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THE HIGLEYS AND 
THEIR ANCESTRY 

AN OLD COLONIAL FAMILY 



BY 

MARY COFFIN JOHNSON 



"I HAVE WRITTEN FRANKLY, 
GARRULOUSLY, AND AT EASE, 
SPEAKING OF WHAT GIVES ME 

JOY TO REMEMBER 

SOMETIMES VERY CAREFULLY OF 
WHAT I THINK MAY BE USEFUL 
FOR OTHERS TO KNOW, AND 
PASSING OVER IN TOTAL SI- 
LENCE THINGS WHICH I HAVE NO 
PLEASURE IN REVIEWING." 

Prceterita 



LIMITED EDITION 



NEW YORK 

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 
MDCCCXCVI 



Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1892, by MARY COFFIN JOHNSON, 
in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 



2012371 






/ 

OM 
f 





PREFACE. 



THE story in this book is not new; it is but a repetition of the 
story told " o'er and o'er " since man's existence " born, married,, 
died." 

It is a plain record of the lives of a great many noteworthy 
plain people, as well as of a number of men and women who have 
distinguished themselves in their relations to life. 

The faults or deficiencies of the subjects are not dwelt upon. 
"It is always fair," Henry Ward Beecher used to tell us, "to 
credit a man at his best let his enemies tell of his worst." 

The work contains many side lights on topics relating to the 
times in which its subjects lived, and glances at the early settlers 
in the beginnings of many of our States and Territories. Great 
pains have been taken to make the work historically accurate. 

The fullness of the biographical sketches is a notable feature. 
I much regret that many individuals and families are mentioned 
only in the genealogical line. This is because our information 
concerning them was quite incomplete, very few facts or none at 
all having been contributed. But no amount of painstaking can 
render a genealogical work perfect. The errors, especially in 
dates, are as frequently the fault of the contributors as of the 
editor. 

I have from first to last had in mind the young people. There 
is already a whole generation of youths and maidens, whose 
activities and influence belong to the wider development of the 
twentieth century, now growing up in the remote new West and 
South under the onward progress and changes of the present 
period ; they are found in the full tide of enterprise and eager 
desire of the American spirit, near rapidly built railroad lines, 
new villages and towns, oil cities, natural gas discoveries, elec- 
trical appliances, mines, and quarries. To these the old New 
England Puritan story of their grandsires is quite unknown ; 
they read latter day publications and have scarcely been afforded 

iii 



iVr PREFACE. 

a glimpse of the domestic portraits and life surroundings that 
made their ancestor human. 

For such this book is written. 

This work was first projected by Greenleaf W. Higley of New 
York City, and was first begun without an idea of so extensive an 
enterprise as it has proved; indeed, when undertaken by the 
editor it was not intended to go beyond arranging, for print, some 
valuable MSS. and scraps of traditions which Mr. Higley had 
interested himself to gather, he having for some years been far 
from indifferent concerning his ancestors. 

In its earlier prosecution, without the slightest expectation of 
pecuniary compensation, he took upon himself the entire expense 
incurred in gathering the material, till on account of failing 
health and other unavoidable reasons, he was reluctantly obliged 
to abandon the work. 

To Judge Warren Higley of New York City is due the honor 
of assuming the financial responsibility of the publication of the 
book. From the beginning of the undertaking I was the recipient 
of his uniform kindness, cheerful encouragement, and practical 
co-operation; his due appreciation of the vast amount of labor 
imposed upon me in securing the facts taken from official records 
by extensive personal research, as well as in handling the large 
volume of contributed matter, and answering hundreds of letters, 
was practically shown during the long interval till its completion, 
and justly deserves here to be recorded with honorable mention. 

The pleasant duty is also mine of expressing grateful acknowl- 
edgements to others who have cheerfully extended every facility 
that could be extended, not only from time to time giving fresh im- 
pulse to the work, but who have generously given of their time and 
labor toward collecting material and obtaining traces of lines of 
descendants not of their own. Among those whose names in this 
connection may be justly associated with this book, are Pomeroy 
Higley of West Simsbury, Conn., Albert C. Bates of East Granby, 
Conn., Henry W. Goddard of Simsbury, Conn., all of whom reside 
in the neighborhood of the old ancestral localities; Thompson Hig- 
ley of Windsor, O., William A. Higley of Windham, O., Miss Emma 
L. Higley of Middlebury, Vt., and Milo H. Higley of Rutland, O. 

To mention some who have lent important assistance in fur- 
nishing material in their own lines of descent would be to the 
writer most gratifying. 

MARY COFFIN JOHNSON. 

BROOKLYN, N. Y., March, 1896. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. BOYHOOD OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, THE FIRST AMERICAN 

ANCESTOR, i 

II. A BIT OF HISTORY, . 5 

III. PURITAN GRANDSIRES, 7 

IV. ONE OF THE FOREFATHERS, 15 

V. MATERNAL ANCESTRY 19 

VI. ANCESTRAL LINKS, 22 

VII. YOUTH AND MARRIAGE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, . . 28 

VIII. EARLY MARRIED LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, 1671-78, 33 

IX. BUSINESS PROSPERITY. A GRANDMOTHER'S MEMORIES, . 41 

X. SIMSBURY, CONN., 47 

XI. PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, .... 56 
XII. CAPTAIN JOHN V HIGLEY'S SECOND MARRIAGE. LIFE'S AC- 
TIVITIES, . 63 

XIII. LAST SCENES IN CAPTAIN HIGLEY'S LIFE, ... 71 

SKETCHES OF THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY OF HIGLEYS. 

XIV. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JOHN HIGLEY, JR., . . 85 
XV. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JONATHAN HIGLEY, IST, 88 

XVI. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ELIZABETH HIGLEY BAN- 
CROFT, .. 4 ...... gi 

XVII. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. KATHERINE HIGLEY NOBLE, 96 
XVIII. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ENSIGN BREWSTER HIG- 
LEY, SR., 99 

XIX. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL, 106 
XX. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JOSEPH HIGLEY, . .114 

XXI. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. SAMUEL HIGLEY, IST, . 115 
XXII. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. MINDWELL HIGLEY Tis- 

DALE FITCH, 135 

XXIII. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. SARAH HIGLEY LOOMIS, . 137 

XXIV. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. NATHANIEL HIGLEY, . 139 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER PAGE 

XXV. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JOSIAH AND JOSHUA HIG- 

LEY ' . 144 

XXVI. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ABIGAIL HIGLEY THORP, 147 
XXVII. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. SUSANNAH HIGLEY BLACK- 
MAN, 149 

XXVIII. THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ENSIGN ISAAC HIGLEY, 153 

XXIX. DESCENDANTS OF KATHERINE HIGLEY NOBLE, . . .159 

XXX. BREWSTER HIGLEY, 20, 162 

XXXI. ENSIGN BREWSTER HIGLEY, 30, ...... 169 

XXXII. HANNAH HIGLEY ALFORD PORTER, . . . . 176 

XXXIII. SETH HIGLEY, IST, 185 

XXXIV. WARREN HIGLEY, SR., AND HIS DESCENDANTS, . . 199 
XXXV. AMELIA HIGLEY BATES, 220 

XXXVI. JUDGE BREWSTER HIGLEY, 4TH 233 

XXXVII. ERASTUS HIGLEY, 243 

XXXVIII. REV. HERVEY OWEN HIGLEY, 249 

XXXIX. DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 4TH, . . . 267 

XL. DAVID HIGLEY, 280 

XL1. CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 284 

XLII. MICAH HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS, . . . 300 

XLIII. COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY, 304 

XLIV. DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY, . . 321 

XLV. LIEUTENANT ASA HIGLEY, 340 

XL VI. OZIAS HIGLEY, . 349 

XL VII. ABIEL HIGLEY, 354 

XLVIII. SIMEON HIGLEY, 373 

XLIX. HANNAH HIGLEY OWEN MILLS, 376 

L. JOHN BROWN 380 

LI. HESTER HIGLEY CASE, 390 

LII. JOHN HIGLEY, SR., 392 

LIII. HAYDEN HIGLEY, ' . . . 401 

LIV. CARMI HIGLEY, 409 

LV. "DEACON" OBED HIGLEY, SR., 416 

LVI. POMEROY HIGLEY, SR., 428 

LVII. ELIZABETH HIGLEY MILLS, 440 

LVIII. DESCENDANTS OF HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL, . . 444 

LIX. DESCENDANTS OF GOVERNOR JONATHAN TRUMBULL, SR. , . 464 

LX. JONATHAN HIGLEY, SON OF SAMUEL, IST, . . . 474 

LXI. DESCENDANTS OF JONATHAN HIGLEY, JR. (OR 20), . . 492 



CONTENTS. 



Vll 



CHAPTER 




PAGE 


LXII. 


HON. JONATHAN HIGLEY (30), 


. 500 


LXIII. 


HUME HIGLEY 


517 


LXIV. 


ALLEN HIGLEY, 


. . 544 


LXV. 


MARY HIGLEY WHITE 


570 


LXVI. 


DESCENDANTS OF NATHANIEL HIGLEY, 


. 583 


LXVII. 


ROSWELL HIGLEY, ..... 




LXVIII. 


FAMILY OF SOLOMON HIGLEY, 


. 621 


LXIX. 


LIEUTENANT DANIEL HIGLEY, . 


635 


LXX. 


DESCENDANTS OF JOSIAH HIGLEY, IST, 


. 658 


LXXI. 


DESCENDANTS OF JOSIAH HIGLEY, IST, 


674 


LXXII. 


ELIJAH HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS, . 


688 


LXXIII. 


JAMES HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS, 


. . . .70? 


APPENDIX, 




713 


INDEX, 




721 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



FACING PAGE 

WESTWARD, Ho ! . . . Frontispiece 

MRS. MARY COFFIN JOHNSON, i 

HOME OF DEACON JOHN MOORE IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, . 15 

MAN IN STOCKS, 17 

ARMS OF DRAKE 20 

THE HIGLEY COPPER, 126 

HOMESTEAD OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 20, 162 

REV. WALTER O. HIGLEY, 193 

CHAUNCEY AND MARGARET H. HIGLEY, 203 

CHESTER AND PRUDENCE MILLER HIGLEY, 207 

HON. WARREN HIGLEY, 209 

CHRISTINA J. HIGLEY, 218 

ELIZA Z. HIGLEY NICKASON, 218 

ALBERT C. BATES 223 

HERMAN WARD HIGLEY, 228 

PROFESSOR EDWIN HALL HIGLEY, 258 

JULIUS B. HIGLEY, 271 

MARIA L. FUQUA HIGLEY, 272 

HON. BRAINARD S. HIGLEY, 289 

WILLIAM E. HIGLEY, 296 

ARTHUR LUCIEN HIGLEY, 297 

CHARLES WILLIAM HIGLEY (OF BOSTON), 297 

COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY, 304 

ROBERT McKowN HIGLEY, 319 

EDWARD B. HIGLEY, 320 

JULIA M. HIGLEY, 321 

LORIN HIGLEY, ' 324 

MATTHEW P. HIGLEY 331 

ALFRED M. HIGLEY, 336 

JOHN BROWN 380 

HAYDEN HIGLEY 401 

POMEROY HIGLEY, 429 

CLAYTON W. HIGLEY, . . 431 



X ILL US TRA TIONS. 

FACING PAGE 

GOVERNOR JONATHAN TRUMBULL 444 

RECORD OF JONATHAN HIGLEY'S BIRTH (FROM " PUBLIC RECORDS OF 

SIMSBURY, CONN."), 474 

GREENLEAF W. HIGLEY AND FAMILY, 533 

JONATHAN HIGLEY (OF WINDSOR. O.), 55 

CURTIS DIVINE HIGLEY, 595 

SARAH E. BUELL HIGLEY, . 595 

IRVIN BUELL HIGLEY, 59 6 

MARY E. HIGLEY McLouo, 596 

ALICE E. FREEMAN PALMER, 614 

GEORGE TRASK HIGLEY 649 

GENERAL JOHN HUNT HIGLEY, 679 

ELIJAH HIGLEY, 700 

LYDIA J. HIGLEY HIBBARD, 704 

REUNION AT WINDHAM, O., 716 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 



CHAPTER I. 

BOYHOOD OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, THE FIRST AMERICAN 
ANCESTOR. 

If it be pleasant to behold a fair, round timber tree, sound and perfect, or a fine old mansion, 
not in decay, how much more an old family that has stood the weather and the winds. LORD 
BACON. 

IN the old church records at Frimley, Surrey, England, is found 
the following entry : 

"Jonathan Higley and Katherine Brewster Married January 
Y e 3 Anno Dom, 1647." 

At a later date, among the birth records appears the announce- 
ment: 

"John, Y e sonne of Jonathan Higley, borne Y e 22 of July. 
Baptized August Y e i2th, 1649." 

No other children of Jonathan and Katherine Higley are 
recorded upon these ancient parchments, though tradition says 
that John Higley had two sisters, whom he left behind with his 
mother when he emigrated to America. 

Concerning Jonathan Higley's origin in England, 1 we have not 
made research beyond the Frimley parish register, and all that is 
known of him may be briefly stated. 

His wife, Katherine Brewster, was clearly of the ancient 
Brewster family of England, to which belonged "Elder" William 
Brewster of the Mayflower fame. A branch of the family settled 
in Kent in the time of Elizabeth, where they owned lands in 
several parishes in 1560. 

The death of her father, the Rev. John Brewster, is entered 
upon the parish records of Frimley as taking place August 14, 
1656, and that of her mother, February 23, 1657. This branch 

1 The task of searching out the lineage of Jonathan Higley in England, or Germany, is left for 
some descendant of another generation. 



2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

of the Brewster family were residents in this parish from a very 
early date of that century. 

Originally Frimley was a very small hamlet, surrounded with 
woods and heath lands, and is said to have been once connected 
with Windsor Forest as a hunting ground. It lies in the valley, 
with slight rising lands on the side, about thirty miles from 
London. The district has the name of having been, in years gone 
by, a wild, rough country, with few inhabitants. The old form 
of the word Frimley was Frymley. The railroad from London to 
Southampton now passes through the village, though Frimley- 
Green and its old church are a mile away. The village is seven 
miles from the well-known Aldershot military camp. 

The church in which John Higley was baptized, when he was an 
infant three weeks old, and in which the ancient records are 
found that give us the earliest history we have searched, was built 
in 1602, and the first entries in the register were in 1594. 

It was amid these surroundings that John Higley, the first 
ancestor of the Higleys of America, was born and nursed. To 
him the lineage of all by the name is traced. 

From Church, Colonial, State, and other public records, 
together with old papers, old account books, MSS. yellow and 
seared by age, from which copious extracts are taken, some of 
which furnish statements supported only by traditionary evidence, 
but all fully sustained and confirmed by facts in history, and con- 
sidered unquestionable, the story of his life is gathered. 

His father died about the year 1664 at the age of forty, which 
left the care of the family devolving upon the mother. By this 
bereavement the practical energy and force of character with 
which it is said she was particularly gifted, were called out and 
put into exercise. 

Soon after the death of his father, and according to a common 
custom of those times, she apprenticed John to a trade, that of 
manufacturing gloves. The boy was then fifteen years of age. 
His master proved severe and overbearing, and John Higley 
formed no attachment for him. The weekly tasks were hard 
and heavy, and the lad was overworked. One Saturday night, on 
failure of performance of a certain amount of work that had been 
allotted him, he was promised a sound flogging to be adminis- 
tered on the following Monday morning. His independent 
nature revolted at such treatment. It was not that he lacked 
industrious habits and close application, as will be seen in his 



BOYHOOD OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 3 

future, but possessing a strong sense of justice and a courageous 
spirit, he could not consent to be beaten for the nonfulfillment of 
an unreasonable task. 

He had been apprenticed for a term of not less than seven 
years. 1 The law provided that should the apprentice depart from 
his service before the expiration of his time, "he should be 
legally apprehended on warrant," taken "before one of His 
Majesty's justices of the peace," and returned to his master with 
a severity of punishment far greater than that which he might 
have received for unfulfilled tasks. John Higley conceived the 
idea of running away. Keeping his intentions profoundly 
a secret, not even taking his mother into his confidence, it was 
easy for him to find a way of escape; and on the evening of the 
next day Sunday, he was aboard a trading vessel, setting sail for 
America. His first night at sea found him in severe isolation, 
amid the solitudes of the great ocean, a stranger to all about him, 
supported by no friendly boy comrade, and without money, with 
an uncertain voyage of many weeks before him, his destination 
an unknown land, with no familiar roof upon its shores " save 
the sky." It was certainly a period of unquestionable trial to his 
courageous heart, and well might his spirits have relented, had 
not the independence and the excitement of a boundless life on 
the wild new shore toward which his face was turned buoyed him 
up. He could not decipher the hieroglyphics in which his future 
was enwrapped. However, despair and gloominess had no place 
in his natural temperament, and full of the sensibilities of youth 
and hope, he sought his bunk and did not dream. John Higley 
had found a secure retreat from his harsh taskmaster, the glove- 
maker, as well as an outlet for his eagle spirit. 

The captain of the vessel arranged to give him his passage with 
the understanding that he was to be sold upon the arrival of the 
ship in port, for at least a sufficient amount to pay for his passage 
across the ocean." It was a period in the history of the colonies 
when inducements were offered to emigrants of every description 
to come to this country. "There was need, and great demand 
for workmen and artisans of all kinds, and tillers of the soil found 
ready employment awaiting them." 3 

1 It is authoritatively stated that " No apprenticeship to a trade iright expire until the apprentice 
was twenty-four years of age." 

4 " Since the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and under James and his successors, minors had been 
granted to court favorites, or sold in open market to the highest bidder." Extract. 

' " At the outset of American colonization one finds persons bound for long terms before leaving 



4 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

On the arrival of the ship off the American coast, she sailed up 
the Connecticut River to Windsor, the oldest settlement in the 
Colony of Connecticut, situated fifty-seven miles from its mouth. 
Here John Higley, with his own consent, was sold for a term 
of service. 

We are fully justified in the conclusion that his purchaser was 
John Drake, though this name is not given in the old MS., but 
subsequent events point strongly to the fact that he was taken 
immediately into the home of this worthy family. The fact is 
recorded that the young man worked faithfully for his employer, 
cleared the entire debt of his passage across the ocean, and, 
having his employer's full confidence, continued in his service 
for some time after he had attained his majority. 

God's smiling providence had followed the boy across the sea. 

England, and treated as recognized species of property. English laborers bound themselves to 
serve a term of years, fairly hoping to better their condition in America ; and men in domestic or 
other trouble would sell themselves for a term of service : trusting to luck to come up in better 
plight in a new world. Runaway apprentices were greedily welcomed by crimps or decoy agents 
concerned in shipping recruits to the new colonies. In those days of slow communication, men of 
every sort were as utterly lost in America to their old lives as they could have been had they 
migrated to the moon." Edward Eggleston, Century Magazine, 1884. 



CHAPTER II. 

A BIT OF HISTORY. 

'Tis like a dream when one awakes 

This vision of the scenes of old ; 
'Tis like the moon when morning breaks ; 

'Tis like a tale round watch fires told. 

John Pierponfs Hymn. 

WINDSOR,' Conn., was the first trading post in the colony. 
It was established October 16, 1633. The attention of the Eng- 
lish colonists and Puritans on the Massachusetts coast was 
called to the rich broad valley of the Quonektacut," by an Indian 
chief,* who, escaping the savage cruelty of overpowering neighbor- 
ing tribes, made his way from Matianuck (now Windsor), through 
the wilderness to Boston, and solicited Governor Winthrop " to 
come to plant in his country"; extolling its richness and its ad- 
vantages for trade, and offering "a full supply of corn, and an 
annual present of eighty beaver skins." 

The Indians, who were numerous upon the river, belonged to 
several different tribes which were located forty-five miles from 
its mouth, and thickly settled in the region above, who were con- 
stantly in warlike relations, driving each other here and there. 
This sagacious chief no doubt desired the favor and presence of 
the white man to regain for him his hunting grounds and to pro- 
tect his people with his firearms. Governor Winthrop saw noth- 
ing in the proposition to merit his attention. 

Through similar sources knowledge came to Governor Winslow 
of the Plymouth Colony of these valuable lands, which were 
described as lying at the juncture of the two beautiful rivers, the 
Connecticut and its picturesque tributary the Farmington; lands 
rich in timber and furs, and abounding with beaver, whose future 
under the busy hand of trade and civilization promised to "flow 
with milk and honey." 

1 The main facts in this historical narrative of the early settlement of Windsor, Conn., are extracts 
taken from Dr. David McClure's paper in the "Massachusetts Historical Collection," vol. v. ; 
Dr. H. R. Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor"; and the "History of Hartford County, Conn.," 
by J. Hammond Trumbull. 

8 The Indian name for Connecticut. 

8 Wahginmacut. 

2 5 



O THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

An adventurer, John Oldham, who with two companions were 
the first white men who made the journey overland to Matianuck, 
risking his life among the dense forests and deep rivers, returned 
with glowing representations of the western valley. Governor 
Winslow looked with approval upon a movement in this direction. 
The result was that the Plymouth Colony took the project in 
hand. 

The Dutch had for the last ten years been visiting the river 
as traders. In 1614, a Hollander, Captain Adrian Block, in the 
Dutch merchant service, while cruising about in a small yacht of 
sixteen tons exploring the unknown and rugged shores of Long 
Island Sound, discovered the Connecticut River, up which he sailed 
to near the head of navigation (now Windsor Locks). The Dutch 
West India Company had since the year 1621 a monopoly of trade 
on its banks, and had sometimes bartered with the savages for as 
many as ten thousand beaver skins in a single year, but had made 
no attempt at a settlement. However, when the attention of 
the English on the Massachusetts coast was being turned in this 
direction, the Dutch, to make their claim to the right of possession 
secure, and prevent usurpation of their rights, purchased in June, 
1633, of the Indians, a tract of meadow land at Matianuck, and 
built a small fort, manning it with two small cannon. 

To ignore the claim of the Dutch, and get possession of the 
desirable lands above their rude defense, it was necessary for the 
English to choose a man of courage and determination, together 
with a crew of equal metal. Captain William Holmes, with " a 
large bark " belonging to the Plymouth Company, sailed from 
Boston in October, 1633. He had on board the frame of a 
house which was prepared in Plymouth with all the materials 
requisite for its erection. He also carried with him Nattawanut 
and other Indian sachems, the original proprietors of the soil, 
who had been driven thence by the warlike Pequots, and of 
whom the Plymouth people afterward purchased the land. 

Passing under the guns of the Dutch fort at Hartford, and up 
the river a few miles above, he arrived at a location chosen just 
below the mouth of the Tunxis or Farmington River in the 
present town of Windsor. Here he erected his house on a lot 
of 43^ acres, and proceeded to fortify it with palisades. 

The Dutch, after emphatic protests, finally withdrew, and 
in 1653, twenty years afterward, when England and Holland 
were at war, their little fort at Hartford was taken. In 1655 the 



A BIT OF HISTORY. 7 

last vestige of Dutch claim on the Connecticut River was 
yielded. 

The original limits of the town of Windsor were about forty- 
six miles in circumference, lying on both sides of the Connecti- 
cut River. It was first called Dorchester. At the Com- 
missioner's Court held February 21, 1637, it was "Ordered, y l 
the plantacon called Dorchester shall bee called Windsor; " * and 
the ancient town has since borne that name. 

Here we shall find, in this old town which has pleasantly stood 
for more than two hundred and fifty years, the early scenes of 
the ancestry of the Higleys. 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records," vol. i. p. 7. 



CHAPTER III. 

PURITAN GRANDSIRES. 

Roll back the curtains of the years and let your eyes behold 
The distant times, the ancient ways, the sturdy men of old ; 

Across the stormy deep they came, the forest wilds they trod, 
To find a home for Liberty, a temple for their God. 

And now behold these exiles here, John Wareham and his flock, 
Made up of good old English names, and good old English stock ; 

They come with hearts that trust in God, and hands made strong for toil, 
To build their rude and humble homes, and break the waiting soil. 

I. N. TARBOX, D. D. 

To the illimitable New Erigland forest, uninhabited save by 
the wily Indian and grizzly denizens of the thickets, including 
every species of wild beast native to the country, came the 
Rev. John Wareham, Deacon John Moore, and John Drake, Sr., 
with their families. 

They were of the large body of Puritans who came with John 
Winthrop from Plymouth, England, and settled first at Dor- 
chester, Mass. John Winthrop had said, "I shall call that my 
country where I may most glorify God, and enjoy the presence 
of my dearest friends," 1 and these staunch Puritanic forefathers, 
echoing his declaration, accompanied him. 

The story of the emigration to the American coast of the 
church to which the Rev. John Wareham was a minister, and 
John Moore a deacon, and afterward its removal in a body to the 
wilds of Connecticut, is interesting to our readers, inasmuch as 
the ship Mary and John brought to this land these families from 
whom the Higleys are direct lineal descendants, through their 
honored Puritan grandmothers, ancestors in the maternal line. 

" It was during the years of tyranny which followed the close 
of the third Parliament of Charles that the great Puritan 
emigration founded the States of New England. The Parliament 
was hardly dissolved, when ' conclusions ' for the establishment 
of a great colony on the other side of the Atlantic were circu- 
lating among gentry and traders, and descriptions of the new 

1 " History of the English People," by J. R. Green, M, A. 
8 



PURITAN GRANDSIRES. 9 

country of Massachusetts were talked over in every Puritan 
household. The two hundred who first sailed for Salem were 
soon followed by Winthrop himself with eight hundred men; and 
seven hundred more followed ere the first year of royal tyranny 
had run its course. 

"Nor were these emigrants like the earlier colonists, 'broken 
men,' adventurers, bankrupts, criminals, or simply poor men 
and artisans. They were in great part men of the professional 
and middle classes; some of them of large landed estate, some 
zealous clergymen like Hooker and Cotton, some shrewd London 
lawyers, or young scholars from Oxford. They were driven 
forth from their fatherland, not by earthly want, or by the greed 
of gold, or by the lust of adventure, but by the fear of God, and 
zeal for a godly worship." 1 

In March, 1630, this strong body of Puritans met in Plymouth, 
Devonshire. After spending a solemn day of fasting and prayer 
in the New Hospital, they covenanted in church fellowship. 

Two of the grandsires of the Higley ancestry were placed in 
responsible church relations, the Rev. John Wareham, " who was 
chosen a minister, and John Moore, who was appointed a deacon. 

1 From " History of the English People," by J. R. Green, M. A. 

8 Rev. John Wareham was a clergyman of Exeter, England, ordained by the bishop of that 
diocese. He was a learned man of celebrity and widespread influence in his native country. He 
espoused the Puritan faith, and it is recorded that li his example as much as his precept greatly 
aided the decision of others " to emigrate to America. Roger Clap, in his " Memoirs," mentions 
his name with other " famous ministers," as " sound, godly, learned men." 

After remaining more than five years at Dorchester, Mass., he again transplanted his church, the 
larger proportion of its membership coming with him, to Windsor, Conn., in 1635. Here he was 
devoted and untiring in his labors during a long pastorate of thirty-four years. It is said that he 
was more liberal in sentiment than many of his Puritan ministerial brethren of those times, and 
was a preacher of great attractive power, "having an uncommon influence over his hearers of all 
ranks and characters." He is said to have been the first minister in this country who used notes 
when preaching. His biographers are faithful enough to tell us that he was subject to moods of 
gloomy fancies, and that there were times when he refused to partake of the sacraments on account 
of a " sense of unworthiness," even when he officiated in the presence of his people. It is sup- 
posed that he possessed good estates in England. He was twice married, and had a large family. 
His daughter Sarah married Return Strong, May n, 1664. His granddaughter Sarah Strong, the 
eldest child of his daughter Sarah, became the second wife of John Higley, and was the mother of 
seven of his children. At his death, Rev. Mr. Wareham left a large estate in lands. 

His tomb at Windsor, Conn., which has been carefully preserved for more than two hundred 
years, in the old cemetery surrounding the church. " now the oldest orthodox church organiza- 
tion in America" (Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor," p. 858), bears the following inscription : 

" IN MEMORY OF THB REV. JOHN WAREHAM. 

" He was installed Pastor of this Church at its organization in Plymouth, England, in 1630, 
They arrived in this country the 3oth of May the same year, and remained at Dorchester. Mass., 
five years, when they removed to this town. Here Mr. Wareham continued his pastoral labors 
to his flock until April i, 1670, when he slept in the Lord. He was among the most eminent of 
New England's early Divines. 

" ERECTED BY HIS CHURCH." 



10 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The ship Mary and John, a vessel of four hundred tons, was 
chartered for the voyage to America, and fitted out at Plymouth. 
The large company embarked on the twentieth of the month, and 
were seventy days in making the passage. 

Says Roger Clap, who was one of the number, in an interest- 
ing account of the voyage and landing, given in his " Memoirs": 
"What a wondrous work of God it was, to -stir up such Worthys 
to undertake such a difficult Work as to remove themselves, and 
their Wives and Children, from their Native Country, and to leave 
their galliant situations there, to come into this Wilderness to set 
up the pure Worship of God here ! So we came, by the good Hand 
of the Lord, through the Deeps comfortably; having Preaching 
or Expounding of the Word of God every Day for Ten Weeks 
together by our Ministers. 

"When we came to Nantasket, Captain Squeb, who was Captain 
of that great ship, would not bring us into Charles River, as he 
was bound to do, but put us ashore, and our Goods, on Nan- 
tasket Point, and left us to shift for ourselves in a forlorn Place 
in this Wilderness." 

Procuring a boat of some Planters, and "some men well 
armed," they proceeded up the Charles and finally landed "with 
much Labor and Toil, the Bank being steep. Night soon came 
on and we were informed that there were hard by us three 
hundred Indians. A man was sent to advise them not to come 
to the camping pilgrims in the Night. Sentinels were appointed, 
and we laid ourselves down in the wilderness to sleep. In the 
morning some of the Indians came and stood at a distance 
off, looking at us, but came not near us; but when they 
had been a while in view, some of them came, and held out 
a great Bass towards us. So we sent a man with a Biskit, and 
changed the Cake for the Bass. Afterwards they supplied us 
with Bass, exchanging a Bass for a Biskit, and were very 
friendly to us. 

" In the beginning many were in great straits for want of Provi- 
sion for themselves, and their little ones. Oh, the Hunger that 
many suffered, and saw no hope in the Eye of reason to be 
supplyed; only clams, and muscles, and Fish. But Bread was 
with many a very scarce thing; and flesh of all kinds as scarce. 
And in those Days, in our straits, though I cannot say God sent 
a Raven to feed us as He did the Prophet Elijah, yet this I can 
say to the praise of God, that He sent poor ravenous Indians, 



PURITAN GRANDSIRES. II 

which came with their Baskits of corn on their Backs to Trade 
with us, which was a good supply unto many. 

" . . . In those Days God did cause his People to trust in 
him, and to be contented with mean things. It was not 
accounted a strange thing in those Days to drink Water, and to 
eat Samp, or Homonie without Butter or Milk. Indeed, it would 
have been a strange thing to see a peice of Roast Beef, Mutton, 
or Veal, though it was not long before there was Roast Goat. 

"After the first Winter, we were very healthy, though some of 
us had no great store of Corn. The Indians did sometimes bring 
Corn and Truck to us for Clothing, and Knives; and once I had 
a Peck of Corn, or thereabouts, for a little Puppy Dog. Frost- 
fish, Muscles, and Clams were a relief to many." 

One account relates that "We found out a neck of land joyning 
to a place called by y e Indians Mattapan, so they settled at 
Mattapan. They began their settlement here at Mattapan y e 
beginning of June, A. D. 1630, and changed the name into 
Dorchester." 

For full three years the pilgrims at Dorchester lived in har- 
mony. We quote again from Roger Clap 1 : "In those days 
Great was the Tranquility and Peace; And there was great love 
one to Another; very ready to help each other; not seeking their 
own, but every one another's Wealth." They early made progress 
toward comfortable living. Wood writes, in 1633, " that they 
had fair corn fields, pleasant gardens, a great many cattle, goats, 
and swine, and that the plantation had a reasonable harbor for 
ships." 

There seems to be some obscurity as to the primary cause of 
the agitation which resulted in the decision of this ancient church 
to remove in a body to the Connecticut wilderness. It was 
probably owing to a variety of reasons. Clap goes on to say : 
"But the work of God towards his People here was soon 
maligned by Satan; and he cast into the minds of some corrupt 
Persons, very erroneous Opinions; which did breed great Dis- 
turbance in the Churches. . . The Godly Ministers were 
accused of preaching false doctrine, and theological points came 
into discussion. Troublers of the country went about and many 
were drawn away with their Disseminations." 

Added to this, the Massachusetts Colony had enacted laws 
which were a yoke to their liberty-loving and determined spirits, 

1 " Memoirs of Capt. Roger Clap," printed in Boston, New England, 1731. 



12 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

and their intense love of freedom was undoubtedly another cause 
prompting their removal. It is clearly evident that they had 
a high instinctive consciousness of rights and possibilities in the 
pursuit of the true principles of religious freedom, and believed 
that somewhere upon the soil of the New World there was a spot 
where they could enjoy happiness. The Massachusetts law per- 
mitted "none but Church members to even be called freemen or 
to become voters." They were interfered with in a thousand 
little matters which were of a private nature, and which might 
7 best have been left to themselves. Sir Richard Saltonstall, who 
came with the fleet in 1630 and returned to England the follow- 
ing year, wrote to the Boston ministers as follows: 

" It doeth not a little grieve my spirit to hear what sadd things are reported 
daily of your tyranny and persecutions in New England, as that you fyne, whip, 
and imprison men for their conciences. These rigid ways have layed you very low 
in the hearts of y e saynts." * 

The subject of removal westward was weighed in its different 
bearings by Mr. Wareham's entire church. They held days of 
prayer and fasting, and finally the main body determined to leave 
Massachusetts for the Connecticut valley. Rev. Mr. Wareham 
was the minister and leader-in-chief of the new and hazardous 
undertaking. The decease of his associate, Rev. Mr. Maverick, 
had previously taken place,, They sent a party in advance to 
view sites for the settlement where is now Windsor, and the main 
body of sixty men and women set out in the autumn of 1635, 
carrying with them the original records of the Church. They 
were fourteen days making the journey. 

Their road lay through the unbeaten and almost trackless 
paths of an unknown forest, with deep muddy soil and across 
swift, swollen streams, which were without bridges and without 
ferries. During storms the tall trees of the thick woods were 
often prostrated in heaps like stubble across the rude Indian 
paths which sometimes led their way. They had scarcely any 
provisions during the journey except what they carried with them, 
procuring by the way such as the forests afforded. 

"Their household furniture, bedding, and winter provisions 
were sent around by water, and it is probable that some families 
also took this means of conveyance. ' Never before had the 
forests of America witnessed such a scene as this.' Driving the 

1 " History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull, vol. i. p. 26. 



PURITAN GRANDSIRES. 13 

cattle before them, the compass their only guide, commencing 
and ending each day's march with songs of praise and heartfelt 
utterance of prayer, which sounded strangely among these soli- 
tudes they journeyed on. 

"Before they reached Connecticut the hues of autumn had faded 
from the forests; winter set in unusually early. By the fifteenth 
of November the river was closed with ice, and as yet the vessel 
containing their household goods and provisions had not arrived, 
nor were there any tidings of it. The rude shelter and accom- 
modations which had been provided for themselves and their 
cattle proved to be quite insufficient to protect them against the 
extreme inclemency of the season. They were able to get only 
a portion of their cattle across the river, the- remainder were left 
to winter themselves as best they could on the acorns and roots 
of the forest." l 

Disputes and contentions with other claimants about posses- 
sion of the choice lands at Matianuck met them upon their 
arrival, November i, 1635, which added to their discouragements. 
In less than a month a small party from their number, "driven 
by hunger and distress," retraced their way to the eastern coast 
amid great vicissitudes and at peril of their lives. A larger num- 
ber journeyed down the river on foot to within twenty miles of 
its mouth, where they found a small vessel which had been ice- 
bound in the river, and which fortunately had just been loosened 
by a winter thaw. In this they set sail for Boston. The hard- 
ships and sufferings of the families which remained were direful 
in the extreme. They had not sufficient food or shelter, and it 
is said their loss in cattle was very heavy. 

In the early spring those who had made their way back 
to Massachusetts during the winter returned, and settled them- 
selves permanently with their Connecticut friends. 

These settlers first established themselves under the general 
government of the Massachusetts Colony, but it was not long 
before they formed a separate commonwealth the " COLONIE 
OF CONNECTICUT." 

1 Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor," p. 25. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ONE OF THE FOREFATHERS. 

" Love, Truth, and Justice stamp the man of worth 
And yield the homage of enduring fame." 

THE Moores and Drakes were participators in all the changes 
and experiences of the migrating Puritan Church which gathered 
itself together in the dark days of Protestantism at the seaport 
of Plymouth, England. John Moore appears to have been active 
in the notable Day of Prayer held just before the embarkation at 
Plymouth, since he received the appointment and "came as 
Deacon," and ever after was closely allied in friendship with the 
Rev. Mr. Wareham, who found in him a stanch supporter during 
the remainder of his life. He was made freeman * at Dorches- 
ter, Mass., May 18, 1631. 

In Matthew Grant's MSS. ancient Records of the Church at 
Windsor, Conn., 2 the following interesting entry is found: " List 
of Members of the Church that were so at Dorchester, and came 
up here with Mr. Wareham, and are still with us." Among other 
names in the " List " is that of " Deacon John Moore," and " of 
women, Deacon Moore's wife." 

Thomas Moore, the father of John, appears to have come to 
America, and to have finally settled in Connecticut with his son. 
In the earliest grants given of lands in Windsor was a "lot ten 
rods wide " 3 which was " set off " to him, adjoining on the north 
one of like measurement "set off" to Deacon Moore. "The 

1 One who is entitled to franchise. " The principal part of the first settlers having no political 
rights under the charter, the court immediately made arrangements for extending the privileges 
of freemanship to all suitable persons, and on the first application of this right, October igth, 1630, 
among 108 persons, twenty-four belonged to Dorchester. 

" Besides the right of suffrage, freemen enjoyed advantages in the division of lands. The prin- 
cipal qualification for this privilege was church membership." History o/ Dorchester ; p. 27. 

* In possession of the Connecticut Historical Society. 

8 The Court of London, held May 21, 1629, had ordered : " For the purpose of mutual defence 
settlements must be very compact, and that within a certain plot, or pale, every one should build 
his house. A half-acre is named as the size of a house lot within this pale." 

Says Eggleston : " No man might live far away from the meeting house. The Church was a pow- 
erful force from within holding the town compacted, and the almost unflagging hostility of the 
savages for nearly one hundred years, gave a pressure from without, making it convenient to live, 
not upon farms, but upon home-lots." The Century, 1884, p. 851. 

14 




HOME OF DEACON JOHN MOORE 

IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 



ONE OF THE FOREFATHERS. 15 

two lots correspond very nearly with the grounds now held by 
the present resident, the Hon. H. S. Hayden. " 

There is little recorded of Thomas Moore except that he 
served as juror from the year 1639 to ^42, and died in 1645. 
He was probably advanced in years. 

Deacon John Moore became possessed of large landed estates, 
and in later years built one of the most costly houses of the times. 
By special courtesy of Henry R. Stiles, M. D., a drawing of the 
residence is presented. 

" It was in its day a fine house. Some of its ornaments remain, sufficient to 
hint of its former glory." . . " I have pointed out [says the writer] the door for 
the cat, for at that early day it was considered a very necessary accommodation to 
so important and privileged a member of the household. The old elm which over- 
shadows the house always possessed as much interest as the dwelling in the hearts 
of the descendants, being one of the oldest and most beautiful trees in the town." J 

A portion of the venerable house the gable end, was still to 
be seen in the year 1888. 

Deacon John Moore enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his 
townspeople in matters of local and public trust, and held a con- 
spicuous place in the town proceedings. 

In those days the town meeting served all the local purposes 
of the community. By it almost every concern was regulated. 
None but men of stanch integrity and upright life held the 
affairs of these meetings in their hands. 

We find Deacon John Moore's name at the General Court 
serving as member of the jury as early as 1642, and in 1643 he 
was a deputy. The General Court, which consisted of the 
governor, the magistrates, and deputies, afterward became the 
General Assembly. To this body he was repeatedly re-elected 
representative until 1677, the year of his decease. In those times 
the civil officers served for the honor of the office and the good 
of the community without compensation. 

In his public career he was closely associated with Governor 
Winthrop, Mr. Henry. Wolcott, Benjamin Newberry, and other 
distinguished Connecticut men of the times, in perfecting the 
foundation system upon which the structure of the State and our 
National existence was afterward reared. 2 

1 " History of Ancient Windsor," by H. R. Stiles. 

'"Connecticut's Town Government had a peculiar character. The town was the original unit, 
the State a confederation of the towns. Each town was a miniature republic and sent its repre- 
sentatives to the General Court. It was by Connecticut ideas, historians agree, the troubles of 
forming the United States Government were solved." from Speech of Senator Joseph R. Hawley. 



1 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Deacon Moore was a Puritan after the straitest of his sect. 
We may imagine his supernatural look of grave dignity as he sat 
in the General Court, confirming various enactments of stringent 
law and rule, and voting strictly against any measure which 
tended toward loosening in any wise the bands of their rigid high 
beliefs. The old Puritan commanded reverence, not by words 
more than by his awe-inspiring, somber dignity, so that even at 
middle age his appearance was venerable. 

Many of the Acts of the "General Court," during the period 
that this honorable grandsire was a member, are to be noticed 
with special interest. In December, 1642, he was among the 
number who framed and established the Capital Laws. 1 The 
Code contained twelve different offences for which the penalty of 
death was imposed. 

Neither did these eminent religionists spare the gossips and 

1 " Capitall Lames, Established by the General Court, the First of December, 1642 : 

" i. If any man after legall conviction shall have or worship any other God but the Lord God, 
hee shall bee put to death. Deut. 13 : 6, and 17 : 2. Ex. 22 : 20. 

"2. If any man or woman bee a Witch (that is, hath or consulted with a familiar spirit), they 
shall bee put to death. Ex. 22 : 18. Lev. 20 : 27. Deut. 18 : 10. 

" 3. If any person shall blaspheme the name of God the ffather, Sonne, or holy Ghost, with 
direct, express, presumptuous, or high-handed blasphemy, or shall curse God in the like manner, 
hee shall bee put to death. Lev. 24 : 15, 16. 

" 4. If any person shall committ any willfull murder, which is manslaughter committed uppon 
malice, hatred, or cruelty, not in a man's necessary and just defence, nor by mere casualty against 
his will, hee shall be put to death. Ex. 21 : 12, 13, 14. Numb. 35 : 30, 31. 

" 5. If any person shall slay another through guile, either by poisonings or other such Devillish 
practice, hee shall bee put to death. Ex. 21 : 14." 

The 6th, /th, 8th, and gth laws relate to unchastity and were punishable by death. Lev. 20 : 
10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20. Deut. 22 : 33, 24, 25. 

