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  Updated: 05 Apr 2012 Home Maine  
        Richard Higgins and Descendants
The State of
Maine, USA

Source: Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine
By Henry Sweetser Burrage   Published 1909

   (As always this information is subject to user confirmation.
     This being a transcription of a published genealogy, errors in transcription may have occurred


It has been asserted that the name was actually Higginson, but information derived from a careful study of the origin of English surnames makes it quite evident that Higgins not Higginson was the parent name. The name is doubtless of Celtic or Irish origin and was anglicized from Hugonis. Freeman’s “ Cape Cod Families” states that the latter name existed in England in the reign of Richard the 2nd.The first of the name in America was Richard Higgins, and the Charlestown family now in hand is the posterity of that immigrant. The Higginses were enrolled among the patriots of the American Revolution.

(1)  Richard Higgins, the ancestor, was of Celtic origin, but seems to have emigrated from England, though some of his descendants claim that he came from the north of Ireland. By trade he was a tailor. He was a man of great strength and integrity of character. His name appears in the Plymouth records as early as 1633,and he was an original settler of Eastham, Cape Cod in 1644.
He married (first), November 23, 1634,
Lydia Chandler;
     Children of first marriage: -1-
Jonathan, born July 1637.
Benjamin, born July 1640.
     married (second) October 1651,Mary Yates.

     Children of second wife:    -3-
Mary, born September 27,1652, -
Eliakim, born October 20,1654.
William, born December 15, 1655. 
-6- Judah, born March 5,1657. 
-7- Zenna, born June 1658.  
                                           -8- Thomas, born  June 1661. 
-                                          9- Lydia, born July 1664.

(2)  Benjamin, son of Richard and Lydia (Chandler) Higgins, born July 1640, died March 14,1691. He married, December 24,1661, Lydia, daughter of Edward Bangs.
Ichabod, Richard, John, Joshua, Lydia, Isaac, Benjamin, Samuel, Benjamin.
   The youngest child, Benjamin married Sarah Freeman, a member of the choice Plymouth families.
, the second of the fourteen children of Benjamin and Sarah (Freeman) Higgins,
Abigail Paine, a woman of great religious faith, and
         their first child
Philip, purchased three miles of land near where the city of Bath now stands,
         and was the ancestor of most of the Higgins families in that part of Maine

(3)  Richard, ~2~, a son of Benjamin and Lydia (Bangs) Higgins,
                  was born October 15, 1664.
                  He married, 1694,
Sarah Freeman* of England.
*Possible error on wife's name – verification needed
Joshua, Eleazer, Theophilus, Jedidiah, Zacchaeus,
Esther, David, Reuben, and Abigail.

(4)  Reuben, son of Richard ~2~, and Sarah (Freeman) Higgins, was born 1709.He married (UNKNOWN). Children: Abigail, Hannah, Reuben, Esther and Isaac.

(5)  Reuben ~2~, son of Reuben ~1~ Higgins was born June 24,1739. He removed from Cape Cod to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, at quite an early date. He married UNKNOWN. Children: Hannah Morton, Thankful, Reuben, Sylvanus,  Eleazer, Mariah, Frances, Henry, Abigail, twin of Henry.

Census Scan 

(6)  Eleazer, son of Reuben ~2~ Higgins, was born at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, July 8, 1772, died of Billious Colic at Yarmouth, November 19, 1826. He was a man who inherited all the sturdy qualities of his ancestors, and was of great influence in every community in which he lived. He was one of the successful shipbuilders of Portland  (Maine), and followed this work later on at Yarmouth. He purchased a farm in Gray, which his son managed, and Eleazer continued in active business and was superintending the building of a ship when his sickness overcame him. He married Susanna Dyer, of Cape Elizabeth, born June 11, 1777, died November 3, 1837.

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

Orrin S. HIGGINS Self M Male W 42 ME Farmer ME ME
Henrietta HIGGINS Other M Female W 37 ME Keeping House ME ME
Freddie S. HIGGINS Son S Male W 6 ME ME ME
Arthur HIGGINS Father W Male W 72 ME Farmer ME ME
Charles HIGGINS Uncle S Male W 68 ME Farmer ME ME
Hannah PERLEY MotherL W Female W 75 ME ME ME
Anna LEIGHTIN Other S Female W 17 ME Servant ME ME -

Source Information:
Census Place Gray, Cumberland, Maine Family History Library Film 1254478
NA Film Number T9-0478Page Number 335B

 -1-  Amos, born April 22, 1797 (see forward),
 -2 -
Charlotte,  born June 18, 1804, died February 18, 1875. 
-3 - Arthur, born February 8, 1808, died February 6, 1888.
                 married Susan Perley of Gray, who bore him children:
Martha, Orrin and Susan.  
 -4 - George, born June 29, 1809. 
 -5 -
 Charles, born May 20, 1811. Died April 19,1883. 
 -6 - Alvin, born May 12, 1813, died 1890.

