs. Alonzo Higgins, who would have been 89 years years of age next Tuesday, died
this morning at the home of her son, Dr. Frank Higgins in the village of Greenbush
of old age.
Mrs. Higgins with her parents settled in the town of Forest, Fond Du Loc County in 1846,but for the last
forty-seven years has lived in Greenbush. She had been married twice,
her first husband being a Mr. Ward and the second one Alonso Higgins, a pioneer of Greenbush.
She is survived by the following children, Dr. Frank Higgins, of Greenbush;
Mrs. George Higgins and A. F. Ward Fond Du Loc; C. W. Ward, Clear Lake
Wisconsin; and H. E. Ward of Yearington Nevada.
The funeral will be held from the M. E. church in Greenbush at 10:00 O'clock
Friday morning, the Rev. Mr. Gelling officiating. Interment will be made in the Greenbush
Also See ON SITE: Civil
War Union Forces Part 8 Wisconsin
Pioneers George Higgins & sister Miss Harriet
Wisconsin Resources Part 1
Wisconsin Resources Part 2
information compiled by Michael James
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