" 10. If any man stealeth a man or mankinde, hee shall bee put to death. Exodus 22 : 16. 

" ii. If any man rise up a false wittness, wittingly and of purpose to take away any man's life, 
hee shall bee put to death. Deut. 19 : 16, 18, 19. 

" 12. If any man shall conspire, or attempt any invasion, insurrection, or rebellion against the 
Commonwealth, hee shall bee put to death." 

The following Laws were adopted in 1650 : 

" 13. If any Childe or Children, above sixteene years old, of suffitient understanding, shall Curse 
or smite their natural) father or mother, hee or they shall bee put to death ; unless it can bee suf- 
ficiently testified that the parents have been very unchristianly negligent in the education of 
such children, or so provoke them by extreme and cruell correction that they have been forced 
thereunto to preserve themselves from death, maiming. Ex. 21 : 17. Levit. 20. 

"14. If any man have a stubborne and rebellious sonne of sufficient years and understanding, 
viz., Sixteen yeares of age, which will not obey the voice of his ffather, or the voice of his mother, 
and that when they have chastized him will not hearken unto them ; then may his ffather and 
mother, being his naturall parents, lay hold on him and bring him to the Magistrates assembled 
in Courte and testifie unto them, that their sonne is stubborne and rebellious and will not obey 
theire voice and Chastisement, but lives in sundry notorious Crimes, such a sonne shall be put to 
death. Deut. 21 : 20, 21." 




MAN IN STOCKS. 



ONE OF THE FOREFATHERS, 17 

slanderers, who were made to feel the keen punishment and dis- 
grace of the stocks and pillory; and in some cases the whipping- 
post, which "we have it as a tradition," says Trumbull, "was 
placed on Broad Street Green, the most conspicuous part of the 
town." It was not entirely abolished until 1714. For defama- 
tion, " one Bartlett, in 1646, was sentenced to stand in the pillory 
during the weekly church lecture, then to be whipped, pay a fine 
of five pounds, and suffer six months imprisonment." 

" For the preventing and avoiding of that foul and gross sin 
of lying," an ordinance was passed " that when any person or 
persons shall be accused and found guilty of that vice, it shall be 
lawful for the particular Court to adjudge and censure any such 
party either by fine or bodily correction." ' " Branding with the 
letter B for burglary, and whipping at the cart's tail for crimes 
against morality, were also methods of punishment."" 

In the year 1648, one Peter Bussaker was sentenced by the 
Court to "bee committed to prison, and there bee kept in safe 
custody till the sermon, and then to stand in the time thereof in 
the pillory, and after the sermon be severely whipt, for saying: 
that he hoped to meet some of the members of the Church in hell 
ere long, and hee did not question but hee should." a 

On the 6th of December of the same year, with dignified 
solemnity the Court considered the state of their Zion, and 
decided that Heaven should be besieged by prayer for her pros- 
perity. The following was passed : 

" Ordered, that there bee a day of Humiliation kept by all the 
churches in this Jurisdiction, to seeke y e face of y e Lord in be- 
half e of his Churches upon this day fortnight" 4 

The next morning, upon resuming their seats in council, the 
jury presented a bill of indictment against one Mary Johnson, 
declaring that "By her own confession shee is guilty of familly- 
arity with the Devill. " 5 

In the days of Deacon Moore they wrestled with witches. 
Superstition still had a hold upon them. It must be remembered 
that their new religious principles were engrafted upon an old 
system, which was environed by superstitions from which they 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 

4 " History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull, p. 508. 

' " Connecticut Colonial Records." The sermon was anywhere from one and a half to two 
hours long. 

4 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 
* " Connecticut Colonial Records." 



1 8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

were not yet emancipated, and says Green : " With all the strength 
and manliness of Puritanism, its bigotry and narrowness had 
crossed the Atlantic too." ' 

Mary Johnson had tried the forbearance of our ponderous and 
solemn heroes before this frank confession which she now made. 
The records show that their executive power had been called 
into exercise concerning her in 1646, when she was found " guilty 
of theury," and was "Ordered, to be presently whipped, and to 
be brought forth a month hence at Wethersfield and there 
whipped." Upon this second consideration of her case they 
appear to have been roused into a spirit quite the contrary to 
that religious "charity which never faileth." Mary was found 
guilty of witchery and was probably executed early in 1649. 
"There seems but little doubt," says J. H. Trumbull, "that a 
woman was hung in Windsor for witchcraft (and perhaps other 
crimes) about this time, and there were in the Commonwealth 
several accusations and trials for witchcraft, and a few execu- 
tions." s 

Deacon John Moore continued to fill the office of deacon of the 
church until his death. The latest record in connection with his 
official duties in this station, is a bill for bread furnished for 
sacraments from June, 1666, to February, 1673, amounting to 
;4 2s. od. He also filled his seat as representative to the 
General Assembly at the May session previous to his decease. 

Among his children was a daughter, Hannah, one of the 
ancestral grandmothers of our story, who was probably born in 
England, or soon after the arrival of her parents in America. In 
Windsor Records are found the dates of the births of other chil- 
dren, one of whom was John Moore, Jr., who was also for many 
years a deacon. 

John Moore, Sr., died September 18, 1677. The interment 
was in -Windsor burying ground on the following day. 

1 " History of the English People," by J. R. Green. 

a " Connecticut Colonial Records." 

* " History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull, vol. i. p. 352. 



CHAPTER V. 

MATERNAL ANCESTRY. 

O faithful worthies, resting far behind 

In your dark ages, since ye fell asleep 
Much has been done for truth, and humankind. 

WHITTIER. 

THE Drakes were a very ancient family. They descended from 
a long line of valiant men, who can be traced back for many 
centuries. There is sufficient well-authenticated history relative 
to these maternal antecedents of the Higleys to fill a separate 
volume. From the time of the Reformation they are of the purest 
Protestant blood; and as far as can be learned, the good grand- 
mothers so impressed their principles upon their offspring that 
the Higleys, at least, to this day maintain with hereditary instinct 
the characteristic of clinging bravely to reforms, and hold with 
tenacious devotion to broad and liberal principles. 

From a genealogical book published by a descendant, Samuel G. 
Drake of Boston, in 1845, the following extracts are taken : l 

"As early as the Norman Conquest there were several families 
of the name, residing chiefly within a small compass, in the south 
part of Devonshire, England. In Doomsday Book a six estates 
are mentioned as possessed by persons of the name. Indeed, we 
are told that Honiton, one of these estates, was well known to the 
Romans, and was held by Drago the Saxon, before the Conquest. 
Hence the fact that the Drakes were Saxons. Not long after the 
conquest of England by William of Normandy (1066), we find a 
family seated at Ebcmouth, the head of which was John Drake. 3 

1 " Account of the Drake Family in America," by S. G. Drake. 

1 The Doomsday Book is the result of a survey begun in 1080 by William the Conqueror, and 
completed in 1086, and briefly registers the names of the Saxon landholders and their possessions. 
The original book is still in existence and is in two volumes. Taxes were levied from it down to 
1522, when a more accurate survey was taken. 

3 Several members of the Drake descendants are mentioned in various connections in ancient 
records of Great Britain. 

"An ancestor [John] went from Devonshire to Ireland in isisby special permission of Edward II. 
' to go beyond the sea,' and we have distinguished mention of some of his descendants. 

" Captain George Drake of Apsham [1553] was the first Englishman who explored the river St. 
Lawrence. 

" Robert Drake suffered as a martyr. He was a minister of Thundersly in Essex, who was burnt 



20 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

"Prince, vicar of Berry-Pomeroy, who wrote and published 
' The Worthies of Devon,' speaking of the Drake family at 
Ashe [in the parish of Munsberry, about i^ miles to the south 
of Axminster], says: 'This ancient and honourable family came 
originally from Exmouth, a small hamlet on the east side of the 
river Ex where it flows into the mouth of the British Ocean. 
Here dwelleth JOHN DRAKE, a man of great estate, and a name of 
no less antiquity.' 'This account,' says Prince, he 'received from 
Sir William Pole [descended from that family on the maternal 
side], who says : "I copied it out of an old Roll, and written all 
with mine own hand in the month of April, in the year of our 
Lord God, 1616." 

" The motto has always been : 

" 'AQUILA NON CAPIT MUSCAS." 

" The figure in the shield is called by heralds a wivern, which 
is another name for the fabled Dragon of antiquity. Draco or 
Drago is the Roman name of Drake. . . We find that the 
Dragon was displayed on the banners of the Britons as early as 
1448, and that churches have borne the emblem from time 
immemorial. 

at the stake in Smithfield, April 23, 1556, in the reign of Mary. When exhorted by Bishop Bonner 
to renounce his heresy, Drake made him this bold and memorable reply : ''As for your Church of 
Rome, I utterly deny and defy it with all the works thereof, even as I deny the Devil and all 
his works? He had then lain nearly a year in prison, and was immediately thereafter ordered to 
execution. 

" The father of Admiral Sir Francis Drake, Knt., was named Robert, and was also an outspoken 
Protestant clergyman, who, to avoid suffering in the same flames which had consumed his kindred, 
fled his place of nativity, near South Tavistock, Devon, and secreted himself and his family in an 
old forsaken ship for many years. He had twelve children, all sons, several of them born ' in the 
hulle of the shippe,' most of whom followed the sea in foreign parts. 

" Sir Francis was the eldest of the twelve boys. By perseverance and resolution in overcoming 
difficulties, and by unflinching courage, he rose in gradual succession to the highest rank in the 
English Naval service, and to the honor of knighthood bestowed by the Sovereign. This extraordi- 
nary man was the first Englishman that circumnavigated the globe, or, as one of his historians 
says, ' the first who ploughed a furrow round the world.' A special coat of arms was granted him 
in recognition of his distinguished services to his country." Life of Sir Francis Drake, by John 
Barrow. 

" Of the Drake descendants from the house of Ashe a century later, and of more modern times, 
was Samuel Drake, D. D., a man of eminent literary attainments, who died in 1673 ; Francis Drake, 
M. D., surgeon of York and F. R. S., a great antiquary, the author of the history and antiquities 
of York ; William Drake, A. M., F. S. A., Vicar of Isleworth, was his son. Of the same family was 
Nathan Drake, M. D., of Hadleigh in Suffolk, the well-known essayist and most skillful and suc- 
cessful annotator and biographer of Shakespeare. And before him in point of time was Dr. James 
Drake, F. R. S., whose discoveries in anatomy are not surpassed in importance by those of Harvey. 

" This list might be extended with names equally claiming attention." Account of the Drake 
Family, by S. G. Drake. 

1 " The eagle doth not prey upon the fly." 




ARMS OF DRAKE. 



MATERNAL ANCESTRY. 21 

" That the original bearer of the Arms of DRAKE * performed 
some act to entitle him to it, there is perhaps no question, but 
what that precise act may have been has long since passed beyond 
the utmost bounds of tradition. 

"John Drake of the Council of Plymouth, one of the original 
Company established, by King James in 1606 for settling New 
England, was of a branch of the house of Ashe, two of whose 
sons came to America John, who came to Dorchester, near 
Boston, in 1630 with two or more sons, and who finally settled at 
Windsor, Conn., and Robert, who settled in Hampton, N. H. From 
these brothers are descended all by the name in New England, 
and most, if not all of those bearing the name in the middle, 
southern, and western United States." 

1 The armorial bearings of the Drake family are the same in all the lines of descent, except the 
special arms granted to Sir Francis Drake. All by the name, whose antecedents are traceable to 
the Devonshire family, are justified in claiming lineage from this distinguished ancestry. 



CHAPTER VI. 

ANCESTRAL LINKS. 

It was the star of Bethlehem that Jighted their way across the Atlantic and went before them 
to the place where the young child of the Republic lay in its wilderness manger. CHARLES 
CARLETON COFFIN. 

THE American colonist, John Drake, was one of the con- 
temporary band who came with his family in the Winthrop fleet. 
Persecution, nearly a century before, had intensified Protestan- 
tism, and at a later period infused Puritanism into the veins of 
the descendants of the ancient family, and these principles were 
born in John Drake's blood. Both himself and his wife were 
stanch Puritans. 

His application to be made freeman is found in the list of the 
first persons who requested that franchise at Dorchester, Mass., 
October 19, 1630, only a few months after the arrival of the 
Puritan ships. It is believed by some historians that he resided 
for a brief period at Taunton, Mass., where members of his 
family remained, before he came to Windsor, Conn. In 1639 he 
is found at the latter place, where he spent the remainder of his 
life. 

Land grants were not put upon record in Windsor until the 
year 1640. Among the earliest entries of that year is one relat- 
ing to a portion twenty-two and a half rods in width, "set off" 
to John Drake. 

In 1643 he served the General Court as juror, and was again a 
member in June, 1646. 

From an entry upon the Colonial Records about this period, it 
appears that this high old Puritan sometimes permitted his 
temper to get the best of him, and with it fell his dignity. Using 
language, one day, which his fellow-jurors considered profane, 
they at once imposed upon him a fine to the full extent the law 
allowed, viz. : 

"John Drake, for his misdemeanor in p p phane execrations 
is fyned 40 s." * 

Singularly enough, Deacon John Moore, his friend and neigh- 

1 "Connecticut Colonial Records," 1636-1635. 



ANCESTRAL LIXKS. 23 

bor, was a member of the jury and of the court which con- 
demned his unadvisable utterances. 

In October, 1648, his temper was again wrought to a boiling 
point at the slanderous gossip of one John Bennett, a townsfellow 
of doubtful reputation, who declared that he John Bennett 
" had intised and drawne away the affections of his daughter." ' 

Straight to the General Court he goes and enters complaint. 
John Bennett was duly brought up at the next sitting of the 
Court, whereupon he retracted his statement, and promising to 
be more careful in his conversation about the girls thereafter, 9 
the " Court was willing once more to pass by his Corporall 
punishment," and he was "bownd over for good behavior." 5 
The law was not only expressly severe upon backbiters and 
slanderers but "against any man who should inveigle the affec- 
tions of any ' maide, or maide-servant,' unless her parents or 
gaurdians should 'give way and allowance in that respect.'" * 

With the exception of these few unflattering experiences, and 
they are the only ones that can be traced, John Drake's life at 
Windsor, Conn., among the number who were shaping the future 
of the young colony, was marked by usefulness, and left its good 
impress upon generations of posterity. 

His wife, Elizabeth Drake, was born in England in 1581. This 
worthy pair were nearing middle age when they came to America. 
They left behind them all the comforts of an English home of 
the "gentry" class, severed themselves from cultured society 
and associations, and came to the strange wild shores of an unin- 
habited wilderness, for the sole purpose 

..." serenely high, 
Freedom to worship God." 

They were the parents of three sons, Jacob, Job, and John 
Drake, Jr., all of whom, together with their daughters, one of 
whom bore the name Hannah, were born in England. Their 
children accompanied them to America and became prominent in 
church affairs, and in founding their Christian Commonwealth. 
Job Drake married Mary, the daughter of Henry Wolcott, Esq., 
the founder of a family distinguished to this day. 

It was a most natural circumstance that came to pass between 
these two good families of the forests, the Moores and the 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records." * " Connecticut Colonial Records," 1636-1635. 

* We may conclude that his conduct improved, as in 1652 he was granted liberty by the town 
" to be entertained by William Hayden in his family." 
Edward Eggleston in The Century, 1884. 



24 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Drakes, who were knitted together by the common bond of 
religious fervor and voluntary exiles from their motherland, that 
Deacon John Moore's daughter, Hannah, became the wife of John 
Drake, Jr. Their marriage took place at Windsor, November 
30, 1648. 

The following narrative of John Drake, Sr.'s, sudden death, 
which occurred on the iyth of August, 1659, is taken from the 
ancient Town Records at Windsor: 

" Mr. John Drake, Sr., dyed accidentally, as he was driving a 
cart loaded with corn to carry from his house to his son Jacob's. 
The cattle being 2 oxen and his mare, in the highway against 
John Griffin's, something scared the cattle, and they set a run- 
ning, and he labored to stop them by taking hold on the mare, 
was thrown upon his face and the cart wheele went over him 
and broke one of his legs, and bruised his body so that he was 
taken up dead; being carried into his -daughter's house had life 
come again, but dyed in a short time, and was buried on the i8th 
day of August, 1659." 

Elizabeth Drake survived her husband twenty-two years, and 
died October 7, 1681, at the ripe old age of one hundred years. 
In the last years of her life she was ministered to by her son 
Jacob and his family. She was one of those mothers of colonial 
times of whom it has been said : " From the time when that ' faire 
maide,' Mary Chilton, first leaped upon the rock at Plymouth, to 
the present day, their influence has been an important element 
in our national character." Mrs. Sigourney beautifully portrays 
them: "On the unfloored hut, she who had been nurtured amid 
the rich carpets and the curtains of the motherland, rocked 
her babe and complained not. She who in the home of her youth 
had arranged the gorgeous shades of embroidery, or, perchance, 
had compounded the rich venison pastry as her share in the 
housekeeping, now pounded the coarse Indian corn for her 
children's bread, and bade them ask God's blessing ere they took 
their scanty portions. When the snows sifted through their 
miserable rooftrees upon her little one, she gathered them closer 
to her bosom; she taught them the Bible, and the catechism, and 
the holy hymn, though the war whoop of the Indian ran through 
the wild. Amid the untold hardships of colonial life, she infused 
new strength into her husband by her firmness, and solaced his 
weary hours by her love." ' 

1 " History of Dorchester," by a Committee, p. 142. 



ANCESTRAL LINKS. 25 

JOHN DRAKE, Jr., as has been already stated, came with his 
father to America and settled at Windsor, Conn. He had 
thorough Puritanic training in the home of his parents. Like his 
father, the younger Drake was active in the opening and widening 
field of western-world civilization. He filled many places of 
public trust, and became identified with the founding of both the 
towns of Windsor and Simsbury, Conn., being among the first 
grantees and landed proprietors in these "plantations." After 
his marriage with Hannah Moore in 1648, he took up his residence 
in Windsor. In April, 1655, according to the ancient record, 
the "wife of John Drake" was "taken into full communion" in 
the transplanted Windsor church, the oldest orthodox church 
organization in America. Of the names and ages given of "Men 
and Womenkind," "set down" as born and baptized in the same 
church, is a daughter whose birth is entered in this wise : "Of 
womenkind, Hanna, of John Drake, 'born Aug. 5, 1653, baptized 
April 15, '55. "' This girl "Hanna," as will presently appear, 
grew to be a notable woman in the ancestry of the Higleys. 
She was one of a family of eleven children, five sons and six 
daughters. 

At just what period John Drake, Jr. or 2d, removed from 
Windsor to Simsbury is not known. It appears, however, to have 
been between the years 1672 and 1676 if indeed he ever removed 
at all. It is evident that he remained a resident at Windsor 
for several years after he was the owner of lands in Simsbury. 
Among the first grants of lands at Massacoe, the Indian name of 
Simsbury (1677) of which there is any record, are portions "set 
off to John Drak." This was, no doubt, the younger Drake, or 
John Drake 3d. Spots and places in the latter town retained 
the Drake name for one hundred and fifty years. The hill 
opposite the old Congregational Church upon which the residence 
stood bore the name for more than two centuries, and the 
memories of those who have scattered to every part of our broad 
land from the old town recur with pleasure to the familiar scenes 
of their early childhood about Drake's Hill and Drake's Brook. 

In 1676 Simsbury was on the very edge of the settlements. 
The Indians were fierce and menacing, and a general solicitude 
was felt throughout the colony for the safety of the inhabitants. 
Finally, in the month of March a general order was issued for 
them to remove at once for safety, and they all left with dispatch, 
the larger number fleeing to Windsor. On Sunday, the 26th, the 

Old Church Record. 



26 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

town was pillaged and burned by the powerful Phillip and his 
dusky warriors. Whether John Drake the elder, with his family, 
was among the number who fled and did not return is not clear. 
It is supposed that he was. His son, John Drake 3d, returned 
and spent his life here. His name, with others, is found signed 
to a petition by the owners of estates at Simsbury to the General 
Assembly in the following year (1677), while the town was yet 
deserted, requesting a lighter taxation on account "of the late 
afflictive bereavement, having been greater sufferers than the 
other plantations in the Colony," and incapacitated "to rayse 
rates in the common way as the law required." The General 
Assembly granted the petition, exempting "persons, land, and 
cattell," for three years from taxation. 

The home life of John Drake, Jr.'s, family (of Windsor), of 
which John Higley became a member when he landed from Eng- 
land, as indicated in the first chapter, was of a Christian type. 
They were strictly church-loving people, and were liberal to the 
distressed. The "distressed," however, belonged to other 
colonies, for there were few poor in Windsor. 

A report to the General Government about this time (1667) 
says: "The people, as respecting religious views, were 'some 
strict men, and others more large (or liberal) Congregational 
men." Both law and gospel were thoroughly taught in John 
Drake's, as in all the colonial homes of this period. "You 
might find in every house a shelf upon which was kept a large 
Family Bible, and several other books of a religious kind." 1 
Regular family worship was required, reading the Scriptures, 
"catechizing the children," and "dayly prayer, with giving of 
thanks," was to be attended to conscientiously by every family, 
" to distinguish them from the heathen whoe call not upon God. " a 
McClure states that "the aged people among us say that they 
could never learn that an individual Windsor Indian ever became 
a Christian." 

These laws governing households were by no means a dead 
letter. The select men were vigilant to see that they were put 
into practice. If any "heads of families were obstinate and 
refractory," and would not yield to the power of persuasion in 
the performance of these required duties, the grand jury were to 

1 From that time to this the most popular of all religious books has been the Puritans' allegory 
of " The Pilgrim's Progress," and the most popular of all English poems, the Puritan epic of the 
" Paradise Lost." History of the English People, by J. R. Green, p. 582. 

* " Connecticut Colonial Records," 1665-77. 



ANCESTRAL LINKS. 27 

present such persons to the Court to be fined or punished. The 
fine in every instance of neglect was twenty shillings. 

The Capital Laws were required to be taught weekly in every 
household, and legal surveillance demanded that all persons should 
attend church services, not only upon the Sabbath day, but all 
thanksgivings and days of fasting and prayer, on penalty of a fine. 

A young man might not "board or sojourn " in a family without 
permission granted by the Town Meeting; and it was "Alsoe, 
Ordered, that all such boarders or sojourners as doe live in 
families shall carefully attend the worship of God in those 
families where they so sojourn, and bee subjected to the domes- 
ticall government of the family, upon the penalty of forfeiting 
five shillings for every breach of this order." ' 

Such was the discipline of the household of which John Higley 
became a member when he landed in America. 

John Drake, Jr., the head of this hospitable home, died at 
Windsor, the place of his residence, in the latter part of Sep- 
tember, 1689. His will was made on the izth of the month just 
before his decease. The inventory was taken October 31, 1689, and 
amounted to ^223 25.* The father and son died near together. 

His son, John Drake of Simsbury, who had been John Higley's 
close companion since first they met, died on the gth of July 
(1689) preceding his father's death. He was one of the very 
early settlers at Simsbury, where he resided until his decease. 
The tombstone which marks his grave is the oldest in the ancient 
cemetery, and has stood for more than two hundred years. The 
following is its inscription : 

fjere Xe^s 

Gbe :OOE of Hobn SJrafee limbo 
Departed Cbis ILifc 
tb 1688 ageo39 



" O mind then man, thy life's a fpan 

look here & learn To dye 
how soon yt death can ftop thy breath 
then comes Eternity." 

The inventory of his estate was taken by John Higley and 
Thomas Barber. His property was valued at ^393 155. 4 

I " Connecticut Colonial Records," 1665, p. 77. 

II " Hartford Probate Records," book v. pp. 24, 25. 

a This date is an error. John Drake, 3d, died July 9, 1689, as recorded in " Simsbury Records," 
book i. Also as shown by his Will. 

4 " Simsbury Record of Grants," book i. pp. 80, 82. 



CHAPTER VII. 

YOUTH AND MARRIAGE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 

It is a deep mystery the way the heart of a man turns to one woman out of all the rest he's 
seen i' the world, and makes it easier for him to work seven years for her, like Jacob did for 
Rachel, sooner than have any other woman for th' asking. GEORGE ELIOT. 

JOHN HIGLEY had ready adaptability, and soon accustomed 
himself to the interests and habits of the well-ordered household 
of the Drakes. His infantile years had passed during the event- 
ful time of Cromwell's reign. Charles I. was beheaded the year 
he was born. Until he was eight years old, he no doubt fre- 
quented the home of his grandfather, the Rev. John Brewster 
(for whom he was probably named), when " England was greatly 
stirred, and eager debates and heated arguments on Puritanical 
subjects were continually taking place m every household," 
especially those associated with ecclesiastical affairs. The time 
lapsing between eight and sixteen years of age, following his 
grandfather's death, great events had been passing. Charles II. 
had come to the throne. " Puritanism had been well-nigh 
silenced under stern repression. The Revolution and great 
changes had taken place in the social world." ' 

Though young in years we may well conclude that his quick 
perception and naturally sagacious mind had fully taken in a 
good many of these things that were passing. " On the restora- 
tion of Charles II. to the throne, religious despotism with merci- 
less energy was revived." 

The sight which John Higley had seen before he left England, 
"of pious and learned clergymen driven from their homes, and 
their flocks ; of religious meetings broken up by constables ; of 
preachers put side by side with thieves and outcasts ; of jails 
crammed with honest enthusiasts whose piety was their only 
crime," * must have left a deep impression on his youthful mind. 

No lad of sixteen years with his lively intellect could have been 
ignorant of the iron hand which was laid without mercy upon the 
Quakers during this time (1662-65). "The fires of persecution 

1 Extracts from Green's " History of the English People." 
3 " History of the English People," by J. R. Green, p. 609. 
28 



YOUTH AND MARRIAGE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 29 

were hot," says Sewell. The victims were flogged in the streets; 
husbands and wives were separated and condemned to transpor- 
tation; they were distrained of their property, and large numbers 
were banished to strange countries. 1 " In 1662 the returns from 
their meetings throughout England showed that between four and 
five thousand were then lying in prison " merely for religion's 
sake." "These prisons were cold, leaky, and filthy, and many 
men and women had nothing but a board to lie upon." Many 
were relieved only by death. 3 

It may have been that these measures, taken against inof- 
fensive peace-loving religionists, not only touched John Higley's 
tender and sensitive nature, but kindled a strong instinctive sense 
of their unjust treatment, which had the effect of giving him the 
tolerant spirit, and which rooted in him the idea of the indi- 
vidual liberty of every man, with which he was endowed in 
after life. 

The summer previous to leaving London he had witnessed the 
awful devastation of the Plague (1665), a never-to-be-forgotten 
period of his life. Death reigned in the streets. Entire families 
were swept away. Citizens who were apparently in health in the 
morning, were found dead in the afternoon. Sewell relates that 
" the city became so emptied that grass grew in those streets that 
used to be so populous, few people being seen by the way. Thus 
the city became a desert, and the misery was great. Great fires 
were kindled in the streets to purify the contagious air ; but no 
relief was found by it, for in the latter end of September there 
died in London alone eight thousand people in one week, as I 
remember to have seen in one of the bills of mortality of that 
time. There was little to be earned by the tradesmen. Travel- 
ing in the country was stopped." " The plagues of the Lord fell 
heavily," continues the narrator. "It is stated that the entire 
number of deaths during that fatal summer exceeded sixty-eight 
thousand." De Foe, in his story of the Plague, mentions " glove- 
makers" among other tradesmen whose establishments were 
closed. It was one of these to whom John Higley was apprenticed. 
It is reasonable to suppose that he returned for the time to his 
mother's cottage-home in Frimley, though here was no safe refuge, 
for the destroying pestilence mowed down the inhabitants of the 

1 " History of the People called Quakers," by William Sewell. 

9 " The Fells of Swalhmore." 

' " History of the People called Quakers," by William Sewell. 



30 THE HIG LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

suburbs adjacent to London, and "blasted into voiceless and life- 
less desolation " many of the beautiful valleys in the vicinity. 

But our reader will remember that it was neither religious per- 
secution, nor political principles, nor the destroying pestilence, 
that exiled the lad from his native shores. The boy no doubt 
often experienced in his new life in the western world a strange 
yearning rising within him, for the glen in which he was born. 
He may have had many a longing look toward the stars that were 
twinkling above his mother home and the group assembled there. 
Sometimes when among the solitudes there may have fallen upon 
his heart a shade of melancholy, as memory brought before his 
face the boy-friends and associates whom he had left behind. 

But he was not disappointed in his American home. He was 
admitted to the family as one of its number, and became a 
favorite in the household. Soon an intimacy sprang up between 
the young English stranger and the young people of John Drake's 
house. The eldest son was near his own age two months 
younger and Hannah, the eldest daughter, was a bright girl in 
her teens just enough his junior to be interesting. As a matter of 
course they were brought into daily association. 

The time came when the large heart of the stripling was no 
longer his own. He saw in Hannah Drake all that was worth 
living and striving for, and if she, in her maidenly reserve, had 
resolved not to allow herself to be ensnared by his handsome 
appearance and good qualities, her resolution did not hold out. 
The young lovers came to an understanding, to which her parents 
appear to have freely consented. 

But the affairs of true love were sometimes fraught with great 
difficulties in those days, as they are in these. The hard old 
taskmaster in England was yet alive, and the unexpired appren- 
ticeship from which young John had fled lay unsettled. Besides 
this, the Article of Indenture under which he had been appren- 
ticed read, " No Apprentice shall contract Matrimony within the 
said term of apprenticeship." 1 The colonial law also imposed 
a penalty upon "both male and female not being at his or her 
own disposal," who should "either make or give entertainment 
to any suit in way of marriage without the knowledge and con- 
sent of surviving parents, masters, or guardians, or such like. " a 

1 From Book of Old English Laws. 
a " Connecticut Colonial Records," 1643. 

The following law was enacted by the General Court June 3, 1644, which had not then been 
repealed : 



YOUTH AND MARRIAGE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 31 

The wide Atlantic lay between him and his mother, and these 
formidable obstructions to his future happiness. However, it 
was not probable that one of his earnest nature, and of the force 
that was born in him, would be deterred by barriers. His first 
step was to pen a carefully written letter to his mother stating 
his case. We may easily imagine the young lover in the attic 
of the rough-hewed wooden house of early colonial days, with 
anxious heart and puzzled brain, straining every nerve to put upon 
paper just the proper thing to be said, which would insure her 
favor, and her mediation between the offended employer and him- 
self. Then the uncertainty of receiving a favorable answer to 
his petition arose in his mind. Another plan came into his 
devising brain. Success was already crowning his labor, and with 
his savings he would return to England the bearer of his own 
letter, visit his mother, and settle all claims. Instigated by the 
noblest spirit of life, with his heart set upon an idol-love, he was 
off at once. He retraced his way across the wide ocean to his 
English home. 

In those days is was a serious undertaking to cross the Atlantic. 
It required fifty-one days to make the passage. Ocean steamers 
were as yet unknown. The journey occupied more than four 
months. Landing safely in England, he reached Frimley and 
gazed once more upon familiar scenes. He soon crossed the 
threshold of his mother's home. The tall, well-formed man, 
roughed in personal appearance by forest-life in the New World, 
and bronzed by the winds of a seven weeks' sea voyage, did not 
closely resemble the glover's apprentice boy whose sudden dis- 
appearance had caused such consternation five years previous. 
He placed his letter, which contained the declaration of his true 
and honest heart, into her hand, unrecognized. As she read it, 
she wept then glanced at the stranger before her, and read 
again. Then, another scrutinizing glance. Maternal instinct is 
subtle and keen. 

Advancing to his side she parted his hair and pierced all dis- 
guises; for she discovered a well-known mark, a scar that he 
received by a fall on the stairs when he was ten years of age, 

" Whereas many stubborn, refractory, and discontented servants and apprentices withdraw them- 
selves from their masters' services, to improve their time to their own advantage ; for the prevent- 
ing thereof I 

" It is Ordered, that Whatsoever servant or apprentice shall hereafter offend in that kynd, before 
their covenant or term of service are expired, shall serve their said masters, as they shall be appre- 
hended or retained the treble term, or threefold time of their absence in such kynd." O- 
necticut Colonial Records. 



32 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

which left a deep cut high on his forehead that he carried through 
life. "John, you rogue ! Is this you ?" she exclaimed, and rais- 
ing her hand she gave his ear a sound cuffing. 

Gladness and joy were in the village-home that night. The 
evening was given to quiet chat about the boy's life. Like other 
mothers, since the world began, she affectionately entered into the 
interesting plans and future career which were opening for her 
son. A satisfactory settlement was made with his former master, 
and after a short visit he returned to America. 1 

In Windsor, Conn., the town of his adoption, he married 
Hannah Drake on the pth of November, 1671. 

1 The main incidents concerning the courtship and marriage of John Higley and Hannah Drake 
are drawn from the best sources. It is an interesting fact that there have been venerable grand- 
parents, hale and hearty, whose years of early manhood were contemporary with some of John Hig- 
ley's sons and daughters, and whose lives extended to the middle of the present century, bridging 
the gap between that era and descendants now living, to whom it was their delight to recount the 
interesting story. These channels, with the traditions gathered from nearly every branch of the 
family now widely scattered in many different sections of our country, many groups of whom had 
no knowledge of each other until recent time, together with old scraps and papers written nearly 
a half a century ago, all agree upon these points that of the apprenticed runaway lad, the 
circumstances under which he came to America, and his romantic love story as related above. THE 
EDITOR. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

EARLY MARRIED LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, 1671-78. 

"First Gent. All times are good to seek your wedded home 
Bringing to a mutual delight. 

" Second Gent. Why, true, 

The calendar hath not an evil day 
For souls made one by love, and even death 
Were sweetness, if it came like, rolling waves 
While they two clasped each other, and foresaw 
No life apart." 

AFTER their marriage John Higley and his young wife took up 
their residence upon the eastern shore of " Y e Great River " 
the Connecticut. The attention of the grandfather, Deacon 
John Moore, Captain Benjamin Newberry, and others had been 
fixed upon the rich meadows on that side of the river, and they 
had already secured large grants of land which were considered 
"among their most important and valuable interests." Deacon 
Moore possessed an ownership in one tract of about four hundred 
acres. 

" Until a few years previous these lands were not occupied 
except as a pasturage for their cattle, and some small pieces for 
mowing. Tempting as were the advantages offered by its broad 
expanse of fertile meadow, there were obstacles and dangers in the 
way of its actual settlement which could be neither overlooked 
nor rashly encountered. The broad stream of the Great River, 
at all times an inconvenient highway, was in the winter season, 
when not frozen over, almost impassable with ice and drift. It 
was also a serious barrier to social intercourse and mutual aid or 
protection, while its annual freshets obliged them to build on the 
uplands at a considerable distance from its banks, and conse- 
quently a greater remove from the main settlement." ' 

"The Indians abounded in all that region, and though these 
river Indians were generally friendly and peaceful, yet there 
were warning signs and tokens which made families fearful about 
taking up their residence at points remote from the main body of 

1 Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor," p. 221. 
33 



34 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

settlers." ' It is stated that there were ten distinct tribes within 
the boundaries of the township of Windsor, and, says Stiles, "the 
greater number resided on the east side of the Connecticut 
River." The repeated enactments by the General Assembly for 
many years about this time, as measures of protection against 
these savages, evidences the constant danger of the scalping- 
knife and tomahawk to which the inhabitants of the young settle- 
ment were subjected. However, "a number of middle-aged or 
young married men, urged by the adventurous spirit of the day, 
or by the necessity of larger accommodations for their growing 
families, crossed the river and built their humble dwellings along 
the uplands which overlooked the meadows." 2 

Among these were John Higley and his wife Hannah. In the 
"List of Persons on the East side of Y e Great River," who were 
appointed to make some improvements on a road, in June, 1672, 
the name of our enterprising John is on record. 

The same year Major Pyncheon, in his account book, entered 
the following: 

"1672. The charge and cost of my saw-mill at Stony-River. 
Viewing and searching for a place, alsoe hiring John Higley to 
discover, &c. . . likewise myselfe and my expence with you, 
and feriage &c w ch come to, ^i : o8s : ood." ' 

Out of this amount the "discoverer " of the suitable location 
for the saw-mill was probably paid his share of the " charges and 
costs " for his time and labor. 

Young married people in those days set out upon their own 
responsibility, and the first proceeding after their wedding 
festivities was to found their own hearthstone. It was custom- 
ary for the young man to build a house before marriage. From 
the houses of the early settlers of the times we catch a glimpse 
of the first dwelling which furnished the rude home comforts of 
this youthful pair. They were made entirely of untrimmed logs. 
Scarcely an implement was used in their construction other than 
the ax and auger. The rough, wooden, eighteen-inch shingles 
called clapboards, which formed the roof, the floors, and doors, 
were hewn out of logs, and were undressed and unplaned, and 
fastened into their places by wooden pins. It is, however, 
barely possible that the occupants of this simple home in ques- 

1 " History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull, p. 107. 

* Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor," p. 233. 

* " Documentary History of Suffield," by M. S. Sheldon. 



EARLY MARRIED LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 35 

tion may have enjoyed the luxury of doors and floors of sawed 
plank procured at the saw-mill after it was established, though it 
was about eight miles distant through the dense woods. The 
door was hung upon wooden hinges and closed with a wooden 
latch. There were few nails used, for there were none to be had 
except those hammered one by one upon the anvil of the neigh- 
borhood blacksmith. 

The chimney, huge in dimensions when compared with the 
building itself, was built against the house upon the outside. It 
was built of sticks and thoroughly plastered with clay. Im- 
mense fires of logs, taken from the dense forests surrounding the 
house, were kept constantly going, and were a necessity to keep 
the occupants of the dwelling even in tolerable comfort in winter 
weather. The sweeping winds whistled between the logs which 
constituted the side walls of the apartment, it came in under- 
neath the door, and from the cracks in the floor, with chilling 
draughts. 

The windows were small, and there was no window glass. 
"Bring oiled paper for your windows," writes one of the 
Plymouth pilgrims to some who were about to come over. Oiled 
paper for a long time let a dusky light into the obscure rooms 
of many settlers' houses. About 1700 "window shasts with 
crystal " that is, with glass that one could see through are 
spoken of as a luxury. Carpets were hardly known at all in 
America until seventy-five years after this period. 1 The floor 
of the cottage log dwelling was therefore carpetless. 

On the i6th of August, 1673, the birth of John Higley's first 
child is recorded. He was given the name of his father, John, 
and on February 16, 1675, the birth of the second child is 
announced, called Jonathan, probably in honor of his grand- 
father Higley, who was laid in his moss-covered grave in Frimley 
churchyard, England, more than ten years before. 

Windsor now contained about one hundred families. On Sun- 
days the people residing on the east side of the Connecticut 
crossed the river in boats to attend church service. It was no 
small undertaking to get the family in readiness and over the 
distance between their home and the ferry, then await the ferry- 
man to bring them across the deep, swift, angry stream, which in 
some seasons of the year was filled with floating ice, causing the 
passage to be attended with danger. Strict laws, by decree of 

1 " The Colonist at Home," by Edward Eggleston, The Century, 1884-85. 



36 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Court, governed this ferry. But thirty-seven persons were per- 
mitted to cross at one time, the number exceeding this must 
stand upon the banks and await their turn. And yet the select- 
men were ever on the alert, and if each household did not 
appear at the place of worship it was liable to a fine. To 
announce the hour of service a drum was beaten. The towns- 
people were not in possession of a church-bell, and for more 
than one hundred years after these times, it was the practice for 
a man employed by the town "for the beating of the drume on 
y e Sabboth dayes " l to ascend to the roof of the church, where 
a footwalk was constructed, and sound a trumpet or a drum, " to 
give warning to y e inhabitants when to begin meting." 

We fancy that we see our John in the saddle upon the back of 
the family horse, with little John in front of him, and his wife 
Hannah, behind, clinging to him with one arm, while with the 
other she held baby Jonathan to her bosom, wending their way on 
a quiet Sabbath morning to the house of worship. The saddle 
horse, if taken across the river, was led swimming alongside the 
ferryboat, and tied to a tree close to the church with scores of 
others. 

The sermon was long, usually from an hour and a half to two 
hours, and was the principal event of the week for discussion. 

King Phillip's Indian war followed soon after the birth of John 
Higley's second child. The year 1675 was a stormy one for the 
Connecticut colonists. Both social and political surroundings 
were full of intense excitement and increased dangers. Rumors 
of Indian plots "for the distruction of the English" were con- 
stantly reaching the ears of the inhabitants, together with 
reports of the hostilities of the Dutch at New York, and the "un- 
warrantable practices " and uneasiness given by Major Andros. 
"The distressed condition of our neighbors and countrymen on 
Long Island" was also a source of solicitude. "It was a time 
of difficulty with us," 1 say they, on the loth of July, 1675. So 
threatening was the aspect of affairs, and so great was the need 
of men, that the General Assembly ordered that if any one de- 
serted the colony who was "above fourteen years of age, or 
under seventy, he should pay a fine of one hundred pounds, and 
be "liable to corporal punishment." ' 

"The young settlement [on the east side of the river] had but 
just fairly commenced," says Stiles, "when great fear fell upon 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 



EARL Y MARRIED LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLE Y. 37 

the land. Danger lurked in every bush, and peered from behind 
every tree; their houses were scattered, their numbers few; the 
Indians numerous; and the broad stream of the Long River cut 
them off from any immediate help from their friends and neigh- 
bors on the west side. 

"In that hour of anxious fear and torturing suspense they felt 
that 'in union there was strength.' Many removed to the 
opposite side of the river, and those who remained carried their 
4 lives in their hands." Finally the inhabitants on the eastern 
side of the Connecticut were ordered ' forthwith ' to remove 
themselves, with their cattle and grain, to the west side; and 
garrison houses were ordered to be kept for the protection of the 
few who were obliged to remain. In fact the settlement was 
temporarily broken up and dispersed." * 

We are assured that John Higley was found bearing his part in 
the defense and safety of the homes, though there is no record 
of conspicuous service. He was now a man twenty-eight years 
of age, strong and able-bodied, and it was evident that he was 
early put into military training. It had been required by law for 
many years that, "All persons above the age of sixteen years, 
except magistrates and church officials, shall beare arms." 2 
They were required to have "in continual readiness a good 
musket or other gun fit for service," with "a sword rest and 
brandaleers," and ammunition kept in good order. 2 At this time, 
all the men were impressed into military service on sentinel 
duty. Regular watches, consisting of one-fourth of the men of 
the town, were appointed, the watch continuing from the "shut- 
ting in of the evening till sunrise." It was "Ordered, that no 
man walk about singly," and they might not work in fields 
except in groups of six together, with guns at hand, " well fixed 
and fitted for service."* Everyman was obliged to go constantly 
fully armed, and stand ready night and day to do battle. They 
slept upon their weapons, and as had been a custom, they carried 
them to church. Scouts were constantly kept in service, and 
were required to be on duty " by sun an hower high in each day." 

1 Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor." 