New York Times 3 Jun 1890
Obituary of Alvin Higgins,
son of Amos Higgins
Elias Higgins

See biography below

-7 -   Elias Smith, born March 29, 1815, became a very successful manufacturer in New York City.  See biography
-8 -   Eleazer, born May 2, 1817. Died January 3, 1855.
-9 -
   Ellen, born April 14, 1820. 
  Nathaniel, born December,18,1825. Died January 10,1882.
           Source: New York Times 12 Jan 1882 Nathaniel Higgins Obituary Born 1825
                                              - Died 1882 Buried Woodlawn Cemetery NY 
             Nathaniel Higgins 1882

(7)  Amos, son of Eleazer and Susanna (Dyer) Higgins, born April 22, 1797, died in Charleston, Maine, 1870. He was a very faithful student in the common schools, and early in life saw that there were fine openings in the new towns of his native state. With the same pioneer spirit which has caused many of his family name to make grand successes in life by removals into new conditions, he went to Garland, Maine, bought wild land, built a log cabin, began the work to which was devoted his entire life, farming. In 1884 he changed this farm for one in Charleston and there he lived the remainder of his days. In politics he was a sturdy Republican, and ever took a deep interest in all national affairs. He was a very faithful member of the Free Baptist Church, and was never absent from church services unless detained by some serious illness. He married Sarah Hamilton, born at Yarmouth, died at Charleston.

Sarah Jane, married Hazen Tilton, of Charleston;
   four children Fred, Helen, Benjamin and Ann Tilton.

-2-  Ann H., married E.B. Page, of Charleston,
       children: Melissa, Peter and Jenny Page. 
-3- Amos, married Flora Wilbur;
      children: ~1~ Alvin, Superintendent of Hartford Carpet Works at Thompsonville,  Ct.
                                   married Mary Stewart of New York, and has two children, Flora and Grace Higgins; (See more on Alvin below)
                   ~2~ Edward.
-4-  Alvin, married Nellie Clapp, of Charleston; he is a retired salesman and resides in New York
 -5-  Smith, married (first) Mattie Hitchborn;
                  children: Addie, Henry, Minnie, Frank, Sallie, John and George; Smith
married (second) Louise Lougee, and has a son, Ralph. Smith Higgins is a farmer of Charleston.
-6- Charlotte Ellen, born in Garland, 1839, was graduated from Rutgers Female Institute, New York City,
                               where she taught for several years;
                              married (first) in 1866 E.D. Sargent, M.D. of Washington, VT, now deceased
                               children: Mabel E. (Sargent), deceased.
                             married (second) in 1878, the Rev. H.R. Howes, of China, Maine,
                              two children: i) Stella A. (Howes), born in East Burke, VT,
                              July 8,1879, graduate from Higgins Institute, Charleston  & Bridgewater Normal in         Massachusetts, teacher in Newton Center, Massachusetts;
                          ii) J. Herbert (Howes), born in South  Woodbury, VT, December 5, 1880,
                               married in 1906, Edith M. Hatte of Machias, Maine, they with the Rev. & Mrs. Howes reside in Charleston. 
-7- John H (see Below).
   -8- George, was superintendent of Higgins Carpet Works, New York City, enlisted in the Union Army, was wounded and honorably discharged from the service in consequence of his injuries; he married Maria Terry, children Olney, Arthur and a daughter Lulu, deceased. George died in New York City.
Charles, died unmarried at age twenty-four, unmarried. Three other children, daughters, not mentioned.

John H., fourth son and seventh child of Amos and Sarah (Hamilton) Higgins, was born in Charleston, May 28, 1841, at the age of sixteen he concluded his attendance at the old Charleston Academy, and going to New York, entered the employ of E.S. Higgins & Company, a well known carpet manufacturing concern, of which his uncle Elias S. Higgins, was the senior partner. Having diligently applied himself applied himself to the task of mastering every detail of the business during the first five years of his connection with it, he was advanced to the position of manager and retained that responsible position for a period of twenty years, directing its affairs with marked ability and advancing still further the high reputation enjoyed by the firm. Severing his connection with that concern about the year 1882, he engaged in religious work as an evangelist, and subsequently returning to Charleston, he devoted a number of years to evangelistic and pastoral in small communities, which were unable to support a settled minister. In 1891, he purchased the farm adjoining his homestead in Charleston, and removing the old buildings, proceeded in erecting what is now known as The Higgins Classical Institute, a regularly incorporated institute of the State of Maine, for the promotion of Christian education and instruction of youth in languages, arts and sciences. The building was completed and dedicated in 1901 and opened as a preparatory school for Colby College. This institution, which has a force of five regular instructors, and a capacity for two hundred and fifty students, comprises a main building and a dormitory erected at an approximate cost of one hundred thousand dollars, with grounds comprising twenty acres, and it is thoroughly equipped for its intended purpose, having every facility necessary for the carrying out of the advanced educational methods. The highest standard of scholarship is maintained, and being an endowed institution, the expense to students is confined to actual cost of board and other dormitory costs. There are the courses of study, the college preparatory and classical, the English, and the teacher’s training or normal. The school provides also a well-defined course in music and harmony. Mr. Higgins is President of the board of trustees, chairman of the executive committee and of instruction and instructors. The efficient principal of Higgins Classical Institute is Linwood L. Workman, A.B.. In adding the Higgins Classical Institute to the list of Maine’s preparatory schools its titular founder has displayed a spirit of wisdom and generosity, the benefits of which cannot be too highly estimated. In 1906 Mr. Higgins relinquished active ministerial work, and is now living in retirement at his home in Charleston. He is a member of the Baptist church, and a prohibitionist in politics. His labors in the interest in religion and education have left an indelible upon the lives of the men and women of his native state, while in his own hometown he is universally loved and esteemed.

In 1865 Mr. Higgins married Fanny E. Perley; she died January 8, 1867,
                   leaving one daughter, Fanny M., who died in March 1872.

In October 1868, he married Emma l. Perley, a sister of his first wife, she died in January, 1894.
 Of this union there were six children, three of whom died in infancy.
 The survivors are: i) Florence Ellen, born May 18, 1879.

