John B. Higgins, the son of George F. Higgins and Julia A. Beeler, was born January 17, 1836, in Jefferson County, Kentucky, and died February 4, 1924, in Lincoln County, Kentucky. In the 1850 census of Jefferson County, George F. Higgins was 39, a plasterer, born in Kentucky. Wife Julia was 35. Children in the household – John, 14; Arian, 12; Julia, 10; Claudius, 6; Laura, 4.
Harriet Bliss was the daughter of James Wheaton Bliss and Mary White, born November 5, 1828. In the 1850 Census of Jefferson County, James is 57, a hatter, born in Vermont – as was the rest of the family. Mary R. was 52. Children in the household – Mary J., 21; Harriet, 19; Sarah, 17; Hetty, 15; and James, Jr., 13.
John Higgins and Harriet Bliss were married June 17, 1856, by William Holman. Harriet’s father, James, gave his consent. Witnesses were C. W. Bliss and Ann Watts.
The couple had two daughters, Julia, born August 7, 1857, and Elizabeth, born June 28, 1860. Elizabeth lived just six years, and was buried in the Lexington Cemetery, in 1867, as her parents lived there at the time.
In the 1860 census of Jefferson County John B. Higgins was 25, a plasterer; Harriet was 29; Julia was 2. All born in Kentucky. The census was taken June 23. Daughter Elizabeth was born five days later.
In 1880 the family lived in Lincoln County. John, at 45, was still a plasterer. Harriet was also listed as 45, even though she should have been a few years older. An interesting note, her birthplace is given as Kentucky, her father’s as Vermont, and her mother’s as Kentucky. Daughter Julia was 18, her mother’s place of birth Vermont. A little confusing.
Harriet Bliss Higgins died February 11, 1895, and was buried in Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, beside the remains of her young daughter.
Interior Journal, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky
Tuesday, February 12, 1895
Death must have been a welcome relief to Mrs. John B. Higgins, when it came to her yesterday morning. She had been a sufferer from dropsy for years and had been tapped 19 times, with an average of four gallons of water taken at each time. She bore her afflictions with unusual fortitude, however, being sustained by a never failing trust in the Redeemer, whom she sought and found in her girlhood. She had been a member of the Methodist Church for more than 50 years and a more devoted, earnest and faithful Christian woman never lived. Her conversation for years has been principally of God and his goodness, and she has aided many a soul to find the better life. Death had no terrors for her. She talked of it as calmly as making a visit, her only regret being to leave her dear husband and daughter, who had watched over her so tenderly. She was sure of her reward and not a wave of doubt disturbed her. In June 1856 she was married to Mr. John B. Higgins at her home, in Middletown, Jefferson County, and her maiden name was Harriet Bliss. They afterwards moved to Lexington, where they lost a daughter, whom they buried there, and today the mother’s remains will be taken thither and laid by her. There will be a short service at her late home at 11 o’clock to which the friends are invited. Great sympathy is felt for the husband and daughter, who though satisfied that she is better off, still grieve over a true wife and loving mother.
John B. Higgins lived another 29 years. In 1900 he lived in the Stanford, Lincoln County, home of his daughter and son-in-law, Julia and husband Robert Edward Lee Simms. In 1910 John and Robert were merchants.
In 1920 the three were living together. Robert and Julia had no children.
Lexington Leader, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Thursday, January 26, 1922
Age Stays Old Custom
For many years, probably a half hundred, John B. Higgins has called at this office around Christmas time and paid for his paper for the coming year. The old gentleman, who is 86 years old, wasn’t able to come this year, so he sent his remittance.
I found no obituary for John Higgins – very strange since he lived in Stanford for many years. According to FindAGrave he died in February of 1924.
Categories: Family Stories