2 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 

3 In October, 1675, " Ordered, to joyne together to gather the Indian corn and bring it on ye west 
sideof ye Great River, into places of best security." In November, "Ordered to kill and salt up 
what of their cattell were fitt to kill and secure it in the best places they could from the enemie " 
to thresh and bake up their wheat into bread, " for use of the soldiers on gaurdfor our defence." 
" Ordered, that 200 bushells of wheat be baked into biskit with all the speed that may be, and 
200 bushalls of oats for the army," Connecticut Colonial Records. 

4 



38 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

As the year neared its close, troops from the different colonies 
were called together and a successful contest followed on the 
evening of December 19, 1675, at Pettyquamsquot, in the north- 
east part of Connecticut, where the Indians had taken refuge in 
a log-constructed barricade. The struggle was ended by a bloody 
fight; the soldiers set fire to the rude stockade, and burned with- 
out mercy warriors, squaws, helpless old red-skins, and children, 
in one mass of flame. 

It is stated that "three-hundred warriors were slain, and 
nearly the same number taken prisoners, including women and 
children. The entire number - of Indians thought to have been 
inside the fortress numbered into thousands. Those who were 
not consumed or taken prisoners, fled to the swamps, where they 
spent the cold winter night without food, fire, or covering." " It 
was cold and stormy," says one narrator, "the snow fell deep, 
and it was not until after midnight the army got in." 

The MS. of the Rev. Thomas Ruggles says: "The burning 
of the wigwams, the shrieks and cries of the women and children, 
and the yelling of the warriors, exhibited a most horrible and 
affecting scene, so that it greatly moved some of the soldiers. 
They were in doubt then, and afterwards often seriously inquired, 
whether burning their enemies alive could be consistent with 
humanity and the benevolent principles of the gospel." 1 

At the following May session of the General Assembly (1676) 
our worthy Deacon Moore being a member for Windsor there 
was a reiteration of some of the laws bearing upon subjects of 
a social and moral nature" indicating that the recent trials through 
which they had passed were the cause of awakening the colony 
to a greater degree of devotion. The last day of the month was 

1 " History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull. 

2 It was Ordered, " If any persons on Saturday night or the Lord's Day, though it be after 
sun-sett," were found "sporting in the fields, or drinking in houses of public entertainment or 
elsewhere," should be subject to fine or to "suffer corporall judgment." " Noe serville worke" 
was to be done on the Sabbath, " such as were not workes of piety, necessity, or charity." " Noe 
profane talke" was allowed, nor " irreverent behavior." 

Ministers were strongly recommended " to look into the state of families." " Noe person " was 
to " retayle any less quantity than an anchor of drink at a time without special lycence." " Dilli- 
gent search" was to be made by all constables and grand jurymen for all transgressions of this 
order. Special " care and notice was to be taken by all persons frequenting publique houses 
and spending their precious time there." " If he be fownd in such place and convicted," he was 
to be fined five shillings or " sit in the stocks one hower for every such offence." The " sin of 
uncleanness" was "on the increase," and ministers were recommended " to beare such due tes- 
timonie against such wickedness according to law (if it be God's holy will) that such sin may be 
prevented." 

" Excess of Apparell" also claimed the Court's attention, as " unbecoming a wilderness condi- 



EARL Y MARRIED LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLE K. 39 

" apoynted to be kept as a day of Solemn Humiliation, of fasting 
and prayer." * 

It is reasonable to suppose that John Higley with his young 
family was of the number who removed, when the general order 
to that effect was given, to the main settlement upon the west 
side of the river, where he is found established soon after. 

Amid the scenes of terror in which they had for many months 
been living, it does not appear that his material prosperity had 
been seriously interrupted. His feet were continued on the 
ascent. In a 'Mist" of voluntary contributions "made to the 
poor in want in other colonies " in June of the following year, 
is found the name of "Hana Higley" as having donated is. 3d." 
Her grandfather, Deacon Moore, Sr., contributed 6s. 6d. to 
the same fund, and was one of a committee of three appointed 
by the General Council "to distribute according to good dis- 
cretion." 2 

From an old "Book of Rates" it appears that John Higley's 
amount of list on January 25, 1676-77, was ^24, and his tax was 
i6s. The following year, on the 2ist of January, his "List" is 
recorded ,22 and the "Rate" 143. 8d. s From these modest 
amounts he came in after time to be one of the heaviest taxpayers 
in the colony. 

On " March y e i4th, 1677-78," the following was recorded: " A 
Town meeting was held to publish y e Town rate for y e year past, 
and y e ferry tax, alsoe John Higley is now granted liberty to 
take a parcell to bild on 25 foot in length against y e river, and 
20 foot in breadth y e other way. But he must take after y e 
Widdow Marshall has git out her grant, next after George 
Griswold. " 4 

It was upon this piece of land that he erected a warehouse. 
His remarkable business and public career was now taking per- 
manent shape. 



tion, and the profession of the gospel, whereby the rising generation is in danger of being cor- 
rupted." Persons wearing "gold or silver lace, gold or silver buttons, silk ribbons, or other super- 
fluous trimmings, or any bone lace above three shillings per yard, or silk scarfs," were required to 
be heavily assessed. Exception was made to " Magistrates, public Officers, their wives and chil- 
dren, who are left to their discression, or any settled Military Commissioned Officer," and if " any 
taylor shall fashion any garment for any child or servant contrary to the minde of the parent or 
master," a fine was to be imposed. Connecticut Colonial Records. 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 

9 Old Church Records, Windsor, Conn. 

1 " Book of Rates and Town Meeting Proceedings," Windsor, 167- to 1683. 

4 " Windsor Records," book ii. 



40 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

On the i3th of March, 1677, Elizabeth, his first daughter, was 
born, and the same year (September) is marked by the death of 
the grandfather, Deacon John Moore, who had for more than 
forty-two years, with true-hearted devotion, been one among the 
valuable lives of his times ; having shared the stress of sore 
trials incident to those who had cast their lot with the new 
colonies, and set going a stream of civilization and progress. 
He stamped his footprint upon the early annals of our colonial 
history, and left behind him a memory enriched by his example, 
his character, and his work. 

The old Puritan heroes who came from the motherland had 
most of them quitted this earth life. Few were left. His 
honored friend, Governor John Winthrop, with whom he was 
a co-laborer for many years, died the year preceding, and Henry 
Wolcott, Esq., the most prominent citizen and his associate in 
town and colonial affairs, had died long before. 

" They have left unstained what there they found, 
Freedom to worship God." 



CHAPTER IX. 

BUSINESS PROSPERITY. A GRANDMOTHER'S MEMORIES. 

To be born where great and good men have had their nativity, to live where they have lived, 
to be allied to them by kin, is, as it were, a patent of nobility. CHARLES CARLKTON COFFIN. 

IN vol. i. of the ancient Land Records at Windsor, Conn., is 
found the following entry, under date of November 4, 1679, the 
last part of which seems to be a confirmation of the former grant 
of 1677. " A parcell of woodland that John Drake makes over to 
his son-in-law John Higley; it is out of that land he formerly 
bought of Richard Lyman, it Lyes towards Hartford Bounds; 
he is to have out of it fifteen acres of the South end of said Lott. " 
[Here follow boundaries]. 

"Alsoe, he has a parcell of Land whereon he has bilt his 
Dweling house, the land was set out to him by his Grandfather, 
Deacon Moore, it is one acre and half of the Land Called Cow- 
feild." [Here follow boundaries]. 

"Alsoe, he hath a Small parcell of Land Granted him by The 
Town on the North side of the ferry by the Rivulet to bild a 
warehouse upon; it is set out below the widow Marshels's which 
Lyes between it and George Griswold's, and this of John Higley's 
is in length on the top of the bank against the River, thirty foot 
in length downward and in breadth twenty-four foot." ' 

He is now found in possession of other lands, a new dwell- 
ing, and a business house. After this period his life had to 
do with many diverse interests. His warehouse, which was the 
beginning of his commercial transactions, proved a channel 
for his genius in business and was an element of success and 
wealth. 

Windsor at this time was not merely a village on the foreline 
of western civilization, but was a chief center for trade, and a 
port of entry. Sailing vessels of sixty, and up to seventy tons, 
ascended the river to this point, and there was not only a thriv- 

1 " Windsor Land Records," vol. i. p. 344. 



42 THE HIGLEYS AND THEI'R ANCESTRY. 

ing coastline trade, but an extensive commerce carried on be- 
tween England and the West Indies. 

It was a day of bustle and excitement in the streets when a 
ship arrived from England. The townspeople turned out en 
masse to hear the news from the old home-country, and spectators 
lined the shores. The docks presented a lively scene, men 
hurried to and fro, and business at the warehouses was active. 
Two neighbors, with whom John Higley is found closely associ- 
ated in the following years (Benjamin Newberry and George 
Griswold), owned warehouses close by. 

In the record of items left on the pages of his account-book, 
in his own handwriting, it appears that he held the appointment 
of Officer of the Customs, and there is some evidence that he 
possessed an interest in vessels plying between this coast and 
Bermuda. The latter, however, is not quite clear. 

Much of the business of the warehouse had to do with the 
importation of rum. 1 The island of Barbadoes, with which there 
was much communication at that time, "was the first sugar 
colony which the English possessed, and was a place of consider- 
able importance. In 1684 the distillation of rum from the cane 
juice was extensively carried on, and there were not fewer than 
358 sugar works in operation." 2 

But there were obstructions to trade in the colony, as reported 
to the House of Lords by a committee appointed to make in- 
quiry into the state of the colony, " for want of men of estates 
to venture abroad, and of money at home for the management of 
trade, and labor being so dear." * 

John Higley turned his attention in this direction. According 
to old MS., he made two voyages to the West Indies and some 
coastwise trips. His name is also found in the return passenger 
list as follows: 

1 The following entries are extracts from John Higley's Account-Book : 

" Aprill 25, 1683. Mr. Henry Wolcott made entry of one barroll of Rum for transportation and 
if he did not transport it he would pay the costom of it." 

"July 10, 1683. Nathaniel Bissell made entry of a cask of rum of about 52} gals., which he 
entered for transportation, marked NB." 

"August 5, '83. Mr. Thos. Cook made entry of one hhd. of rum for transportation : mark 
TC [ . . . some words not deciphered] ye was & mye same boats and barroll of Rum for 
Tho: Dewey of Rum." 

" 1683. _ Josias Wolcott made entry of 6 barrolls of Rum for transportation and if he did not 
transport it for costom." 

Says Eggleston : " There was no class in the colonies that could be called temperate, if judged 
by modern American standards. . . . Drinking was universal. The birth of a child, the taking 
of a piece of land, the induction of a new minister, an election of officers, weddings, funerals, 
auctions, and even religious meetings in private houses, were occasions for drinking." " The 
Colonist at Home" The Century, 1884-83. 

2 " History of Barbadoes," by Sir R. Schoonbruck. 
* " Connecticut Colonial Records. 



BUSINESS PROSPERITY. 43 

" Persons of Qualitie who went to the American Plantations," sailing from Bar- 
badoes in 1678 : viz. 

" Ticquetts granted out of the Secys Office of the Island of Barbadoes for the 
departure off the Island, March the 24th, John Higley on the ketch Mary for 
Boston. John Gardener, Commander." 1 

The commodities shipped direct to Barbadoes and Jamaica 
were " there bartered for sugar, cottonwood, and rumme and some 
money." At this time in the history of the colony, " the chief 
staples for trade were wheat, peas, hemp, ' Ry,' barley, Indian 
corn, 'Porck' beefe, 'woole,'flax, cider, staves, and horses." The 
great forests supplied materials for shipbuilding. These were 
"good timber oak, pine, and spruce for masts, 'tarr' and 
pitch." The wearing apparel of the colonists was procured by 
shipping the provisions they raised to Boston, which were ex- 
changed for goods "to cloathe with." There were now "about 
thirty black slaves in the Connecticut Colony."* 

It was seldom that relief was needed for the poor. " Labor is 
deare and provisions cheap," continued the Report to the House 
of Lords. A day laborer was paid two shillings a day, and some- 
times two and sixpence. "Beggars and vagabond persons were 
not suffered," and when discovered were " bownd out to 
service." a 

On the 7th of August, 1679, his daughter Katherine was born, 
and in 1680 a son was born, to whom John Higley gave his 
mother's maiden name Brewster. This son became, in aftertime, 
the paternal ancestor of a long line of descendants bearing sterling 
qualities. 

At the town meeting held December 30, 1680, John Higley was 
chosen a constable for Windsor, the first public office to which he 
was elected. 

"The constable was an officer of superior dignity." He was 
to the inhabitants "the right arm of the king himself; a function- 
ary treated with reverent awe and obeyed with implicit deference. 
Whoever resisted the power resisted the ordinance of God. The 
first constable in Windsor was Mr. Henry Wolcott, appointed in 
1636." 3 

About this time John Higley began to scent in the air the 

1 Hotton's " Original Lists of Persons of Qualitie, Emigrants, and Others," etc. 

2 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 

' Noah Porter, D. D., President of Yale University, in " History of Hartford County," vol. iL 
p. 306. 



44 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

future fortunes in the growth and values of lands. In the years 
1681 and 1682 he purchased additional tracts at Windsor. 

The year 1681 witnessed the death of the venerable grand- 
mother, Elizabeth Drake, who died on the yth of October, at the 
age of one hundred years. 

John and Hannah Drake Higley now had a family of five chil- 
dren. We indulge in the fancy of seeing the eldest, John, a boy 
of eight years, standing beside the old armchair of his great- 
grandmother, listening with gaping wonder to the stories of well- 
nigh a century. Her life had been co-extensive with the stirring 
events in the rise and progress of the Puritans' colonization. 

What " grandmother tales " she could tell ! not old wives' 
fables, but entertaining historic reminiscences. Is it any sur- 
prise that we have traditions ? And why not give them their due 
weight and credence ? It has recently been said that " obscure 
memories and vague traditions are powerful forces in our social 
fabric." ' The tendency of the day to original inquiry and his- 
toric facts obtained from actual record, has, perhaps, produced an 
inclination to underestimate the importance of this kind of 
material. These old lives spanned each other many years, 
repeating and linking together successive periods of history, and 
we cannot but maintain that they conveyed a vast amount of 
truth ; and, while we readily admit that there were many errors 
and inaccuracies, we recognize all the way along a stratum of 
well-grounded fact which deserves due regard. 

Books were very scarce in the days of Grandmother Drake, and 
newspapers there were none; consequently the range of conver- 
sation upon present events was naturally limited; however, there 
was little room in her mind for dwelling upon the ordinary 
matters of the neighborhood, or upon visionary things. 

Her eventful life had been made up of actual realities, which 
were no myth. As she sat, day after day, she must have readily 
recalled a thousand memories of the long, long past years her 
recollections went so far back that they were beyond the reach of 
everybody. 

We learn of no lament falling from her aged lips over past 
hardships. Her heroism had never failed. The sweet-winged 
angel, Faith, had buoyed her from first to last, and she walked 
through the vicissitudes of the Puritan's life gazing upward. 

1 Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, Secretary of State, Speech at Holland Society Annual Meeting, 
New York, 1889. 



B U SIN ESS PROSPERIT Y, 45 

She could tell of her girlhood days among the charming land- 
scapes of the Devonshire hills looking out upon the waters of the 
changing sea, of how they had, long years ago, heard strange tales 
from the "sea kings," and fishermen, and fur merchants, of the 
wild shore beyond the great ocean; then how they were marked 
for persecution, and of the dark years that preceded the dawn 
and epoch of their religious liberty, of severing the loved ties in 
their native land, of the remarkable sea voyage, when they were 
helplessly tossed in storm and wave, the fright and conjectures 
whenever a sail appeared upon the horizon, about supposed 
Spanish privateers, which were infesting the seas; of seventy-two 
days of continuous " feasts of devotion " which the floating, 
homeless church enjoyed with its voice uplifted in song above 
the roar of the billows the fire of powerful sermons preached 
twice each day; and, finally, when land was descried, with what 
joy they greeted "the smell of the shore, like the smell of 
a garden." ' 

She could speak of the sense of isolation which stole secretly 
into their hearts, and the high pitch of courage required, as they 
neared our unfamiliar coast where 

" the ocean eagle soared 
From his nest by the white wave's foam ; 
And the rocking pines of the forest roared 
This was their welcome home ! " 

Then, in our imagination, came her narratives of the dreadful pri- 
vations, makeshifts, adventures, and escapes through which they 
passed during their life among wild savages " the heathen," 
as they called them ; how these intruded themselves into their 
homes whenever they inclined to open the door and walk stealthily 
in without even knocking ; meddled with everything they fancied 
to lay their hands upon, and wrapping themselves in their bear- 
skins would lay themselves down to sleep upon the floor in front 
of the great fireplace. 

Mrs. Drake could well remember these savage rovers when 
they became fierce and treacherous, how they tortured to death 
and tomahawked the settlers on the river, and " wore headbands 
made of the fingers and toes of their victims," the thrilling excite- 
ments in the settlements when they kidnapped and carried off 
into the dark wilderness neighbors and little children, and the 

1 Winthrop's Letter*. 



46 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

dreadful horrors these endured, and how stout hearted women 
used the musket in defense when needful. 

Grandmother Drake had many a true story to relate of packs 
of hungry wolves and other wild beasts of the thickets close to 
her dwelling, howling and snarling at night, just outside the door. 
But her best stories must have been about real, live, so-called 
"witches," who haunted the neighborhood no mere phantoms, 
but women whom they believed were intimate with evil spirits, 
and saw and heard things supernatural, who did an endless string 
of things which upset the community. 

Her voice no doubt trembled as she sometimes talked with the 
older people of the gloomy news that often reached them from 
the motherland in that remarkable age in the history of Eng- 
land, the disorder and turmoil that prevailed at periods in the 
political world, the insecurity of government, and the grievous 
suspense they endured between the long intervals of the ships 
coming bearing news from home sweet home. 

But now the eventful journey of Elizabeth Drake's life was 
closed. A wild informal beauty surrounded the scene as they 
laid her to her slumbrous rest. It was early autumn. The corn- 
tassels were brown, and the stocks were golden. All nature was 
ripe and mellow. A glorious luxuriance in color clothed the 
boughs of the great forest trees, and the bushes which fringed the 
majestic river, upon whose banks, as "a pilgrim and a stranger," 
she had found a home. Its waters glistened between the brilliant 
foliage in sight of her resting place. The sun reddened the 
western sky, and covered the summits of the rich valley with a 
glow. The birds, in flocks, were passing high in the air, migrat- 
ing to a sunnier home. The wind-breezes blew a little wild 
among the giant pines, and furnished the music which wafted her 
away in holy triumph, as she took new wing and went onward to 
another world and another life. 

And so she parted our last old Puritan grandmother leaving 
behind her, from the blossoms her life had yielded, a rich fruitage 
of hope, courage, and devotion. 

" I am the last. Once more we are complete, 
To gather round the Paschal feast. My place 
Is near my Maker. My Lord ! 
How bright Thou art, and yet the very same 
I loved on earth ! "Tis worth the hundred years 
To feel this bliss ! So, lift me up, dear Lord, 
Unto Thy bosom. There shall I abide." 

St. John, the Aged. 



CHAPTER X. 

SIMSBURY, CONN. 

And from this ancient town, went forth men 
Whose deeds, recorded by the pen 
Became historic. Their unflinching faith, 
Endurance, and amazing hardihood, 
Set the great seal of deathless Industry 
Upon their labors ; carving for themselves, 
With cumbrous ploughshare. 

The Titles of a True Nobility. PL. E. JKNKS. 

IT was about the year 1683 that John Higley's attention was 
turned toward the settlement at Massacoe, 1 nine miles distant, 
for his future home. The rich meadows upon the banks of the 
noble stream the Tunxus, now the Farmington, which was 
swarming with myriads of fish, and the rich wooded upland slopes, 
gave to his far-seeing eye future promise of prosperity. 

As early as March n, 1663, the grandfather, Deacon John 
Moore, with Captain Benjamin Newberry and Edward Griswold, 
all residents of Windsor, were appointed by the General Assembly 
a committee "to lay out the undivided lands at Massacoe, to such 
inhabitants of Windsor as desire and need it,"" and "in 1667 the 
first grants given by this committee, of which any record exsists, 
were made." s 

Among those who secured estates thus granted, was John Drake, 
the father-in-law of John Higley. The following year, October 
1668, the General Court ordered, " that Massacoe, which hitherto 
hath been an appendix to the towne of Windsor, may be improved 
for the making of a plantation ; and Capt. Benjamin Newberry, 
Deacon John Moore, and Mr. Simon Woolcott, the present Com- 
mittee for the grant of those lands, are desired and empowered 
by the Court to the further planting of the same, and to make 
such just orders as they shall judge requisite for the well ordering 
of the sayd Plantation, so they be not repugnant to the publique 
orders of this Colony."* 

The first acknowledged deed given formally by the Indians, and 
having the sanction of the General Assembly, was not executed 

1 The Indian name for Simsbury. ' Phelps' " History of Simsbury." 

* " Connecticut Colonial Records," vol. i. p. 397. 4 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 



48 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

until twelve years later 1680, though "the Inhabitants had held 
quiet possession without interruption for some years previous." 

The year before his removal to Simsbury, John Higley's name 
was "propownded" to the General Assembly, May 10, 1683,' for 
admission as freeman. There is no explanation given why he 
deferred his application until he was near thirty-four years of age. 
He was "accepted " at the following term of the Court in October. 

The act of the Assembly under which the Connecticut colonial 
residents were given this franchise at this time required, "that 
they present themselves with a certificate under the bands of y e 
maior, and of the Townsman where they live, that they are per- 
sons of civil, peaceable, and honest conversation, and that they 
attain the age of 21 years, and have ^20, estate beside their 
person, in the List of estate, and that such persons so qualified to 
the Court's approbation shall be presented at the October Court 
and admitted after y e election at the Assembly in May. And in 
case any freeman shall walk scandalously or commit any scandalous 
offence, and be legally convicted thereof, he shall be disfranchised 
by any Civill Courts."* 

On the 22d of August the same year (1683) occurred the 
happy birth of his daughter, Hannah, who was destined, years later, 
to become the mother of Connecticut's first governor, America's 
distinguished "Brother Jonathan" of Revolutionary fame, 3 and 
grandmother and great-grandmother to others of Connecticut's 
chiefest and most notable citizens, including two governors, and 
one signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

About this time John Higley became involved in a lawsuit, evi- 
dently in connection with his warehouse transactions. In Septem- 
ber, 1681, Joseph Trueman recovered judgment against him for 
twenty-six gallons of " Rume," and cost of court, amounting to 
;i los. 6d. The execution was levied upon two hundred and 
seventy-one yards of "old statute lace." The General Assembly 
repealed this judgment at the May session, 1683, because Trueman 
thought the value of the lace was not equal to the amount of the 
judgment, and Trueman was given liberty to apply to the Court of 
Assistants. The litigation in this case continued through a period 
of several years. * 

The precise date in 1684 of John Higley's removal with his 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records." 
* " Connecticut Colonial Records," 1665-77. 

8 See sketches of Hannah Higley Trumbull, p. 103, and Governor Jonathan Trumbull, chapter 
Iviii. 



SIMSBURY, CONN. 49 

family to Simsbury cannot be ascertained. Legal documents 
upon record, concerning purchases of land with which he was con- 
nected, clearly state that he was a " resident of Windsor " on the 
4th of March in that year (1684). His homestead farm at 
Simsbury was secured at two purchases, the first from Samuel 
Brooke in March, 1684, and the remainder on the ad of Sep- 
tember of the same year from George Griswold. Since the 
deed to that purchased from Griswold includes the dwelling, 
barns, and other buildings, and in the December following he is 
found to have become a permanent resident of Simsbury, it is 
conclusive that he removed from Windsor and took possession of 
his new abode early in the autumn of 1684. The property was 
known as the " Wolcott-farm." 

A very old record shows that this was a part of the original 
tract of land "laid out" to Simon Wolcott, January 28, 1675. 
It gives to Wolcott " land which lyeth adjacent to his house-lott 
(which house lott, by a previous grant contayned 5 acres and 64 
rods) and Contayned by estimate Twenty Accres, one Roode, and 
two perchase." ' 

Mr. Simon Wolcott afterward added lands to this tract. He 
occupied the property until about the year 1680, and one of its 
chief glories has been that it is claimed to have been the birth- 
place of Governer Roger Wolcott. 8 The house also bears the 
distinction of having been the first licensed place at Simsbury for 
the sale of liquors. Wolcott, while he was its owner, having been 
" granted liberty to retayle spirits." 

John Higley finally became the purchaser of the entire farm, 
which contained ninety-four acres, and additional adjacent lands. 

For some reason Simon Wolcott had divided the property and 
sold a part to Christopher Saunders of Rehobeth, Mass., and the 
remainder to George Griswold of Windsor. 

The early Land Records of Simsbury were accidentally burned 
about the year 1684-85, and in many cases a second deed of 
property, which had been previously placed upon record, is found 
in the ancient Records as though given at a later date.* 

1 From Book i. " Records of Simsbury." 

* The Rev. Increase Tarbox, in the " History of Hartford County " by J. Hammond Trumbull, 
states that Simon Wolcott removed to East Windsor in 1680, and that his son, Roger Wolcott, was 
then an infant, one year old. Family tradition has long had it that about three years intervened 
between Simon Wolcott's sale of the estate and John Higley's purchase of the same. 

* The following is taken from a statement in Book i. " Simsbury Land Records," p. 26, dated 
May i, 1688 : 

" On March 4th 1683-4 John Higley of Windsor bought of Samuel Brooke, son of John Brookes, 



5 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The estate was situated in the extreme northern part of the 
present limits of Simsbury township, upon the direct road lead- 
ing from the town to the old Newgate prison and copper-mines, 
and half a mile above the spot where the road to the village of 
Salmon Brook branches off. The property, which included this 
farm, was purchased and presented to the town, in 1883, by 
Amos R. Eno, Esq., for a "home for the poor of the town," and 
is now known as the " Town Farm." ' 

When owned by John Higley, it comprised rich bottom lands 
of the Farmington River, including a sloping ridge, or uplands, 
that bound the valley, which are said to have been covered by 
stately pines. Pickeral Cove, which formed one of the boundaries, 
is to this day a beautiful and romantic spot, and the " little brook " 
mentioned in the deed is still a lively, dancing stream, whose 
waters flow by in forgetfulness of its owner of two centuries ago. 

The house and buildings were placed on the slope of the rising 
land, looking across the valley, and stood upon the east side of the 
road. Its quaint, old-fashioned exterior was distinctly remem- 
bered by Dr. Lucius I. Barber and Mr. Newall Goddard of Sims- 
bury, who were born and brought up near the site where it stood, 
both of whom described it to the writer. 

It was a good specimen of the better class of colonial home- 
steads, and was far above the primitive dwelling-houses of those 

late of Simsbury, Deed., land distributed to said Samuel Brookes from the estate of his father, as by 
the ' honored Court Records may appear," a certain portion of land, which was the one-half interest 
of the property known as the Wolcott farm, ' for and in Consideration of a Valuable summe to him 
payd and Secured.' 

" The Deed from Christopher Sanders of Rehobeth, Mass., to John Brookes of Windsor, of said 
farm reads thus ; ' Which sayd Farrne was bought by me, the said Christopher Sanders, of Simon 
Wolcott of Windsor, the Whole farm being by estimation Ninety-four Accres.' " 

From Book i. "Simsbury Records": 

" I, George Griswold ... of Windsor, in consideration of the sum of one hundred and twenty 
pounds, paid by John Higley of Windsor, have sold . . . the moiety of one half of a certain ffarmme 
which was formerly bought of Mr. Simon Wolcott of Windsor, the whole farm being by estimation 
ninety-four acres more or less, situated on the westerly side of the river above the falls, and begins 
at a little brook by the river side, which brook bounds it next to land I bought of John Griffen, 116 
rods in breadth by the river, and runs from the river towards the upland 130 rods ; the land 
which was anyways granted or given to Simon Wolcott by the Inhabitants of the said town of Sims- 
bury, together with all buildings, edifices, fences, orchards, gardens, and all other parts and appur- 
tences, as also ; And moreover tbe moiety of one half of that parcel of land which Samuel Phelps 
and I, the aforesaid George Griswold bought of John Griffen, the whole being about twenty acres 
lying on the same side of ye river and abutting S. W. on the Aforementioned farm, easterly by the 
river, and north N. E. on Pickerall Cove. 

" Dated ; This Second day of September, one thousand six hundred and eighty-four. 

" [Signed] GEORGE GRISWOLD." 

An adjoining tract of land is recorded as follows : 

At a town meeting held " March ye 34 1690, given to Lieut. John Higley a certain parcel! of land 
lying without the line that was laid out to Mr. Samuel Wolcott, it is a kind of frog Pond ; alsoe 
there is thirty acres of land joins sd Lieut. John Higley's on his Brook between his land and 
Salmon Brook path," etc. 

NOTE. Many of the earliest papers concerning lands at Simsbury were burned in 1676. Dr. 
Lucius I. Barber is authority for stating that there were also a number burned in an accidental 
fire which occurred about 1684-85. 

1 The present buildings on the " Town Farm " are upon the west side of the road, nearly opposite 
to the spot where John Higley's house stood. 



SIMSBURY, CONN. 51 

early times. This one is described as a substantial frame struc- 
ture, commodious in size, two stories in front, the rafters of 
whose roof slanted downward in the rear to within eight or ten 
feet of the ground. This rear part of the building was called 
" the lean-to." 

There was one massive chimney, which it is stated was full 
twelve feet square, and stood like a great tower directly in the 
center of the roof. The fireplace was eight feet wide, and 
several feet deep, built of stone laid in clay. The chimney was 
topped with brick brought from England. The windows were 
small, after the style of the times, containing window-panes 
6"X8", and were three panes wide. 

" These homes," says Eggleston, " had an air of domesticity 
of large and elegant domesticity, but still they looked like homes, 
the homes of people of sense, and taste, and character." ' 

A few venerable apple trees, which have leaved and budded at 
the springtime of years numbering almost a century, which were 
probably planted by John Higley's grandchildren, are all that is 
now left to mark the spot where stood the old homestead which 
has long since disappeared. It was torn down in the year 1827 by 
Alexander Holcombe, who was at that time the owner of the farm. 

It was here that Captain Higley's son Joseph was born, and this 
was also the birthplace of his son Samuel, who has become a char- 
acter of national interest, as the designer and manufacturer of the 
earliest American copper coin put into circulation. It was also 
within its walls that his daughter Mindwell was born. 

John Higley afterward purchased adjoining tracts and addi- 
tional lands, until his estates in the northern part of Simsbury 
township extended from the town of Simsbury to the village of 
Salmon Brook, and thence running east across the Farmington 
river, included some of the best meadow lands in the township, 
and the present site of Tariffville. 

This region of country, extending full four miles along the 
river north and south, and from the river to the West Mountain, 
a distance of at least 3^ miles in another direction, was after- 
ward called Higley-town, and was so known for more than 
150 years. He was also the possessor of lands at a settlement 
a few miles away, called Scotland, and at Turkey Hills, and 
Windsor. An excellent map of Simsbury, made by order of the 
Connecticut General Assembly in 1730, the original of which 

1 Edward Eggleston, in The Century, 1883. 



52 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

is still in existence, shows Higley-town marked with beautiful 
clearness, and indicates the dwellings contained in the entire 
township, with the names of the land-owners, 'among whom are 
a large number of the Higleys of the second and third generations. 

Upon his removal to Simsbury, John Higley's usefulness in his 
new sphere of life is soon apparent. 

On the 24th of December, 1684, a committee was appointed by 
the town meeting to provide for and superintend " Y e finishing 
of y e Meeting House, with full power," 1 etc. This committee 
consisted of the townsmen, and John Higley. The following 
summer a committee was chosen "for y e procuring of a 
minister," the Rev. Mr. Stow declining " to stay no longer than 
to mak up his four Years which will terminate said he in the 
middle of October." The record reads as follows : 

"August 14, 1685. At a Town-Meeting of the Inhabitants of 
Simsbury there was a Committee chosen by the Inhabitants 
thereof who have full power by virtue of this vote to choose and 
look after and procure a Minister for the s d town of Simsbury 
and give him suitable Incouragement according to our capacity " a 

This committee consisted of nine persons, one of whom was 
John Higley. 

By a subsequent vote of the town the committee was con- 
tinued, and John Higley was delegated by this committee, as its 
messenger, " to treat with Rev. Mr. Emmerson or Other suitable 
person for the right discharge of the ministeriall function," and 
authorized unanimously by vote, "to tender fifty pounds 
annually," and if he could not be prevailed upon to come on 
these terms, "then sixty pounds " were to be offered. He was 
also invested with considerable latitude in the offer of certain 
lands to anyone whom he might consider a " suitable man for 
the place," in case Mr. Emmerson did not accept. 

In December, 1685, he was chosen "townsman," and was 
re-elected to the position after this almost every year until 1692. 
Upon the 3ist of the same month he was made one of a com- 
mittee to "lay out, state, and settle " matters concerning fenc- 
ing, "in some just and equitable way." 

There was no end to the vexations and annoyances incident to 

1 " Simsbury Records of Town Meetings," book i. p. 34. 
" Simsbury Records of Town Meetings," book i. p. 42. 



SIMSBURY, CONN. 53 

life in an unsettled wilderness. The lands were not defined at 
this time by settled boundaries, and there was little or no fencing, 
and great trespasses and contests were practiced. Later on, 
after fencing had been ordered, but had not been attended to by 
the inhabitants, John Higley, with his associate " Selek men of 
Simsbury,' 1 in behalf of the townspeople offered a petition to the 
"Generall Assembly," in which they portray in pitiful complaint 
the imposition of their neighbors' " horses, catell and swine," 
which were permitted to roam at large, saying : 

"Our Cornfields lye exceedingly hazzardous and .our labors be 
distroyed, as we are Yearly so Distroyed and devoured one of 
another that it is most grevious : which if there be not some 
speedy care taken of us that our meadows and cornfields be 
secured, and our crops preserved, we shall bee very much 
empoverished : neither shall we bee able to carry on any publique 
duties, either in eccleasticall matters or civill effayres, ... so that 
in sense thereof we do most earnestly begg, pray and Implore this 
honnered Court to take vs, and our most sadd estate, into your 
serious Considerason and find out some way for our reliefe and 
welfare. . . so that we pray and entreat your worships to afford 
us some reliefe. And in hopes shall crave leave to subscribe 
ourselves your humble petitioners." 1 

Serious questions arose as to the validity of the Indian titles 
under which the lands of Simsbury were then held. To settle 
these questions the governor, Robert Treat, by authority 
and direction of the General Assembly, issued, March n, 1686, 
a Patent of the township of Simsbury to eight proprietors and 
their associates; and one of these eight proprietors named in the 
patent was "Mr John Higley."* The Patent was again con- 
firmed by Act of the General Assembly in 1703, while Captain 
John Higley was yet living. 

From this period (1686) to the close of his life, he was 
a leading spirit in the town, and prominent in the annals of 
public affairs in the colony. Except in those of the Church, his 

1 Phelps' " History of Simsbury," p. 79. 

8 The names appearing in this original Patent of Simsbury, are : " Major John Talcott, Capt. 
Benjamin Newberry, Ensign John Terry, Mr. John Higley, Mr John Case, Mr Joshua Hoi- 
combe, Mr Samuel Wilcox, and Mr Thomas Barber." 

A duplicate copy of this Patent, recorded on parchment, is in the hands of Miss Emma Higlev 
of Vermont, which has descended with other relics left by Captain John Higley. 
5 



54 THE HI G LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

name appears upon the records in connection with nearly all of 
the important interests of his time. 

While his career was one marked by stanch integrity, justice, 
and truth, and the utmost fidelity to any cause that he espoused, 
his religious communion appears to have been in the invisible 
world, and not as a member of the Puritan church organization. 
His name, as thus connected, is not to be found upon any church 
records or in private papers, and even tradition is silent. 1 There 
is, however, no proof that there was infidelity in his mind. He 
lived in the Christian faith. But his religion was more a matter 
of life than of creed, of deeds than of outward profession. 

The town meeting in those days managed all ecclesiastical 
affairs, and through this channel he was active in means pertain- 
ing to public worship. He contributed faithfully to the support 
of the Church the law requiring the minister's rates to be col- 
lected by the same methods as the rates for the town. In the 
Windsor meetinghouse he was assigned a seat, by the " Seating- 
Committee," April 13, 1681, in the "first gallerie," for which he 
appears to have paid four shillings. 

Unhappily there was a bitter contention in the old Windsor 
Society, and a lack of unanimity, covering a period of several 
years during John Higley's residence there, and he was probably 
never attracted, in this state of things, to become personally iden- 
tified in membership with the church. 

The tranquillity and peace of the churches in the colonies were 
disturbed by controversies about the grounds for admission to 
church membership, baptism, and other doctrinal issues, and at 
Windsor there had been a long period of seething discontent and 
inharmony upon the question of repairs of the meetinghouse, 
which resulted in contention and bitterness. The participators 
in the contending parties upon one side were Jacob and Job 
Drake, and John Moore, Jr., the uncles of Hannah Drake 
Higley, who took their prominent part, as did other influential 
families with whom John Higley was in daily association among 
whom were the Wolcotts, Captain Newberry, the Loomises, Gris- 
wolds, Bissells, and Phelpses. 

At Simsbury there was a prolonged contention, lasting several 
years, concerning the location of a needed house for worship. 
The unhappy differences were finally settled "at a solemn meet- 

1 " Church membership, as in Massachusetts, was not a requisite qualification in the Connecti- 
cut colony, for a freeman." Pitkin's History, p. 44. 



SIMSBURY, CONN. 55 

ing on y e 24th of May 1683," by "too PaPers put into y e hatt," 
which were " Drawne by y e lott," 1 and at the time of John 
Higley's removal to the place the following year, the meeting- 
house, a building 28X24 feet, was erected, but stood unfinished. 
It was located upon the west side of the river just across the 
road, or street, which now runs by the ancient Hop-Meadow 
burying-ground. As has been before stated, his first appoint- 
ment by the town meeting, after coming to Simsbury, was to 
serve with "the Selek-men for the finishing of the house," which 
was accomplished in 1685. 

In due time "a floor was laid, seats or benches furnished, 
and a pulpit built." It was eleven years after this before the 
building was ceiled, and supplied, for the first time, with windows 
and a gallery. "It was never painted though the town once 
voted 'to daub it.' This house was used for public worship 
and town meetings nearly sixty years." 8 

At the time that John and Hannah Drake Higley became 
residents in Simsbury, "Rev. Mr. Samuel Stow" was preaching 
in the place. His salary was fifty-six pounds a year. "The 
town agreed with Samuel Adams for to get Mr. Stow's firewood 
for a whole year compleat, and for his reward he is to have ^5, 
i2 8 ." Thomas Barber received ten shillings yearly "for the 
beating of the Drumme on the Sabboth Dayes. " 3 

The Rev. Samuel Stow remained but a brief period, and in 
1687 John Higley was again active in behalf of the town meeting 
in securing the services of the Rev. Edward Thompson. In 
June of that year Mr. Thompson "was employed to preach, 
though not as a Settled Pastor." * He came with his family, from 
Cape Ann, Mass. 

1 Old Simsbury Records. 

a Phelps' " History of Simsbury," p. 47. 

3 Simsbury Public Records. 

4 Old Records of Congregational Church Society, Simsbury. 



CHAPTER XL 

PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 

Man's true fame must strike from his own deeds. MIDDLETON. 

IN political affairs the colonies were in disturbed relations with 
the transatlantic power. In 1685 Charles II. died and James II. 
came to the throne of England. James followed in the wake of 
Charles as a tyrant. He soon began measures to have the Ameri- 
can colonies surrender their patents, and to unite them into prov- 
inces under a governor-general appointed by the Crown. In 1686 
the Connecticut General Assembly sent a petition to the king by 
a special representative, praying for the privilege to continue 
its charter. The royal government turned a deaf ear to the 
request. 

Sir Edmund Andros arrived in Boston in December of the same 
year, to assume the position of governor-general over New Eng- 
land. On the 3ist of October, 1687, Andros, with a company of 
soldiers, came to Hartford while the General Assembly was in 
session, to which body he was courteously escorted by the train- 
bands. Ensign John Higley was present. Andros demanded the 
Connecticut charter, which, after a heated debate, prolonged until 
nightfall, was brought into the Assembly chamber and laid upon 
the table. 1 Suddenly the lights were extinguished, "leaving the 
chamber in complete darkness," during which the charter was 
spirited away. 

" The tradition is that Captain Joseph Wadsworth was the chief 
actor in this episode. The act has given his name a worthy place 
among those honored by Connecticut as patriots and heroes." 5 
But that Captain Wadsworth had his helpers in the " irregular 
proceeding," who were at hand to assist in this shrewdly managed 
action, is plain to be seen. 

1 The following entry in the Colonial Records doubtless has reference to this scene : 
" Sundry of the Court desiring the Patent or Charter might be brought into.the Court, the 
Secretary sent for it and informed the Governor and Court that he had the Charter, and 
showed it to the Court, and the Governor bid him put it in the box again, and lay it on the table, 
and leave the key in the box, which he did forthwith." Hollester's History of Connecticut. 
a " The Story of the Charter Oak," by W. I. Fletcher, Librarian, Connecticut Historical Society. 

56 



PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 57 

Old private MS. in the hands of the Higley descendants state 
positively that the document was given to their honored ances- 
tor, John Higley, that he mounted his horse and galloped off with 
it to Higley-town, where he kept it secreted six weeks, before it 
finally found its hiding-place in the hollow of the since famous oak 
tree in Hartford. 

That there was a duplicate copy of the charter is well known, 
and whether this may have been the prize preserved by our worthy 
hero cannot be stated; indeed, it is not known how authentic is the 
story, which comes down to us direct, of his fast horseback ride 
through the forests bearing the valuable parchment to Higley- 
town; but since it is both possible and creditable, true to the old 
tradition we record it here, knowing that John Higley was a 
man equal to any great emergency, possessing bouyancy and great 
tact, full of clear grit and defiant courage. 1 

The times were stirring, and the prominent men were on the 
keen alert during the critical situation, more especially that "it 
had been declared that the titles of the colonists to their lands 
were of no value, and Andros had said that Indian deeds were 
no better than ' the scratch of a bears flaw.'"* Indeed many 
proprietors of lands "were obliged in many instances to take 
out new patents for their estates, for which a heavy fee was de- 
manded." It would seem a matter of course that, as a public- 
spirited man, Ensign John Higley would be in Hartford watching 
with eager interest the proceedings. His fortune and his prop- 
erty were at stake. Besides, his military duties demanded his 
presence in Hartford with the train-band, of which he was a mem- 
ber, these having been ordered to the town on the day in question. 
He was also a member of the General Assembly. 

Whether or not we may receive it as a quiet reward, or recogni- 
tion of his gallant deed, we find John Higley soon after commis- 
sioned by Governor Robert Treat as an officer of the militia, 

1 " The extinguishment of the lights," says Fletcher, " and the removal of the Charter h*ad 
been the act of a few private individuals, whose desire to save the precious document ex- 
ceeded their fear of the consequences to themselves of a rash and dangerous attempt. It was long 
before it was prudent to have the names of these men known, and the necessity goes far to ex- 
plain the haziness of the history which has come down to us." 