                           ii) Ethel May, born December 6, 1880,
                              graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and studied two years at Colby;
                              married Porter Beck, formerly a professor at Colby and
                                           now engaged in the real estate business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
                              they have one child, Elizabeth Emma (Beck), born July 22, 1908.

                          iii) Alice Emma, born December 14,1882,
                              married Odber Boadway, formerly of Charleston, and now of New York.
                              They have one daughter, Lucille (Boadway), born in Charleston, December 30, 1903.

On March 12, 1895, Mr. Higgins married for his third wife, Ellen Mc Cully (nee Harvey),
      a widow of Judge Lawrence Mc Cully, late of  Honolulu,  Hawaii.
      She is the daughter of Greenleaf  P. and Abigail Lois (Dexter) Harvey of Corinth, Maine.

       Her grandfather was Francis Harvey, and her great grandfather was James Harvey,
       served as a sergeant in the revolutionary war, and as a major in the state militia.
     Her first husband, the late honorable Lawrence McCully,  was a graduate of Yale College,
           a lawyer of distinction, and a justice of the Honolulu Supreme Court.
           In 1855, he went to Honolulu and resided there until his death.
           Judge and Mrs. McCully had an adopted daughter, Alice, a graduate of Higgins Classical Institute,
                 who is now the wife of Francis William Smith, of San Francisco,
has one child, Francis Ellen, born October 1, 1906.

Part2  -For preceding generations, see Richard Higgins (1)-

(III)  - Benjamin Higgins (2) , youngest child of Benjamin (1),  and Lydia (Bangs) Higgins,
             born at Eastham, Massachusetts, September 15, 1681.
             He married May 22, 1701, Sarah (Freeman),
                                                  daughter of Lieutenant Edmund and Sarah (Mayo) Freeman.
                She was a descendant of Thomas Prince, who came on “The Prince”, 1621,
                 became Governor of the Plymouth Colony, and married Patience,
                                                                                    daughter of Elder William Brewster.

          Benjamin and Sarah Higgins
had fourteen children:
, born November 17, 1702;  Thomas, June 24, 1704;
, July 13, 1706;                      Paul, June 25, 1708;
                  Reliance, May 13, 1710;                  Elizabeth, April 1, 1712;
                  Experience, January 31, 1714;         Benjamin, March 1, 1716;
, October 28, 1717;            Zaccheus, August 15, 1719;
, September 8, 1822;         Lois, August 6,1723;
                  Isaac, July 12, 1725;                      Freeman, (see next).

- Freeman, youngest child of Benjamin and Sarah (Freeman) Higgins, was born at Eastham, July 28, 1727.  
  He married November 14, 1747, Martha, daughter of  Timothy and Martha Cole.
                    She descended from Daniel Cole, who was in Plymouth about 1633.
                    He was Constable, Selectman, and Town Clerk.
      Freeman's children by his first marriage were: Timothy and Apphia.
     Freeman married (second) Thankful (Hopkins) Paine, July 14, 1757. 
         The children were: Twins, born April 9, 1758;
                                   Martha, died young, and
                                   Thankful, married, November 12, 1783, Thomas Stoddard Boardman;
                                   Zedediah, April 11,1760;
, born March 1, 1762;
, August 9, 1764;
&      Elisha, November 9, 1766.br>

Elisha, youngest son of Freeman and Thankful (Hopkins)(Paine) Higgins, was born in Westbrook, Cumberland County, Maine, November 9, 1766. He married Lucy Stevens, of Westbrook, a descendant of Captain Isaac Stevens, who kept the first hotel on Steven’s Plains, and this celebrated hostelry was kept successively by his descendants, Zachariah B. Stevens, ESQ.,  Selectman of the town 1824-1827,  and his son, Samuel B. Stevens. The Stevens name is among the most honored in the town of Westbrook. Elisha Higgins was a carpenter and builder and a useful citizen of the town.

Charles, son of Elisha and Lucy (Stevens) Higgins, was born in Westbrook, Cumberland County, Maine, in 1809. He was brought up to the trade of Tinsmith, a business complimenting that of his father, and his proclivity, inherited and cultivated, was to affiliate with the Whig Party, which party, received his fullest support up to its dissolution in 1852, when he joined the Free Soil Party, which in 1856 merged into the Republican Party led by Fremont, and so thoroughly crystallized and tempered by Lincoln. He married Catherine Mitchell,  born in Westbrook, Maine, 1812, and they removed to Bath, Maine, where Charles Higgins carried on his trade of tinsmith and removed after the birth of their son Algernon Sidney, to Turner Village, and thence to Auburn and soon after across the river to Lewiston.