" To complete the chapter it only remains to add that government under the Charter was 
resumed in 1689, when, on the news of the revolution in England reaching Boston, Andros 
had been arrested and imprisoned." Fletcher's Story of the Charier Oak. 

" Connecticut obtained from the most able lawyers in England an opinion that the colony, not 
having surrendered the Charter under seal, and no judgment being entered on record, the Charter 
was not invalidated." Barber's Historical Collections, p. 23. 

1 " Connecticut Historial Collections," by John Warner Barber. 



5 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

and bearing the distinction of ensign. 1 This was, at that 
time, the highest military official in the town. 

If a man played a distinguishing part in administrative affairs in 
those old days, it was a guarantee that he was of good character 
and good habits, and possessed well-balanced abilities,' directed to 
ends valuable to the Commonwealth. Repeated and successive 
promotions signalized John Higley as having qualities of good fel- 
lowship which commanded the admiration and confidence of his 
townspeople and political associates. 

On May 21, 1688, he was chosen "commissioner for Sims- 
bury." 8 This invested him with the power of a public civil 
officer for his town, whose duty was " the dispensation of justice." 
In August, 1687, he was chosen deputy to the General Assembly, 3 
and was elected to a seat in that body as a representative for 
thirty-seven terms, held during the twenty-two years following. 
During this long period of legislative service he received various 
appointments on committees of importance. 

In May, 1690, the number of Simsbury soldiers having been in- 
creased, he was promoted by the General Court to the grade of lieu- 
tenant, 4 and in 1691 he was again recorded by act of the General 
Assembly a "commissioner," which office he held by successive 
annual elections until the colonial legislature at the May term in 
1693 "provided by law "a "Commission for Justices," 6 replacing 
the office formerly known as commissioner. To this office he 
received the first appointment for Hartford County, and filled it 
by annual election for twelve successive years. In 1710 he was 
appointed a " Justice of the Quorum," an office akin to the county 
court. "Thus," says Dr. L. I. Barber, "he was the first citizen 
of Simsbury to hold the several offices of ' Commissioner,' 'Justice 
of the County Court,' and ' Captain of the Malitia.' ' 

During these busy years in public affairs his comprehensive 
grasp and persistent industry caused his vocations to be diverse 

apd numerous. In addition to serving upon important com- 

\ 

1 "Connecticut Colonial Records." 

a " May 21, 1688. At a General Town Meeting of the Inhabitants of Simsbury Mr. John Higley 
was chosen Commissioner for the Town of Simsbury, to attend to those Offices as by Law required 
of such Commissioners, and he is to serve in ye place till ye next May come Twelve Month." 
Simsbury Records, book i. p. 65. 

'"General Court held at Hartford, Conn., October 10, 1687 ; Ensign John Higley, Deputy for 
Simsbury." Connecticut Colonial Records, 

* " May term 1690. John Higley is allowed Lieutenant, and Thomas Barber Ensign of Sims- 
bury Train-band, and are to be Commissioned." Connecticut Colonial Records, vol. iv. 

* " Connecticut Colonial Records," vol. iv. 



PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 59 

mittees of the General Assembly, he was constantly engaged in the 
detail of town government. The town records abound in the use 
of his name associated with its various interests. Among other 
appointments it may be noted that he was again made chairman 
of a committee early in August, 1691, " to be active in ye procur- 
ing of a minister," the Rev. Edward Thompson ' declining longer 
to serve as pastor of the church. 

Among other town improvements he was granted liberty at 
a town meeting held in February, 1697, "to set up a saw mill 
north on Bissell's Brook," and the following year, in partnership 
with Daniel Adams, " to set up a Dam and Grist Mill in any stream 
in town that they may choose." By papers recorded at the 
settlement of his estate it is shown that he had been engaged in 
obtaining tar and turpentine from his " Pine plains." Draft was 
made upon his time by frequent appointments to "lay out" 
lands. Among many appointments of like character, he "was 
empowered" by the General Assembly in 1698 to ^ lay out" a 
grant of two hundred acres to the Rev. Dudley Woodbridge, pas- 
tor of the church at Simsbury, and the next year he was chosen 
to "lay out to Mr. Henry Wolcott land formerly granted him." 

It must be remembered also, that he had a young and constantly 
increasing family to provide and care for, and the wilderness was 
in process of being turned into grain-bearing fields, while the 
scarity of laborers was severely felt. 

He was all the while doing conspicuous and honorable service in 
the military line. In 1698, " there now being nine files of soldiers," 
the number required to make up a full company, Lieutenant John 
Higley was advanced, by act of the General Assembly, to the rank 
of captain : "an office of great dignity in those days, and, with 
a single exception, the highest then known in the colony each 
county having, as chief military officer, a sergeant-major." 2 

Training-day was usually a great public day. "It was in these 
days, when the people were assembled, that the town business was 
generally transacted. The train-bands contained sixty-four men, 
and some had more than one hundred. No distinctive uniform was 
required before the Revolution. The men were armed with fire- 
locks [later called flint-locks] and pikes, swords and cutlasses." 8 

1 For further particulars concerning Rev. Edward Thompson, see chapter xxi. 

* Phelps' " History of Simsbury," p. 83. Also " Connecticut Colonial Records," vol. v. 

" Lieut. John Higley was confirmed Captn of the Train-band in the Town of Simsbury, and 
to be Commissioned Accordingly." 

* Extracts from "History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull. 



60 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

As a matter of course, they carried the British flag. Our fore- 
fathers were born and reared under the mother government, and 
they at this time had not a thought of breaking away from her. 
There was as yet no sight of "star and stripe"; our honored 
spangled banner that to-day floats forty-four stars was not 
then dreamed of. 

"Those were the times when everything associated with the 
community revolved more or less around the Church," says 
Senator Hawley, in a recent speech. "There were four great 
men in these towns, the first selectman, the captain of the militia, 
the preacher, and the schoolteacher. It was a military, if not a 
warlike, people. They were up to every demand of the king." ' 

"To the military organizations the meetinghouse was in some 
sense the center. The minister was summoned yearly to 
offer prayer upon the Green amid the assembled companies, and 
invited to dine with the officers. Should it rain beyond endur- 
ance on training-day, the meetinghouse was opened to protect 
the soldiers from drenching. Its sacred walls have many a time 
reverberated to drum and fife, and the tramp of files along the 
aisles, while excited boys looked down from the gallery with won- 
der at so strange a spectacle." 2 

The morning of the 4th of August, 1694, dawned with a cloud 
of heavy bereavement in the home of Captain John Higley ; for it 
was on this day that the death of his estimable wife, Hannah 
Drake Higley, the beloved mother of his nine children, took 
place. She became his wife at the age of eighteen, and during 
the twenty-three years of their married life they had together 
divided* many toilsome days. It is safe to say that few, if any, 
shadows had cast themselves over the domestic fireside. They 
had had much sunshine both outside and inside their home, and 
in material prosperity their feet had been on the continual ascent. 

Hannah Drake witnessed the early struggles of her husband 
while seeking to get a start in life, and shared in the great battle 
of civilization, the dangers of a frontier home, the hard work, and 
the cares and solicitude of a growing family; and had stood 
strong while the husband and father had been occupied for several 
years in public and political engagements. Every day of her 

1 Hon. Joseph R. Hawley of Connecticut, at annual dinner, in New York City, of the New Eng- 
land Society. 

a " History of Hartford County," by J. Hammond Trumbull. 

Training-day was a holiday observed so essentially the same in each town that had its military 
company, that the description given of one will belong to all. ED. 



PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY. 6 1 

whole existence had been passed in the wilderness. She was 
born and bred within the nightly sounds of howling wolves, and 
was familiar with the prowling habits of the bear and the native 
wild animals of the forests. She had no practical knowledge of 
life away from the privations and inconveniences attendant upon 
the pioneer. She knew what it was to singe her hair, blister 
her hands, and scorch her clothing while cooking over an open 
fireplace, a method now growing to be known only in the hunter's 
camp and in history. The tread of her foot and the spinning- 
wheel performed accompanying parts in the round of her daily 
duties, and her busy hands managed the loom. The minister, 
the teacher, 1 and the meetinghouse had been almost her only 
instructors. Yet she had a long lineage back of her, gifted 
with superior intellectual abilities, and with such antecedents and 
home-training, it is not surprising that her mind was cultivated to 
a considerable degree. Her parents and grandparents knew on 
coming to the wilderness that no greater stigma could rest upon 
them than that of leaving their children without the opportunity 
of an ordinary education, but for the most part it was the boys of 
the Puritan households, and not the girls, who received these 
advantages. The schoolhouse was planted simultaneously with 
the church.* The course of education was limited to elementary 
groundwork. These were thoroughly taught; though it may be 
doubted whether Hannah Drake was ever a schoolgirl. 3 

The original old Puritans with whom her girlhood was spent, 
and their sons and daughters who emigrated with them, brought to 
the new country habits of intelligent observation and discussion, 
and shared with their children around the table the results of 
their acquaintance with the world; these children were taught to 
listen intelligently. From these Hannah would naturally imbibe 
the knowledge that there was in the somewhere, a moving, restless, 
and busy world; but she had never seen it her only glimpse of 
it had been at the stately ships which came to and fro into the 
Windsor port. 

1 An installed teacher was connected with many New England churches in the early times. 
" It was the general opinion that the pastor's work consisted principally in exhortation ; but the 
teacher's business was to teach, explain, and defend the doctrines of Christianity." Barber's 
Historical Collections, p. 128. 

a Schools were at once established. By an early statute it was ordered that " every town con- 
taining thirty families shall maintain a school to teach reading and writing, and that every county 
town should have a Latin school. The pupils were grounded in reading, writing, and the cate- 
chism." History of Hartford County, by J. Hammond Trumbull, p. 354. 

* Old business accounts and receipts evidence that Captain Higley's daughters were taught the 
elementary branches of education. 



62 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

And yet, though she knew no people but a community " cradled 
in Christian faith," and swarms of dusky Indians, she was familiar 
with the sea and its wonders, through voyages made by her 
kindred and those made by her husband. She must have been 
intelligently acquainted with social and political affairs, both 
in Great Britain and the Colonies, which were much talked of 
themes in every home circle, and in her father's house she had 
always had the rare advantage of the constant association and 
instructive conversation of the Rev. Mr. Wareham, 1 a man of 
high culture and superior attainments. And she shared too in 
the friendship and everyday interests of life with the Griswolds, 
the Wolcotts, and other notable families who were originally from 
the cultivated homes of England. 

Such a life, trained in an industrial education, quickened the 
faculties, heightened the abilities, and gave that' firmness of 
character which adorned the women of those times. As her 
children came into her arms one by one, no doubt her aspirations 
for them reached above the tree tops that swung over the roof of 
her home in the forests, and beyond the thickets and briers and 
brush that belted their domain. 

And now that she had folded her arms and laid her down, and 
the grave closed over her while they were all yet young, she had 
done well her work. Every one of her children, as time brought 
them to mature years, took an honorable, and most of them a 
prominent position in interests connected with Church and com- 
munity, and were living evidences of the united care and training 
of their parents, as well as of the worthy example they set before 
them in right living. 

Her grave, if it ever had a memorial stone, cannot be found 
every vestige of it has been swept away by Time, that 

" Old ruin-maker, gnawer of tombstones, 
Father of buried centuries : 

Who dost not hesitate to lay thine 
Envious tooth upon the hardest monuments 
That man hath reared." 

The following entry is preserved in the ancient Records at 
Simsbury: 2 

"Mrs. Hannah Higley, whose maiden name was Drake, departed this life in y e 
year of our Lord God 1694, August 4 day." 

1 See chapter iii. a Book i. leaf 3. 



CHAPTER XII. 

CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY's SECOND MARRIAGE. LIFE'S ACTIVITIES. 
A good life writes its own memorial and tablet day by day. HENRY WARD BEECHER. 

CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY did not resume his seat in the General 
Assembly the year succeeding his wife's decease, 1695, nor 
again until the year 1698. It appears from the records that no 
representatives were sent from Simsbury to the May sessions of 
1695-96. These, with the sessions of 1690 and 1703, are the 
only years in which he did not serve as a member of that legisla- 
tive body from 1689 to 1711. 

His second marriage took place about 1696. Sarah Strong 
Bissell, who became his second wife, was the daughter of Return 
Strong, of one of the good old families of Windsor, Conn. She 
was an old acquaintance, and there existed a family connection, 
her husband, Joseph Bissell, being a first cousin to John Higley's 
first wife, Hannah. 

Sarah Strong Bissell was born March 14, 1666, and married 
Joseph Bissell, July 7, 1686. Joseph Bissell was the grandson of 
Deacon John Moore, Sr. On both sides of Sarah Bissell's family 
she was of a lineage distinguished in Colonial annals for contain- 
ing some of the foremost characters of Puritan belief among the 
founders of New England. Elder John Strong, her paternal 
grandfather, is historically known as one of the first and most 
active founders of the towns of Taunton and Northampton, 
Mass., 1 and upon her mother's side she was the granddaughter 

1 The Strong family^n England was originally located in Shropshire. One of the family 
married an heiress of Griffeth of the County of^Caernarvon, Wales, in 1561. In I596he removed to 
Taunton, Somersetshire, England, where he died in 1613, leaving a son, John, then eight years of 
age, and a daughter, Eleanor. John Strong was born_in Taunton, England, in 1605, whence he re- 
moved to London, and afterwards to Plymouth. Having decided Puritan principles, he sailed from 
Plymouth for the New World, March 20, 1630, in company with Revs. John Wareham, Maverick, 
Mason, John Moore, the Drakes, and Roger Clap, in the ship Mary and John. The grandfather 
of Elder John Strong was, as tradition informs us, a Roman Catholic, and lived to a great age. In 
1635, after having assisted in founding and developing the town of Dorchester, Mass., John Strong 
removed to Hingham, Mass. Here his stay was short, as on December 4, 1638, he is found to be 
an inhabitant and proprietor of Taunton, Mass. He remained at Taunton until 1645, and was 
deputy to the General Court in Plymouth, Mass., 1641-44. From Taunton he removed to Windsor, 
Conn., where he was appointed, with four others, "to superintend and bring forward the settlement 
of that place." In 1659 he removed from Windsor to Northampton, Mass., of which town he was 
one of the founders. In Northampton he lived forty years, and was a leading man in the affairs of 
the Church and the town. He was a tanner, and very prosperous in business. He was ordained 
elder of the church, March 13, 1663. His first wife, whose name is not known, died on the pas- 
sage to America, leaving two children. In December, 1630, he married Abigail Ford of Dorcester, 

63 



64 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

of the Rev. John Wareham, who was the most distinguished 
person who came to our shores in the.Winthrop fleet; if we except 
Winthrop himself. Return Strong, her father, "was the sixth 
child of Elder John Strong. 1 He was born in 1641 and on the 
nth of May, 1664, married Sarah, daughter of Rev. Mr. Wareham. 
He was a tanner by trade, and a man of large estates. His wife 
died, Dec. 26th 1678, at the age of thirty-six years. Return 
Strong removed in later years to Northampton, Mass., where he 
died April gth 1726." 

Sarah was the eldest child of his family. Joseph Bissell, her 
first husband, died August 3, 1689, leaving her a young widow 
with one child Joseph, Jr. On the 7th of December following, 
four months after his father's decease, another son was born, 
whom she called Benoni," " the son of my sorrow." 

Mrs. Sarah Bissell assumed many responsibilities when she 
entered the home of her husband, Captain Higley, with her two 
children and became the second mother to his family of nine 
children. They began life together with a household of eleven 
children. It seems, however, that her intuitive mind coped well 
with the great task before her. As the duties came to her one 
after another, both of a social and domestic nature, she faithfully 
fulfilled them. It is easy to detect the results of her excellent 
motherhood to her husband's children as well as her own, espe- 
cially the younger ones, by a decided religious influence growing 
out of her life in the household. And she seems to have given 
them the sympathy born of a true woman's love, since we find 
them, both elder and younger, using affectionate terms respect- 
ing her. It was always "Our dear mother," even in business 
entries and transactions years later, of which there were many 
after their father's decease. 

In 1697 Captain Higley's tenth child was born, to whom was 
given the name of her mother Sarah. 

" This was a year," says Governor Wolcott, " of great scarcity 
and mortality. The summer was cool and cloudy not a month 



01 wnom naa lammes. n is son i nomasnaa sixteen cnuaren, jeaeaian naa lourieen, oamuci nai 
twelve. His grandson Jonathan had seventeen. His son Return Strong settled at Windsor, 
Conn. Condensed from History of the Strong Family , by B. \V. Dwight, 

1 " History of Strong Family." 

5 Joseph Bissell, Jr., born March 21, 1687, lived to have a grandson, Benjamin Bissell, born October 
i, 1720. Benoni Bissell lived to seventy-one years of age, and died August 26, 1761, an honored 
and respected citizen. There are many reasons for the conclusion that both of these sons were 
brought up with Captain John Higley's family. 



LIFE'S ACTIVITIES. 65 

without frost in it; the winter was very long and severe. In 
February and March the snow was very high and hard. There 
was a great cry for bread; the cattle perishing in the yards for 
want; the sickness was very distressing and mortal." 1 On the 
loth of November the same year, Rev. Dudley Woodbridge was 
ordained pastor of the Simsbury church. 

In the year 1698, Captain John Higley is again found a member 
of the Colonial legislature. At the May session an act was passed 
that the October sessions should afterward be held in New Haven. 
This involved, for our legislator, a tedious journey on horseback, 
through forest-lined bridle paths, the underbrush grown in 
tangle mass, and across unbridged swollen streams, through 
which he must swim his horse. This was the only method of 
travel by land, in those times there being no wheeled vehicles. 

The next year, 1699, occurred the birth of his son Nathaniel, 
who is found upon record in after time as a man of fine abilities 
and uprightness of character. 

Captain Higley appears to have been pursuing his busy avoca- 
tions with the energy that marked his earlier years. Marriages 
are placed upon the records as having been performed by him, 
and his appointments in local matters continued many and 
various. 

The cause of higher education was a subject discussed with 
much earnestness by the learned minds in the colony, who, 
grasping the needs of the future, saw that provision for mental 
culture of their sons upon a more extended basis was essential 
to the future elevation and prosperity of the rising generations. 
It was also their desire that an educated ministry should be provided 
for within the limits of the Connecticut Colony. The standard 
at the schools had already deteriorated, and they, were no longer 
cheerfully sustained. The result was the birth of Yale College. 

In the year 1700, ten ministers, "nominated by general 
consent, formed themselves into a society," and proceeded to 
carry out their project, among whom were two of Captain John 
Higley's closest friends and associates the Revs. Samuel Mather 
of Windsor and Timothy Woodbridge of Hartford. In October, 
1701, the Connecticut Assembly passed an act to establish the 
"Collegiate School," which has since become the famous seat of 
learning Yale University. The charter ordained that the cor- 
poration should consist of ministers only. The founding of the 

1 Stiles' " History of Ancient Windsor." 



66 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

institution becomes of interest in these pages from the fact that 
Captain John Higley was a member of this legislature which 
granted the charter; and less than five years later, being one of 
the proprietors of the valuable mines at Copper Hill, was a lead- 
ing member of the association which made the first appropriation 
of funds toward the support of the institution. We fancy his 
enthusiasm as very earnest in the subject of advanced educa- 
tional opportunities for young men, since the after history of 
his own large family shows that he was not negligent in pro- 
moting its education, as far as was practicable under the limited 
resources of that day. 

The eventful changes which time always brings to a large 
family came to the household of the Higleys. In 1701 twins 
were born, Joshua and Josiah, one of whom Joshua died an 
infant of seven months; and during the same year the first mar- 
riage took place, that of Jonathan, the second son, to Ann 
Barber. In 1703 their daughter Abigail was born, and the fol- 
lowing year two daughters were married, Katherine, a gifted 
girl, married James Noble of Westfield, Mass., and Hannah 
married Joseph Trumbull, and became the founder of a family 
distinguished in American history through several generations. 
A daughter who was named Susannah was born in 1705, and two 
years later, on July 20, 1707, the youngest son and last child, 
Isaac, was born. It was about this period that his eldest 
daughter, Elizabeth, married Nathaniel Bancroft. Captain John 
Higley was the father of sixteen children, fifteen of whom lived to 
over twenty-one years of age, and thirteen married and had fami- 
lies. The eldest and the youngest were thirty-four years apart. 

Early in the new century an agitation arose in the Simsbury 
community through the circulation of flying reports that the west- 
ern slope of the Talcott Mountain contained .valuable deposits of 
mineral, and was especially rich in copper ore. There are slight 
historical intimations that this fact had previously been surmised, 
but no definite discovery had yet been made. 

These elevated lands, which have since been known as Copper 
Hill, were yet undivided, and were still held by the original pro- 
prietors of the town. They were in a wild state, frequented by 
the Indians as a hunting-ground. 

The "Patent" of Simsbury, it will be remembered, which was 
confirmed by the General Court to the proprietors in 1685-86, had 
been reconfirmed by act of Court in 1703. 



LIFE'S ACTIVITIES. 67 

Thomas Barber, John Higley, Samuel Wilcoxen, and John Case, 
of the original patentees, were still living. 

Near the close of 1705, at a town meeting, the following resolu- 
tion was passed, which was entered upon the Records : ' 

" There being a report made in the town-Meeting of eithor a silver or Copor min or minorall 
found within the Lymitts of the township of Simsbury, eastwardly, as the town being moot 
together December the i8th 1705, did mak chuse of Decon Holcomb and John Pettibone Junr. to 
mak sorch for the same, bring in an account of the same to the next meeting. 

" Voted in the affirmative." 

The report of the above committee was evidently favorable, 
though it is not found upon record. An association was formed, 
composed of the landed proprietors of the town, and at a town 
meeting held May 6, 1707,* the subject was taken up in a practical 
manner. Various resolutions were passed, and different commit- 
tees were appointed "in referance to the coppor affaires now in 
hand." It was "propownded to the people to give their freedom 
to chose a committee to treat with workman." A contract was 
drawn and presented at a "Subscribers'" meeting, held on the 
i7th of May, in which the association "agreed to pay the town io 8 
on each ton of copper produced which should create a fund for 
educational purposes." Two-thirds was appropriated for the sup- 
port "of an able schoolmaster" in Simsbury, and the other one- 
third was voted to the "Collegiate School" Yale. A certain 
amount went to the Crown of England as revenue. " The residue 
of profits was to be divided among the partners pro-rata, accord- 
ing to the amount of their respective shares." Jonathan Higley, 
the second son of Captain John Higley, was one of the signers to 
the agreement. 

An acrimonious controversy followed, between the proprietors 
of the town and the townspeople. The pitch of excitement con- 
cerning the valuable lands ran high, and there was sharp diver- 
gence of opinion between the two factions claiming supreme 
rights. A great ado was made over the richness of the "find," and 
the people who laid claim believed themselves upon the verge of 
immense wealth. 

At this time Captain Higley owned the largest quantity of land 
in the township, and was the heaviest taxpayer. Lieutenant 
Thomas Barber the father-in-law of his son Jonathan, who had 
also increased his estates stood next on the list. Captain Higley 
had now three sons who were men of full age, John, Jonathan, 

1 " Simsbury Records," book ii. p. 79. * " Simsbury Records," book ii. pp. 84, 85. 



68 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

and Brewster, all landholders. The representation of the Higley 
family was therefore very considerable. And, always vigilant in 
business, it is a matter to be noted, how keenly alive they appear 
to have been through this contest to their own family interests. 

They were careful to be represented in all the meetings, and 
generally some one of them had a place in the committees which 
were appointed. On the 2Qth of July, 1707, a severe protest by 
the "aristocratic" landed proprietors is recorded on the books, 
claiming that "The Towne by vote having sequestored the 
coppor-mins that are commons in said towne of Simsbury for 
their own benefit . . . and their having been some persons pre- 
tending themselves to be the only proprietors of y e said copor 
mines, have in a very disorderly Sacactilgious [sacrilegious ?] 
manner given away the right and benefit of the said Coper mines, 
to some persons which are unconcerned in the towne, which is 
greatly to the disturbance of the peace of many principall persons 
in S d towne, Pantentees, proprietors and Inhabitants. [Here 
follows protest] against such unrighteous, and irregular, unjust 
dealings and actions, and We do hereby protest against the . . . 
[illegible] of all or any such unjust contracts, or votes of such 
pretenders, in our towne record books. 1 

[Signed] "JOHN HIGLEY, Sen. 

THOS. BARBER, Sen. 

SAMUEL WILCOXEN, Sen. 

JOHN GRIFFEN, 

JOHN HIGLEY, Jnr. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, "and 
others. 

The controversies over the copper-mining district were finally 
carried to the General Assembly in 1709, when a commission 
was appointed to settle them. For many years litigation was 
going on, during which the proprietors of the town worked the 
mines, or leased them to other parties who agreed to pay a per- 
centage upon the ore produced. 

In 1721 the mining lands were divided, and Captain John 
Higley's sons came into possession of a fine tract of the mineral 
section. " 

These mines have since become famous, not only from the rich 

1 Book ii. " Simsbury Records," p. 85. 

* The reader is further referred to the sketch of Dr. Samuel Higley, p. 115. 



LIFE'S ACTIVITIES. 69 

quality of the ore which they yielded, but as a prison fortress of 
historic interest associated with the American Revolution. The 
prison was called after the name of the "world-renowned" prison 
of London. Says Phelps : " There is an exciting fascination in 
the eventful history of this Newgate of Connecticut." 1 

"An important branch of the trade on the coast of New England 
was furnishing the Royal navy with yards and bowsprits. White 
pine trees over two feet in diameter were reserved for the navy, to 
be used for masts, which were at that time made of one piece."' 
At the October session of the General Assembly, 1705, Captain 
John Higley was chosen as one of "Sundry principall gentleman 
in this and other governments to undertake the management of 
procuring masts, and other navall stores for the supply of her 
fleet (Lady Queen Ann) and other shipping of the nation."* 
Since the burning of Simsbury in March, 1676, the Indians had 
not slumbered. The inhabitants had never been free from fear 
and imminent danger of destruction, and were still obliged to 
maintain constant watchfulness. Simsbury was yet on the fore- 
line of civilization. The French were in possession of Canada, 
and in every possible way they were moving the savages to attack 
the English settlers. Roving bands were constantly skulking 
through the dense forests, and were likely at any hour to suddenly 
wreak vengeance upon those innocent of provocation for wrongs 
they conceived somebody had done them. The parsonage at 
Simsbury was fortified in 1690 ; and again in the year 1700 old 
time frontier forts, or block-houses, were built. "In 1707 there 
was an alarm spread that the Indians comtemplated an invasion 
of the town, when the Assembly granted seven pounds from the 
treasury to fortify it ; and the next year, a further grant of seven 
pounds and six shillings was made, to pay the soldiers belonging 
to Simsbury, who had been employed under Captain John Higley, 
in the public service" It was also ordered about this time, that 
"Two faithful and trusty men, as a scout, be out every day, to 
observe the motions of the enemy."' One strong fortification 
called Great Fort, the remains of which are still to be found, was 
built in 1708, by order of the General Assembly, with colonial 

1 This picturesque, historic spot, though now but little known, continues to be a place of intense 
interest to the tourist. He will be well repaid to seek the attractive views from the Talcott Moun- 
tains and Copper Hill, with its rock-hewn caverns fifty feet below the surface which are ruins 
stored with remarkable relics of the past, and filled with tales of thrilling horror. ED. 

a " Connecticut Colonial Records," vol. iv. p. 535. 

* Phelps' " History of Simsbury," p. 33. 
6 



7 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

funds, and was "located in Higley-town, probably through the 
sagacity and legislation of our untiring hero, who would neglect 
no opportunity for the direct benefit of his own immediate domain. 
The garrison was within a half a mile of his house. 

In the autumn of 1707 the community was thrown into a high 
state of alarm and solicitude at the capture by the Indians of 
Daniel Hayes, who was a neighbor of Captain Higley, and no 
doubt on intimate friendly terms with his family. He was a young 
man, twenty-two years of age. He was carried to Canada and 
sold, and there kept in captivity nearly six years before he could 
succeed in getting released. During this time his experiences 
were thrilling, and were sometimes attended with barbarity. 
From the hour when he was kidnaped, near to his home, he heard 
nothing from his relatives or friends, and they, hearing no tidings 
of him, gave him up as dead. Every effort was made by the 
people of the neighborhood to find the captive, but their pursuit 
was without avail. The Indians finally sold him to a Frenchman 
in Montreal, who kindly opened the way for him to earn money 
to purchase his freedom, and sent an Indian guide to accompany 
him down the Connecticut valley far enough to "point to him the 
smokes of his friends, ' the pale faces.' " * 

The recent defense in the warlike threatening, with French and 
Indians, brought an increased burden of taxation, and caused even 
greater scarcity of specie than had heretofore existed. The 
colony had always been embarrassed for want of circulating cash. 
There was little actual money passing. "Provision pay "was 
therefore resorted to as the legitimate exchange in business trans- 
actions. On the town records it is seen, "that one Thomas 
Bacon mortgaged his farm to Capt. John Higley, for the full and 
just summ of 8, in current wheat, peas, and Indian Corn, at 
equal proportions at current market price." a 

1 The following act was passed by the General Assembly, October, 1713 : " Upon consideration 
of the petition of Daniel Hayes of Simsbury, having been taken by the Indian enemie and carried 
captive to Canada praying for some releife : This Assembly do grant unto the petitioner the sum of 
seven pounds to be paid him out of the public treasury of this Colony." Connecticut Colonial 
Records. 

A fuller narrative of Daniel Hayes than is here given, may be found in "Newgate of Connecti- 
cut," p. 103. He lived in the village of Salmon-Brook, to the good age of seventy-one, " a thriving 
agriculturist, and a respected citizen." A monument, still standing, marks the spot of his last 
resting-place in the village cemetery. 

5 Book i. " Simsbury Land Records." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

LAST SCENES IN CAPTAIN HIGLEY's LIFE. 
Have left a name behind them. Eccltsiasticus xliv. 8. 

NUMEROUS transactions in the purchase and sale of lands, aside 
from Captain John Higley's public career, were apparently the 
chief feature of his private business interests after his removal to 
Simsbury. By judicious investments in lands he found himself, 
in the prime of life, with large possessions from the standpoint 
of those times of ever-growing values. For several years he 
enjoyed the distinction of being the largest taxpayer in the 
township, and as the owner of these estates his assessments 
exceeded in amount those paid by any fellow-citizen. Before 
his decease he settled lands upon those of his children who had 
arrived at full age. 

From business transactions found on record, it would seem 
that he was yet in the midst of his engrossing interests as the 
twilight of his active life was approaching, when night suddenly 
fell he left mortality and passed peacefully into the silent-land. 
He lived three weeks beyond his sixty-fifth birthday. The entry 
upon the Simsbury records is as follows : 

" Cap*- John Higley departed this life August 25th 1714." 

Of the disease and illness which ended in his death, no mention 
is made in private memoranda yet discovered, further than that 
he was attended by his friend and physician, Dr. Samuel Mather 
of Hartford, and that toward the last, probably when there was 
grave apprehension that his life must be despaired of, Dr. Haston 
was called into consultation. He was laid to rest by the side of 
his brother-in-law, John Drake. His grave is yet to be seen in 
the old Hop-Meadow (Simsbury) burying-ground, directly in the 
rear of the site where the first meetinghouse of the town once 
stood, and near to the tablet monuments of the Revs. Dudley and 
Timothy Woodbridge. 

The tombstone is a neat red sandstone slab, standing two feet 

7* 



72 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

high, with a tasteful panel around the face of it, bearing the 
following inscription : 

Oaptt. 



DteO august 
25*1714 

66 



From the ancient account book in which his executors kept 
their accounts in the settlement of Captain Higley's estate, we 
extract some of the expenses incurred upon the occasion of his 
death, mainly made up of the funeral costs, which contrast 
strangely with the heavy funeral expenses of the present day. 
The entries are in the clear-handed penmanship of his son, Dr. 
Samuel Higley. The fact of the first and most important item 
used on the day of his decease being rum, seems scarcely credible 
in our day. Yet this was the custom in "y e olden time." "A 
colonial funeral," says Eggleston, "deserved to rank as a festive 
occasion a time of much eating and a great deal of drinking." l 
The emblems of "mourning" supplied consisted of black ribbon 
for badges and trimmings. As the ten elder children were grown, 
and the most of them were married, it is likely they provided 
their own somber habiliments. 

By special provision of the town meeting, a citizen stood 
appointed ''to mak coffins for our Townspeople." "Unkel 
Holcom"set about making a coffin, while Mary Holcombe, who 
appears to have been a useful busybody who repeatedly rendered 
service in the household, invaded the kitchen to make ample prep- 
aration for the expected funeral guests. 

Rev. Timothy Woodbridge was at that time the settled pastor 
of the church at Simsbury, but we cannot say whether or not 
he officiated at the funeral services. Some of the towns were 
about this time deviating from the customs of the earliest New 
Englanders, who " followed the body in silence to the grave 
'without funeral service of any sort, lest they, ' confirme the popish 
error that prayer is to bee used for the dead';" 1 and it may 
have been that the Rev. Mr. Woodbridge conducted prayers at 
the house, or at the grave. 

Captain John Higley's will, the original copy of which is still 
extant," bears the date, May 6, 1714 three months before his 

1 Edward Eggleston, in " Social Life in the Colonies," The Century, 1884. 
a " Hartford Probate Records," vol. ix. p. 41. 



CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY' S WILL. 73 

death. He constitutes his two sons, John, Jr., and Samuel, the 
executors of his estate. 

"The Last WILL and TESTAMENT of John Higley of Symsbury, in the County of Hartford, and 
Colony of Connecticut, in New England, which is as followeth Being under many weaknesses, 
age, and infirmities of body, but of Sound Judgement and understanding and not knowing how soon 
the time of my dissolution will be, I do therefore Committ my Soul into the hands of God who 
gave it, and my body to the earth for a decent and Christian burial), Expecting by faith a 
Glorious Resurrection. And as for those worldly goods, which God in his Providence hath 
bestowed on me, I thus dispose of them when my Just Debts and funeral! charges are paid. 

"Imprimis^ I give unto my loving Wife Sarah one third part of my moveable goods of Housing 
Stuf and Utencells thereto belonging to her disposall as She Sees cause to dispose of them to my 
children by her ; Alsoe, I give her that third part of moveables of her former Husbands [Joseph 
Bissell] Estate which is yet undivided. I Likewise give unto her the one third part of this my Reai 
Estate, here in Symsbury, with the Use of my now Dwelling house during the term of Nathaniall's 
life, or as long as She continueth my Widow, and if by the providence of God She be Married 
again. She Shall be allowed by my Executors Six pounds a year, for the third of my Real Estate 
during life, to be disposed of by her, among my Children by her. 

"Item. I give to my Eldest Son John Higley, a double portion out of my whole Estate, and to 
the rest of my Sons, Jonathan, Brewster, Joseph and Samuel, Nathanel, Josiah and Isaac, to each 
of them a Single portion out of my whole Estate, with what either of them has already Received. 

"Hem. 1 give unto my daughters Katherine, Hannah. Elizabeth, and Mindwell, Sarah, Susan- 
nah, and Abigail to each of them half so much as to each of my Sons, Excepting John, out of my 
Estate, with what Either of them have already received at Marriage, to be paid to them in Twelve 
months after my decease, or at Eighteen years of age, by my Executors hereafter mentioned. 

"Item. My Will further is that my Sons Shall have all my Lands, they paying to their Sisters 
what is wanting of the moveables to make up their portions. 

"Item. All the lands which I have at Windsor, which came by my first Wife, I give to my five 
Eldest Sons which I had by her, in equall Share, they paying to their four eldest Sisters twenty 
shillings each. 

"Item. I give my wearing apparell unto my Youngest Sons, viz., Nathaniel, Josiah and Isaac, 
and provided that Either of them, or their Sisters shall dye before they are of age their por- 
tion Shall be divided among their Survivors. 

"Item. AH my books, bonds, bills, and debts standing out I leave with my Executors, and 
hereby Impower them for to Recover and cause to be added to the Inventory of my whole Estate, 
they being Reasonably paid for their pains and Costs. 

"And I do hereby Appoint, Authorize, and Constitute my loving Sons John Higley, and Samuel 
Higley to be my Executors to this my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have here- 
unto Sett my hand and fixed my Seal, this the Six day of May, in the year of our Lord, God, One 
thousand Seven Hundred and fourteen, and in the twelth Year of the Reign of Anne of Great 
Britain, Queen &c. Anno Dom. 1714. 

" Signed and Sealed , - * . 

in presence of Witness, JOHN HlGLEV." 

JOHN CASK, 1 SEAL> f 

THOMAS HOLCOMB, -v ' 

his 

ROBERT RH. HASKINS. 
mark. 

The inventory of the estate was taken the 3oth of December, 
and is full of curious details. It was the custom of the times to 
record minutely the smallest personal belongings, and from these 
inventories we learn something of the daily habits of the deceased 
individual. 

The following extracts show the quantity and value of lands 
Captain John Higley held at the time of his decease, after having 
settled portions upon his children who had reached a legal age : 

"94 acres, formerly Simon Wolcott's, .200; 20 acres adjacent to the west side, to ; 10 acres 
called 'the Strap,' .20; 40 acres marsh and upland adjoining, 10 ', 14 acres east side the river 
against the 94, 10 ', 42 acres upland with house and barn, 80; 32 acres up the brook called 
' Simon's Brook.' 15 ; 100 acres at a place called N. E. corner, 25 ; 100 acres Pine-plain toward 
Salmon-Brook, .20 ; 20 acres bought of Jute Hayt, ,50 ; 38 acres at Salisbury, ,14." 

His lands at Windsor were given to his elder children, and are 
not described. 

1 " The N. E. corner " was afterward called " Turkey Hills," and is now East Granby, Conn. 



74 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 



Among his books mentioned are a "Physic Book," 45., Con- 
cordance, 45., Sermon Book 35., Psalm Book, 3 Sermon Books, 
and sundry "old books." 

His clothing, as is shown by the will, was bequeathed to his 
three youngest sons. Among the articles named was a "broad- 
cloth coat lined with shalloone," and a "heavy coat." In the 
list is his " sword, a sword belt, etc., 155., a gun, 125., small gun, 
2os., caps and pistols, 245., a pair of brass scales and weights used 
for weighing coin, 8s., an hour glass." (There were no clocks in 
New England in those times. ) His equipments for traveling (as 
there were no carriages or wagons) were "a saddle and furniture, 
1 8s., a bridle, 45., ' portmantle, ' mail pillion, straps, and spurs, 
135." There are quantities of household articles, farming imple- 
ments, and live stock catalogued, and the essential "cydar press." 
The inventory of personal effects was appraised at ^605 35. id. In 
the executor's account are to be seen the original autographs of 
several of Captain Higley's heirs signed as receipts for moneys 
paid to them: "Nathaniel Bancroft for my wife Elizabeth." 
" Sary," " Kateron," "Abigail," "Susana,"and "Isaac." The 
book contains other signatures in connection with various mat- 
ters, among which are John, Jr., Jonathan, Brewster, Samuel, and 
"Josias." Mindwell Hutchason "alias Higley " of Lebanon, 
Conn., received "the sum of wun pound in money" from John 
Higley, executor, January 10, 1723. The receipt is signed- by 
"Abigail Thorp alias Higley." By the following entries taken 
from the same book, it would appear that the staple articles of 
living were rye, Indian corn, and pork. 

MEMORANDUM OF WHAT MOTHER RECEIVED. 










s. 


d. 


1714 

Oct. 
Nov. 

22 




i 
i 
i 


6 

6 
4 
3 
4 
3 
9 

12 

3 
4 

2 

3 

2 

3 


3 
3 

i 

2 

8 

6 

6 
9 


3 bushels Indian corn , 




a bu % R y 








To one bushel % Ry 





















LAST SCENES IN CAPTAIN HIGLEY'S LIFE. 



75 










i. 


d. 


Jan. 1720 
1721 

1722 

1724 

Jan. 1729 
i73 
1739 




2 
I 

3 


8 

o 

4 
a 

7 

a 

2 

4 
6 
8 

12 

4 

10 

8 
o 


6 
6 
6 

8 

2 

6 

10 
o 

o 




















By fifteen pounds pork out of bbl. by Nathanel at 60 O bbl 




8 " Flax by Nathaniel. 















The distribution of Captain Higley's estates was ordered by 
the Court in Hartford, May 10, 1720. This distribution seems 
to have been set aside and a new one took place April i, 1723. 
There appears to have been some disagreement between the 
guardians of the younger children and the executors previous to 
the final distribution. 

Of the ancient relics there are but few. His autograph and the 
old account-book containing entries by Captain Higley's own 
hand, the latter half of which was appropriated by his executors 
for items concerning his estate, has survived the accidents of 
more than two centuries, and is now held in high value by his 
descendants. It has reached this day well preserved through the 
care of his son Brewster's line of descent, and is now in possession 
of Miss Emma L. Higley of Vermont. 

A venerable walking-stick has come down to the present gen- 
eration through the line of another son, Dr. Samuel Higley, and 
is in the hands of Jonathan Higley, Esq., of Ashtabula County, 
Ohio. It is marked in clear lettering, "J. H. 1714." The 
carving was probably done by Samuel's hand near the time of his 
father's death. 

His compass, which was the essential accompaniment and guide 
in his journeys about the wilderness, has descended to the 
seventh generation, and is owned by Milo H. Higley, Esq., of 
Meigs County, Ohio. 

A pair of ancient balances, such as were used for weighing 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 



money, etc., which belonged either to Captain John Higley, or 
his son, Brewster, or perhaps to both, is in the possession of 
Alfred Higley, Esq., of Middlebury, Vt. It is supposed that 
these are the same which are mentioned in the inventory. 

Captain Higley's second wife, Sarah, survived him twenty-five 
years. In February, 1716, she was appointed the guardian of her 
daughter, Abigail. She appears to have removed from the home 
farm at Simsbury in the spring of 1725, and returned with the 
younger children of the family to Windsor, where she resided the 
remainder of her life. She died at the age of seventy-three years. 
The record of her decease is found upon the Windsor records as 

follows : 

" Mrs. Sarah Higley Dyed may the 27th Anno Dom. 1739." 

The inventory of her estate was taken December 4, 1739, and 
was "presented to the Court by her son-in-law Jonathan Loomis 
and Sarah his wife." Jacob and Job Drake and Timothy Loomis 
were the appraisers. Her property was bequeathed to her own 
children. The final distribution of her estate was not made until 
March 26, 1750.' One year previous to this date, the Probate 
Court ordered money distributed to her children, Benoni Bissell, 
Nathaniel, Josiah, and Isaac Higley, Sarah Loomis, Susannah Black- 
man, and " to the heirs of Abigail Thorp their mother's part." 

The children of Captain John Higley were as follows : 

John, born March 16, 1673. 

Jonathan, " February 16, 1675. 

Elizabeth, " March 13, 1677. 

Katherine, " August 7, 1679. 

Brewster, " 1680." 

Hannah, " April 22, 1683. 

Joseph, " about 1685. 

Samuel, " " 1687. 

Mindwell, " " 1689. 

'Sarah, " " 1697. 

Nathaniel, " November 12, 1699. 

Joshua, ) tw . born September 8 I70I 

Josiah, ) 

Abigail, " November 4, 1703. 

Susannah, " 1705. 

^Isaac, " July 20, 1707. 

1 " Hartford Probate Records," vol. xv. a Tradition says in the month of March. 



rt 

v- 

Q 

J2 

C 
C 
rt 

ffi 



to 
c 
o 



C/3 
-C < 



rt 
C/2 



CHARACTER OF CAPTAIN JOHN HIGLEY, 77 

Captain John Higley's career was a part of the history of Sims- 
bury. He was a marvel of uniform courage, energy, and industry, 
and must have possessed almost inexhaustible vitality. From 
the first knowledge that has been discovered concerning him, he 
did nothing in a half-hearted way, and his earnestness of charac- 
ter and vigorous push were dominant at every step. He left no 
opportunity for rust or mold to gather upon any part of his busy 
years. And these splendid qualities, coupled with a wise intelli- 
gence, caused him to strike good blows for civilization and 
progress. 

He came to America with little to indicate the signally success- 
ful course he was to run. His education could not have given 
promise of achievement, since he left England a lad of not yet 
seventeen years. It is, however, very probable that he attended a 
regularly established school, or was under private instruction, and 
gathered a fair English education before the time of his father's 
death, when he was fourteen, as he belonged to a class which 
considered educational interests a paramount necessity. He added, 
no doubt, much to his knowledge after his arrival in this country 
while he was a member of John Drake's household, and some- 
where he obtained advantages for the study of English common 
law. The fragments left of his penmanship show that it was 
excellent, and there is nothing whatever to intimate that he was 
illiterate. 

While no pretense to social eminence on his part can be 
discovered, he was well-born and well-bred. On Katherine 
Brewster's his mother's side, his parentage was of the clergy- 
man's stock, who were of the learned and refined professional 
class of society. When but a boy he lived with, and finally 
married into, a family whose claim to family Arms was perfectly 
legitimate and confirmed, a family which represented the English 
gentry. 

That these primitive settlers held with natural adherence to 
the English characteristics apd customs, wherever there could be 
adaptation to the new surroundings in a new country, is a matter 
of fact. Though amid primitive surroundings, their tastes were 
not primitive. As they grew richer, and their facilities increased, 
the lines of influence that had belonged to their old lives were 
forces that gathered strongly about their present circumstances. 
It is well known that class supremacy and social lines of distinc- 
tion were much considered in those days. Our hero and his 



78 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

family moved among those on the upper rounds of the social 
ladder. 

That the early generations of Captain Higley's descendants put 
on the full coat of American armor, entered wholly into the 
spirit of the Federal Government when it was established, and 
have always maintained the rank of solid, well-to-do, substantial 
yeomanry, and that many have risen to proud heights in different 
exalted stations, is upon full record in the historical annals of 
New England and other sections of our country. 

We shall never know how Captain John Higley gained his first 
knowledge of military tactics, but conclude that he was initiated 
into training ranks soon after he came to America, as all persons 
"above the age of sixteen except magistrates and Church Offi- 
cials" were required " to beare Arms." ' 

The military spirit of this honored grandsire emphatically 
descended to his posterity. The honorable position which he 
himself occupied has been already shown. It is impossible to 
recapitulate the remarkable war history, or even give the names 
of the long succession of brave soldiers among his descendants 
who have gone out to fight our country's battles and give her aid 
when aid was needed. There are those in every generation who 
deserve an eminent record of praise for their self-devotion. In 
the history of all the wars they answered to the call, from the 
very first Indian troubles down to the latest struggle the Civil 
War. They did not shrink from the hardships of the camp or 
the dangers of the field. They were of the noble men who were 
there before the victory as well as after, and who stood with 
unflinching firmness shoulder to shoulder with their comrades, 
maintaining the ground. Indeed none are known to have turned 
back in the hottest of the fight. Few such parallels in one family 
line can be found, where so many men served in the rank and file 
of the common soldier in so many different generations. 

It may be said that the greater number did excellent and noble 
service in the downright hard life of the private in the ranks, and 
it was the few who rose to great distinction ; though among them 
were some who gained the prominence of generalship and stand 
in conspicuous places in the nation's annals. 

These mingled voices of Captain John Higley's war descend- 
ants speak, from scores of battle-fields and military prisons from 
which many never returned, of lofty heroism and patriotic devo- 

1 " Connecticut Colonial Records," 1665-1667. 



CHARACTER OF CAPTAIN JOHN HI G LEY. 79 

tion. With inexpressible gratitude we place in spirit, upon their 
unmarked and long-lost graves, as well as on those marked, the 
laureled wreath of sacred remembrance 

IN MEMORIAM. 

" On Fame's eternal camping-ground 

Their silent tents are spread : 
And glory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 

The brave fellows whose lives were not a sacrifice upon the 
field of contest, when mustered out of service went back to their 
working-clothes, became true citizens in the nation's peace, and 
have joined those who march on, among private citizens, living 
quiet, unostentatious lives. 

There is not a glimmer of fact to confirm the tradition afloat, 
that Captain John Higley ever returned to his native land more 
than once after he quitted the scenes of his youth. No letters 
or papers are extant to warrant the belief. Nor is there left 
upon record anything concerning his stature or personal appear- 
ance. If we measure his proportions by his progeny, we may 
conclude that he was a broad-shouldered, hearty specimen of 
manhood, of commanding physique, full six feet high, and possess- 
ing strength in proportion. Old family letters still preserved, 
which were written during the lifetime of those who lived con- 
temporary with his youngest son, Isaac, speak of Isaac's unusually 
fine proportions, and especially his height, that he was so nobly 
tall six feet and five inches that he was obliged to stoop to 
enter a door of ordinary height. There have been hundreds of 
Captain John Higley's lineal descendants living in the different 
generations, down to this day, who are noticeable anywhere for 
their fine figures and avoirdupois. 

At this late period we cannot analyze the life of Captain John 
Higley, but from the few helps to our inferences, the essence of 
it was a sympathetic temperament and highly amiable qualities. 
That he was magnetic and possessed an open and full nature 
there is no question. And we may again attest this fact by his 
posterity, who are inheritors of his blood. If he were sensitive 
and sometimes fiery under great provocation, his anger was short- 
lived. His wholesome life, which was both popular and peace- 
able, brought genial good fellowship, and consequently many 
friends. 



8o THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

That he was keen-sighted, shrewd, and equal to good bargain- 
ing has been elsewhere alluded to, yet there is not a shadow to 
lead us to suppose that he was not at all times strictly correct 
and just in his dealings. 

We are warranted in believing that his method of action in 
public affairs was in accordance with the wise principle, ''In 
essentials, unity ; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, 
charity." Though it is conclusive that he never subscribed to 
formal religious creeds, he evidently practiced the better require- 
ments of the Puritan's rigid administration, or he could not have 
been so popular with that church-governed people ; but he did 
not participate in the austere and rigorous measures of the times. 
The records are utterly silent, nor can there be found proof that 
he took part in the prosecution or trial of any case in which 
severity in judgment and public punishment was likely to be the 
final decree, unless such may have come under the jurisdiction of 
the court over which he presided. Though he was a member of 
the General Assembly in 1692, and was present at the discussion 
and appointment of a committee to take in hand a number of 
alleged witches, he is not heard from. Indeed, except in connec- 
tion with two prominent lawsuits, one of which was concerning 
his landed rights to the valuable copper mining-lands, he cannot 
be traced in the general animosities of his times. 

In a case of arbitration which claimed his judgment by appoint- 
ment of the General Court, the parties were brought together, 
the appeal was withdrawn, and the papers were ordered to be 
delivered to the parties, "they having determined to burn them, 
both plaintiff and defendant." We take note of this for the 
reason that it brings out a native trait of character that Captain 
Higley left as an inheritance to his posterity, many of whom, to 
this day, possess a great natural aptitude or capacity for peace- 
making. If the "sins of the fathers" are visited "upon the 
children, and upon the children's children unto the third and to 
the fourth generation," we may well conclude that their virtues 
also course through the channels of transmission, and are as well 
a legacy of truly noble and God-blessed gifts, received by the heirs 
in generations following. 

Thirteen of Captain John Higley's children lived to be married 
and to have families. One son lived and died a bachelor, another, 
an unmarried man, died nine months after his father's decease, 
and one was buried an infant. His daughters all married into 



LAST SCENES IN CAPTAIN HIGLEY'S LIFE. 8 1 

prominent families time-honored to this day. Not a child dis- 
appears from view, and as has already been stated, all filled posi- 
tions of more than ordinary and prominent usefulness to the 
world about them. 

There are found in the long line of numerous descendants, as 
there are in all families, some degenerate offspring ; "but still 
the fact remains," as someone has remarked, "that even degen- 
erate descendants are not the worse for having had illustrious 
sires." In no case, all through the long period of two hundred 
and forty years, is there a renegade, or those criminated, to be 
discovered. 1 

The strong, active, and vigorous life we have been tracing, full 
of manly independence and earnestness of purpose, which was 
"a life well worth living," is an inspiration to those young men 
among his descendants, who, like Captain John Higley, have no 
other capital with which to begin their future than a good stock 
of common sense. His name, as the founder of the family in 
America which bears it, will be held in honor and sacred posses- 
sion in their many gathered households to their latest day. 

1 If some of our readers shall say there should be an exception made in the case pf John Brown, 
of Harper's Ferry fame, we may call attention to the fact that public sentiment has so changed 
during the period of time elapsed since his wild struggle to liberate the slaves, that a large pro- 
portion of the people now believe him to have been a hero of human freedom, led on by a fanaticism 
not born of wisdom. ED. 



SKETCHES OF THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY 
OF HIGLEYS. 



SKETCHES OF THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY 
OF HIGLEYS. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JOHN HIGLEY, JR. 

By ascending to an association with our ancestors ; by contemplating their example and study- 
ing their character ; by partaking of their sentiments and imbibing their spirit ; by accompanying 
them in their toils ; by sympathizing in their sufferings and rejoicing in their successes, we 
seem to belong to their age, and to mingle our existence with theirs. DANIEL WEBSTER, ON 
PLYMOUTH ROCK. 

JOHN HIGLEY, JR., was the first child born of Captain John 
Higley's marriage with Hannah Drake. 

His birthplace was at Windsor, Conn., March 16, 1673. He 
was eleven years of age at the time of the removal of his 
parents to Simsbury. When but a boy of twelve years, his father 
secured for him a special grant of land containing twenty acres, 
"lying upon y e west side of y e mountains on y e little brook 
that runs under y e mountains into y e falls," given by the 
town meeting held December 31, 1685, in his own name 
John Higley, Jr. This was the cheerful beginning of his be- 
coming in after time a large landed proprietor. Other grants 
of land to him are recorded as early as 1698 and 1699. 

He was qualified according to law and took the freeman's oath, 
April 30, 1717. Of his earlier years little is known, and how he 
received his education cannot be stated. He appears to have had 
some insight into Latin. Latin was a chief study in the schools 
of his day. In the year 1717 we find him the schoolmaster of the 
town. 

" June the tenth 1717; then Received of the Select Men of Simsbury two pounds 
in bills of Credit pro nos John Higley for Keeping of School." 

To a great extent, after reaching maturer years, he followed 
in the footsteps of his father, though his life does not betray an 
energy of character equal to that which was so prominent a char- 
7 8 5 



86 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

acteristic of Captain John Higley. The records show that he 
was a citizen of distinction. 1 He held posts of honor; and family 
papers convey the statement that his reputation for integrity in 
his intercourse with his fellow-men was good. 

His appointment as one of the selectmen of the town, and his 
association with different public enterprises, his holding various 
local offices, with nominations and elections as Representative 
to the Connecticut General Assembly from 1728 to 1730, repeat 
the verdict of approval of his public services. 

By his father's will, John, with his brother Samuel, was intrusted 
with the settlement of Captain Higley's estate, which claimed his 
attention for a period covering more than eight years. 

In the contest with the inhabitants of the town concerning the 
valuable Copper-Hill lands and mines, he took decided grounds 
sustaining his father. Besides receiving, by special bequest, 
"a double portion out of the whole estate " of Captain Higley, in 
conjunction with his brother Brewster he finally, in 1725, secured 
the original family homestead. He also received by inheritance 
one-fifth share in lands at Windsor, which came by legacy from 
his mother; and deeds are extant showing that he secured by 
purchase from his brothers and sisters several of the shares 
belonging to their father's estate. At a town meeting held 
January 2, 1723, when a general distribution of the common lands 
was made, John and Brewster are named together as having 
shares apportioned to them, and at the death of their brother 
Joseph, who died unmarried, they became possessed by legacy of 
his property. In 1716 he was appointed "sole executor" to the 
estate of his brother Jonathan, and is named in Jonathan's will as 
a legatee; also receiving lands through this channel. 

John Higley, Jr., never married. Between his brother Brewster 
and himself there existed the closest brotherly relation. Their 
landed interests were largely in partnership, and until his decease 
they occupied the old homestead together after their stepmother, 
Mrs. Sarah Higley, had returned with the younger children to 
Windsor. To his brother Brewster Higley he bequeathed his 
entire property, both real and personal, and "constituted him his 
sole and lawful executor." There is no record bearing evidence 
that he ever was a member of the Simsbury Church. 

His health was in a failing condition for some time previous to 

1 The prefix " Mr." is generally found placed before his name. " Mr." was an aristocratic class 
title in those days. 



JOHN HIGLEY, JR. 87 

his decease, but of what disease he died no facts are given. His 
will is brief, and was executed October 24, 1741, but six weeks 
before his death. It begins with the usual form of expression in 
those times, declaring that he was "of sound mind Blessed be 
God therefor," etc. He died December i, 1741, aged sixty- 
eight years, and was interred in the ancient cemetery in the 
village of Simsbury. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JONATHAN HIGLEY, 1ST. 

A life spent worthily should be measured by a nobler line by deeds, not years. RICHARD 
BRINSLEY SHERIDAN. 

IT appears from the records that Jonathan, the second son of 
Captain John and Hannah Drake 'Higley, lived and died in Sims- 
bury. There is less in his life of a conspicuous nature to record 
than of his brothers who lived to the same age, his walk having 
been in quieter and more unobtrusive channels. 

He was born at Windsor, February 16, 1675, and died in May, 
1716, at the age of forty-one years, less than two years after his 
father's decease. Of his earlier childhood there are found no 
memoranda. Captain Higley had imbedded an ambition in this 
boy before he was thirteen, as he did in all of his older sons, for 
the possession of lands, by securing for him by grant of the town 
in his own name two lots of land, the whole containing twenty- 
five acres, situated on the east side of the river. He was honored 
by the town meeting with sundry local appointments in the town 
and neighborhood while yet a young man, and served in matters 
concerning the Church. 

The following documents are upon record, to which his 
name, with that of his brother John, Jr., and other citizens, is 
appended, showing an agreement entered into by the town upon 
a call to Rev. Dudley Woodbridge as minister, and the method by 
which his salary should be paid. Jonathan was now twenty-two 
years old. 

"Whereas here propounded at a Town Meeting held June 2gth 1697 that the 
Inhabitants of Simsbury to se what y e gud simsbury people would give in labour to 
Mr. D. Woodbridge Annually for the space of four years : it was agreed by subscrib- 
ing to give him three days work in a year, and all heads of families ym-selves and 
all under their command, children or servants, also those young men that are free 
hand engaged : three days work once a year a piece for four years, the persons en- 
gaged are Male persons fit for labour from sixteen years and upward, to help to bring 
his land in tillage in case Mr. Woodbridge settles in office amongst us in Simsbury." 

88 



JONATHAN HIGLEY, iST. 89 

Three years later the following receipt is recorded : 

" Rec* 1 - of Jonathan Higley of Simsbury the full proportion of Three days labor 
that he engaged to me, which was three days work a year for four years, as is 
intimated in Simsbury records. I say received by me. 

"DUDLEY WOODBRIDGE, Jan. i4th, 1700." ' 

On the 4th of December, 1701, Jonathan Higley married Ann 
Barber, the daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Barber. Lieutenant 
Barber was at that time in command under Captain John Higley of 
the Simsbury militia. The family of Barbers were, if not the lead- 
ers, among the most prominent citizens, and founders of the town. 

Jonathan and Ann settled upon their home farm at the "N. E. 
Corner," afterwards called Turkey Hills. An unusual fatality 
appears to have overtaken their children. The successive births 
and deaths of four infants occurred. Except one, a daughter, 
none lived beyond babyhood. This daughter, who was named 
Mercy a family name among the Barbers was born November 
12, 1712, and baptized on the i3th of the following June. At the 
age of twenty the town meeting ordered lands "laid out" to her. 
She afterward married John Coult and resided at Harwinton, 
Conn., and became the mother of a family ; her eldest son, born 
October 13, 1735, bearing his grandfather's name Jonathan 
Higley Coult. 

Jonathan Higley's name frequently appears upon the Land 
Records, in the purchase and sale of lands, and in this connection 
it may be remarked that repeated transactions in business, as well 
as social relations between his brothers and himself, indicate a 
beautiful harmony and kindly family feeling existing between 
them, which commands hearty admiration. In the sharp diver- 
gence and bitter contest between the proprietors of the town 
and the townspeople over the Copper-Hill lands, he represented 
the family in the people's meetings. As has been previously stated 
the Higleys were careful that some one of their number should 
be present at all public discussions where measures concerning 
these lands were likely to be taken. 

He died in May, 1716. Jonathan Higley's will was dated April 
9, 1716, one month before his death. The main bequests were to 
his "beloved wife Ann," and to his "only daughter Mercy." 
He gave legacies in land to his " six brothers," and divides his 
Windsor property between his "three eMest brothers, John, 

1 Book ii. " Simsbury Records." 



90 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Brewster, and Samuel," and remembered in his bequests David, 
the second son of Brewster, who was then but a lad. He named 
his brother John Higley, Jr., as his "Sole Executor." The will 
was presented in court the following July. But a partial inven- 
tory appears to have been taken, the greater portion of the per- 
sonal effects having been left in the hands of his wife, without 
being appraised. She being a person possessed of considerable 
property, their united estates represented an unusual amount 
of wealth for those times. 

Ann Higley survived her husband but six years, and died No- 
vember 15, 1722, leaving their only child an orphan ten years of 
age. The child became heir to all of the property that belonged 
to both of her parents. An additional and very long inventory 
was taken within a week following her mother's decease, which 
includes quantities of land and farms, with every sort of belong- 
ing contained in a Colonial home of the well-to-do class. In this 
list are found the articles of clothing which had belonged to both 
Jonathan and his wife. Among the garments named, showing 
that they were among the better dressed people of that day, are 
the following from Ann Higley's wardrobe: 

" Silk hoods, gloves, Ribbons, Damask petticoats, a black damask petticoat, 
black crape coat and mantle, linen ' changes,' linen night west-coat, silk and lace 
handkerchiefs, woolen gloves, a green gown, one silk damask mantle, a Riding 
gown and Riding hood, etc." 

All such materials and garments were brought across the 
Atlantic Ocean. The last mentioned was probably a "French 
hood," which were much in vogue and were worn in all colors. 
Such an one provoked the following advertisement from a parish 
vestry about this period : 

" All ladies who come to church in the new fas honed hoods are desired to be theft 
before divine service begins, lest they divert the attention of the congregation" 1 

In addition, the inventory contains, "a white worked blanket, 
tablecloths and napkins, laced pillow cases, sheets, a pair of fine 
sheets," etc., etc. 

It is not known where Jonathan and Ann Barber Higley were 
interred. Time has obliterated every record. The only child 
they left was barely old enough to remember her parents. 

The brief obituary of Joseph, ruler of Egypt, is fitting to these : 
" And he died, and all his brethren, and all that generation." 

" Y e fashon of this wurld passeth awaie /" 
1 " Book of Costumes," p. 145. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ELIZABETH HIGLEY BANCROFT. 1 

" All that tread 

The globe are hut a handful to the tribes 
That slumber in its bosom." 

ON March 13, 1677, there was born in Windsor, Conn., to Cap- 
tain John and Hannah Drake Higley their first daughter, who was 
baptized Elizabeth. 

There is no record of her early years. It is to be regretted that 
woman's estate was inconspicuous and limited in those bygone 
times, and it was not the custom to chronicle much concerning 
her daily round of existence. 

It appears that Elizabeth Higley remained at home with her 
father until she was about thirty-three years of age; probably 
having general supervision of the household after her mother's 
decease, or until her father's second marriage. She married 
Nathaniel Bancroft of Westfield, Mass., between the years 1706 
and 1710, the exact date not being known. 

Her husband, Nathaniel Bancroft, was born in Windsor, 
Conn., September 25, 1680. While he was yet a young man his 
parents removed to Westfield, where he married in 1705, but lost 
his wife by death in less than one month. Elizabeth Higley 
became his second wife. He was, by profession, a surveyor. 
The Bancrofts of Westfield held large possessions, and the 
descendants of some members of the family became historically 
quite famous. 

From the date of the birth of Elizabeth Higley, which took 
place amid perilous times, when the yells of the Indian's wild 
war-whoop had scarce died from the surrounding forests, and the 
village of Simsbury was yet lying in ashes and deserted, her life 
seemed destined to be spent amid fightings and torturing appre- 
hensions of danger from the hostile savages. 

During her young womanhood, and through the period of the 
French and Indian war, it was never known what day or night the 

1 Many valuable facts for this sketch were kindly furnished by J. M. Bancroft, Esq., historian of 
the Bancroft family. ED. 

9 



92 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY, 

enemy might burst like a cyclone on the settlement. It was 
needful ever to be on the alert. These grave and alarming 
threatenings were often the cause of her father, Captain Higley, 
holding himself and his soldiers in readiness for active service " at 
an hour's warning." The men of the settlement went constantly 
armed and the families were often forced "to haste to th' Garri- 
son house for saftie." A church which was erected in an adjacent 
settlement, about the time of her marriage, "was provided with 
' gaurd seats,' as they were called, when some ten or twenty men 
could be on the lookout near the doors against a sudden 
assault." ' 

" ' We could scarce abide in oure house,' said some aged dames 
one day, according to a story of ' ye olden time,' who were over- 
heard talking over those days of strange and woeful experiences 
when ' th' dreadful folk ' were on the war-path. 

" 'We could scare abide in oure house,' said they, 'so fear- 
some were we of redskins. For alle th' wurld doth know y* in 
those years th' red men harried alle New England. We grew soe 
passionatelie afeared, y* if a hen did but cackle on a stone steppe 
th' cloud would grow upon our faces and wee, ready cloathed for 
flight, would glance fearfullie about and goe t' th' casement, alle 
peering out together upon y 6 deepe woods. 

" ' Upo' a Lord's day morn, do y e mind, how as y e men sat 
combing their locks, with we maids going up and down the still 
room brushing th' rushes up o' th' floor into the pattern o' stars, 
there would come a thwack athwart the house, and th' cry, ' The 
Redskins ! I' the East Part ! ' wi' y 6 far clattering o' hoofs down 
oure lane. 

" 'Then was th' brand covered hastilie wi' ashes, and we alle 
did rush into th' long path atween high nodding weeds to th' 
Garrison House to th' west. What a long, trembling day it was; 
gossip, eating off another's dishes, wi' naught natural but the 
spring sun westerning slowly ups th' strange slopes ! 

" 'But oh ! th' saftie o' th' night, when wee women alle slept i' 
th' loft together for companie, cuddling th' children atween us, 
wi' th' certaintie that every man o' Simsbury sat below wi' his 
Queen's arms upo' his knee ! 

'"And here be I, goode wife, who was ever listening so painfully 
for th' singing arrows that folk smiled. Yet, would I exchange 
this fire dropping apart soe peacefully upo' this hearth for one o' 

1 " History of Hartford County " by J. Hammond Trumbull. 



ELIZABETH HIGLEY BANCROFT. 



93 



th' days ? They do hold my round cheek and the dark color 
o" my hairs with them. Alack ! Thou and I do belong to 
yesterday ! ' ' 

Nor did Elizabeth Higley escape these troubles after her mar- 
riage and removal to Westfield. Her husband's brother, Edward 
Bancroft, died on the $th of September, 1707, from the effect of 
mortal wounds received from the Indians. Early in the year 1724 
the family were again brought into distress by these fierce, relent- 
less foes, who fatally wounded her father-in-law, Nathaniel Ban- 
croft, Sr., which resulted in his death on the 2oth of February. 

Elizabeth, in common with the other heirs, received her portion 
in lands, etc., at the distribution of her father's estate. 

The following account, which it is evident was made out by 
her brother, Dr. Samuel Higley, is found among the executor's 
papers, and is receipted in a clear hand by her husband : 

"BROTHER BANCROFT CREDIT. 



by keeping me when sik by agreement. 
December the 26 1716. 
paid to Nathaniel Bancroft in money. . 
A mar and colt. 



September 14, 1715, by money you had. 

payd. for you to Joseph Adams 

detor by a claim of Brewster 

by tobacco you had 



"Jan. 24, 1719. 

" This above account I have upon the account of my wife Elizabeth's portion . . . this is to be 
understood part of her portion. [Signed] " NATHANIEL BANCROFT." 

Both Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bancroft were members of the 
Westfield church, though Mrs. Bancroft did not unite in its mem- 
bership till 1738, about the time that a very remarkable revival 
of religion took place there, when she had passed her sixtieth 
year. Her husband had ''owned y e covenant" many years 
previous as early at 1712. 

Of their family of nine children but two lived to maturity. We 
find the mother often plunged into the "boundless sea" of 
sorrow ever the graves of her family. The two first of whose 
births record is made, died in infancy one born October 7, 1711, 
and another, December 26, 1712. Their next, a daughter named 

1 This living picture, so graphically given, of twenty-four hours of the terror in which many of 
our ancestors of New England were accustomed in those times to live, is kindly contributed by 
Adeline A. Knight of Exeter, N. H. 



94 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Desire, was born November 14, 1713. Their fourth child, 
Susannah, was born January 30, 1716, and was the only child who 
lived to be married. She was united in marriage to Benjamin 
Ashley, May 17, 1739." 

Their only son, Nathaniel, was born July 23, 1720, and lived 
but fifteen months. He died October 23, 1721. Mercy and 
Experience, twins, were born May 17, 1723. Experience 
died on the i7th of the June following her birth. A daughter 
named Terza came next, and a daughter named Elizabeth was 
born March 17, 1729, of whom there is no further account, and 
who probably died in infancy. 

The year 1736 closed to Elizabeth Higley in grief. Three 
more graves in the parish burial-ground told the story of their 
family sorrows. Mercy, one of her twins, who had now lived to 
be a girl of thirteen, died on the zyth of November. The next 
daughter, Terza, died on the 2d of December, five days after 
her sister. Their mournful footsteps had scarcely turned from 
the graves where they laid these, than they were called to stand 
upon the same spot and place beside them Desire, a young 
woman of twenty-three, who died on the 7th of the same month. 

These loving daughters were laid in the green resting place for 
the dead within ten days. 

" Insatiate archer ! could not one suffice ? 

Thy shaft flew thrice ; and thrice my peace was slain." 

Elizabeth Higley's cup of bitterness was not yet drained; it 
remained for her to follow, in four brief years after, one more to 
the grave, the last child of their affection left to them Susannah, 
who died in childbirth on the first anniversary of her marriage 
day, May 17, 1740. She left a young infant, who survived its 
mother but a few days. 

Scarce six weeks had elapsed after the decease of Susannah and 
her child, when on the i3th of June (1740), her husband 
Nathaniel Bancroft died, leaving Elizabeth Higley a bereft and 
childless widow. His age was sixty. 

Her journey after them was not long only three years and 
six months. She died December 7, 1743, aged sixty-six years. 

" They all passed 
To where beyond these voices there is peace," 

Nathaniel Bancroft named his wife Elizabeth in his will as 
executrix of his property, and among other bequests left a 



ELIZABETH HIGLEY BANCROFT. 95 

legacy "to Joseph Higley of Simsbury, Conn., the son of 
Brewster Higley, Sen., my wife's brother." 

The will of Elizabeth, which is still extant, was admitted in 
Court January 7, 1744. She appointed her brother, Brewster 
Higley, Sr., the administrator of her estate, and he appointed 
his son Brewster the attorney. 

The members of the family were all interred in the ancient 
burial ground at Westfield, Mass. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. KATHERINE HIGLEY NOBLE. 

Life is but a repetition 

For the man who lives to-day 
Loves and hopes, like countless millions 

Who have lived and passed away. 

A. G. CHESTER. 

KATHERINE, the second daughter of Captain John and Hannah 
Drake Higley began her life in the old town of Windsor, August 7, 
1679. She appears to have been a very clever girl, and was fif- 
teen at the time of her mother's death. 

At twenty-five she married James Noble of Westfield, Mass., a 
young widower two years her senior, who had two children. He 
was born October i, 1677. 

The Noble family was one of great antiquity in Great Britain, 
and is old and time-honored in this country. James was one of 
the younger of the eleven children of Thomas Noble, the first 
ancestor bearing the name who came to America. He settled at 
Westfield. 1 

James Noble and Katherine Higley were married February 
24, 1704. Katherine's married life covered but a few brief 
years, her husband dying in the vigor of manhood only thirty- 
four leaving her with three children. His decease took place 
January 18, 1712. " Lietts " of administration on his estate 
were granted to " Katheron, Wid w & Relict, and Thomas Noble, 
on y e 28th Day of March. Anno Dom 1712." 

The inventory of his estate shows that they were among the 
well-to-do yeomanry, and the prefix "Mr.," placed before his 
name upon all the records, indicates them to have been ranked 
socially among the "upper class." 

It was but a few years later on when Katherine, to her rights 
in property which she received from her husband, had added from 
her father's estate legacies which made her the possessor of a 
considerable property, for those times. 

1 In this sketch much valuable information was obtained and extracts taken from the " Noble 
Genealogies," by L. M. Boltwood. 

96 



KATHERINE HIGLEY NOBLE. 97 

The inventory of James Noble's estate contained "a house and 
homestead in the town ; " "a house and homestead at the farm ; " 
" one Acre of land lying in the homelot that was John Noble's; " 
"16 acres of land behind Thomas Noble's barn;" "the brush 
pasture;" and several other small lots of land, in addition to 
which was an ample quantity of "live stock, grains [Rye, Peas, 
and Indian corn], farm and house utensils, and furniture," etc., etc. 

Katherine received "all of the moveable goods to beat her 
own absolute dispose for Ever," and "one 3rd part of the Real 
Estate to be for her Use and Improvement for the term of her 
life only." 

In addition to the bequests in lands and money from Captain 
Higley to which she was heir, she was, through the executors of 
his estate, the recipient of specialties which are noted in their 
settlement with her, viz. : 

" A yock of cattoll, a mare, 'a copor cup' and a 'copor kittoll,' 
a ' mortor and pesoll,' and a sermon boock. " 

Some years after her husband's death Katherine is found teach- 
ing the village school. She is said to have been the first woman 
school teacher in Westfield. On the 3d of May, 1725, the town 
meeting voted : 

"To give the Widow Katherine Noble twenty-five shillings a 
month for keeping school so long as the Town sees cause to 
improve her in that service, and she sees cause to attend it." 

Her children were as follows : 

Lydia, born December 7, 1704, who married, April 30, 1734, 
Stephen Kelsey of Killingworth, Conn. James, born January 12, 
1707, who died in Westfield, unmarried, January 4, 1739. He was 
a farmer and "dish-turner." David, born March 3, 1709, who 
married Abigail Loomis, daughter of Philip and Hannah Loomis 
of Simsbury. ' (See chapter xxix.) 

In 1732 Katherine Higley Noble removed with her son David 
and his family to Hebron, Conn., where "they settled in that 
part now called Gilead. The homestead was about three and 
a half miles northwest of the Hebron church, and one mile west 
of the Gilead meeting-house, on the highway leading to Marl- 
borough." ' Here Katherine united with the church, no doubt 
under the preaching of Whitefield, after she had reached her 
sixty-first birthday. The Rev. Benjamin Pomeroy was pastor of 

1 "Noble Genealogies," by L. M. Bolt wood. 



98 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

the church at that time. He is said to have been "an ardent, 
zealous, and thundering preacher of the Newlight order." He 
was a great admirer and supporter of Whitefield, and Whitefield, 
"who counted the world his parish," came about this time to 
Hebron while he was on an evangelistic tour through Connecticut, 
setting the towns ablaze with his fiery sermons. However, he 
seems to have found it hard to kindle the place into flame. 
"Hebron," he writes, "is the stronghold of Satan, for its people 
mightily oppose the work of the Lord, being more fond of earth 
than heaven." 

It was but shortly after, in the early spring, that Katherine 
Noble closed the peaceful evening of her days. Her moss- 
covered tombstone, which has now stood for one hundred and 
fifty years in the ancient place for burial at Hebron, bears this 
inscription : 

1Tn memory of 

flfcrs. ikatbarn TRoble 

of THaestfielo, mbo 

2>feo /Ifcarcb 7 1740/1 

in ye 62o Uear of 

ber age. 

1T Gbess. 4: 14. "Gbem 

also TKHbfcb Sleep 

in Sesus will <3oo 

bring witb bim." 

Katherine Noble's descendants continued, chapter xxix. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ENSIGN BREWSTER HIGLEY, SR. 

Inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers. 
JOB viii. 8. 

A LITTLE more than thirty years ago the Hon. Jeffery O. Phelps 
of Simsbury, Conn., brother to Noah Phelps the historian, writing 
to Judge Erastus Higley of Vermont, made the following remark : 

"It appears by our Town Records for many years that Brewster 
Higley was a very prominent man in the Town. I will send you 
what information I possess regarding this large, ancient, and 
respectable family." 

The above testimony, given by one well qualified to speak, being 
himself a descendant from some of the earliest inhabitants of 
Hartford County and the ancient town, and having heard the 
older people talk who lived contemporary with the Higleys, is fully 
sustained by recent research. 

Brewster Higley, the third son of Captain John and Hannah 
Drake Higley, was born in 1680' in Windsor, Conn., while his 
parents occupied a dwelling in the main settlement of that town 
upon the west side of the Connecticut river. 

He was their fifth child. As has been already stated, he was 
given the family name of his English grandmother Brewster, 
and proved the founder of a successive line of Brewster Higleys, 
extending through seven generations to the present day. When 
Brewster was about four years old his parents removed to Sims- 
bury, which was his home the remainder of his life. 

That he received a fair rudimentary education in the school at 
Simsbury is reasonable to believe, as Captain John Higley gave 
his children the best available opportunities for learning that the 
times afforded. That he was trained in the school of practical 

1 The date and month in the year have not been preserved. Brewster Higley, 4th, who was born 
before the death of Brewster Higley, Sr., and lived contemporary with many of that generation, 
used to say, the correctness of which cannot be doubted, that each Brewster who headed the line, 
in the successive generations was born in March. 



100 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

effort was demonstrated by his vigorous life and the versatility 
of his occupations in after years. 

Two points in their history were early drilled by precept and 
example into the sons of Captain Higley the accumulation of 
lands and military aspiration. When Brewster was but seven- 
teen his father obtained for him a grant from the town of thirty 
acres of land, which the youth must have held with some degree 
of allowable pride, and just before he came of age he received 
additional grants through the same channel. 

From the yet scattered state of the inhabitants, and the neces- 
sity of as strong a military force as could be gathered in the 
young colony, it was still necessary that every available male 
inhabitant should join the rank and file of the soldiery. Brewster, 
no doubt, from the time he was sixteen, the age required to 
enter service, was a member of the military company of which 
his father was then lieutenant and afterward the captain. 

His name appears in appointments by the town society as 
early as 1707, while he was yet a young man; and his useful 
career in the affairs of the town continued throughout his long 
and valuable life. 

On the i7th of February, 1709, he married Hester Holcombe, 1 
the daughter of Deacon Nathaniel and Mary (Bliss) Holcombe 
of Simsbury, an old family of excellent standing. 

In December of the same year their first child was born, and 
named Brewster, who when he reached manhood was known as 
Brewster Higley, 2d. They had been married five years when 
their " honored father " Captain Higley died. After this event, 
upon the removal of Captain Higley's widow to Windsor, in the 
spring of 1725, Brewster and his young family, with his eldest 
brother John, took up their residence in the old homestead at 
Higley-Town, which lost none of its former prestige through its 
new occupants. It was here the younger members of their circle 
of eight children, who gradually filled the family home, were born. 
There were four sons and four daughters, viz. : Brewster, 2d; 
David, Joseph, Hannah, Hester, John, Elizabeth, and Naomi. 

Their daughters Hannah and Elizabeth became the great- 
grandmothers to John Brown of Harper's Ferry fame, and Naomi 
was grandmother to Rev. Heman Humphrey, late President of 
Amherst College. 

1 The entry of this marriage upon the "Simsbury Records, "book ii , gives the name as " Hester." 
In the latter part of her life she was known as " Esther." 



ENSIGN BREWSTER HIGLEY, SR. IOI 

It is plainly evident that, by nature and habit, Brewster Higley, 
Sr., was a man full of push and constant occupation, and that he 
inherited largely the strength of character of his father. 

Those old land-owners mingled the professions with all sorts 
of employments and trades in a way that seems most curious to 
the present generation. With right good heart and will they 
used their own hands to meet the needs arising out of life in a 
newly settled country, and did not despise honest industry of any 
kind. There is reason to conclude from the quantity of cooper's 
tools catalogued in the inventory of his estate that Brewster 
was a cooper by trade. He was engaged with his brother John 
in making tar, and besides attending to his extensive farming 
estates, and pursuing his military duties, he studied and practiced 
medicine, though it does not appear that he ever applied for a 
license. He possessed a human skeleton, a rare acquisition for 
those times, and grew to be somewhat of an adept at surgery, 
which was his specialty. 

The medical practice in those early times was such as 
progressive medical science and the profession of to-day would 
scarcely tolerate; but by dint of perseverance and close study 
of the few medical works of which he could lay hold, Brewster 
Higley was fairly successful and enjoyed a considerable neighbor- 
hood patronage. His excellent natural ability as a nurse greatly 
aided him in his practice as a physician. Judge Erastus Higley 
states in his Journal that "the aged people of Simsbury speak 
of his practice with approbation and respect." 

In the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Colony, 
under date of October, 1726, the following Act was passed, which 
gave him honorable distinction : 

"This Assembly do establish and confirm Mr. Brewster Higley 
of Symsbury to be Ensign of the north Company or Train band 
in the town of Symsbury aforesaid, and order him to be Com- 
missioned accordingly." 1 

He was thus commissioned an officer and was afterward known 
as " Ensign Brewster Higley Sen." 

The good terms and strong brotherly affection which existed be- 
tween him and his eldest brother John are again worthy of remark. 
Their lives appear to have been thoroughly in accord. They 
bought, sold, and received grants of land together, held large 

8 * '' Colonial Records of Connecticut," vol. vii. 



102 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

estates in partnership, and lived under the same roof until John's 
decease. We may well imagine the afflictive bereavement it was 
to Brewster when his brother's death took place, whom he outlived 
nineteen years. Brewster received by legacy all of his brother's 
property. Having also come into possession of his younger 
brother Joseph's entire estate, and having received bequests 
from his brother Jonathan, in addition to his own full share in 
his father's estate, he was estimated as a man of large wealth. 

The inventory of his personal belongings reveals the fact that 
Brewster, Sr., enjoyed the luxury of fine clothes. His attire was 
that of a gentleman of that period. 1 

The list of articles belonging to his wardrobe evidences that 
his garments were suited to his position and his various callings. 

To his family he left, among various articles, at his decease, 
his handsome belongings as follows: 

"A gold ring, Pocket case, and the money it contained 2,25, two chains, silver buttons, three 
silver buckles, gun and pistols, 'a fine hat,' strait-bodied coat, a waistcoat, a striped waistcoat, 
'fine' stockings, 'fine' shirt, two linen shirts and two woollen shirts, and one pair of leather 
breeches." 

Truth and uprightness were the guides of the life of Brewster 
Higley, Sr. His citizenship was a good one. He became the 
founder of a line of descendants who have mirrored his good 
qualities, and are substantial citizens in the different communities 
which they represent far and wide in our land. Upon the battle- 
field and in various professions, as well as in the citizen's ordinary 
life, they do honor to the ancestral name they bear. 

While his life stood upon an elevated platform, it is not known 
that he ever became a member of the Church, though his faith and 
unity drew him into its Christian fellowship. He was deeply im- 
bued with the spirit of "love and reverence toward the Power 

1 " Gentlemen of the i8th century did not then, as at present, appear in black, dark blue, and brown 
coats ; on the contrary they seemed to delight in every brilliant shade, from the brightest scarlet to 
the most dazzling cerulean blue, rendered still more splendid by bindings of gold and silver lace. 
Cloth was the material most generally worn. The body of the coat fit tightly, but the skirts were 
very wide and long and reached to the calf of the leg. The vest, or waistcoat, was very long and 
had large, deep pockets. They were generally made of materials in brilliant colors, and usually 
covered with embroidery and buttons. These latter ornaments attained an enormous size. Short 
trousers reaching only to the knee were worn altogether, and with these were well-fitting long 
stockings, usually in bright colors, which were drawn up to the knees, and garters fastened by 
enormous buckles. Silver buckles for the purpose were in vogue for those who could afford them. 
Broad toed shoes were in style which had immense buckles of silver and wide strings. Cocked 
hats were worn, and the shirt fronts were frilled. For the neck, after the lace tie, came in the stock. 

"The costumes of the ordinary people were generally of homespun material and the tailoring 
was done by the women of the household." From " Book of Costumes and Annals of Fashion 
from the Earliest Periods" also " Fairholfs Costumes." 



EN SICK BREWSTER HIGLEY, SR. 103 

which created the universe," and his daily living rose higher than 
his profession. He lived to a green old age eighty years, and 
saw his children's grandchildren. Brewster Higley, 4th, a babe of 
twenty months, sat upon his knee. Toward the close of his life 
he felt, as he expressed it, "the many weaknesses of age, and 
infirmities of the body." He saw that his work was done and 
knew that he was nearing 

" The land that is brighter than day." 

He had long occupied a high place in the community, and 
when he passed "into the realm of the realities," we have the 
reverent assurance that he became all that the highest human 
aspirant can wish to become an inhabitant of heaven. He died 
November 5, 1760. 

Beside his open grave stood the "angel of sorrow." His 
children and his children's children laid him to rest in the ancient 
Simsbury burying ground and gave their testimony that in his 
life he held converse with the Eternal. His had been a life of 
faithfulness that had engraved itself upon their hearts, and they 
in turn chiseled its beautiful, brief story upon the stone which 
now marks the spot where he slept. The epitaph is as follows: 

fjear Xgetb tlbe JBo&g of out 
f)on&. ffatber JBreweter 1)f0leB, Mbo 

fcieo Hoveim B 5tb 1760 

TKHblcb "CCle bis Cbiloren XaiD bere. interred 

tbe 7tb of Sato montb in tbe SOtb 

l^ear of bis &se. 

a fttno busbanfc, tTenoer ffatber, unfatneo friend, 
XiveD to olo age & made a Cbristian enD. 