Algernon Sidney, son of Charles and Catherine (Mitchell) Higgins, was born in Bath, Maine, March 6, 1834. He was educated in the primary schools of Turner Village and Lewiston and afterwards was graduated at the Lewiston Falls Academy. Mr. Higgins has been in educational affairs his entire life. He began teaching in Lewiston at an early age. In 1854 he was called to Huntington, Long Island, New York, to take charge of the village school. Largely through his efforts the village districts were consolidated, and a union school, centrally located, was erected. This school promptly became the leading in that section. It was conducted in the New England spirit, and many of the methods of instruction introduced survive to this day. This school embraced pupils of all ages, from the primary to the high school, and its graduates who attended college at that time took a high rank. Mr. Higgins has always had original ideas in education. It was in this school that he organized a juvenile agricultural society, out of its pupils. It was modeled after the county fair. Every fall the pupils exhibited their product of work in the field, shops and home. These annual fairs attracted wide attention. Each year the scope and interest extended, and the village on Fair Day wore a holiday appearance. Mr. Higgins believes that if he had remained and carried out this idea to its legitimate conclusion, the subject of manual training, now so prominent in the educational world would have been early practically and economically solved. In the fall of 1864 Mr. Higgins took charge of the grammar school on Mountjoy Hill, Portland, Maine. Here he remained only one year. Then he was selected to organize public school # 29, Brooklyn, New York. This then was the latest addition to the Brooklyn Schools. He remained at # 29 for eight years, when the principalship of a larger school becoming vacant, the authorities thought his success merited a transfer to public school # 9. He remained principal twelve years. He introduced several improvements in subjects or methods of instruction which so commended themselves to the educational authorities that they now form part of the course of all schools in the city of New York. Influenced by both money and friendship, at the end of  twelve years in public school # 9, Mr. Higgins resigned and became advertising manager of a large Broadway firm in New York. Here he remained for twelve years. He did not, in the least, lose his interest in the schools, nor after a few years with these, for the Hon. David A. Boody, an honored son of Maine, then Mayor of Brooklyn, appointed him a member of the school board. He served as such for nearly eight years. He was largely instrumental in securing the passage by this board and subsequently by the legislature of the teacher’s retirement act under whose provisions teachers may be retired on half salary after a fixed period of acceptable service. A change in the affairs of the firm with which he was connected determined him to return wholly to the schools. When this was known, the school board promptly elected him assistant superintendent of schools for the City of Brooklyn. This was in 1898. In this capacity he served until 1892. In that year an amended act of consolidation brought the adjoining cities into closer relations with New York. Their boards of education were abolished and the school system was administered by a board of forty-six members, made up of a fixed number from New York and each of the neighboring cities. Under this board and dealing more directly with the intellectual part of the school, was a board of superintendents, composed of the city superintendent of schools and eight associate superintendents. To this board Mr. Higgins was unanimously elected. Here he served until the spring of 1906, when, on his application, though still in good health, he was placed on the list of retired superintendents.  Mr. Higgins was one of the organizers of the Maine State Association of Teachers. He has been a member of the national, state, county, city and town Teacher’s associations all through his active school life, believing strongly in the organizations and associations of those engaged in the same profession. Mr. Higgins married August 1, 1857, Sara Maria Conklin, daughter of Ezra and Jane A. (Brown) Conklin, of Huntington, Long Island; she died in 1897; she was a descendant of the Conklins who came from England and were among the very earliest settlers of Long Island. Captain John Conklin came from Nottingham, England, to Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony, about 1636, and in 1655 removed to Southold, Long Island. Before he came to America, he was a manufacturer of glass in Nottinghamshire, carried on that business in Salem, Massachusetts, in connection with his sons, who had emigrated with him, and they were the first glass manufacturers in America, and recorded in early land grants as “Glassman”.

Source: New York City, Public School Teacher Retirement List
Given Name: Algernon S. Surname: Higgins
Birth Date: Mch 6, 1834 Death Date: October 14, 1913

Obituary for Algernon S Higgins

     New York Times 15 Oct 1913 Click to view larger Algernon S Higgins Obituary

Name                    Age
Algerine S J Higgins 39
Mary J Higgins         39
Harold P Higgins      14
Maory Higgins         19


The Children of Algernon Sidney and Sarah Maria (Conklin) Higgins were: Algernon Sidney Jr., and Myra Burgess Higgins. Algernon Sidney Higgins Jr., is practicing Physician at 11 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.. He married M. Ida Preston; children: Edith, died young; Harold Preston and Marjorie Higgins. Myra Burgess Higgins married Frederick H. Baldwin, and resides at 150 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn N.Y.. To them were born two children: Frederick Rhey and Olive Natalie Baldwin. Mr Higgins makes his home with his daughter. He was made a mason of Jeptha Lodge, at Huntington, Long Island, in 1864. After removing to Brooklyn he affiliated with the Mistletoe Lodge # 647, of which he is still a member. When he had been a mason for twenty-one years he was eligible to the Masonic Veterans. This body he promptly joined and is member to this date. Mr. Higgins is charter member of the Montauk Club, of Brooklyn, and with the exception of about a year has been its secretary since its organization in 1889. In that year was organized the Berkeley School for Girls, a large and flourishing school near Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The Honorable David A. Boody, has been its President and Mr. Higgins its secretary since its organization. Thus has Mr. Higgins, like thousands of the sons of Maine, done and is still doing.


HIGGINS  (IV) – Benjamin (3) was the son of Benjamin (2) Higgins.

                    He had Eleazer, Theophilus, Jedediah and Reuben.   


HIGGINS (V) – Eleazer  was the son of Benjamin (3) Higgins. The name of his wife was Sarah. 


HIGGINS (VI) - Eleazer (2) was the son of Eleazor (1) and Sarah Higgins.

Children: Eleanor, Joseph, Enoch, Jedediah, Richard, Sarah and Hannah.

HIGGINS (VII)- Jedediah, fourth son of Eleazer and Sarah Higgins, was born in 1733, lived in Truro, Massachusetts, and was head of that branch of the family. He married Phoebe, daughter of Azubah Paine. Children: Jedediah, Mary, Joseph, Hannah, and several others.