Brewster Higley, Sr., had settled homesteads upon his sons 
previous to his decease, in their own right and title. By his 
will, 1 written October 27, 1760, he left about nine hundred acres 
of land to be yet divided. He further gave a special bequest of 
land to his eldest son Brewster, 2d. To each of his sons he gave 
200 in money, and to his daughters he gave ^100 each. He 
provided for his aged wife as follows: 

" I bequeathe unto my loving wife Esther, for the love I bear unto her, one-third part of my 
moveable estate, the use of one-third of the lands, one-half of my dwelling and barn and cellar 
the east half." 

His "loving brother Isaac," was appointed "Sole Executor," 
and the witnesses to the will were John Owen, John Veits, and 
Alexander Cassett. 

1 Book xviii. p. 232, " Hartford Probate Records." 



104 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The inventory, which was not taken until the next spring, 
April 13, 1761, contains the following: Several hundred acres of 
land, a large quantity of tools, household goods and effects, three 
Bibles and sundry other books, two cupping glasses, brass mortar, 
hand-glass, glass bottles and vials, money scales, a quantity of 
cooper's tools and full sets of carpenter's tools enumerated 
implements for dressing leather, sun-dial, beer casks, cider 
barrels, button molds, full set of pewter table ware, tankard, 
cups, etc., eight chairs, tables, powder horns, full supply of bed 
linen, and one-half of the house and barn, which are but a part 
of the articles the list includes. At the distribution of the estate 
in 1762 the widow received "moveable property" to the value of 
^40 i2s., together with her lands, etc., and the sons had ^214 
145. each, with landed estates. To each daughter was given 
;ic>7 73., in addition to their lands. 

Mrs. Esther Higley lived fifteen years beyond the limit which 
closed her husband's life. She was born in 1683, and died at the 
advanced age of ninety-two years. She married Brewster Higley 
when she was twenty -six. 

From the slight glimpse of her which can be obtained, it may 
be concluded that she was, one of those grandes-dames of the 
earlier period, who were "the heart and soul of their domestic 
life," and that her social eminence, mental force, and refined bear- 
ing, with her notable costumes, gave her a title of supremacy in 
the community. 

. In the years 1768-69 (and probably during many other years) 
she occupied Pew i to the right of the pulpit, the chief seat in 
the church. Just behind her, in the next pew, sat her son 
Brewster, 2d, and his family. The pews were assigned by a com- 
mittee of the church society appointed for " Y e seating of y e 
meetin," which produced to a future meeting a diagram showing 
the exact location of each pew, with the names of each proposed 
occupant. Upon the presentation of this report the seating was 
voted upon, and the report of the committee "Ordered, to be 
kept on file in the Society Clerk's Office." " These committees," 
says Eggleston, "marked with religious care the nicer distinc- 
tions of social importance in assigning the seats to the villagers." ' 

Despite her years, the aged Hester Higley surely must have 
been a noticeable figure in the assemblage as she took her seat 
in this most prominent pew. 

1 Edward Eggleston in " The Colonist at Home," The Century, 1884-85. 



ENSIGN BREWSTER HI G LEY, SR. 105 

The family sat underneath the preaching of the Rev. Gideon 
Mills, a son-in-law to Brewster Higley, Sr., by marriage to his 
daughter Elizabeth, who occupied the Simsbury pulpit from 1744 
to 1755. After that time the Rev. Benajah Roots officiated as 
minister until 1772. There were constant bickering and an un- 
happy state of affairs in the church for many years during this 
period. 

Mrs. Esther Higley died December 17, 1775. 

Her will, which is in the hands of the descendants residing in 
Middlebury, Vt., devises her property to her children including 
some grandchildren, the heirs of Hannah Higley Mills, who was de- 
ceased. Her eldest son, Brewster Higley, 2d, was her executor. 

A complete list of the property contained in the inventory, 
which consists of ten long columns, is too extended for these 
pages. The following extracts are taken: 

" Two silk crape gowns, Black cloak with silver, a homespun cambittee gown, a loose gown, a 
Calamanco gown [these were generally imported in bright colors], Bonnet and scarf. Fan, 
white streaked petticoat, blue and red ditto, Red streaked ditto, blue cloak, black cloak with 
sleeves, white mitts, checked linen apron, best checked handkerchief, next best do, shoes and 
slippers, a looking-glass [an article seldom found in the inventories of those times], Curtain 
rings, pewter dishes, ' bassons,' cups, small pewter porringer, another ditto, three salt 'sellars,' 
spoons and teaspoons, two barrels of ' sider,' two best barrels ditto, two more ditto, beer barrel," 
etc., etc. 

The expenses incurred in her last sickness and burial, which 
the reader will naturally compare with the elaborate furnishings 
and bills from the undertakers of nowadays, were as follows : 

s. d. 

" To Cash paid for Coffin, 7 6 

Digging the grave, ...30 

For Doctor Topping, . . . . . . . 3 10 

To Daniel Halliday, 30 o 

For tending and washing, . . . . . . . 5 o " 

The venerable widow was laid in the Simsbury cemetery beside 
her affectionate husband, to whom she was a faithful and devoted 
wife for sixty-nine years. A slab of gray stone which stands two 
feet high, and still marks the spot as a memorial of her, bears 
this inscription : 

In flBemorg of dfcrs. Estber, tbe 

wioow of Ensn. JBrewster 1>i0les> 

wbo ofeO fcecemb. tbe I7tb 

1775, in tbe 92nD Bear of 

bet age. 

The descendants of Brewster Higley, ist, continued, chapter xxx. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL. 

The sire and mother whom we hold to-day 

In loving honor watched her budding youth. 
And they bequeathed to her, we cannot doubt, 
Their honest frankness and their love of truth. 

REV. PHEBE HANAFORD. 

IT has been declared that "the great rank and file of women are 
remembered for their deeds, not their personalities, and no 
records are to be found of their lives." This is true of Hannah, 
the third daughter and sixth child of Captain John Higley and 
his wife Hannah Drake, to whose life is probably attached more 
of interest than to any of the daughters of the household, since 
lustrous characteristics of her blood and family are developed in 
her offspring in consecutive line. 

She was born in the fair old town of Windsor, Conn., rich in 
associations with many venerable Connecticut families who were 
rooted there. Her birth took place April 22, 1683. On the 
removal of her parents to Simsbury she was carried, then an 
infant one year old, in the arms of her mother to the beautiful 
frontier valley of the Farmington, whose wooded hills and meadow 
lands had scarcely awakened to civilization. Here her child and 
girlhood days were spent on the Woolcott estate, which her father 
had purchased. She grew up amid the silence and solitudes of 
tangled forests into which the high noon rays of the sun scarcely 
penetrated or reached the rich fern beds at the roots of the great 
trees, and she lived through her earlier years amidst the frequent 
alarms and the hostile menacing of the Indians. 

Her life was, as her mother's had been, one of unceasing and 
unselfish family duties. She arose with the sunrise, bloomed in 
healthy wholesome housework, and was full of industrious habits. 
Her merry times were at homely feasts, spinning-wheel parties 
and other country gatherings, and horseback expeditions; for, 
says Eggleston, " Joyous, excursion-loving, simple-minded, were 
the men and women of that time, fond above all things of society, 
of the fresh air, and of excitement." 

106 



HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL. 107 

We have little knowledge of whether Hannah received some 
educational advantages or not. However, since Captain Higley 
gave his children opportunities which were fully up to the average, 
she must have had such as her station and the times permitted; 
but it must be remembered that the standard for the education 
of women of that day was exceedingly limited. 

We take Hannah Higley to have been strong-souled and decisive 
in character, possessing a good deal of that excellent quality 
called common-sense. She was yet but a mere child of ten years 
when the home was desolated by the death of her mother. 
Neither her mother nor her grandmother Moore had closed their 
lives until they had had time and opportunity to tell to the girl 
Hannah that which one can easily fancy sank into her heart the 
story of the elevated sphere of public and religious service in 
which her Puritan grandparents had spent the most of their lives. 

From the time of her early childhood, the most impressionable 
age, her father Captain John Higley had been a man of promi- 
nence, in well-to-do circumstances, and a leading spirit in the 
town and colony. She saw him unusually engrossed in public 
activities, and was familiar with his everyday steps in official and 
judicial relations; and as she arrived at the years of womanhood 
she could comprehend something of his great executive grasp and 
conspicuous force of character. Captain Higley was, of course, 
surrounded by colleagues who were intelligent, earnest men of 
that day, with whom his family were brought more or less into 
intercourse. This would have a natural effect upon them; and 
Hannah, no doubt by her sympathy and interest with her father's 
life, became qualified to instill into her own offspring in after 
years the laudable ambition and principles which led them into 
distinguished careers of usefulness. 

In the twentieth year of her age she accepted the hand of 
Captain Joseph' Trumbull, to whom she was married August 31, 
1704. Captain Trumbull was the second son of John Trumbull, 
Jr., of Suffield, Conn. He went from his native town to Simsbury 
about the year 1703, and the following year the young couple 
began life together. He was a young man possessing energy, but 
" without any considerable means." * His grandson, John Trum- 
bull, says of him, "he was a respectable, strong-minded, but 
uneducated farmer." " 

In less than a month after their marriage, Joseph and Han- 

1 " History of Lebanon." * " History of My Own Times," by John Trumbull. 



108 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

nah Trumbull purchased a home at Lebanon, Conn., to which 
they removed and settled. The town had now been organized 
but four years. Their home was a half allotment containing 
twenty-one acres (forty-two acres was a "home lot") which was 
bought of Josiah Phelps of Colchester, Conn., for the considera- 
tion of sixty pounds.. The deed 1 was executed September 21, 
1704, and was acknowledged before Captain John Higley. 

Joseph Trumbull here began business as a farmer and trader, 
and proved a successful, enterprising merchant. "He became 
the owner of a ship which carried his own cargoes, and was a man 
active in the local affairs of the church and the town, and for 
many years was captain of the train band. He died at the age of 
seventy-seven years." 

Captain Joseph Trumbull and Hannah Higley " founded the 
Lebanon branch of the Trumbull family." They were the parents 
of eight children, viz. : Joseph, Jonathan, Mary, Hannah, Hannah 
again, Abigail, John, and David."* 

Their fireside appears to have been an attractive center. With 
the family affection which habitually marks them, the Higleys 
of Simsbury and the Trumbull household appear to have enjoyed 
a partiality for each other's companionship. While he was yet 
a minor, Mrs. Trumbull's brother Samuel became a member of 
her family and was probably attending school. It is recorded 
that, at a later period, her niece Elizabeth Higley, 3 the daughter 
of her brother Brewster, " spent the most of her youth and girl- 
hood in her family "; and in a few years her sister Mindwell, and 
her two half sisters, Abigail and Susannah, married and settled 
at Lebanon near her. 

The married life of Hannah Higley Trumbull was sown with 
many high joys, mingled with touching griefs. Few American 
women whose names may be placed upon record have given 
motherhood to so illustrious a progeny, and few certainly have 
lived to nurture to conspicuous positions two of its generations. 
But a series of heavy and peculiar domestic afflictions visited her. 

In the year 1715 they buried their little Hannah beneath the 
sod. On the 23d of December, 1731, their eldest son Joseph 
left home, and sailed from New London, Conn., on the 28th of 
the same month, bound for London in a ship which, with the 

1 " Lebanon Land Record," vol. ii. p. 52. 

* See chapter Iviii., " Descendants of Hannah Higley Trumbull." 

* Afterward the grandmother of John Brown of Harper's Ferry fame. 



HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL. 109 

entire cargo, was owned by the Trumbull family. Two years 
later, June, 1733, the vessel, with all on board, was lost at sea. 
The family hoped until hope died upon the possibility that their 
son might have been rescued, but no tidings of comfort ever 
reached them the sea never gave up its dead. 

But three years later on, her second daughter Hannah, who 
had married Joseph Sherman on the 2-jth of February, 1735, died 
suddenly November 7, 1736, at the early age of nineteen years, 
leaving an infant son only five days old; and the following year 
her tender affection was put again to severe trial by the loss at 
sea of her younger brother Samuel, who, from about the time of 
her own marriage, was a member of her family for several years. 
In July, 1740, she was destined to encounter another pathetic grief 
by a stroke of death. Her youngest child David, a lad of 
seventeen years, while pursuing his senior year in Yale College 
with most promising success, came home on a vacation, and met 
his death by accidental drowning in a mill-pond. Her sister 
Katherine had died but four months previous. 

The bereavement of Ipsing their first-born son, Joseph Trum- 
bull, Jr., in 1733, who was his father's business partner, was accom- 
panied by other trials of no ordinary moment. The financial loss 
of both ship and cargo proved a most serious matter in the family 
fortunes, and the severity of the double blow the loss of his son 
under such sad circumstances, with the long strain of watching 
and waiting which followed, and the loss of his property quite 
unfitted Captain Trumbull for further business activities. The 
mental strain proved too great for the power of his mind to 
endure. 

At this juncture it became necessary to call Jonathan, now 
her only son, home from a projected interesting field of labor in 
the ministry, upon which he had set his heart, to the aid and 
rescue of the embarrassed business house. It would seem that the 
singular tide of afflictive circumstances, which brought the mother 
and son into close relations in the management of their affairs, 
tended to strengthen the bond yet firmer which existed between 
them, and finally permitted Mrs. Trumbull to see the fruit she 
had planted in his early years, which now fast ripened into his 
distinguished career as a public official and a noted patriot. The 
failure of his father, in both heart and fortune, gave him a respon- 
sible place in the domestic and business circles. Mrs. Trumbull 
was now in the full years of energy and experience, at middle life. 



HO THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

It is easy to conclude that Mrs. Trumbull's life interests from 
this time were bound up in the expanding events and successes of 
her son Jonathan, the future Governor of Connecticut, and his 
family. He had married on the gih of December, 1736, Faith 
Robinson of Duxbury, Mass., a girl of but seventeen years, and 
settled in a home on the next "lot '^adjoining his parents. Soon 
the interesting position of grandmother to his growing family 
became Hannah's sphere. All of his children were brought 
up under her immediate wing, and it is hardly a far-fetched 
fancy to suppose that she had some share in controlling their 
destiny. 

There is no question but she had carefully implanted in the 
youthful mind of her son many of the valuable lessons of his life, 
by recounting and holding up for imitation incidents in the ardent 
life of incessant occupation in public and judicial affairs of her 
clear-gritted father, Captain John Higley, which were a part and 
parcel of her own life interests as she grew to womanhood. Her 
grandfather, Deacon John Moore, had held a deservedly honorable 
position in Colonial affairs for forty-seven years, and had much 
experience in legal business. His repeated terms of service in 
the General Assembly of Connecticut closed only with his death, 
which took place but six years before Hannah Higley Trumbull 
was born. She was no doubt made acquainted with traditionary 
events which had happened in the public lives of both; and with 
the heredity of the distinguished blood of the Drakes in her 
veins coming down through many generations, she was fitted to 
train a noble man to stand in the front in the time of the Colo- 
nies' greatest need. 

The principles instilled by a mother's care are held by men of 
the highest order of intellect, and, in cases not a few, result in 
honorable and distinguished usefulness in after life. That there 
was an unquestioned inheritance of rare abilities, bequeathed by 
heredity through Jonathan Trumbull's maternal line of descent, 
and which is notable in more than one generation, is clearly 
traceable. His fine constitution, his great energy, and a 
vivid perception, were strongly marked qualities of his mother's 
family line. 

To aid in this training, her husband Captain Joseph Trumbull, 
feeling keenly himself the lack of an education, was bent upon 
bestowing opportunities upon his children for the best advan- 
tages for instruction which the country then afforded. 



HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL. Ill 

It was no commonplace day in which Hannah Higley in 
amiable patience rocked the cradle of her child. The infant 
nation was sorely feeling its wounds. The keel of our Govern- 
ment was in slow but sure process of construction. The founders 
of the republic were in course of training for after greatness, 
not so much by expansion and personal contact with the great 
world, as by well-grounded, industrious habits and practical 
living. They were drilled in many of the higher branches of 
education, many of them were well read in law, and they were 
endowed with high principles which emanated from mothers who 
were the animating geniuses of their homes, together with the 
family altars of these old-time households. 

When Emir Abd-el Kader, the famous Arab chieftain, on visit- 
ing England, made the inquiry of her Queen: "What is the 
source of England's greatness?" she simply and silently pointed 
to an open Bible. When we ask, "From whence came the 
exalted principles laid down in the formation of our Govern- 
ment?" we may in all sincerity point to the mothers of our 
Revolutionary sires with this open Bible upon their knees, which 
they themselves had been trained to read and profoundly 
respect. 

"As a son," says Stuart, "her son Jonathan was ever dutiful. 
Thoughtful at all times of the tender cares his parents had 
lavished upon his own infancy of the watchfulness with which 
they had protected the careless vigor of his boyhood and 
of the warm ambition and free expenditure with which they 
had conferred upon him the rich boon of education he re- 
turned their affectionate offices with kindest ministrations of 
his own and, like a gentle spirit, hovered over their waning 
age." 

It is supposed that Hannah Trumbull passed her declining years 
in the family of her son Jonathan after the decease of her hus- 
band Joseph Trumbull, which took place June 16, 1755; leaving 
her a widow seventy-two years of age. And it may be said that 
the " even-time" of her life was lighter and brighter than other 
years had been. 

Mrs. Trumbull was now surrounded by an interesting group of 
intelligent, quick-minded grandchildren, in whose development 
she could not have failed to take eminent satisfaction. The 
older children of the household were attending the celebrated 
Teasdale Academy located in Lebanon, a school of the highest 



H2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

repute in New England and one which Jonathan Trumbull was 
a prime mover in founding. The eldest grandson, Joseph, was 
eighteen at the time of his grandfather's death, and Jonathan, Jr. 
(afterward the second Governor Trumbull of Connecticut), was 
a lad of fifteen. David, too, the third son, was a lively, bound- 
ing boy, and without doubt on many an occasion excited his 
grandmother's pride, though at that date in the history of the 
household the issues of the future illustrious characters it con- 
tained were yet out of sight, and she could little dream that 
young David was to be the father of a third Governor Trumbull, 
or that not only her son, but a grandson and a great-grandson 
were to bear the distinguished honors of filling the chief execu- 
tive chair of the State of Connecticut. 

While the venerable grandmother was still a central figure in 
the home, the two granddaughters, Faith and Mary, were sent for 
finishing touches to their education to an excellent school in 
Boston, ''where they were taught embroidery," and, says John, 
the younger son of the family, in his autobiography, 1 "Faith had 
acquired some knowledge of drawing, and had even painted in oil 
two heads and a landscape. These wonders were hung in my 
mother's parlor, and were among the first objects that caught 
my infant eye. I endeavored to imitate them, and for several 
years the nicely sanded floors [for carpets were then unknown 
in Lebanon] were constantly scrawled with my rude attempts 
at drawing." 

That Hannah Trumbull was a mother deserving the reverence 
and affection which her distinguished son gave her is pleasingly 
shown by the filial love and marked consideration he evidenced in 
declining in May, 1756, and again in 1758, the honor of an appoint- 
ment by the Colonial legislature, to go upon a mission to the 
Government of Great Britain, giving as his chief reason for so 
doing, in his communication to the General Assembly : " I con- 
sider the duties I owe my aged mother, whose dependence is 
greatly upon me, and my family." 

It is a point of interest to pause for a moment and reflect upon 
what an interesting incident might have occurred, and how 
utterly unforeseen are the events of life, had the grandson of 
Captain John Higley the runaway lad from England's shores 
of long years before appeared at the Court of Great Britain as 
a representative from the land of his grandfather's adoption. 

1 " Life of John Trumbull," p. 5. 



HANNAH HIGLEY TRUMBULL. 113 

Hannah Higley Trumbull lived to a good old age. It was in 
autumn, as the leaves were falling, that the 

"blissful union which 
Lies beyond the parting vale " 

took place between her and her husband, whom she outlived 
thirteen years, and by whose side she was laid in the ancient 
Lebanon cemetery. 

That Governor Trumbull inscribed his grandfather's record 
upon his mother's tomb is a testimony of his marked respect and 
devotion to the memory of his maternal progenitor. 

The inscription is as follows : 

f>ere are Deposited g remains of 

tors. Tbannab Grumbull, late wife of 

Capt. $osepb Grumbull, 2>au0bter of Jobn 

fcigles of Simsburs, Bsq c ., wbo came from 

jfrimteg in B C Counts of Surrey, bg flfcrs. 

fjannab Drake bis first wife. Sbe was born at 

mtnosor 220 Sprit 1683. 2>ieo at 
Xebanon 8tb Hov. 1768, ageo 85 gears, 6 mo. & 15 Dags. 

For the descendants of Hannah Higley Trumbull, see chapter Iviii. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JOSEPH HIGLEY. 

" This world will never know in how many hearts he has written his name." 

A SHADE of obscurity covers the life of Joseph Higley, the 
seventh child in the family of Captain John Higley. Indeed, since 
no exact date of his birth can be discovered, it is only through 
the wills and other legal documents that his place is found in the 
family group beside his sister Hannah Trumbull, and that his life 
covered a period of about thirty years. 

He was born about the year 1685, and died May 3, 1715. He never 
married. His life was apparently entirely uneventful. There is 
reason for believing that from his early youth his constitution 
was never robust, and his "weak state of body" is further con- 
firmed by a declaration to that effect in his will. 

Boys from the age of sixteen and upward were expected to con- 
form to the law and hold in possession a gun, which they were to 
have in continual readiness for bearing their part in the military 
defense. 1 Joseph Higley's chief and almost only possessions 
appear to have been his firearms and riding equipments, together 
with his portion of valuable lands lying in Turkey-Hills in close 
proximity to his brother Samuel's, which he received from his 
father's estate ; also, property from his mother's estate at 
Windsor. 

His will, which is brief, bequeathes all of his property to his 
"well-beloved brothers, John and Brewster Higley," whom he 
named his executors. 

The inventory of his personal effects, taken August 31, 1715, 
consisted of his wearing apparel, "pistols and holster, and gun, 
bridle reins, etc., and a book"; ail of which were appraised at 

175. 

It is supposed that he was laid in the ancient burial ground at 
Simsbury. 

1 " If a youth did not have sufficient means for the purchase of firearms for himself, the law required 
him to ' bring to the Town Clerk so much corn or other merchantable goods,' and a gun with the 
necessary belongings was furnished him at the expense of the town." Colonial Records of Connec- 
ticut, 1665-77. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 

Who are the nobly great ? . 
They who have toiled and studied for mankind, 
Aroused the slumbering virtues of the mind, 
Taught us a thousand blessings to create 
These are the nobly great. 

PRINCB. 

THERE centers about the life of Samuel Higley, the fourth son 
and eighth child of Captain John and Hannah Drake Higley, much 
that is of provincial importance, the success of his achievements 
having given him a name worthy of national note. 

He was born in the paternal homestead at Simsbury, Conn., 
about the year 1687; the precise date cannot be discovered. 
Like his brothers and sisters he was brought up in an atmosphere 
of diligence and perseverance. 

From the first knowledge that is gained of him he betrays 
unusual talents and genius, possessing a shrewd, sagacious, and 
original mind, which leaned to investigation, with no torpor in his 
constitution. He became a man of science. No sooner does he 
appear in one direction in an effort to accomplish a project, than 
his power of origination immediately leads him into another cur- 
rent of a different type. 

His opportunity for learning was much in advance of his older 
brothers; he having been sent to the best educational institutions 
in the colony, where he received a classical education, and his 
development of capacity gives evidence that he made the best use 
of these advantages. There is a credible tradition that he was 
for two years a student of Yale College very soon after the 
" Collegiate School" was founded, where he was distinguished for 
studiousness " with credit to himself." 

From this time ever afterward Samuel was " the scribe " of the 
family, and was so designated by the household. His style of pen- 
manship was a neat, clear, and bold hand, that is very frequently 
found upon the books embellished with fanciful strokes and 
dashes which do not fail to mark the reader's curious attention. 

"5 



Il6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

It appears that soon after the marriage of his sister Hannah to 
Joseph Trumbull, while he was yet in his teens, he resided in her 
family at Lebanon, Conn. An expense account, entered into an 
account book in his father's hand, is as follows : 

" Joseph Trumbull of Lebanon Dr. Per Contra C. s. d. 

by boarding and cloatheing of Sam 1 Higley in his nonage by his 
father's Desire by agreement, 500" 

How long he remained at Lebanon cannot be ascertained ; how- 
ever, we are warranted in the conclusion that it was during the 
period when he was from seventeen to twenty-one years of age, 
and it is supposed that he was pursuing his studies. As he was 
but seven years of age when his mother died, the care of his 
young boyhood may have fallen largely upon this sister, 
Hannah, resulting in a warm attachment between the two; 
there being evidences that he was much at Lebanon after she was 
settled in her home there, and that the future Governor of Con- 
necticut the first Governor Trumbull, in his early years was the 
daily companion of this uncle. 

The year 1714 found him a schoolmaster. He continued teach- 
ing for three years, and at the same time devoted himself to the 
study of " Physic and chyrurgary." 

In the same year his father died; and Samuel, though yet 
a young man, was chosen to act with his eldest brother John 
Higley, as executor of the estate; his scholarly, acute mental 
abilities no doubt fitting him in the mind of his father to be 
his most suitable child in whom to repose, together with his 
brother, this trust. The care of the estate claimed the attention 
of the two brothers for several years. 

At a later date, on the executors offering a piece of land at 
public sale which had been owned by Captain Higley, certain 
charges among Samuel's accounts are significant of the fact that 
he was not unaccustomed to turning his natural sagacity to 
profitable ends; and that he well understood the exhilarating 
effects and jovial good feeling, tending toward a good bargain, 
which might be produced by offering a social bait to his neighbors 
and friends. 

" 1723 Sept, 18. To my Travail from Lebanon to Simsbury (to sell s. d. 

Said Land) and my ferriage, IO JO 

To 2 Quarts of Rumm and a pownd of Shugar for to Invite bidders 

at Said Vendue, . 49" 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 117 

" Then whisky made by honest men 
Was drank by men upright." 

Another entry shows that, during the year 1716, he suffered 
with an illness which must have been of considerable duration. 
To his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Bancroft, he paid ^3 los. for 
" keeping me when sik by agreement. " He made purchase the 
same year of a " mar and colt" at a cost of ^6 ios., probably 
for use in his medical practice. 

From 1714 to 1717 he was preparing himself, under the tutorage 
of Drs. Thomas Hooker and Samuel Mather of Hartford, Conn., 
to enter the medical profession. 

The standard of medical education during the times of Dr. 
Samuel Higley, and the method and opportunities for gaining 
medical and surgical knowledge, were practically another matter 
from the system of to-day. From a scientific standpoint the 
ignorance of the profession, as compared with its present high 
attainment, was lamentable. The progressive days of antagonistic 
''schools" of medicine and organized medical societies had not 
yet come. Professional training was obtained privately ; the 
student entering the office of a prominent practicing physician, 
under whose direction and instruction he " read," or studied. 

The young would-be doctor was, however, required to give 
himself to diligent application in study and to the studious inves- 
tigation of disease such as he could gain from the limited medical 
works which were put into his hands. 1 When sufficiently ad- 
vanced, he accompanied his medical tutor upon his "rounds" in 
his professional visits for one or two years. He was then con- 
sidered ready to enter the ranks of recognized practitioners ; and 
now might apply for a license. 8 

The medical tutors of Samuel Higley were residents of Hartford, 
and were experienced men, standing foremost in their profes- 
sion. Dr. Thomas Hooker was a grandson of the Rev. Thomas 
Hooker, the founder of Hartford, Conn., and of eminent New Eng- 
land fame, and son of the Rev. Samuel Hooker of Farmington. 
He was "approved and allowed to goe on in the practice of phis- 

1 A practical knowledge of anatomy was exceedingly difficult to obtain. It was not until sixty- 
seven years after this period that " the State of Massachusetts passed an Act regarding anatomy, 
which was the first legislative Act in this country that is known, providing that human bodies 
which had been executed or killed in duel might be given up to surgeons for dissection." 

a " The average fee for a country physician was one shilling for a less distance than two miles, i. e. 
thirteen and one half cents, and an additional shilling for every additional mile." The physician 
compounded and prepared his medicines with his own hands. 
9 



Il8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

sick by the Court held, Oct 1684," and had now been in the 
practice of his profession thirty-three years. 

Dr. Samuel Mather was scarcely less noted, being the son of 
the Rev. Samuel Mather of Windsor, Conn., a minister of distin- 
guished prominence, and one of the founders of Yale University. 
He had had a high medical reputation for a number of years. He 
is found visiting patients at Windsor in 1705, his professional cir- 
cuit extending over many miles of country in Hartford County. 

The Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, then of Hartford, who was 
another of the brood of noted ministers of the times, and also 
one of the founders of Yale, was a faithful friend of the Hig- 
leys, of long standing, and interested himself in Samuel's 
studies. 1 

Enjoying as Samuel Higley did the close friendship and com- 
panionship of these leading theologians and scientific men of the 
colony, they brought, no doubt, a very perceptible influence upon 
his social tastes as well as his professional life. That he was a 
student whose individual merit was valued is shown by the excel- 
lent recommendations given him by these men of first consequence 
in the colony. 

The winter of 1716-17 was spent at Woodbridge, N. J., in the 
practice of his profession. In the spring of the latter year he 
made application to the General Assembly of Connecticut for a 
license. 

"HARTFORD CONN., May 20, 1717. 
"To the Honourable y e Generall Assembly ; &c. 

" Samuel Higley of Simsbury Humbly sheweth, That by good 
Providence I have had more than common Education ; and being 
employed Three years in Keeping school, did Improve all Opor- 
tunities in the Study of Physick and Chyrurgary, since which for 
Two Years past have studyed and practiced said Arts under the 
care and Instruction of Doctor Thomas Hooker and Doctor 
Samuel Mather who have pleased to Recommend me, as one 
qualified for that service, and advise that I apply my Self to this 
Hon d Cort for a Lycence. 

" I do therefore Humbly Pray Youl'd Please to give your Apro- 
bation and Allowance by Granting a Lycence that I may Practis 
S'd Arts Orderly ; which may be to the Comfort and Welfare of 

1 " To the ministers in these days were submitted all matters that required legal and learned 
ability." 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 119 

y e Generation which I am Obliged to Serve, as well as to my own 
profit and advantage, and your Petitioner shall ever Pray, &c. 

"SAM U HlGLEY." 

"The above Petition allowed in the Upper House. 
" Test, HEZ. WYLLYS Secretary. 
" In the lower House past. 

" I WADSWORTH Clerk." * 

From the original papers to which are appended the original 
Autographs : 

"Considering y e great want of learned and faithful physicians 
amongst us, and knowing Mr. Sam 11 Higley's abilities and y e prog- 
ress he hath made in y e Theory and practice in y e Art of physic 
and Chyrurgary, we y e Subscribers do hereby recommend him to 
y e Generall Assembly now sitting as one qualified for a Licen- 
tiate. "THOMAS HOOKER) Med a 

"May nth, 1717. "SAM 1 MATHER ) Practitioners " 

"This may certify that upon good information I have been 
asured that Mr. Samuel Higley practiced physic y e last winter at 
Woodbridge in y e Jerseys with good success and acceptance. 

"May 2Qth, 1717. "T. WOODBRIDGE." 

From " Colonial Records of Connecticut," 1725 : a 

" Samuel Higley of Simsbury having produced to this Assembly 
authentick testimonials of the progress he hath made in the theory 
and practice of chyrurgary and physic : Whereupon this Assembly 
do grant licence to said Samuel Higley to practice both." 

Although, like many other men of his day, Dr. Samuel Higley 
had engaged in educational interests and pursued scientific inves- 
tigation with eager energy ; although he held considerable wealth 
as a landowner and was now engaged in medical practice, never- 
theless he had meanwhile found time to learn a trade, and be- 
came a practical blacksmith. 

As has been already stated the trades and professions were 
curiously mingled in those times. It has been remarked that 
"assorted vocations were then as common as assorted wares." 

1 From the original copy of "Appointments by the General Assembly Courts, 1669-1724," in the 
Connecticut State Library ; kindly furnished by C. J. Hoadly. State Librarian. 
Page 15. 



120 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY, 



At this early period the fees received by surgeons and medical 
men being very meager, it was frequently the case that they 
sought additional vocations for increasing their annual income. 

It was at the forge that Dr. Higley afterward developed his 
genius and attained his widest celebrity. His lamp now began 
to shine with a good deal of brilliancy in the Colony. 

The following is the record of his marriage, which took place 
at Westfield, Mass. : 

"Sept 19 1719 Mr. Samuel Higley and Abigail Beman had their names with 
their intentions of marriage were given to me and entered in order to publication on 
the day above stated." 

He appears soon after this date to have established a home of 
his own at Simsbury. In his home, as well as in other colonial 
homes of that day, quantities of pork and rye were consumed. 

The following is a specimen of charges in account with his 
father's estate : 








s. 


d. 


" Samuel Higley Dr. to Estate. 






g 














7 






















to 
























8 


10 


o M 











His house, which is marked with perfect clearness on a map 
made about 1728-29, is found situated at the "vineyard notch," 
on the rocky ridge of the Talcott range, a chain of fine mountain- 
ous hills rising from five hundred to one thousand feet above the 
sea level. It overlooked for many miles, toward different points 
of the compass, a grand stretch of the green-robed valleys of the 
beautiful Connecticut and Farmington rivers, and stood con- 
spicuous from almost every outlook in the valley. The beauty 
of its location could scarcely be surpassed. Nature gave, in 
exquisite touches of landscape, a charming scene from his door- 
way, from whence he could proudly view all of the neighboring 
localities. 

In one direction a fine picture is presented to the eye in the 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 1 21 

ragged ledges rising, height above height, thinly clad in pines and 
cedars; while, by taking a few steps from his house, he could com- 
mand a view of his copper-mining lands, between which and his 
home lay a marsh and meadow, now covered with brambles and 
the home of frogs. 

Whittier wrote, after visiting the scene in 1830, just one hun- 
dred years afterward : 

" Beautiful Mount ! with thy waving wood 
And thy old, gray rocks, like ruins rude 
And hoary and mossy in masses piled, 
Where the heart had thrilled and the dark eye smiled. 
I love to gaze from thy towered brow 
On the gloom and grandeur and beauty below, 
When the wind is rocking thy dwarfish pines, 
And thy ruffled lake in the sunlight shines 
W'here the beautiful valleys look glad afar, 
Like the fairy land of some holy star 
By Fancy seen where the soul goes forth, 
With an unchanged wing from the cold, dull earth ; 
And the mists from its vision pass away 
Like the shade of night from the glance of day ! 
'Tis gladness all like a dream of love, 
With a smiling forehead beaming above, 
And a beautiful hand on the temples pressing 
As softly and sweet as an angel's blessing; 
And a tone breathed low in the dreaming ear, 
Like the chastened music which spirits hear. 

" Beautiful Mount ! I may look no more 
On thy ancient rocks, and thy lake's green shore 
Yet the spirit's pencil has traced thy chart 
Of wildness and joy on the human heart 
And though my step may be far from where 
Thy pine-tops shake in the stirring air, 
Yet oft will that chart before me pass 
Like a shadowed dream in a mystic glass ; 
And thy form and features, as now thou art, 
Live on in the secret depths of the heart." 

J. G. W. 

A few stones which mark the foundation, a family group of 
venerable apple trees, and a spring choked with fallen leaves and 
rubbish from the native forest trees which surround it, still mark 
the spot which Dr. Samuel Higley called home. 

The road to the summit of the mountain, by which the dwell- 
ing was reached, long since became almost untraceable. 



122 THE HI G LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

It is easy to trace in Samuel Higley's nature a certain amount of 
enthusiasm; he was undoubtedly possessed of an ardent tempera- 
ment. The birth of his first child, Jonathan, occurred in the sum- 
mer of 1721. The date and time of entry upon the public records 
of Simsbury would indicate that he sped his way with great 
alacrity to announce and record * the happy event, the record hav- 
ing been made in his own clear, bold handwriting in the brief 
space of one hour after the birth, though his home was more than 
five miles distant. 

Annie, his first daughter, was .born September 4, 1726, "at 
break of day." His third and last daughter is simply recorded 
thus : 

"Abigail, daughter of Samuel Higley and Abigail his wife was 
born June 22d 1733." a 

In town affairs Dr. Samuel Higley appears to have entered 
with readiness, though his activities in this connection are not 
found to equal those of his brothers John and Brewster. His 
name, however, appears in honorable appointments upon town 
committees for various services. But it is found written in no 
church-roll ; there is not a scrap in his history upon this point. 3 
In one instance, recorded December 21, 1728, he and Timothy 
Phelps served from Turkey-Hills to " lay the circumstances of the 
Town before a committee appointed by the General Assembly 
concerning the location of a meeting house." * 

The scientific bent of his mind turned him to experimenting, 
and finally to discovering a process for the manufacture of steel, 
which he claimed, in his petition to the General Assembly for a 
license, was the first effort in America, and which made him some 
fame. Meeting with encouraging success he enlisted the interest 
of a partner, Joseph Dewey of Hebron, Conn., and in 1727 
applied for a patent. Proof was produced that he had made steel 
from the iron found in Turkey-Hills, which, by experienced 
judges, was pronounced a good article. His scheme and labor 
proved successful. The petition was granted May, 1728, and a 
patent secured according the privilege of manufacturing steel 
for a term of ten years. 

1 Book iii. " Simsbury Records," p. 261. a Book iii. " Simsbury Records," p. 327. 

8 There are slight evidences that he was in sympathy with the Church of England. 
* Book iii. Town Acts, p. 44. 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 123 

How long he continued in the enterprise is uncertain. There 
is no indication that the undertaking failed, but Dr. Samuel Hig- 
ley's death occurred before the lease expired. The patent ap- 
pears to have been held until the expiration of the lease, no 
other application being granted for twelve years, when the 
General Court then granted a license for the same object to 
Thomas Fitch, George Wyllys, and Robert Walker, for a term of 
fifteen years. 

The colonists were at this time greatly hampered in their 
efforts at manufacturing. There was little incentive beyond 
their actual needs to push the industries. As the country en- 
larged, and lucrative trade and manufacturing interests increased, 
the English Government was casting jealous eyes at every move- 
ment that men of affairs on American soil were making to supply 
the colonists' necessities. From merchants and manufacturers in 
England who consulted their selfish interests came constant com- 
plaints to the Crown, and Parliament had passed oppressive and 
stringent laws of trade. England was already declaring "that 
the erecting of manufactories in the colonies, tended to lessen 
their dependence upon Great Britain," * and was laying a heavy 
hand upon the western colonies through these restraining laws. 
It finally came to pass, a few years later, that the manufacture of 
iron and steel was entirely prohibited, and "slitting mills, forges 
and furnaces in the colonies were declared by the home Govern- 
ment common nuisances." ' Thus she unwittingly was maturing 
the sprouting seed which, in after years, developed open rupture 
and revolution. 

As has been stated, Dr. Samuel Higley was a considerable land- 
holder, for those times. From his father's estate he received his 
full share. This laid toward Turkey-Hills. That which he 
received by inheritance from his mother he sold to his sister 
Sarah. His acres were further added to by legacy from his 
brother Jonathan at his death; and at the general distribution of 
common and undivided lands made at a town meeting held January 
2, 1723, he was one among other Higleys, together with a large 
number of individuals who received grants. "These grants 
were apportioned, it is believed, by the respective amounts of 
the grantees' lists of estates, and contained quantities varying 
from one hundred and fifty to forty acres each." * 

1 Pitkin's " Political and Civil History of the United States," p. 101. 
3 Phelps, " History of Simsbury." 



124 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

But his most valuable ownership was a tract of one hundred 
and forty-three acres, which he purchased July 29, 1728. The 
deed was given by William Dement of Enfield, Mass. This tract 
lay adjoining lands which Dr. Higley already owned. For three 
different adjoining tracts located "on and neat unto y e east 
mountain toward that part of y e town called Turkey Hills," he 
paid " y e sum of five hundred pounds currant New England 
money." * The first "parcell" described in the deed was marsh 
or meadow land with "ten acres of upland originally granted to 
Mr. Simon Wolcott by the town meeting, Aug. 2ist 1671, and 
laid out Jan. ist 1674, which contains by estimate forty acres." 2 
Upon this tract was situated the Higley copper-mine. 

The second piece of land was at "the westwardly end of a 
lot granted to Capt. John Higley, containing thirteen acres." 
Upon this was located his dwelling upon the mountain. 

The next tract lying between the above-named "parcells" 
extended for "a mile in length and forty-five rods in width, 
bounded northerly by y e road that crosses y e mountain." Here 
he built, a few years later between 1730-34 another dwelling 
house, to which he appears to have removed. 

The ruin of this house is still standing [1892], though it is on 
the verge of falling to the ground and is uninhabitable. It 
stands in close proximity to the well-known Higley copper-mine ; 
a mine that has associated the family name with a good degree of 
distinction during the last one hundred and sixty-four years. It 
seems quite clear that Dr. Samuel Higley was occupying this 
new dwelling at the time of his decease. That he was its 
builder is plainly to be seen. The massive iron door-latches and 
hinges hammered out by hand, the nails with which the building 
is constructed, every one of which were patiently wrought out 
on the blacksmith's forge, and the wrought-iron crane in the 
huge chimney fireplace all give unmistakable signs that they 
were the handicraft of its old-time builder and owner. It is a 
fair colonial relic of the houses of its day. It is entered by the 
traditional south door, a flowing spring is close by, and the old 
well, with the remains of the old-time well-sweep, is still here, 
and from the brim of 

"The old oaken, iron-bound, moss-covered bucket," 
the ancient miner used to drink no doubt many a refreshing quaff. 

1 Book v. " Simsbury Record," p. 3-55. The original boundaries are described upon Record. 
s Book i. " Simsbury Records," p. 128. 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 125 

THE HIGLEY COPPER-MINE. 

The location of the Higley copper-mine at the time when it 
was owned by Dr. Samuel Higley, and during the fifty succeed- 
ing years, was in the township of Simsbury, Conn. A subdivision 
of the township in 1786 included the mine in that part called 
Granby till the year 1858, when a subsequent subdivision was 
made which places it at the present date in East Granby. 

It was property held quite separate from the famous New- 
gate prison and copper-mines, from which it was separated a 
distance of one and a half mile to the south. 

Whether this mine had been worked before Dr. Higley became 
the owner of the lands cannot be ascertained. It was success- 
fully worked about forty-seven years during that century, from 
the time that Dr. Higley operated it. Large heaps of ore and 
bits of copper can now be found on the spot ; probably the 
remains of operations which were begun and abandoned after a 
brief period about 1831. 

There are two shafts which go down through trap rocks, 
with which this and the adjacent mountainous hills abound, and 
one of these, though choked with the debris and rubbish which 
have been collecting for the last sixty years, is still twenty feet 
deep. 

The mine contains valuable deposits of mineral, 1 "-some 
masses," it is said, "producing as much as thirty to forty per 
cent, of copper. The average product was from ten to twelve 
per cent. Professor Silliman of Yale University, who made the 
latest survey of these mines on Copper-Hill [about 1870], says : 
' the ore is of the most valuable description.' ' 

There is a traditional story afloat, which was told to the writer 
by an elderly gentleman living in the vicinity, who used to hear 
his aged father and the old men of the neighborhood say that 
in some spots the deposit of copper in the mine was so rich and 
of such fineness that Higley was in the habit of entering his mine 
with a pick, obtaining a lump of almost pure metal, and making 
a coin, with which he would, in his liking for convivial enjoyment, 
make himself doubly welcome over the social mug at the nearest 
tavern. 

In the early history of the mining interests the ore was sent 
to England and smelted there, no furnaces being permitted in 

'"History of Newgate of Connecticut." 



126 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

the colonies. 1 To ship the ore to England they were forced to 
transport it in wagons over the steep, mountainous hills, and 
rough roads newly made through the wilds of the forests, to a 
shipping point on the Connecticut River, where it became the cargo 
of sailing vessels, which were many weeks in crossing the ocean. 
The energy and courage of Dr. Samuel Higley did not fail be- 
cause of the difficulties in the way. He owned and continued 
to operate the mine until his death. The property has always 
been known and described in the deeds until about 1870, as "the 
Higley-mine" and "mining-lands." 

THE HIGLEY COPPER. 

Meanwhile the remarkable genius and inventive faculties of our 
physician-blacksmith were in practical play upon another enter- 
prise, which stamps his name in the very early history of the 
numismatic annals of our country. He had no "learned black- 
smith " preceding him, whose life might have been an incentive 
to learning and genius; his new enterprise was due solely to his 
natural originality and excellent ability. "Elihu Burrett and 
Robert Collyer," said Beecher, " of whom blacksmiths love to 
speak, had not yet been born nor lived to hammer out their learn- 
ing at night by the forge." Like Franklin, whose scientific ideas 
were always practical, Dr. Samuel Higley applied his "wit and 
wisdom " to practical account. He suggested a way to meet a 
deficient circulation of currency by turning pure copper into a 
money metal, and was the designer and manufacturer, so far as is 
known, of the first copper coinage of the country. 2 

Just when he began the manufacture of the " Higley Coppers " 3 

1 "At one period the restrictions of the English Government were disregarded, and a mill for 
crushing the ore which the different mines on Copper-hill yielded and for smelting it were clandes- 
tinely worked some miles away. Remains of these old furnaces were to be seen for nearly a 
century afterwards. Necessity, however, forced the abandonment of the effort." Phelps 1 
History. 

The Higley-mine was worked in 1831 under the superintendency of Richard Bacon. "Owing 
to difficulties," says Phelps, " in the process of smelting and refining the ore, and the pecuniary 
embarrassment of the times, the works were discontinued." For the last half century copper can 
be procured at cheaper rates from Lake Superior and other points. 

a During the proprietary government of North Carolina a medal was in existence which may 
have had a moneyed value as a coin. " In the year 1694 a copper piece was struck, it is said by 
Rollers, a celebrated medalist of that day, for circulation in Carolina. It bears the figure of an 
elephant on one side, and on the other the inscription, ' God preserve Carolina and the Lords 
Proprietors, 1694.' " It is noticed in English publications and in Frank Leslie's Family 
Magazine. 

8 To designate this coin as the Granby Copper is entirely erroneous ; the name " Granby " not 
then being known in that section of Simsbury. The town Granby was not established till 1786, 
fifty years after the Higley coppers were manufactured. 







THE HIGLEY COPPER. 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, \ST. 127 

which were made from the ore in his own mine, is impossible to 
ascertain. It was undoubtedly between the year 1729 and the 
first half of the year 1737. The oldest specimens preserved, 
which bear date, were coined in 1737. There were five different 
issues of three similar devices, three of which bear no date and 
were probably made prior to that year. They are described in 
the "Visitor's Guide and History of the U. S. Mint," 1 at Phila- 
delphia, as follows: 

" Their Obverses are similar: A deer standing: below him a 
hand, a star, and III; around him is the legend inclosed in two 
circles Value me as you please. 

"The Reverse of one variety has three hammers crowned, and 
the legend / am Good Copper, a hand, some dots fancifully 
arranged, and 1737. 

" The third variety has a broad-axe and the legend / cut my 
way through. A very few also bear date 1739." 

This limited coinage was precisely like the coin that Dr. Samuel 
Higley produced in 1737. 

Phelps, in his " History of Simsbury," states that "the coin is 
said to have passed for two and sixpence [42 cents], in paper cur- 
rency it is presumed." 

It is more than probable that Dr. Higley's brother, John 
Higley, together with the Rev. Timothy Woodbridge and William 
Cradock, 8 made the issue of 1739, after his death. 

"The trade of blacksmith, "says Dickeson, " ever since Vulcan 
was engaged in forging thunderbolts, has given the world some 
very remarkable men, and it affords great pleasure at this time to 
be able to contribute toward immortalizing one of the craft, who 
not only devised, but manufactured a currency. Dr. Higley the 
author of these coppers has certainly left evidence of having been 
an artist as well as a financier; for the creatures of his genius and 

1 P. 65, published by A. M. Smith, 1885. 

a Cradock was probably a son or near relative of William Cradock of County Durham, England, 
who issued a farthing token bearing date 1666. On the face of his coin is a device, shield of arms, 
and inscription, " William Cradock " : reverse, " 1666 W. C. E." Robert Cradock of New Fish 
Street, London, issued a farthing token in the seventeenth century. 

The writer is inclined to the conclusion that there was an ancestral connection between an 
Edward Highley of Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, and Captain John Higley who came to 
America, the spelling of the name having become perverted. As the Higleys of England have not 
been traced beyond Jonathan of Frimley, Surrey, the question remains unsettled. Edward 
Highley issued a little " token " in the seventeenth century : Obverse side in center, " E. S. H." 
Reverse, "In Boldeck 1652." 



128 THE H1GLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

skill were, for the times, well executed, and they also became a 
currency." ' 

During Dr. Samuel Higley's day "no public laws had been 
made by Connecticut to authorize coinage of money, or to specify 
its value. Specie was very scarce in the country, and the coinage, 
at this embryo mint was regarded with great favor by residents 
in the vicinity. The foreign trade of the country, which was 
chiefly confined to England, was principally controlled by her; 
the balance of trade was continually against us, which prevented 
the importation of specie. The war in France in 1745 turned the 
tide somewhat in our favor, and considerable quantities of the 
Higley Copper were circulated in England in payment of war 
expenses." a 

Though the coinage of the Higley copper does not appear to 
have been authorized by the colony, it passed as a medium of 
exchange into a considerable circulation, and we are led to infer 
that it was finally recognized by the colonial authorities, since 
they certainly took no action toward its suppression, though 
" the coinage was without sanction of law." 

Without question this financial venture proved an undertaking 
profitable to our ancient coiner, and useful to the community, 
since soon after his death there were leading and noted citizens 
of the colony who made effort to continue a copper coinage, and 
to whom, in all probability, the monetary problem was suggested 
by the success of the Higley copper. 

In October, 1739, the last year in which a limited issue of the 
Higley coin was manufactured, John Read, an eminent lawyer of 
Hartford, and brother-in-law of Governor Joseph Talcott, made 
application to the General Assembly for aid to secure the right 
of coinage from the Royal Government; and also addressed a 
personal letter to the Governor on coinage and currency, in which 
he urges what he judges to be of great importance to Connecti- 
cut, namely: "to procure the King's patent for the coinage of 
copper money from the metal produced from the native ores of 
the State." 3 

He offers to proceed with the manufacture of the same at his 
own personal expense and "such as I shall join with me, if any 

1 " American Numismatical Manual," by M. W. Dickeson, M. D., p. 80. 

8 Phelps' " History of Newgate of Connecticut," p. 21. 

* This petition, dating October 15, 1739, and the original letter written by Read referring 
thereto, is preserved in the Connecticut Archives at Hartford. Through the kindness of C. 
J. Hoadly, Slate Librarian, the writer has examined the documents. 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 129 

body do join with me," and to bear the entire losses as well as to 
receive the entire profits accruing from the enterprise. 

Crosby says, "There is no doubt but John Higley 1 was con- 
nected with Read in this attempt to secure the right of coinage, 
and was one of those to whom Read referred as ' Such as I shall 
associate with me.' " a 

In Mr. Read's effort to induce the General Assembly to con- 
sider his petition, he intimates that Timothy Woodbridge of 
Simsbury, the early and close friend of Dr. Samuel Higley, as 
well as " Cradock," was associated in some way in the inter- 
ests of the proposed undertaking. 

It is, nevertheless, evident that Governor Talcott and the 
Assembly deemed it unwise to apply to the Crown for a patent, 
expecting that no favors would be granted. 

Specimens of the Higley copper coin have become very rare. 
There are some to be found in the United States Mint at Phila- 
delphia, from which the engraving presented was photographed; 
and in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society at 
Hartford, together with a few in private cabinets in the country. 
Among the owners of one of these valuable relics is Albert 
C. Bates, Esq., of East Granby, Conn., one of Captain John 
Higley's descendants. 

For more than threescore years Dr. Samuel Higley's only 
grandson, Jonathan Higley, 3d, preserved with strictest care 
specimens which finally descended to his great-grandson Thomp- 
son Higley, Sr., of Windsor, O., who held them among his 
choice treasures to a period later than the year 1860. Two of 
these coins were associated with singular but sacred memories as 
having been placed upon the eyes of Dr. Samuel's great-grand- 
daughter, Rachel Higley of Granby, after her death, for the pur- 
pose of keeping them closed. It was a custom in those times to 
use coins thus. 

Crosby states in his " Early Coins of America" 9 that "these 
coppers, owing to the fine quality of the metal of which they were 
composed, were much in favor as an alloy for gold, and it is prob- 
ably due in part to this cause that they are now so extremely 
rare. We are informed by an old goldsmith, aged about seventy- 
five years, that, during his apprenticeship, his master excused 

1 Dr. Samuel Higley's eldest brother. 

' " The Early Coins of America," by Sylvester S. Crosby. 



13 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

himself for not having finished a string of gold beads at the time 
appointed, as he was unable to find a Higley copper with which to 
alloy the gold; thus indicating that they were not easily obtained 
seventy years ago. 

" We have heard it related of Higley that, being a frequent visit- 
ant to the tavern, where at that time liquors were a common and 
unprohibited article of traffic, he was accustomed to pay his 
' scot ' in his own coin, and the coffers of the dram-seller soon 
became overburdened with this kind of cash, of the type which 
proclaims its own value to be equal to what was then the price of 
a 'potation' three pence. 

"When complaint was made to Higley, upon his next application 
for entertainment, which was after a somewhat longer absence 
than was usual with him, he presented coppers bearing the words, 
'Value me as you please,' ' I am good copper.' 

"Whether the change of base facilitated the financial designs 
of the ancient coiner, or not, we have never been informed : 
Sure we are, however, that should he be aware of the immense 
appreciation in the value of his coppers since that day, it would 
amply reward him for the insulting conduct of the innkeeper. 

" We cannot vouch for the truth of this ' legend,' but we believe 
those first issued bore the words, ' The value of three-pence,' ' 
and, whatever the cause, subsequent issues more modestly re- 
quested the public to value them according to their own ideas of 
propriety, although they did not refrain from afterwards pro- 
claiming their own merit." 

Of the. rare specimens now extant few are found perfect, having 
been stamped upon unalloyed copper. They are valued at 
present (1894) by numismatists at forty-five to seventy-five dol- 
lars each. 

During the years 1859-60 a spicy lawsuit took place between 
two citizens of Suffield, Conn., Chauncy Eno Viets, and George 
Williston, concerning one of these coins, the suit being entered 
"for the recovery of a Higley copper." 

In tearing down an old house in the village a Higley copper 
was discovered, which came into the possession of George Willis- 
ton, as he claimed, by purchase from Mr. Viets. Viets, however, 
claimed that it was only a neighborly loan to Williston, that he 

1 The writer does not agree with Mr. Crosby we find no evidence that the copper was ever 
marked with a moneyed value. 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 131 

might enjoy the pleasure of showing the rare specimen to some 
friends. 

In course of time Mr. Viets sought legal action to get posses- 
sion of his treasure. The case came before Esquire Thomas 
Cushman, justice of the peace. " Squire " Cushman decided that 
Williston should retain the copper, paying Mr. Viets the value at 
which the coins were then held fifty dollars and costs of court. 
The money was forthcoming, and Williston gloried in the triumph 
of an ownership of the valuable memento of the past. 

The energies of Dr. Samuel Higley's life to its close were in 
the pursuit of his special calling, that of the practice of med- 
icine, in which it is shown by the record that he continued, 
together with his interests in connection with his copper-mine, 
and the manufacture of the Higley copper. 

The circumstances of his death are not made clear in the dim 
mist of the long past except through tradition, which, however, 
is fully sustained by a few lines penned in rhyme by his grandson 
Jonathan Higley, 3d. His son Jonathan at the time of his 
father's decease was sixteen years of age. His grandson 
Jonathan, 3d, would, therefore, have ample opportunity to gather 
correct and reliable knowledge of his grandfather's death. 

Through this source, and through different channels in the 
family, this tradition comes that Dr. Higley sailed for England 
in a ship laden with his own copper ore, which was lost at sea, 
that he reached a "silent haven" not expected when he bade 
adieu to these shores, the voyage ending where it was not 
expected to end 

" Through the evening gate 
That shuts the golden west." 

The sad event took place about May, 1737. There is a pathetic 
interest in the remarkable coincidence that his only son also 
met his death by drowning at precisely the same age that his 
father met his fifty years. 

Dr. Samuel Higley's will, which was executed on the 30th of 
January, 1734, names his "loving wife Abigail Higley" the 
executrix of his estate. The record of the Court l concerning 
it is as follows: 

" June 7th 1737 The LAST WILL & TRSTAMKNT OF SAMUKL HIGLEY late of Symsbury 
Deed, was now Exhibited in Court by Abigail Higley Widow & Rellict of Sd. Deed. (Executrix 
Named in Sd. Will) who accepted the Trust thereof in Court, Sd. Will being proved is by this 

1 " Hartford County Probate Records," vol. xiii. 



132 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Court approved Likewise the Sd. Executrix Exhibited nn Inventory of the Estate of the Sd. Deed 
upon oath in Manner accostomed which Inventory & will is accepted in Court & ordered to be 
Recorded and kept upon file. 

" I Samuel Higley of Symsbury in the County of Hartford & State of Connecticut in New Eng- 
land being of perfect health mind & memory yet knowing it is appointed for all men once to Die, 
I do therefore make & ordain this my last Will and Testament Recommending my Soul at Death to 
God that Gave it, and my Body to a Decent buriall hoping to See a Glorious Resurrection by Gods 
power and the Worldly Goods & Estate which I am blest with in this Life, I thus Do give Bequeath 
and Dispose of it, after my just Debts & Dues are paid 

" Imprimis I give & Bequeath to my Loving Wife Abigail Higley all my moveable Estate to her 
Dispose forever (Excepting my Books my Chymical Tools & white faced heifer which I Shall give 
to my Children) I also give her the Improvement of all my lands and mines if she Continueth my 
Widow until my Son Jonathan Comes to the age of Twenty-one, and to have the Improvement of 
one half until my Daughter Ann Comes to the age of Sixteen and from that time to have the Im- 

Erovement of one Third of three quarters, and that quarter that Abigail may Challange, until 
aid Abigail comes to the age of Sixteen, from thence to have the Improvement of the one third 
part of my whole Estate During her Natural Life, but in Case she marrieth, I also give her 
full power So long as She remaineth my Widow to Sell any of my Lands or rights or Titles To 
lands Excepting my marsh and Ten acres adjoining to support herself & family of my Children 
and to pay Debts Item I give unto my Son Jonathan Higley half my Books, and all my 
Chymicall Tools, I also give him the one half of my marsh and the one half of the Ten Acres 
adjoining on the Westward Side, with the one half of all the mines thereon Contained, to 
him & his heirs & assigns forever And provided he will pay to his two Sisters Ann 
Higley & Abigail Higley two hundred & fifty pounds to Each ; That Is To Say fifty 
pound's money to Each of them When they or either of them arrive to the age of Sixteen & one 
hundred pounds to each, at the age of Eighteen, and one hundred pounds money to Each at the 
age of Twenty one. that then the whole Shall be his or if he fulfill this order To one then her part of 
Said premises Shall be his own But in Case he doth not pay them at the time above-said, 
that then my Said Daughters, Ann Higley < Abigail Higley may Enter in at the age of Sixteen 
yet Notwithstanding if the Said Jonathan Will at the age of Twenty one years of my Daughters pay 
the whole Sum of Two hundred & fifty pounds with Lawfull Interest besides theire Improvements 
that then the primises Shall be his. I also give my Sd. Son Jonathan Higley one half part of 
all my other Lands Rights titles and Interest that I now have or may have to him his heirs & 
assigns forever Item I give and Bequeath to my Daughter Ann Higley the one quarter part 
of my marsh & Ten acres of upland adjoining, and one Quarter of all the mines therein Contained 
Excepting her Brother pay her two hundred & fifty pounds in Money at the Times Above Men- 
tioned Viz fifty pounds at or when She Comes to the age of Sixteen Years, and one hundred pounds 
money when She is of the age of Eighteen and one hundred pounds in money when she is of the 
age of twenty one years, or the whole two hundred & fifty pounds being paid by Sd. Jonathan with 
Lawfull Interest, when & So Soon as the Sd. Ann Comes to the age of Twenty one, she having 
free Liberty to Enter & Improve at 16 years of age, until he Doth pay but in Case he Doth not 
pay at the Time or times & manner above Sd. then the Sd. Ann Shall have& hold Said fourth part 
to her & her heirs for Ever, but when ever she Inclineth to sell, to Give her Sd. Brother the 
Refusall thereof, I also Give her one fourth part of my Books, & one fourth part of my other 
Lands Rights & Interests and also a cow or heifer being brown with a white face Item I also 
give & bequeath to my Daughter Abigail Higley in Like manner as to her Sister Ann, Two hundred 
and fifty pounds in money to be paid by her brother Jonathan in the Like manner as above said 
Viz fifty pounds money when She is Sixteen years alike, one hundred pounds money at or when 
She is Eighteen years of age, and one hundred pounds when She is twenty one years of age and 
on neglect of payment as above or with Lawfull Interest at the last time mentioned, then She Shall 
& may Enter into the Marsh & ten acres of upland & mines therein and use & Improve the fourth 
part thereof and after she hath arrived unto the years of Twenty one, and the payment Last men- 
tioned not made then she Shall hold the Said premises to her & her heirs for Ever ; but if She Sell 
to Give her Brother the Refusall I also give her the fourth part of all my other Lands Rights & 
Titles, with the fourth part of my Books and a Chest of Drawers worth five pounds And I do 
hereby make ordain Constitute and appoint my loving Wife Abigail Higley to be my Executrix to 
this my last Will & Testament fully Impowenng her to Sell any of my lands Except the marsh & 
Ten acres of upland adjoining, for to pay Debts or Support herself and my Children so long as she 
Doth Continue my Widow, but not after In Witness where of I have hereunto Set my hand and 
fixed my seal this Thirtieth Day of January one Thousand Seven hundred & thirty three four, 
signed sealed published pronounced & Declared by Said Samuel Higley to be his last will and 
Testament, 

" In presence of us 

" SAMUEL GRISWOLD / ~~ > , 

"ELIZABETH GRISWOLD, her mark X "SAMUEL HIGLEY " -j SEAL. > 

" ELIZABETH GRISWOLD, junr. ' < - 

" Jan. soth 1733/4." 

An Inventory of the Estate of Doctor Samuel Higley Deceased Taken by us Subscribers being 
under oath as follows 

One Gun Sword & powder horn, . . . . . . 3 10 o 

Spoon mould, 155 ;. Smoothing Iron, 35 ; Gauge, 2S ; fine plain Irons, 6s; Ginter Stock 

& Iron, 3, . . . . . . . . .190 

handsaw, 55 ; Gimblets, 8d ; ads, IDS ; 3 Chisels, 45 ; 2 Creasing Irons, is. . .108 

Cart-band, 2-6 ; betle rings, is ; a pair of nipers, j^d ; i Trowel, IDS ; Chimney 

Chain, 35, . . . . . . . . . o 17 9 

a pair Tongs, 45 ; frying pan, 35 ; Sythe & Tackling, IDS ; old pot, 6s ; broken 

pot, 35, . . . . . . . . . . .160 

quart cups, 45 ; bulg quart pot, 6s ; pint bason, 8d ; quart bason, 35 ; old puter is-3d, o 15 9 



SAMUEL HIGLEY, 1ST. 133 

puter platter, 75 ; brass kittle, 125 ; Earthern pot, 2S-6d ; Earthern platter, as ; 

hour glass, i8d . . . . . . . .. .140 

3 Small bottles, i8d ; Cups, as ; Stone Jug, i8d ; 2 white viols, 25 ; 12 viols, 45 ; 2 

chairs, 55, . . . . . . . . . .0160 

8 Square Glasses & Case ilb, jos ; Testament, 2S ; psalm book & psalter, 35 ; three 

glass Stils ilb ; i bible ilb, IDS . . . . .456 

quart glass, 10 ; Boneridg Book 35 ; Eaten Book, 25 : prayer book, is ; 2 small 

book, is, . . . . _ _ . . . . . .080 

vise book, 2S ; prayer book, is ; Great Dictionary, 3~o-6d ; Sermon book, i8d ; 
Pharmocopia batema, i7S-6d ; family Dictionary, IDS ; Waldon's Book, is ; 
Polegraffy book, 55 ; i Letter Book, ips ; morphews Book, 35 ; Anonmies Book, 
35 ; Sacuties Book, 6s ; Book of principles, zs, . . . . .626 

English Dictionary, 8s ; Billery precepts, 33 ; Concordance, ilb ; accidents, 33 ; 
Peter Loo Book, 55 ; Great Lain Book, los ; two Sermon book, is ; 2 German 
Book, i8d ; 8 Small books, i6s, . . . . . . -376 

Great wheel 45 ; Little, 2S ; meat barrel, 45 ; one barrel, 33 ; 3 bowls, 4s-6d ; i 

small bowl, is, . . . . . . . . . o 16 6 

6 Trenchers, is ; wooden mortar, 35 ; wooden Bottle, 25 ; i bell, 75 ; Gallon bottle, 

35 : paile, is ; bellows, 61b ; Quadren, 25 ; Scales and weights, 155, . . 7 14 o 

2 Rasars, 25 ; two ounces borax, 135 ; Chest box & key, los ; one box, 55 ; Little 

box, is, . . . . . . . . . i ii o 

Portemantle, IDS ; great beadstead, 6s ; blankets, ilb, 8s ; three other blankets, 2lb 

155, . . . . . . . . . . . 4 19 o 

feather bed boalster & pillows, 4lb ; small bed, ilb; three sheets, ilb 135 ; Mat, IDS; 
Corned Cestuk, i8d ; old Iron, 45 ; Small Saw, i8d ; Saw frame, 2S-6d ; bit of 
Steel, 6d ; compass, 75 ; piece of brass, is, . . . . . .806 

meal sieve, 2S ; two Cows, islb ; i Calf, one Sow, a horse, 4lb ; one Swine, ilb 55 ; 4 

Swine. 2lb 55 ; 3 Spoons, 2S ; 4 knives & forks, 2S ; Saddle & furniture, 2lb ; . q 14 o 
house and Ten acres upland & 30 acres marsh all ..... 105 o o 

14 acres Land Turkey hills, 42 Ib ; 20 acres Land at the old house, 30 Ib, . 72 o o 

a piece of land on the mountain by mitchels land, . . . . . 15 o o 

40 acres pine plain, 2olb ; 10 acres Swamp land, 15 Ib, . . . 35 o o 

Dated at Symsbury June 4th 1737 

" JAIRUS CASE, 

" SAMUEL GRISWOLD, 

" JOSHUA HOLCOMB." 

Dr. Samuel Higley's widow, Abigail Higley, proceeded to 
settle his estate, in connection with which frequent transactions 
are upon record after the date when her son came of age. 

On the Qth of April, 1743, conveyance was made to Captain 
Joseph Higley of thirty-nine acres of land which Samuel had re- 
ceived at the distribution of his father, Captain John Higley's, 
estate. This land is described as lying " to the westward of 
Brewster Higley ad's dwelling-house, upon a brook called 
Simon's." 

The final distribution of the estate was entered as follows 1 : 

"June 22, 1745 : The Distribution of the Estate of Dr. Samuel 
Higley, late of Simsbury, deed, was brought into Court and ap- 
proved." 

Abigail Higley outlived her husband nine years. Her death is 
thus announced : 

"Abigail Higley, widow of Samuel Higley, Departed this life, August 5, 1746." 

The children of Samuel and Abigail Higley all survived their 
parents, and lived in Simsbury. 

1 " Hartford County Probate Records," book xiv. p. 60. 
10 



134 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Jonathan, the eldest and only son, married Mary Thompson, a 
daughter of the Rev. Edward Thompson, who was the minister 
of old Simsbury parish. 

Annie, the second child, married, but the name of her husband 
is not known. 

Abigail, Jr., the youngest child, while yet in her teens married 
Samuel Smith of Simsbury. Her name becoming merged into 
the great "Smith family" of this country, all trace of her de- 
scendants is lost. Samuel and Abigail Higley Smith sold to Cap- 
tain Joseph Higley, October 24, 1752, lands "received from our 
honored father, Samuel Higley." 

The descendants of Dr. Samuel Higley continued, chapter Ix. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. MINDWELL HIGLEY TISDALE FITCH. 

Oh, Time 

Works miracles. In one short hour many thousands 
Of grains of sand run out. 

SCHILLER. 

MINDWELL, the ninth child of Captain John and Hannah Drake 
Higley, first drew her breath in the home of her father the 
" Wolcott mansion," at Simsbury. The exact year of her birth is 
doubtful, the record having been lost. It was, however, about 
1689. She was given the name of her aunt Mindwell Drake, who 
was born the day after the wedding of her sister Mindwell's 
mother to Captain John Higley. 

She married, September 2, 1714, Jonathan Hutchinson, the week 
following her father's decease and burial. His father was of a 
numerous and prominent family of Lebanon, Conn., the members 
of which were among the original founders of the town. Mind- 
well's married life was cut short by the early death of her hus- 
band three years after their union, September 10, 1717. They 
had two daughters : Hannah, born May 23, 1715, who died at the 
age of ten years, May 26, 1725 ; and a babe born September 13, 
1717, three days after Mr. Hutchinson's decease who bore her 
own name. The infant lived but one month. 

It was during the widowhood of Mindwell Higley Hutchinson 
that the final settlement of her father's estate took place. Re- 
ceipts and papers in reference to her share are still extant, bear- 
ing her signature. She remained a widow until the ad of 
February, 1727, when she married James Tisdale of Lebanon, 
who, it is supposed, was a widower. There are no children of 
this marriage recorded. In three brief months she buried her 
second husband, whose death took place May 2, 1727. 

>35 



I3 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The quaint inscription upon his tombstone in the old Lebanon 
cemetery reads thus : 

1bere Iges tbe JBoog of 
/for Sanies Gisoale of Lebanon 
be busbano of /fora /fotnowell 
Gis&ale. f)e ogeO /Bbag 3 1727 

aaeD 48 gears, 
fjere Iges our faitbful Xovetng ff rienfc 

B fjusbano & a ffatber fdno 
"CClbo batb restno himself to <3oo 
Bno left bis wife & babes bebino. 

On theiyth of September, 1729, she became the wife of Captain 
Nathaniel Fitch, a gentleman of prominent position, and the fifth 
of the seven sons of the eminent Rev. James Fitch, the first 
minister of Norwich, Conn., by his second wife, Priscilla Mason, 
daughter of Major John Mason. The Fitches were leaders in 
founding the commonwealth, and were a highly influential family. 

Captain Nathaniel Fitch received a commission as captain of 
the military in 1719, and was deputy to the General Assembly 
for Lebanon, May, 1720. He was commissioned captain of the 
"South Company," May, 1726. Captain Fitch was born 1680, 
and was a widower, with several children, at the time of his mar- 
riage to Mindwell Higley. Their home was on a farm near the 
town of Lebanon. 

They had three children, viz. : 

Jabez, born October 4, 1730, and died November 14, 1736. 

Ezekiel, born March n, 1732; 

Isaac, born May 20, 1734. 

The date of Mindwell's decease has not been found. 

Her husband, Captain Fitch, died May 4, 1759, at the age of 
seventy-nine years. He was interred in the Lebanon cemetery, 
near the grave of his father, the Rev. James Fitch. A tombstone 
marks his resting place. 

Mindwell Higley Tisdale Fitch's descendants have not been traced for these pages. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. SARAH HIGLEY LOOMIS. 

There was only one thing dearer to the New Englander than his township his home. E. 
G. SCOTT. 

THE tenth child of Captain John Higley, a daughter Sarah, 
was born at Simsbury during the time when the family fortune 
was at its height, and her father had attained much celebrity in 
public life. Her mother was his second wife Sarah Strong, the 
granddaughter of the Rev. John Wareham. Sarah was the first 
child by her father's second marriage. 

The date of her birth may be fixed almost to a certainty in 1697, 
although the precise time is unknown. 

On the 24th of December, 1723, she married Jonathan Loomis 
of Windsor, Conn., to which town her mother returned with her 
family in a few years after the father's death. Jonathan Loomis 
was born February i, 1694. His father, Jonathan Loomis, Sr., 
was a grandson of Joseph Loomis, who settled in Windsor in 
1639, coming to America from Braintree, Essex, England, in the 
ship Susan and Ellen, 1638. He was the ancestor of most of the 
numerous family bearing the name in this country. 

Jonathan and Sarah Higley Loomis resided at Windsor. They 
had seven children, viz. : 

Sarah, born July 23, 1724, and died December n, 1733. 

Jonathan, born November 14, 1725, who died when near five 
years of age. 

George, born November 22, 1727. 

Keziah, born June 18, 1729. 

Margaret, born March 15, 1730. 

Wait, born August 14, 1732. 

Jonathan, born June 16, 1734. 

Their son George, a promising young man, was graduated from 
Yale College in 1750; but death claimed him the following year, 
1751, leaving his parents bereft of sons, and, as far as is known, 
with but two living children, both daughters. Keziah, the elder 
of the two, married her cousin Joseph Loomis of Windsor, and 



138 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

became the mother of six children. One of her sons, Jonathan, 
was a Revolutionary soldier. 

Margaret, the second daughter, married John Warner, Decem- 
ber 25, 1754.* 

It is supposed that the two youngest children, Wait and 
Jonathan, died in childhood. 

Previous to her marriage Sarah Higley purchased of her 
brothers, John, Brewster, and Samuel, and her sister-in-law Ann 
Higley, the wife of her late brother Jonathan, lands in Windsor, 
"lying at a place called Clay Bridge," which was a part of the estate 
that they received by inheritance from their mother, Hannah 
Drake; the consideration being "the sum of ^30 in money." 
The deed was given August 31, 1722. 

And later on, about the time of her marriage, she, with her 
sisters Katherine, Mindwell, and Abigail, sold to John Higley, Jr., 
her eldest brother, her share in the lands at Simsbury inherited 
from her father's estate. 

Jonathan Loomis and " Sary " repeatedly had their income in- 
creased by "bills of credit" from the personal estate of Captain 
Higley, which were charged by the executors to their account, 
and moneys were paid to them in different amounts from time to 
time, for which their receipts are shown. 

It would appear that each of Captain Higley's daughters 
received special articles, as mementoes of the old home, set apart 
from the household goods. " Sary " received an "iron kittoll," 
which may have been made from the bog ore found a few miles 
away in Turkey-Hills, and "two porringers and saucers," one of 
them being " pewtar." The most valuable table-ware in the New 
England homes of that day was of this metal, and was imported. 

The inventory of her mother's estate Mrs. Sarah Higley's 
was presented in Court jointly by "Jonathan and Sarah Loomis, 
December 1739." 

The dates of their deaths are unknown, and their graves cannot 
be discovered ; 

" For the grassy hillocks are leveled again, 

And the keenest eye might search in vain 
'Mong briars and ferns, and paths of sheep, 
For the spot where the loving couple sleep." 

The reader is referred to the " Loomis Genealogies " for descendants. 
1 " Loomis Genealogies." 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. NATHANIEL HIGLEY. 

Faith in God, faith in man, faith in work ; this is the short formula in which we may sum up the 
teaching of the founders of New England ; a creed ample enough for this life and the next. 
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. 

THE life of Nathaniel Higley is a quiet one for the chronicler. 
He was the eleventh child in the large family of Captain John 
Higley, whose second wife, Sarah Strong, was his mother. He 
was a well-to-do farmer, possessed of considerable ability and a 
comfortable property. 

Nathaniel's birth took place at Simsbury close on to the 
departure of the century, November 12, 1699. He was a boy of 
fifteen at the time of his father's death. On the eighth of the 
following February (1715) he went into the Probate Court and 
made choice of his uncle Samuel Strong to be his guardian. 
At the age of twenty-one his marriage was placed upon record as 
follows : 

"Nathaniel Higley of Simsbury and Abigail filler of Windsor were maried the 
twenty-ninth day of march, 1720." 

The young pair were second cousins, both of them being the 
great-grandchildren of Elder John Strong of Northampton, Mass. 
Nathaniel's grandfather on the maternal side was Return Strong, 
and Abigail's maternal grandmother was Experience Strong, 1 his 
sister. 

Nathaniel and Abigail Higley settled upon lands which Nathaniel 
owned in the northern part of Simsbury, now North Granby, 

1 Lieutenant Walter Fyler (sometimes spelled " Filer ") the paternal great-grandfather of 
Abigail Filer Higley, came to Windsor, Conn., with the Rev. John Wareham, 1636, from Dorchester, 
Mass. His house was within the Palisadoes. He was Deputy to the General Assembly in 1647. 
He died 1683. In his will he gave the use of his estate to his widow Jane during her natural life, 
" Also one hundred pounds in cash to bestow upon another husband, or reserve it to herself to 
bestow upon whom she may please." His son Zerubbabel married Experience Strong, May 27, 
1669, and lived for a time at Stone River (Suffield), but afterward returned to Windsor. While 
he was a resident of Suffield his son Samuel, the father of Abigail Filer Higley, was born. Samuel 
was a fanner at Hebron, Conn., where he died September 13, 1710. His wife, Abigail, died 1709. 
Their daughter, Abigail Filer Higley, the wife of Nathaniel Higley, was born February 6, 1703. 

There are a number of the Higleys now living whose ancestry is traced in direct line to their 
maternal ancestress Abigail Filer. 



140 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

where they lived long and useful lives, and where they brought 
up a family. 

He purchased in 1726 from his younger brother Josiah a 
parcel of land adjoining his own "house lot," which lay to the 
west of that owned by his brothers John and Brewster. His 
home estate comprised ninety acres with "ten acres on y e 
plain "; and together with the other inhabitants of the settlement 
he received, January 2, 1723, a share at the distribution of 
common lands made by the town. He is named among the 
heirs who received from the executors an inheritance from 
Captain Higley's estate, together with small household articles 
" set out to him," among which was " a pair of stilyards." 

Nathaniel Higley was by profession a surveyor. The office of 
town surveyor was one of considerable importance, the principal 
duties being " the measuring of land and getting out of town lots 
to men." In town affairs he was intrusted with prominent ap- 
pointments, and appears among the solid men of his generation, 
of well-balanced mind, displaying sound judgment. His name 
is found upon various committees of the Northwest Ecclesiastical 
Society; and the indications are that he was more actively asso- 
ciated with religious matters than were the elder children of 
Captain Higley. For the year 1742 his church rates, "for de- 
fraying the charges of the society," amounted to 4 i6s. 4d. 
His children of whom we have trace were nearly all religious 
professors. 

During the years of his greatest church activities the practice 
of the admission of members to the church on the " Half-way 
Covenant," so-called, was customary, which was frequently fol- 
lowed after lapse of time " by y e owning of y e covenant." These 
half-way covenanters "were not permitted to come to the table 
of holy communion. " 

It was in June, 1753, that the following action was taken by the 
church of which Nathaniel by this time appears to have been one 
of the chief props : 

" Voted that Dr. Watts version of the Psalms shall be sung in our public assem- 
blies once a day upon y e Sabboth." 

This was an advanced step toward liberality in church affairs. 
Heretofore the singing, for the period of a century, had 
been from a quaint "little metrical volume," known as "The 
New England version of the Psalms," or the "Bay Psalm-Book," 



NATHANIEL HIGLEY. 141 

the first edition of which was printed about 1640. A later version 
appeared in 1650. 

" The necessity of the heavenly Ordinance of singing Scripture 
Psalms in the churches of God," was fully recognized. 

The singing was accomplished by " lining" these psalms, which 
was alternately reading one or two lines by the minister, then 
the congregation singing them, followed by two more lines, etc. 
Few possessed hymn-books. Someone stood appointed to "set 
the tunes," which were invariably long-drawn and heavy. The 
psalm sung was usually very long, and the people stood while 
singing, as well as during prayer. 1 

Among other town officers appointed each year was an "In- 
spector of Leather." To this service Nathaniel Higley was 
repeatedly elected; he served as grand juror, was appointed 
appraiser, surveyor of highways, fence viewer, rate collector, 
and often served as tything-man. Of the latter office, which 
long ago ceased in the churches of New England, a few words 
here will be of interest. 

The tything-man was a town officer, who was annually elected 
and officially sworn into office to enforce the observance of the 
Sabbath. He required to be filled with zeal and vigilance, and 
was a man who inspired a degree of fear and awe. He was to 
see to it that "no person should be recreating or unnecessarily 
walking or loitering on the Lord's day." His duties required 
him to look after the absentees from church service, and to col- 
lect the fine of ten shillings imposed upon those who, "being 
able-bodied and not otherwise necessarily prevented, should for 
the space of one month " fail to appear in the Sunday congrega- 
tion. 2 

But his most conspicuous duty lay in preserving the sanctity 
of divine service. Provided with a long pole, and a whip-stock 
and lash in hand, he stationed himself every Sunday in the rear 
of the audience near the door, and with vigilant eye and dignified 

1 "At family prayers it was the costom to rise to theirfeet and stand instead of kneeling." The 
reason given for taking this posture was, " their exceeding fear of any costom that might be con- 
strued as tainting of Popery." 

*"As the President [George Washington], on his return to New York from his late tour 
through Connecticut, having missed his way on Saturday, was obliged to ride a few miles on 
Sunday morning in order to gain the town at which he had previously proposed to have attended 
divine service. Before he arrived, however, he was met by a Tything-man, who commanding him 
to stop, demanded the occasion of his riding ; and it was not until the President had informed him 
of every circumstance, and promised to go no further than the town intended, that the Tything- 
man would permit him to proceed on his journey." From an old newspaper of the times: 
" Olden Time Series." 



142 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

gravity he performed his calling with no partisan favor. The 
giddy youth who happened to whisper to his chum, or who un- 
fortunately was unable to repress his overflowing spirits, com- 
mitting the grave, sin of a smothered snicker, was approached 
from behind and sharply rapped upon the head with the pole, 
which was aimed with great precision and directness. 

Mrs. Stowe pictures this official as " a man who on week days, 
though he might be a rather jolly, secular individual, on Sunday 
was a man whose eyes were supposed to be as a flame of fire to 
search out boys that played in meeting, and bring them to awful 
retribution." * 

In an old law book which once belonged to Nathaniel's 
nephew, Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., was found in manu- 
script at the end of the volume, " Reports of Brother Jonathan's 
adjudications of small cases which he tried as Justice of the 
peace." Among these was one where His Majesty's ty thing-man 
entered a complaint against Jona and Susan Smith for a "prof- 
anation of the Sabbath "; namely, "that on the day of dur- 
ing Divine Service on the Lord's Day, they did smile." The cul- 
prits were adjudged to be guilty of the offence, and severally 
fined "five shillings and cost."" 

Eight children are found upon record as having been born to 
Nathaniel and Abigail Filer Higley; yet it is probable there were 
others. They were as follows: Abigail, born November i, 1723, 
married Josiah Holcombe, November 8, 1742. Mary, born 1724, 
and died at the age of one hundred and four years. She never 

married. Theopolis, born March 29, 1726; married Rhoda 

Solomon, born Januarys, 1728; married Lydia Holcombe. Dudley, 

born 1730; married Eunice . Samuel, born about 1734; not 

known whether he married. Daniel, the exact date of whose 

birth is not known, married Ruth ; and Mindwell, born 

about 1738, who married, March 3, 1768, Seth Higley, the son of 
her first cousin Brewster Higley, 2d.* 

Their children all settled in the vicinity of their home (the 
part of Simsbury now known as North Granby), and, except 
Solomon, here remained until after their father's decease, and till 
about the close of the war of the Revolution, when most of those 
who were then living emigrated to Vermont. 

1 " Old Town Folks," by Harriet Beecher Stowe, p. 43. 
a " Olden Time Series," Henry M. Brooks. 

3 It is confidently supposed that Noah and Nehemiah Higley were also sons of Nathaniel. See 
chapter Ixvi. 



NATHANIEL HIGLEY. 143 

Nathaniel Higley died of cancer in September, 1773. 

His son Daniel Higley was named as executor of his estate. 

His will, 1 which was signed on the i3th of February, 1773, 
devises that after his just debts are paid his wife Abigail shall 
have one third part of all his lands, plowing, mowing, woods, 
and pasturing, with all the household goods, during her natural 
life. To his daughter Mary and son Daniel he gives all* of his 
'Mean and freehold estate," to be divided equally between them. 
To his son Solomon he gives five pounds of lawful money, and to 
his daughters, Abigail the wife of Josiah Holcombe, and Mind- 
well the wife of Seth Higley, the sum of three pounds each. To 
the heirs of Dudley Higley, his son, he gave the sum of ten shil- 
lings, to be paid eighteen months after death. One of his sons 
Samuel to whom moneys were paid at the distribution of the 
estate, is not named in his will. The inventory of his personal 
estate, taken September 23, 1773, contains articles of clothing; 
among which were a "Great Coat," valued at 75., a " Strait Bodied 
coat," i8s., "A Green Jaccoat," 45., "2 pair of Linen Breeches, 
is. 6d." It comprises also numerous household effects, sheep, 
cattle, and other belongings of a well-managed farm, amounting 
in all to ^"198 175. od.* It cannot be clearly understood why he 
gave the most of his property to his son Daniel and daughter 
Mary, almost disinheriting his surviving children and other heirs. 
His burial place is not known. 

Although Nathaniel Higley's name is not found associated with 
any conspicuous measure in the colony, when he passed away 
from life's day of ceaseless industry, which he had devoted to use- 
ful purposes, the event marked the close of a well-rounded career. 
He had walked in a straight road, rendering acceptable service to 
the community in which he lived. He was respected by all who 
knew how to respect integrity, trustworthiness, and a sound 
character. Such an existence does not fail to excite a glow oi 
admiration. " He fought the good fight, he kept the faith." 