Webmaster Additions:
Source: History of Cumberland Co., Maine : with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Published 1880

-REUBEN HIGGINS-Reuben Higgins

 Click  for larger version

Reuben Higgins
, son of Michael Higgins, was born in the town of Cape Elizabeth, February 11, 1811. His grandfather, Reuben Higgins, came to Cumberland County from Cape Cod, and met an untimely death by being drowned by capturing sea cows. Mr. Higgins received a common-school education during his boyhood. At age 17 he embarked on a coasting vessel, and remained in the service for three years. He went to Bangor, Maine, where he learned blacksmithing and the edge-tool trade, and was engaged in this business until 1830, when he sold out to his brother, Arthur, and returned to Cape Elizabeth, where he remained one year, and for the next three years was engaged in the grocery trade in Portland. In 1839 he married Calista L. Smith, of New Market, N.H.. He removed to Androscoggin County, and remained three years, during which time his father died, and he, purchasing the interest of the other heirs of the estate, settled on the old homestead in Cape Elizabeth. He had been honored with various offices of trust in his town. In 1843 he was elected selectman and overseer of the poor, and held these offices for six years. In 1849 he was elected a member of the legislature on the Democratic ticket, and held the office for one term. Following 1851, for eight years he was clerk on a steamer plying between Portland and Boston. In 1861 he was elected County Commissioner, and remained in that office for three years, and the same year was again elected to the legislature, and served one year. For several years he has acted as Justice of the Peace in the town, and continues to discharge the duties of that office to the satisfaction of his fellow towns-men and with honor to himself. Mr. Higgins is a member of the Free Will Baptist Church and supporter of churches and kindred interests. He is a man of acknowledged integrity and correct habits.


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

Reuben HIGGINS Self M Male W 69 ME Farmer ME ME
Solista HIGGINS Wife M Female W 66 ME Keeps House ME ME
Source Information:

Census Place E.D.26-27,Cape Elizabeth,Cumberland, Maine Family History Library Film 1254477
NA Film Number T9-0477 Page Number 150A


Elias Higgins

                       * possible age error


Arthur Terry Higgins
Obituary for Arthur Terry Higgins son of George and Maria Higgins, nephew of Elias
New York Times 20 Oct 1897
    Arthur Terrry Higgins Obituary


added 05 April 2012  see his ancestor's noted above

Source: Bulletin of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, Volume 47 - By National Association of Wool Manufacturers - Published 1917
Mr. Alvin Dyer Higgins, who for many years had been a conspicuous leader in the American carpet manufacture, died suddenly in his office at Thompsonville, Conn., November 7. A native of Maine, Mr. Higgins began his business career when a boy, with his uncle in the E. S. Higgins Carpet Company of New York. He acquired a remarkably thorough knowledge of all departments of the industry and became general manager of the business. When in 1901 the Higgins Company was consolidated with the Hartford Carpet Corporation, Mr. Higgins was a leader in the undertaking, and became vice-president and general manager of the new and greater concern. Later, in 1914, the Bigelow Company of Lowell and Clinton, Mass., was joined with the other large corporations under the name of the Bigelow-Hartford Carpet Corporation, with a capital of $13,500,000, Mr. Higgins continuing as vice-president. He had shown a very generous spirit toward the people of the manufacturing community of Thompsonville, and had given club-houses and recreation grounds for their benefit. Mr. Higgins was sixty-six years old at the time of his death. He leaves a wife and two daughters.

See his obituary from the November 08, 1916, edition of the Hartford Courant.

Alvin Dyer Higgins

Source: Richard Higgins: A Resident and Pioneer Settler at Plymouth and Eastham - By Mrs. Katharine Elizabeth Chapin Higgins - Published 1917
921. ALVIN DYER HIGGINS (Amos Dyer, Amos, Eleazer, Reuben, Reuben*, Richard, Benjamin, Richardl) born March, 1850, at Atkinsonville, a part of Charleston, Maine; died Nov. 7, 1916, at Thompsonville, Conn.; married Aug. 11, 1873, Mary Stewart of New York City, daughter of Jonas and Ann (Odlum) Stewart, who survived him.
Alvin Dyer Higgins when seventeen years old entered the Higgins Carpet Works, carried on by his uncle, Elias Smith Higgins. He acquired thorough knowledge of the processes of manufacture of carpets and showed diligent application and exceptional ability which caused him to advance steadily until he assumed offices of responsibility in the management. When the company was reorganized after the death of Elias Smith Higgins, Alvin D. Higgins and Robert P. Perkins became the principal owners, Mr. Higgins being vice-president and general manager. In 1901 the company was amalgamated with the Hartford Carpet Corporation and the works located at Thompsonville, Conn., where Mr. Higgins took up his residence and continued to be general manager. In 1914 a still more important consolidation was effected, the Bigelow Carpet Company of Clinton and Lowell, Mass., being merged with the Hartford Carpet Company into a thirteen-million-dollar company, of which Mr. Higgins continued as general manager and vice-president.
The company has made constant progress and been very successful during the administration of Mr. Higgins, continual additions to the plant becoming necessary. This progress and success were in large measure due to his executive ability, and Mr. Higgins became widely known the country over in the textile world. His interests were by no means confined entirely to the carpet company, for he did much for the advancement and benefit of his employees and the village of Thompsonville, where the carpet works were located. He was taken suddenly ill of angina pectoris, having previously been in his usual good health, on the afternoon of the national election day and passed away within an hour after the attack. His funeral was held in St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Thompsonville, on November eleventh, and the large attendance testified to the affection and esteem in which he was held.
i. Flora Stewart, b. 1887.
ii. Grace, b. 1889; married May 17, 1910, in New York City, William Edwards Lyford. They reside at Thompsonville, Conn., where Mr. Lyford is superintendent of the Bigelow- Hartford Carpet Company.
Authorities: Franklin A. Higgins of Brooklyn, N. Y.; Hartford Times of Nov. 8, 1916.

1910; Census Place: Enfield, Hartford, Connecticut; Roll: T624_131; Page: 40A; Enumeration District: 0147; Image: 582
Name Age

Alvin D Higgins 55
Mary S Higgins 55
Flora S Higgins 26
Grace Higgins 24


Source: America's successful men of affairs: An encyclopedia of contemporaneous - edited by Henry Hall - Published 1895

Click image to enlarge

ALVIN HIGGINS, manufacturer, born in Gray, Me., about 1813, died in this city, May 31, 1890. The son of a boat builder and one of eleven children, he spent several years in Portland in the employment of Brown & Smith, merchants in the West India trade. He then came to this city, and with his brother, Elias S. Higgins, conducted a retail carpet store in Pearl street, as A. & E. S. Higgins. Early in his career, he conceived the idea of manufacturing carpets in this country, and, by carrying the plan into execution, made for himself a permanent and honorable place in the history of American industry. About 1840, his firm started a factory with seven ingrain hand looms in Jersey City. Their works were located at several different places in the suburbs, but finally in New York among the rocks and shanties at 43d street and Eleventh avenue, on the site now occupied by the great buildings of the present firm of E. S. Higgins & Co. About 1855, Nathaniel D. Higgins, another brother, entered the partnership under the name of A. & E. S. Higgins & Co. Alvin retired in 1855, and spent about three years in Europe with his wife. Upon his return, he engaged in real estate operations, and owned Hunter's Island in the Sound, where he lived about twenty years. He was married, but his two children passed away before him.


Source: Richard Higgins: a resident and pioneer settler at Plymouth and Eastham - By Mrs. Katharine Elizabeth Chapin Higgins

*Parentage in this Biography differs from Obituary information.

473. ALVIN7 HIGGINS (Eleazer6, Reuben6, Reuben*, Richard3, Benjamin2, Richard1), born May 12, 1813, at Gray, Maine; died May 31, 1890, at New York City; married June, 1841, Hannah Johnson, born 1823, in Portsmouth, N. H.; died Jan. 28, 1906, at New York City. Alvin Higgins at the age of twenty-three went to Portland, Maine, and engaged as clerk in a store and a little later through the interest of a friend learned the weaving of rag carpeting on a hand loom, working evenings. He was very industrious and prudent and by strict economy soon saved two hundred dollars. He started out for himself and persuaded his brother, Elias Smith Higgins, to borrow a sum equal to his own and join him in the manufacture of carpeting. They went to Haverstraw, N. Y., and commenced making rag carpeting on one hand loom. Soon another loom was added and this small beginning grew into the great carpet works and was the foundation of the great fortunes of later years. By their energy and shrewd management their business constantly expanded and in 1840 they located in Astoria, N. Y., with enlarged facilities and power looms. They began the manufacture of ingrain carpeting, and the third brother, Nathaniel D. Higgins, was taken into partnership. The business continued to expand and in 1847-8 they built a large factory on 43d Street, New York City, between 11th Avenue and the Hudson River. Here the works remained, continually expanding until 1890. Then, needing more room and the original founders having died, the remaining members of the firm effected a consolidation with another company and located at Thompsonville, Conn., where the great works now are. The company manufactured all kinds of carpeting, ingrain, body and tapestry Brussels, Wilton and velvet rugs and the like, from their locating in New York City to the present time. During the Civil War the company manufactured great quantities of army blankets for the government, at great profit to themselves.

Alvin Higgins was a man of remarkable business ability, in fact he developed into a business genius and a wizard in finance. He was extremely successful and amassed a fortune. His rapid rise and phenomenal success in many ventures led him into speculation and finally into dissipation. This resulted in friction with his brothers and he withdrew from the firm and became heavy owner and speculator in real estate and general merchandise. He later owned and lived in the most magnificent mansion in Manhattanville and later still bought Hunter's Island, which comprised more than three hundred acres, and the Hunter mansion, built of stone quarried on the island. His gardens, parks, lodges, stables and equipages were of the finest and it was his greatest pleasure to entertain his relatives and friends here. During his early married life he lived at the Astor House and the couple were often remarked for their stately appearance. As he grew older he became more dissipated and speculated more heavily. In 1878 he became so heavily involved in real estate that he had to make an assignment and lost all he had, about two million dollars. After that he lived in a house provided by his brother, Elias S. Higgins. He did not return to his native state until 1889, when he and his wife visited every relative in Maine. His ready wit and jovial disposition admitted him at once into the good graces of his relatives and they treated him royally. Although he had traveled extensively throughout the world in his younger days, he said he had the "time of his life" on his trip to the scenes of his childhood.


i. A son, b. ;d. aged 5 years; buried at Portsmouth, N. H.

ii. A daughter, b. ;d. aged 7 years; buried at Portsmouth,

N. H.

Authority: Franklin A. Higgins, Brooklyn, N. Y.


Source: America's successful men of affairs: An encyclopedia of contemporaneous - edited by Henry Hall - Published 1895

  Click Image to enlarge

ELIAS S. HIGGINS, manufacturer, who died Aug. 18, 1889, at Narragansett Pier, R. I., began life with a common school education and little else. His brother Alvin and he carried on a retail store for the sale of foreign carpets on Pearl street. About 1840, they began the manufacture of carpets, and after the practical retirement of his brother Alvin, Mr. Higgins became the directing head of the business. He was a man of rugged energy and strong character, and developed the business until he made his industry the leading one of its class in the country. The firm finally incorporated as The E. S. Higgins Carpet Co., with a capital stock of $2,000,000. Mr. Higgins was a large buyer of real estate, not so much for speculative purposes as for investment, and was also a large shareholder in various traffic corporations. He had been for a number of years a director of The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. His wife, Emma L., with their two children, Eugene and Josephine, the latter Mrs. Brooks, survived him Mr. Higgins came before the public during the last few years of his life as an opponent of the tyranny of organized labor.


Source: Richard Higgins: a resident and pioneer settler at Plymouth and Eastham - By Mrs. Katharine Elizabeth Chapin Higgins

474. ELIAS SMITH7 HIGGINS (Eleazer3, Reuben6, Reuben*, Richard3, Benjamin2, Richard1), born March 29, 1815, at Gray, Maine; died Aug. 18, 1889, in New York City; married Ella M. Baldwin, born 1827 in New York City; died June 23, 1890; sister of Rear Admiral Charles H. Baldwin, U. S. N.

Elias Smith Higgins at the age of twenty-one was persuaded to enter on the weaving of carpeting, as already related in the sketch of his brother Alvin. It was the master mind of Elias S. Higgins that developed the carpet business and with it the fortunes of the Higgins family. He was a very remarkable man in every respect, his great ambition being to amass wealth. He was always respected as a man of the strictest integrity, a very keen student of men, sharp and shrewd in business and an indomitable worker, often the first man at business in the morning and the last to leave at night. He was very unpretentious, even to being plain, but always bore an air of refinement and intelligence. He was a firm believer and advocate of the growth of the city of New York and beside his large manufacturing interests, dealt very extensively in real estate and stocks, all of which proved his wisdom and contributed largely to his immense wealth.

In early life he lived at the Astor House, later he had a city house on Fifth Avenue and a magnificent country home at Morristown, N. J. He never returned to his native state, often giving as an excuse that he could not afford the time, and was not intimate with his relatives. He showed decided interest in the welfare of his nephews who were in his employ and was always ready to help them. He was not a member of any church, but often attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church. His wife was a Roman Catholic, but he never attended her church. He was worth about twelve millions of dollars when he died, and he willed the bulk of his estate to his wife, son and daughter.


i. Emma Louise, b. 1851; d. Sept. 11, 1870.

ii. Josephine Florence, b. 1854; married H. Mortimer Brooks.

Children: Reginald, Josephine Whitney and Gladys Baldwin Brooks.

iii. Eugene, b. 1858. He received a controlling interest in the
great Higgins carpet firm and other valuable property from his father's estate by will. He gave very little personal attention to the business and in 1899 sold his interest to Robert P. Perkins, who became president of the company, on condition that the name Higgins should not be used in connection with the firm name. After that he resided chiefly in Paris. He is unmarried.

iv. Florin, b. 1862; d. Oct. 9, 1863.

v. Leonie, b. 1865; d. Jan. 6, 1873.

Authority: Franklin A. Higgins, Brooklyn, N. Y.


Source: National Association of Wool Manufacturers Bulletin # 19 - Published 1889

Elias Smith Higgins, the head of the firm of E. S. Higgins & Co. of New York, one of the oldest and most extensive carpet manufacturing establishments in the United States, and formerly a member of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, died at Narragansett Pier, R. I., on August 17, 1889. Mr. Higgins had long been a sufferer from rheumatism, and his death was not unexpected. During his long and remarkably successful business career, Mr. Higgins earned fhe respect and esteem of his fellow manufacturers in a high degree, and his death is sincerely mourned among them all. From a carefully prepared sketch of Mr. Higgins8 life in the Carpet and Upholstery Trade Review, we condense the following facts regarding his life and business career.

Elias S. Higgins was born March 29, 1815, at Gray, a village about sixteen miles from Portland, Me. His father, Eleazer Higgins, was a shipbuilder, who, after carrying on his business for a number of years at Portland, removed to Gray. Reuben Higgins, father of Eleazer, was born on Cape Cod, and commanded a schooner during the Revolution.

Reuben Higgins left Cape Cod about 1777 and made his home at Meeting House Hill, Cape Elizabeth, Me. The Higgins families of Cape Gray and Elizabeth are his descendants. Eleazer Higgins had ten children, three of whom, Alvin, Elias S. and Nathaniel D., were destined to attain special prominence in the carpet trade.

Elias Higgins went to New York City in 1833, and found employment in the carpet store of George W. Betts, No. 434 Pearl Street, between Madison and Chatham streets, a locality then known as the "Old Carpet Block." In 1836 his brother Alvin went to New York City with the intention of entering business. Elias had gained a knowledge of the carpet trade, and had also saved some money, and the brothers decided to form a partnership and engage in the carpet business under the firm style of A. & E. S. Higgins. The first store occupied by them was opened January 1, 1837, on Pearl Street. Their business was of a purely mercantile character until 1840, when they began to manufacture also, on a moderate scale, making ingrains only.

In 1841 they established a factory in Jersey City. In 1845 they left the store in Pearl Street to occupy a larger one at No. 62 Broad Street, and at about the same time they opened a new factory on the corner of Bridge and Tallman streets, Brooklyn. This building was destroyed by fire soon afterward, and the firm then secured another factory at Haverstraw, which they occupied about three years. They had also a factory at Paterson, N. J. An opportunity was then embraced to buy a factory and a quantity of land belonging to Richard Clark, a carpet manufacturer at Astoria, L. I. In 1847 they began the building of the mill on Forty-third Street, in New York, to which soon afterward all their looms were transferred. The mill first built by the firm on Forty-third Street is still occupied by them, but it forms only one of a number of other buildings which have been added from time to time. On the opening of the New York factory they began to manufacture Body Brussels and tapestry carpeting as well as ingrains. The Brussels and tapestries were made at first on hand looms, but in 1850 Bigelow power looms were utilized under a royalty arrangement with the patentee.

In 1852 the firm removed their selling headquarters from No. 62 Broad Street to two stores which had been built by them at Nos. 13 and 15 Murray Street. A year or two subsequently the firm style was altered to A. & E. S. Higgins & Co., the reason for the change being the admission of another partner in the person of their brother, the late Nathaniel D. Higgins.

In 1857 the firm's office and store were removed to 358 Broadway, and in the same year Alvin Higgins retired from the firm, the style being then changed to E. S. Higgins & Co. In 1868 the store of the firm was removed to the building now occupied by it at No. 62 White Street. The next important event in the history of the firm was the death of Mr. Nathaniel D. Higgins, which occurred January 10, 1882. At the time of Nathaniel8s death the firm had grown from a small and struggling concern, employing a few hand-loom weavers, to one which owned great factory buildings, covering seventy-two city lots, employing over two thousand operatives under an annual pay roll of $750,000 and producing yearly about 3,500,000 yards of carpeting.

Mr. Higgins was prominently identified with a number of railway, financial and other corporations. He was a director of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and Chesapeake and Ohio Railroads; a trustee in the New York Life Insurance Company; a director and the largest stockholder in the Consolidated Gas Company, and a director of the Central National Bank, which is generally known as " The Carpet Men's Bank." He was a member of the Union Club and of the Chamber of Commerce. He was largely interested in real estate and held property of great value in various parts of the city. He owned the carpet mills of his firm on Forty-third and Forty-fourth streets the Grand Central and Grand hotels, the store buildings, Nos. 84 and 80 White Street, a country seat at Morristown, N. J., a house at No. 137 Fifth Avenue, and many tenement and flat houses. His estate is estimated at from $30,000,000 to 840,000,000.

The foundation of this fortune was the patents of Erastus B. Bigelow, the inventor of the power carpet loom. Mr. Bigelow8s inventions were secured in their earliest development by the Messrs. Higgins, the Roxbury Carpet Company, and the Bigelow Carpet Company, and were held by these three concerns until the expiration of the patents in 1S73.

The famous lawsuit between the Webster Loom Company and E. S. Higgins & Co. began October 23, 1873, when the Webster Loom Company, owners of a mechanical device for weaving pile carpets called a wire motion and patented by William Webster, August 27, 1872, commenced proceedings in the United States Circuit Court against E. S. Higgins & Co. for an alleged infringement of their patent The case was argued before Judge Wheeler in 1878, and his decision was in favor of the defendants, but the complainants appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which in 1881 reversed the decision of the Circuit Court and ordered an accounting for profits and damages, which was begun before United States Commissioner Shields, June 8, 1882, and continued about six years, the commissioner's report being filed December 0, 1888. In the closing argument before the commissioner the complainants waived their claim for damages, but insisted that as the testimony proved that the sixty-one infringing looms used by the defendants had woven during the eight years they were in use S,277,6182J yards of carpet, and had thus produced 4,145,872 yards of carpet more than could have been produced on any other looms open to use, the complainants were entitled to the Vol. xix. nos. in., iv. 38 total net profit on this increased production, which at an estimate of 33} cents a yard amounted to 81,533,007.96.

The decision of Commissioner Shields was adverse to this claim, the commissioner finding that the Webster Loom Company had failed to establish any basis upon which the profits realized by the defendants could be computed. The Webster Loom Company opposed the confirmation of the commissioner8s report by the court and the case was argued before Judge Shipman of the United States Circuit Court last spring. The judge8s decision, which was rendered July 26, was in substance that the commissioner8s report was not sufficiently definite and conclusive and must therefore be recommitted and a further report made in conformity with previous rulings in the case. How much longer the suit will last, or what the final result will be, no one can venture to predict. It has already extended through sixteen years, involving the employment of distinguished counsel, the taking of an immense amount of testimony and the expenditure of a vast sum of money.

The funeral of Mr. Higgins was held on the 21st ult., at the Church of the Transfiguration, in New York City. The Rev. Dr. Houghton, assisted by the Rev. Dr. Merritt, of Morristown, N. J., conducted the services. There was a large attendance of old friends, business associates and employees of the deceaed, the carpet trade being strongly represented.




. . . . . . . . . . 

Major Pages Containing Maine Information on Higgins Families


  •  Higgins Marriages from the State Archives: 

     Marriages Sorted by Groom 

    • Part 1 
      Adam Arthur Higgins 
      - Elmer A Higgins 

    • Part 2 
      Elmer A Higgins
      - Isaac S Higgins

    • Part 3 
      Isaac S Higgins
      - Michael L Higgins

    • Part 4 
      Michael L Higgins
      - Vasconic L Higgins 

    • Part 5 
      Vasconic L Higgins
      - Wyman S Higgins

      Marriages Sorted by Bride 

    • Part 1 
      A L Higgins
      - Eva Higgins 

    • Part 2 
      Eva Higgins
      - Lucy F Higgins 

    • Part 3 
      Lucy F Higgins
      - Terri Cecilia Higgins

    • Part 4 
      Terri Cecilia Higgins
      - Zilla J Higgins


   This information compiled by Michael James Higgins Your Webmaster  


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