The descendants of Nathaniel Higley -will be found in chapter Ixvi. 

1 "Simsbury Probate Records," p. 141. 
4 Book i. p. no, "Simsbury Records." 



CHAPTER XXV. 

/ 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. JOSIAH AND JOSHUA HIGLEY. 

We honor and we love them our ancestry of old, 

Whose virtues rare the brighter wear, like the face of virgin gold. 

GEORGE CANNING HILL. 

THE twelfth interesting advent of babyhood in the household of 
the Higleys at Simsbury was on a summer morning late in the 
season, when twins were announced. They were thus recorded : 

"JosiAH HIGLEY, the son of Captain John Higley, was borne the eighth day of 
September, and Baptized the fourteenth day of September, seventeen hundred and 
one. Borne to him by his wife Sarah." 

"JOSHUA HIGLEY, the son of Captain John Higley, was borne the eighth day of 
September, one Thousand seven hundred and one, which his wife Sarah, the 
Daughter of Return Strong, bare to him." 

The last named child " dyed " an infant of seven months, 
April 2, 1702, and was interred in the churchyard at the settle- 
ment at " Scotland" now Bloomfield, Conn. Josiah lived to the 
meridian of life. 

It has been declared that " men of great integrity who have no 
thought of pushing into any ambitious sphere, but only of doing 
with all their might the work which their hands find to do, are the 
salt of society, the strength of a nation, and it is not well that 
such should be forgot." 

The sentiment is fitting to Josiah Higley, as far as we can dis- 
cover the tenor and bearings of his life. The sphere in which he 
was known extended little beyond the region of Windsor and 
Simsbury. He appears to have held an honorable position, and 
served upon important town committees, though there is no 
indication that he was a leader in public affairs. The narrative of 
his life is virtually that of a good citizen, a worthy son of a 
worthy father. 

The decease of Captain John Higley having taken place when 
this son was but thirteen years of age, he was deprived of 



JOSIAH HIGLEY, 1ST. 145 

paternal care. At fourteen he was taken into court, where he 
chose Thomas Moore of Windsor for his guardian. 

On the day before New Year's, December 31, 1724, when he was 
twenty-three, he married Dinah Gillett, of a family of excellent 
standing and among the first grantees of land in that part of Sims- 
bury. The young couple settled in the parish of Turkey-Hills, 
then a part of the town of Simsbury now East Granby, 
Conn. where " Josias " owned lands. There were not at this 
time sixty families living in that vicinity. Here their children, 
and many of their grandchildren, were born and brought up. 

In town appointments Josiah Higley repeatedly served the 
local interests in a variety of matters, among which was the "Sur- 
veying of Highways." 

An ecclesiastical parish was granted by the General Assembly 
in October, 1736, which was organized and petitioned for " by the 
inhabitants of Turkey-Hills, Salmon Brook, The Falls, and the 
Higleys." l For two years, however, the petitioners could not 
agree upon a spot for the location of the meeting house. In 
1738 a committee from the General Assembly was appointed to 
take the matter in hand and " Affix a place in the Society to set 
the meeting house upon." Upon the parish records Josiah 
Higley's name is frequently found in relation to the performance 
of various duties in this connection, which shows him to have 
been one of the founders of this parish. 8 

In 1745 he was made a member of an important committee set 
apart to manage and lay out the common and undivided lands 
which had been granted by the town some years previous, and to 
attend, in behalf of the inhabitants, to the leasing of lands on 
Copper-Hill. 

Josiah, among other sons and some of the sons-in-law of Cap- 
tain John Higley who were commissioned officers, was possessed 
of a military spirit and was familiar with military tactics, holding 
the rank of sergeant in the Connecticut militia. 

Sergeant Josiah Higley and Dinah Gillett were the parents of 
six children who are found upon record viz. : Josiah, 2d, born 
"Nov. y e 6, 1725"; Rebecca, born May 22, 1727; Susannah, born 
May 6, 1730; Dinah, born January i, 1731; Nathan, born August 
i, 1736; and Elijah, born about 1738. 

These became the ancestors of many descendants who are now 

1 Supposed to refer to the residents of Higley-Town. 
9 This parish is now known as the North Society. 



146 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

living and who are much respected citizens in different parts of 
this country. 

His death occurred within a few months of entering his 
fiftieth year. His wife survived him, but it is not known how 
many years. She was yet living in the year 1754. 

In his will he bequeathed to her " my wife Dinah the use of 
one third of my lands, during her life." After setting apart, 
according to the old English custom, a special portion for his 
eldest son, "all of the remainder of the estate, both personal and 
movable," was divided in equal shares between his six children. 
He appointed his "beloved wife Dinah" and his son Josiah, 
Jr., his executors. 

The inventory of the estate indicates that he was living in 
moderate surroundings at the time of his decease. When his 
death took place he resided upon a plot of ten acres of land 
located about two miles south of Turkey-Hills Centre, which is 
described as " lying north of the highway that goes from Hatchet- 
hill to Windsor, together with six acres lying on the west side of 
the mountain." 

He was interred in the ancient burial ground at Turkey-Hills, 
(now East Granby). The inscription upon his tombstone, which 
is still standing, is as follows : 

Sergeant 



mag 31 1751 

ageD 50. 

For descendants of Josiah Higley see chapter Ixix. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ABIGAIL HIGLEY THORP. 

The wold an' young do slowly come, 
An' teake in stillness each his pleace. 

FROM " TREASURY OF SACRKD SONG." 

BUT a short sketch of Abigail, the fourteenth child of the large 
family of Captain John Higley, can be given; there being yet dis- 
covered but the briefest record of her life. Her story must there- 
fore remain in the unwritten annals of the family. 

She was born at Simsbury, Conn., November 4, 1703. When 
she was twelve years of age, her mother Sarah (Strong) Higley 
was appointed her guardian. 

The influences which surrounded her were the same as those of 
the other children of the household, and of other women of that 
day. The sameness of their unobtrusive, quiet, and limited 
spheres, as they pass in procession before us, furnishes little mate- 
rial for the biographer; they were, however, among the mothers 
and grandmothers of the "thought, conscience, and moral influ- 
ence " which went out of the simple, rural, colonial homes of 
New England, and which gave life and being to the future nation. 
They were solicitous and careful to lay the elements of true 
character in their children, and taught deep-rooted principles, 
instilling into their minds a reverence for truth and honor. Their 
lives, though inconspicuous, told upon the depth of the character 
of their sons and their sons' sons. 

Abigail Higley was married previous to her twentieth year to 
Peter Thorp, and lived at Lebanon, Conn., in the parish known 
as Goshen. Her husband appears to have been many years her 
senior, and to have been a widower with children scarcely younger 
in years than his wife. On the organization of the Goshen Con- 
gregational Church by thirty-two persons, in 1729, his name 
appears as one of the number. Abigail Thorp was admitted to 
its membership in 1730. Peter Thorp died September i, 1734. 

In his will he provided for his wife Abigail and their children; 
viz., James, Ruth. Sarah, Peter, Aaron, Abigail, and Hannah. 



148 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

It is quite probable that some of these children were by his first 
marriage. 

Abigail, Jr., married Joseph Gay; and Hannah, whose death 
occurred before her father's, married John Foster. 

Abigail Higley Thorp is mentioned in the settlement of her 
father's estate. Her autograph is preserved among the receipts 
in the executor's accounts given January 10, 1724, at which date 
it appears that she had gone from Lebanon to Simsbury to trans- 
act business for herself and her two sisters, Mindwell and 
Susannah, who also resided there. This autograph is the only 
relic of her which has fallen into the hands of the present genera- 
tion. At the final distribution of her mother's estate, money was 
ordered to be paid to Abigail's heirs, " their Mother's part." 

Her death took place at Goshen, July, 1742, in the fortieth year 
of her age. 

The descendants of Abigail Higley Thorp have not been traced. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. SUSANNAH HIGLEY BLACKMAN. 

" There is not a human life that is now potent for good, which is not shaped and swayed in 
large measure by the influence of lives which have passed from earth." 

SUSANNAH HIGLEY'S life, like that of her next older sister, has 
lain for nearly two centuries under almost total eclipse. Few 
records of her are extant. Even the stage and scenes of her 
married life are somewhat obscure. 

Her birth took place in 1705, at Simsbury, and she was the 
fifteenth child of her father, Captain John Higley. 

On the zd of January, 1724, she married Elisha Blackman of 
Lebanon, Conn., to which town she removed, and here they 
reared a family. 

The daily duties of these old-time women consisted in machine- 
like service of the household, and might be summarized as the 
bearing of children, nursing and guiding their large families, 
attending to the plain cookery, hetchilling the flax and tow, card- 
ing the wool from the fleeces of their own sheep, and spinning 
and dyeing with their own hands the cloth which they fashioned 
into garments for the family. The indispensable spinning wheel 
was a household article which is named in almost every inventory 
of the times. 

The wife and mother was cook, housekeeper, and nurse. She 
attended to everything herself, and was unaccustomed to frittering 
away her time, or running after petty vanities. She cooked in 
iron pots, which were hung from the crane in the huge fireplace, 
and her baking was done in the "big oven "built either adjoining 
the fireplace, or a little way from the house out of doors. The 
hot ashes and burning coals formed a bed for roasting potatoes 
and green corn, and the Indian corn and rye were made into 
meal for Johnny cake and the rye loaf. 

An endless variety of duties of necessity were laid upon the 
matrons of these households in way of drying fruits and vege- 
tables, which were hung from the ceiling, for it was before the 
days of canned goods; gathering and drying herbs for domestic 

IT * 



150 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

remedies in case of illness and emergencies; extracting lye from 
the wood-ashes and making all the soap; preparing the hominy 
for the table by a slow process, and manufacturing the starch. 
They made sausages, tried lard, made butter and cheese. 

The children were early put to work. All were trained to lives 
of industry. The older ones soon came to the help of the mother 
and lightened her burdens. The boys built fires, did chores, 
worked in the "truck patch," and were made to busy themselves 
in useful occupations. The few methods they had for getting fun 
consisted in going swimming, trapping small game, "coon " hunt- 
ing, fishing, gathering nuts from the forests, and out-of-doors 
sports. The daughters took their turn at the spinning wheel, 
the loom, the churn, and the wash-tub, and in all the domestic 
labor of the household. There were no servant-girls employed. 
There were no toys for the young children, no juvenile books, 
and no Christmas pastimes were observed. 1 It was before the 
days of Sunday-schools. 

The open fire, with its blazing back-log, and the candlewood, 
chiefly furnished the evening light. This candlewood was split 
from the pitch pine that grew on the hills. The timepieces were 
the sundial in the dooryard, and the "noon mark " in the window. 
They had no clocks. " Early candlelight " noted the time for 
neighborhood gatherings, which were frequent and hearty. The 
hospitality of the homes was cordial and freely offered ; the latch- 
string on the door was out to the passer-by. 

The mother was the inspiration of her home, making it the 
abode of peace, filling it with the home-spirit which makes the 
hearthstone the center of sweet recollections in after-life, and she 
was beloved and remembered for her own sake. Her aspiration 
was not to gain prominence for herself, but her ambitions were 
fixed upon her husband, whom she reverenced. 

Progress, as related to woman's development, had moved 
slowly for the last half century, if, indeed, it had moved at all. 
They lived under the English conception of woman's position, 
and her relations to her husband and her home. 

The inferior education given to daughters, as compared with 
the sons, is in this day of advantages for the superior education 
of women, and the higher cultivation of her faculties, a surprise, 
and unhappily reflects great discredit upon our forefathers. 

1 The Puritan Pailiament ordered, December 24, 1652, " That no observation shall be had of 
the five-and-twentieth day of December, commonly called Christmas day ; nor any solemnity used 
or exercised in churches upon that day in respect thereof." 



SUSANNAH HIGLEY BLACKMAN. 151 

It was not customary in those days even to give the women a 
special individuality by recognition of their own given names. 
They were known in the neighborhood, and recorded on the 
church-rolls, as "Deacon Smith's wife," the "Widder Brown," 
"Goodwife Jones"; and at death the widow was carefully placed 
upon record as "The Relique" of Mr. So-and-So or, in plain 
literal terms, the remains, or all that was left of " Zerubbabel 
Grace." 

"Woman's sphere," and the "advancement of women," were 
questions not yet discussed, nor had these subjects even dawned 
upon the minds of these faithful and unchronicled daughters of 
toil. But, withal, they were heroic and thoughtful, and there 
was much of intellectual acuteness and strength in their characters. 
They visited from neighbor to neighbor during the week, discuss- 
ing the Sunday sermon and high theological points, forming their 
own opinions and speaking their own minds, with an intelligence 
that would eclipse many a dame of these latter days. 

While they were not assertive women, and valued and leaned 
upon the protection of man, they had a certain independence in 
the transaction of business matters which seems to singularly 
ill accord with the constant signs of the meek spirit of subjection 
that they maintained in other usages of their lives. This is 
specially manifested in the numerous land transactions in which 
a great many women engaged, and which is one of the notable 
features of the records concerning the Higley women of the first 
generation. 

Susannah Higley received, at the final division of her father's 
estate, her share of the lands. The ancient and historical account 
books show her to have received in different small payments an 
additional ten pounds in money, the last of which appears to have 
been conveyed to her by her sister Abigail, who gave a receipt 
for the same. Her souvenirs from the old homestead were "a 
pewter tankard and a glass bottol." 

Four children, three sons and one daughter, are upon record 
as having been born to Elisha Blackman and Susannah Higley. 
Joseph, the eldest, whose birth took place November 26, 1724, 
married in 1758. He was the father of three children, viz. : 

Mary, born February 19, 1759 ; Susannah, born January 3, 1761 ; and Lurany, 
born June 21, 1763. 

Elisha, the second son, was born September 19, 1727, and 



15 2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

married Lucy Smith, a widow, March 22, 1753. They had chil- 
dren as follows : 

Lucy, born September 7, 1755 ; Levina, born September 7, 1757 ; Elisha, born 
April 4, 1760 ; Ichabod, born March 24, 1762 ; Eleazar, born May 31, 1765. 

Jonathan, the third son of Elisha and Susannah Higley Black- 
man, born May 12, 1729, married Sarah Comstock November 7, 



One daughter, Susannah, was the issue of this marriage. She was born July 25, 
1752. 

Susannah, their fourth and last child, was named for her 
mother, and was born August 12, 1733. We find no allusion to 
her afterwards. 

Susannah Higley Blackman was yet living March, 1748, when 
the final settlement of her mother's estate (Mrs. Sarah Strong 
Higley) took place. It is not known when her days ended. 

The descendants of Susannah Higley Blackman have not been further traced. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE FIRST AMERICAN FAMILY. ENSIGN ISAAC HIGLEY. 

Slow from the plow the woods withdrew, 
Slowly each year the corn-lands grew ; 
Nor fire, nor frost, nor foe could kill 
The Saxon energy of will. 

And never in the hamlet's bound 
Was lack of sturdy manhood found ; 
And never failed the kindred good 
Of brave and helpful womanhood. 

WHITTIER. 

THE child that was born to Captain John Higley and his wife, 
Sarah, on the 2oth of July, 1707, was baptized on the i4th of 
the September following, and given the name Isaac. He was 
the sixteenth and youngest child of the numerous household. 

Isaac Higley began life in the midst of great emotions in the 
community. Just preceding his birth it became known that the 
lurking Indians were planning an attack upon the settlement, and 
the Council of War at Hartford had ordered that fortifications 
should be provided by the inhabitants, "with all possible speed 
a sufficient number of well fortified houses for the saftie of them- 
selves and families." There was for a time something like a 
reign of terror. It is an old saying that " Desperite game need 
an able gamester," so his father, Captain John Higley, was 
brought into vigilant action in these measures for defense, and 
was standing equipped with his military forces ready for the 
" wager of battle." 

From the capacious memories of the older members of the 
family, Isaac, no doubt, had his head filled, in the subsequent 
years of his childhood and youth, with household stories of Indian 
encounters and scenes of tragedy which occurred about the time 
that he was born. ' 

His father dying when he was but seven years of age, the 
responsibility of his training fell chiefly upon the mother. The 
court appointed Thomas Moore of Windsor his guardian. 

The boy grew to manhood amid the charming scenes and 

1 See story of the capture of Daniel Hayes, page 70. 



154 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

beautiful range of Connecticut hills and rivers of Simsbury and 
Windsor. As long as he lived he bore the respect of the com- 
munities in which he resided, and was held in an especially affec- 
tionate regard by those brothers who were the sons of another 
mother. While yet in his teens his widowed mother removed to 
Windsor, and Isaac appears to have removed with her. Like 
several members of his family he devoted himself to agricultural 
pursuits, and bore worthy repute as a husbandman. 

The wild and uncultivated country, after the Indians had ceased 
their hostilities (about 1724), began in his day to show signs of 
advance and improvement, and fruitful fields were now to be 
seen. A bridge was built across the Farmington River in 1734, 
the inhabitants having for more than a century depended upon 
ferries of the simplest construction, which were licensed and 
regularly established at different points; two-wheeled vehicles 
began to appear : and carpets were sometimes seen upon the 
floors. The people lived plainly, and, compared with these days, 
their comforts were few. Wolves and wild animals were still so 
numerous that they had great difficulty in protecting their sheep. 
Deer, wild turkeys, and rattlesnakes abounded in the thick sur- 
rounding forests. 

Planting apple orchards was an enterprise which was entered 
into by most of the landowners, and plenty of cider was kept on 
hand, and using it to excess was a common indulgence. Their 
tables were supplied by products from their tilled fields; the sheep 
and swine which they raised furnishing their meats, together with 
the wild game, which was everywhere plentiful. Until the 
streams were damaged by mill-dams the beautiful rivers and 
brooks abounded in shad and salmon, and the fisherman's interests 
were a means of employment and profit. 

In the social status of the community, the range of human 
level was still divided into families which held class-eminency and 
those of the humbler landowners. The recognition of an " upper 
class " held almost as strong a grip upon the communities as it 
had fifty years before. 

Among the younger set there was much jollification and demoral- 
izing merry-making, which would in these times be scarcely admis- 
sible in polite society; and which, in many cases, led into great 
familiarity between the sexes, with perplexing consequences. 
Whitefield, when preaching in the different towns through this 
section of the country, found occasion to speak forcibly against 



ISAAC HIGLEY. 155 

" Mixed dancing, and the frolicking of males and females 
together," which practice, he afterward declared, "was very 
common." 

Saturday evening was in those good old times spent, as has 
been the custom in so many New England homes for more than 
two centuries to this day, in preparation for the Sabbath. 1 Every- 
thing like levity was solemnly hushed. All work of the house- 
hold and ordinary occupations were stopped, as far as practicable, 
until Monday morning. 

The minister continued to occupy a very dignified position. 
Although these spiritual heroes, with their worthy church officials, 
still frowned upon the doings of any individual who deviated from 
serious thought and grave, funeral-like demeanor on the Sabbath' 
day, and subjected the members of their flocks to the strictest 
letter of the laws which had been framed by the first Puritan 
emigrants, yet it is a simple historical fact that they failed in 
imbuing their followers with the practice of the spirit of peace, 
and that "charity which suffereth long and is kind" was often 
wanting in the different settlements. Bitter controversies and 
neighborhood broils kindled into high flame over points at issue 
which were constantly arising, and in which a grievous lack of the 
oil. of brotherly kindness and the Christian law of love and 
forbearance was manifested. The lion and the lamb utterly 
refused to lie down together; antagonistic spirits holding stub- 
bornly to their individual preferences." If the Higleys, whose 
names, including that of Isaac, by the middle of the last century 
are found in much activity upon the church records, joined to 
a great extent in these broils and were at swords' points on puri- 
tanical or other issues, time and their graves have concealed it 
well it is that the silence is perfect. 

From Isaac, the youngest son in the first American Higley 
family, a clew is obtained, and the only one, except a strongly 
marked heredity which runs throughout all the lines of descend- 

1 " Under the Colonial government it was for some time made a question of -when the Sabbath 
should be considered as commencing ; but in 1645 it became the custom to regard the evening of 
the last day of the week as the beginning of the Sabbath. Several clergyman, however, con- 
sidered Saturday afternoon as the commencement of holy time." " Olden Time Series," H. M- 
Brooks. 

a " But they were glorious men men whose arms were iron and whose nerves were steel 
They were men who fought and struggled not for glory, nor for ambition, but for conscience and 
for principle. They did not always bow courteously before they used their sword, they did not 
say ' by your leave ' before they ran their bayonet through the heart. They were brave and true 
men, and the world is immeasurably better and nobler for t'.ieir having lived in it." Lyman Abbott, 
D.D. 



156 THE HI G LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ants, of the stature of the early Higleys. Between Isaac and 
his brother Nathaniel, and descendants who are now living, there 
is a link with the long past, binding the present generation to 
their day. Naomi Higley, the granddaughter of Brewster 
Higley, ist, who married her cousin Brewster Higley, 4th, lived 
to the year 1850, residing with her grandchildren in Meigs Co., 
Ohio. They often heard her talk of these two grand-uncles of 
hers. She retained a clear recollection of them, having been 
a girl of fourteen when Nathaniel died in 1773. Isaac was a fre- 
quent visitor at her father's house Captain Joseph Higley's. He 
was of princely physique, finely proportioned and commanding 
in appearance, walked erect, and was active. He stood six feet 
and five inches in height, and his hands and feet were of notice- 
able size and proportions. Naomi Higley described him as "so 
tall that he was forced to stoop to enter her father's door." 
The low-ceiled houses seemed to cage him. She related that 
one day, when at her father's house, he arose to leave the room. 
"Where are you going, Uncle Isaac?" his nephew inquired. 
"Oh, just out of doors to stretch myself that's all," was his 
reply. He is said to have been somewhat eccentric and original 
in expression, and was always found to be fully conversant upon 
all topics of his times. He was very fond of children. 

Isaac Higley's wife, who was Sarah Porter of Windsor, whom 
he married February 13, 1735, bore him two daughters, the only 
children he ever had Sarah, born November 23, 1735, who 
never married, and Susannah, born December 8, 1742. The 
minister, Rev. Nathaniel Roberts, entered this record: 

"Jan. y e 3, 1741/2, 1 baptized a child for Isaac Higley and her name is Susannah." 

There is no allusion anywhere made to this child afterward. 

Early in 1732 Isaac Higley began trading and securing lands 
in Torrington, Conn. The first settlers of this town were almost 
altogether from Windsor. His name is mentioned in this con- 
nection with other citizens of Windsor as early as September 10, 
1733. In January of that year he purchased an additional lot 
of land from Jonathan Barber, and again in August, 1738, from 
Aaron Barber. In 1739 purchases of more land were made from 
his brother-in-law Jonathan Trumbull of Lebanon, who appears 
to have been the owner of lands at Torrington. 

It was about this date (1739) that he removed with his family 
to Torrington, being among the first settlers of the town, and 



ISAAC HIGLEY. 157 

where he became a man of considerable note. There were but 
nine families within the limits of the town at its beginning. He 
was at once associated with those who took early measures to 
establish church privileges, memorializing the General Assembly 
in October of the same year, asking to be "organized into an 
Ecclesiastical Society, and that taxes might be imposed for the 
support of the gospel ministry." A church was founded of which, 
in 1741, the Rev. Nathaniel Roberts was ordained the first minis- 
ter. In October, 1747, Isaac Higley served on a committee of 
three appointed by the General Assembly to build a meeting 
house. They erected the first church building in the town, 
which was ordered to be "a frame structure of the dimensions 
of thirty foot square and eighteen foot between joints." The 
meeting houses of Colonial times were not warmed; there were 
no stoves in those days. " It was considered that a comfortable 
degree of heat while at public worship did not contribute to the 
profitable hearing of the gospel. The first stove known to have 
been introduced into a house of worship was in Massachusetts 
in 1773," thirty years later than this period, and " was considered 
an indication of extravagance and degeneracy." ' 

In 1745 a small school was opened in the midst of the forest at 
Torrington. These early schools on the outskirts were generally 
kept by school-dames. There was, by this time, a growing 
degeneracy in the standard of the schools in the colony, many 
betraying an unwillingness to support them; yet some effort was 
still made to store the minds of the young with useful knowledge. 
The old-time New England schoolmaster governed his pupils 
"by the persuasive eloquence of the rod!" He was a practical 
advocate of corporal punishment. "School opened," states a 
writer of those times, " when the birch rod was laid across the 
master's desk." A sharp thrashing scene Was no uncommon 
event in the daily school exercises. It has been stated that 
"shingles and old slippers had much to do with the proud 
civilization of the past." During the year 1748 a division was 
made between the east and the west side of the town Torrington 
and Torringford. Isaac Higley appears on the west side in Tor- 
rington, where his estate lay "on the hill adjoining Joseph 
Allyn's place." The population had now increased, by 1756, to 
two hundred and fifty. 

His wife, Sarah Porter, died on the ipth of July, 1753, and on the 
24th of February, 1757, he married Sarah Loomis. 

1 " Old Time Series," by H. M. Brooks. 



158 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Isaac was the third son of Captain John Higley who bore the 
honor of being commissioned by the General Assembly ensign 
of the military company of the town to which he belonged. The 
Act was passed October, 1757. 

It is a matter worthy of especial notice that his brother Brew- 
ster Higley, ist, who had sons the same age as Isaac, and was the 
largest property holder in the family, selected him to settle his 
estate. "I make," says Brewster in the document, "my loving 
brother Isaac my sole executor," etc. ; evincing the worthy trust 
which might be reposed in him, as well as the affectionate regard 
in which he was held by Captain Higley's older children. It is 
not known just how long Isaac survived his brother. 

The tradition from the venerable grandparents is that he met 
his death by accidental drowning while crossing the river on the 
ice in the winter of 177-, with a wagon loaded with wood ; the 
wagon breaking through. In his effort to save his horses, he him- 
self went under the ice. His body was never recovered. With 
the early spring thaw the following season came a great freshet, 
which swept it away in the flood. 

The date of the decease of his second wife and that of his 
unmarried daughter is not known. His widow held the farm 
until the soth of January, 1800, on which date she gave a deed 
of conveyance to Oliver Allyn. This closed the family history. 
There were no descendants. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

DESCENDANTS OF KATHERINE HIGLEY NOBLE. 

Continued from chapter xvii. p. 96. 

David Noble, Katherine, Captain John Higley. 

Consider the years of many generations. DEUTERONOMY, xxxii. 7. 

OF Katherine Higley Noble's children, a son and daughter sur- 
vived her, Lydia and David. 

LYDIA NOBLE, the eldest child of James Noble and Katherine 
Higley, born December 7, 1704, married April 30, 1734, Stephen 
Kelsey of Killingwarth, Conn. They took up their residence at 
Westfidd, Mass. He died December n, 1753. She died April 
18, 1768. They had seven children, viz.: Stephen, Gershom, 
James, Mindwell, Stephen (zd), Lydia, Stephen (3^). 

DAVID NOBLE, Sr., the third child of James and Katherine Hig- 
ley Noble, was born March 3, 1709, and married Abigail Loomis, 
daughter of Philip and Hannah Loomis of Simsbury. 

He was a man of prominent usefulness. In the year 1732 he 
removed with his family to Hebron, Conn. Here he had much 
to do with founding the ecclesiastical society called Gilead, which 
was organized in 1748, his name being frequently noted in its 
first meeting, which was held in June of that year. It was then, 

"Voted, that Mr. Thomas Post and Mr. David Noble shall tune the Psalms for us 
on the dayes of divine worship." 

This appointment betrays David Noble's share in the heredi- 
tary musical turn which runs through the Higley family from its 
very early history to this day. 

He was also appointed on a committee to obtain land " to set 
our meeting-house on." He was subsequently chosen moderator 
of the society's meetings, and again in 1750 he served upon a com- 
mittee to " treat with a minister." He died at the age of fifty- 
two, February 18, 1761. A monument stands to his memory in 
the Gilead cemetery. 

The wife of David Noble, Sr., Abigail Loomis, lived to the 
ripe old age of ninety-two. They had twelve children. 1 

1 See names, dates, etc., of this family and its descendants, " Noble Genealogies." 



160 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

DAVID NOBLE, JR., their eldest son, was born at Westfield, 
Mass., and removed to Hebron, Conn., with his parents. From 
his early boyhood the light and presence of his grandmother, 
Katherine Higley Noble, shone in his father's household, of which 
she was counted one. Without doubt she often enriched it with 
bright stories drawn from her own recollections of her father's, 
Captain John Higley, achievements and military experiences in 
the border days during the hostile warfare with the Indians. 
The influence she cast upon young David's after-conduct in life 
could not have been inconsiderable. The patriotic zeal and self- 
sacrifice which has proved a strong characteristic in many of 
Captain John Higley's descendants was nobly manifested in him. 

David Noble, Jr., was one of the true heroes of the Revolu- 
tion; his name and deeds are deserving of perpetual recognition 
in the annals of our country. His career ranks next to that of 
his cousin, Jonathan Trumbull, as among the most interesting in 
the record of the Higley family. It is to be regretted that the 
limit of these pages forbids more than a modest memorial of his 
devotion to the cause of liberty. 

When the "first mutterings of the war of the Revolution" 
began, he volunteered his services without wavering, leaving 
at home a wife and a family of children. 

The time of his enlistment and duration of his absence is not 

i 

recorded. He left home the second time, April 22, 1775, march- 
ing with his comrades to Cambridge in the rank of captain, under 
the watchword " LIBERTY OR DEATH." 

The exact time of his return to his home is not known, but he 
appears to have participated in the battle of Bunker Hill, in 
which he bore a part in the defense of Fort No. 3, a work of his 
own regiment. 

Neither the battles of Concord and Bunker Hill nor the priva- 
tions and hardships of the service diminished Captain Noble's 
zeal. Realizing that recruiting was proceeding but slowly, that 
there was need of disciplined men, and that the supply of arms 
was scanty, by his earnest individual effort he raised a company 
of volunteers in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, was commis- 
sioned its captain, and marched as far as Springfield, drilling his 
soldiers with thoroughness through the winter. " For the supply 
of his Company he purchased, with his (nun funds, one hundred and 
thirty-six stands of Arms, new; clothed them with regimentals 
their breeches being made of buckskin, and their coats of blue, 



DESCENDANTS OF KATHERINE HIGLEY NOBLE. 161 

turned up with white. To meet these costs, Captain Noble sold 
two farms in Stephenson, N. Y., and one or two farms at Pitts- 
field, Mass. On being paid in gold for the land at Stephenson, he 
went to Philadelphia and purchased the deer skins, or leather, and 
at the same time hired a breeches-maker, and ' the breeches ' says 
his son, 'were all manufactured at our house.' " 

On the 3ist of December, 1775, he marched his soldiers from 
Pittsfield to Boston. While at Cambridge he sent for all the 
goods that would answer for soldiers' clothing, both linen and 
woolens, that remained in his dry goods store at home. These 
were promptly forwarded to him. " We had harvested at home 
that summer," writes his son, "thirty acres of wheat, which was 
made into flour and sent to my father at Cambridge, all except 
what our family really needed." 

After the evacuation of Boston by the British in March, 1776, 
Captain Noble and his company proceeded to Canada for the pur- 
pose of joining Arnold. The defeat of the latter at Quebec com- 
pelled him to join in a hasty retreat, retiring to Crown Point, 
N. Y. Owing to the scarcity of provisions and the almost insur- 
mountable difficulties in obtaining them, the sufferings and pri- 
vations were extreme. 

While worn down by fatigue, and suffering from the effects of 
unwholesome food, Captain Noble was attacked, while at Isle 
Aux Noix, with the smallpox, which was then ravaging the 
soldiers. He was removed to Crown Point, and there, in less than 
two months, this self-sacrificing patriot, " noble by nature as well 
as by name," passed to his reward. Captain Noble sacrificed his 
entire property, as well as his life, to the cause of American 
Independence." 

" Our joyful hosts to-day 
Their grateful tribute pay 

Happy and free, 
After our toils and fears, 
After our blood and tears, 
Strong with our hundred years 

Oh, Lord, to thee ! " l 

1 This stanza was added to the hymn " America," and sung at the Centennial of Washington's 
inauguration in New York City. ED. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, 2D. 

Continued front chapter xviii. p. 100. 

Brewster Higley, ad, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

By Professor Edwin Hall Higley 

The strength of a country will be found in the personal character and individual conscience 
that exist within its borders. THOMAS F. BAYARD. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, 2d, was the eldest son of Brewster Higley, 
ist, and the grandson of Captain John Higley. He was born 
December 12, 1709, in the old homestead at Simsbury, Conn. 
When twenty-five years old he married Esther Holcombe, daughter 
of John Holcombe, and his wife Anne (daughter of John Petti- 
bone). The date of this marriage, as recorded in the Simsbury 
Record Book, was March 13, 1734. His father bought for him 
some land from his (Brewster, ist's,) half-brother Nathaniel, and 
on this land the old colonial house here illustrated was built, where 
he took his bride. In this house all his children were born, and 
the family dwelt here until after the death of his father, Brewster, 
ist, in 1760. Their children, whose births are entered in the 
Simsbury Record Book, were as follows : 

Brewster (3d), born March 3, 1734/5 ; Hannah, born March n, 
x 736/7 ; Joel, born January i, 1739 ; Esther, born September 19, 
1743; Seth, born October 29, 1746; Huldah, born February i, 
1749, Enoch, born August 25, 1754. 

Owing to the distribution and division of property among the 
increasing kindred, Brewster, 2d, seems to have begun life with a 
more limited worldly estate than his father possessed. He was a 
man of ardent temperament, great industry, and fidelity. He in- 
herited much of his father's skill in medical and surgical practice, 
and was often called upon as an expert in extracting teeth and 
setting fractured bones; and he gained so much reputation in such 
matters that "he was recognized by the best surgeons in Hart- 
ford County to be a safe and prudent operator in such cases." 
Thus wrote his grandson, Erastus Higley. 

An event of great importance in his personal life was his re- 

163 




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o 

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Wen 
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Pi Q 



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DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY^D. 163 

ligious conversion, which occurred in 1740, during the visit to this 
country of the famous preacher and revivalist, George Whitefield. 
Whitefield preached in New England during September and Octo- 
ber, 1740. About the middle of October he came to Northhamp- 
ton, where the great influence of Jonathan Edwards was still felt. 
From thence he proceeded toward New York, preaching to great 
throngs wherever he stopped. He preached at all the principal 
towns on his route, including Windsor, Hartford, and New Haven, 
Conn. At this time Brewster Higley heard him, and became 
ardent and zealous in his religious faith and practice. According 
to one account, "he accompanied Whitefield from Simsbury to 
Boston." But as Whitefield came to Boston, via Rhode Island, by 
ship from Charleston, S. C., and visited Connecticut on the way to 
New York, as above stated, it is probable that Brewster Higley 
either first heard him in Boston, and accompanied him from Boston 
to Simsbury, or made the visit to Boston in connection with some 
later religious gathering. The religious interest continued to be 
felt very deeply throughout New England for several years after 
Whitefield 's visit, and great revivals of religion prevailed, especially 
in Connecticut, in the years 1740, 1741, and 1742. Among the 
ministers who are mentioned as " most zealous and laborious in 
the cause, who took most pains and spent the most property in 
the service," were Rev. Jedediah Mills, brother-in-law to Elizabeth 
Higley Mills. Mr. Whitefield arrived in Boston again in the 
autumn of 1744, and again advanced through Connecticut to New 
York, "preaching twice a day, generally to thousands." It may 
have been then that Brewster Higley accompanied him. From 
this time he was always active and prominent in religious 
matters. He became a deacon in the church, an office which has 
been held continuously by some one of his descendants down to 
the fifth generation. The distinct devotion to the cause of 
religion which he manifested at this time marks a new epoch in 
the history of the family. 

The records of the Simsbury religious society show his con- 
nection with the work and welfare of the church throughout all his 
remaining years. In 1753 and 1754 a disagreement arose between 
a majority of the society and their pastor, Rev. Gideon Mills, who 
had married Brewster Higley's sister Elizabeth. The list of 
names of those who voted against the continuance of Mr. Mills 
as pastor contains that of "Brewster Higley Jun.," who thus 
took sides against his sister's husband. The precise grounds of 



164 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

his action in this matter are not known, but the incident may be 
taken as evidence that he subordinated his personal feelings and 
interests to his convictions of right and duty. 

At the ordination of the Rev. Benajah Roots, June 27, 1757 
(successor to Rev. Gideon Mills), among those nominated to 
"keep houses of entertainment" was " Sergt. Brewster Higley 
Junr." In 1768, in a report upon the "Seating of y e Meeting," 
when Mrs. Esther Higley, widow of Brewster, ist, was assigned 
to pew i., the place of chief distinction, her son " En sn - Brewster 
Higley" was seated directly behind her. From 1760 to 1764 
Ensign Brewster Higley was chosen one of the prudential com- 
mittee of the society. He was moderator of the society's 
meeting in 1763. In 1777 he was one of a committee to "treat 
with Mr. Samuel Stebbins and invite him in the name and behalf 
of said society to preach the gospel with us for the future as 
a probationer, in order to settle with us in the Gospel Ministry." 
In 1778, at a meeting in November, Ensign Brewster Higley 
with others (named) were appointed a committee to confer with 
the minister, "Mr. Samuel Stebbins, how to compute the present 
currency of the country, or Continental Bills, with the agree- 
ment made with him at the time of his settlement in the ministry 
of this Society." 

Among the questions which greatly agitated the churches of 
New England at this time was the condition of psalmody, or 
church music. For more than a century after the coming of the 
Mayflower, the only music known in public worship consisted of 
the few psalm tunes brought over by the first settlers. These 
tunes were sung by rote, that is, without musical notation, and 
from memory. Consequently in the lapse of years great varia- 
tions in the method of singing developed themselves in different 
places, and often the singing had degenerated into a formless 
droning which was distressing and intolerable to those of intelli- 
gence and musical feeling. Efforts at reform were made by 
some of the ministers and others who recognized the extent of 
this evil. But, in combating the evil, the reformers were often 
led to the other extreme, and introduced music of a flippant and 
artificial character, which contrasted too strongly with the 
solemn, though untuneful, strains of the older tradition. Thus 
two parties were formed who became bitter antagonists, the one 
sticking for rote, the other for note, and the irrepressible conflict 
between the new and the old, the conservative and the radical, 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY,1D. 165 

raged in every town over this issue. Probably the solemn 
religious earnestness of Brewster Higley moved him to take the 
conservative side. Very likely the opposing -party was often 
filled with a zeal without knowledge. The society Records 
report the following interesting incident, showing Brewster 
Higley's position on this question: "1773. April. Voted to 
sing on the Lord's days in the afternoon according to the rules 
taught in the Singing Schools in this and the neighboring 
counties." Soon after this a teacher of music was employed. 
After practising some time he appeared with his scholars in 
church on a Sunday, and the minister having announced the 
psalm, the choir, under the instructor's lead, started with a 
tune much more lively than the congregation were accustomed 
to hear. Upon which one of the Deacons, Brewster Higley, took 
his hat and left the house, exclaiming as he passed down the 
aisle, "Popery! Popery!" 

His interest was not entirely taken up, however, by church 
matters. Shortly after 1760 (when his father died) he returned 
to the old homestead of Captain John Higley, where he took care 
of his widowed mother until her death, December 7, 1775. Here 
he lived for the rest of his life. He carried on a saw-mill, and 
a cider-mill and distillery, which stood near the original site of 
the barn on Captain John's farm. Judged by more recent stan- 
dards, this latter industry seems inconsistent with the religious 
convictions which he professed. But at that time the drinking 
habits of the New England settlers were strongly developed, and 
the religious propriety of the traffic in stimulating beverages 
was unquestioned. "Drinking," says Edward Eggleston, "was 
universal. The birth of a child, the taking of a piece of land, 
the induction of a new minister, an election of officers, the 
assembling of a court, weddings, funerals, auctions, arrivals 
and departures, and even religious meetings in private houses, 
were occasions for drinking." Deacon Brewster's liquor was 
evidently popular in the community, and that it was largely con- 
sumed among his own kin is shown by the entries in his old 
account book. Under date of September 20th, 1775, is the 
following "true account Concerning Creditors bringing Cider 
to the Still": 



12 



i66 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 





G. 


Qt. 


Pts. 


Brewster Higley 
















Wid Esther Higley 








Wid Esther Higley 








Seth H igley 




















6 





































These entries occur among the names of other neighbors, and 
show not only the bibulous tastes, but the numerical growth of 
the kindred. It was at this time that the section of Simsbury 
where Brewster and others resided was regularly known as 
Higlty-town, and so recorded on the map. 

On the 28th of June, 1774, Brewster's wife, Esther, died, aged 
fifty-nine years. She was married when nineteen years old, and 
had been his wife for forty years. 

In the following year, Brewster Higley married the widow 
Mindwell Bull of Hartford, the date of the marriage being 
January 5, 1775. She was the mother of Amos Bull, a noted 
singing-master and composer of tunes. A minute marriage- 
settlement, signed and sealed by Brewster Higley and Mindwell 
Bull, is contained in the Simsbury Town Records. In it is the 
agreement that in consideration of property to the value of five 
pounds which the widow was to bring into Brewster's family 
"for the benefit of said family," she should receive back the 
the value of the same, in case she survived her husband, and that 
"all the Dower she shall have right or claim to out of the s d 
Brewster's estate shall be the use of the lower North Room in 
the house he now lives in and four ' pound ' in money annually, so 
long as the said Mindwell remains the widow of the aforesaid 
Brewster and for no longer a term of time." 

Brewster Higley, 2d, like his father and his grandfather, was in 
the military service of the State. An entry in the Connecticut 
Colonial Records reads: "March 1758. This Assembly do 
establish Mr. Brewster Higley to be Ensign of the First Com- 
pany of the Train Band in the Town of Simsbury." The designa- 
tion "Mr." in this appointment is evidence that he was then 
esteemed a person of social importance, which is further wit- 
nessed by the address, "Brewster Higley, Gentleman" contained 
in his commission during the Revolutionary period, signed by his 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY^D. 167 

cousin Governor Trumbull, September 25, 1777.' His son Brew- 
ster, 3d, was also commissioned in the army, and served at Sara- 
toga and elsewhere during a large part of the same year. 

On December 21, 1761, he was chosen leather sealer of the 
town, and was re-elected every year until 1772. 

In 1777 " Brewster Higley 2d" was chosen one of a "Com- 
mittee to take care of schooling and 'sit' up schools in the 
several Districts for the year ensuing." Brewster, 2d, often 
expressed regret that he had not received a better education in 
his youth. This regret was uttered in connection with his desire 
to engage more fully in public religious effort. His handwriting 
is less fine and clear than that of his son, but there is no reason 
to suppose that he was especially lacking in culture for that time. 
His expressed regret is rather a proof of his appreciation of 
learning than an evidence of his lack of it. 

Under the will of his mother, the Widow Esther Higley, "her 
son Ensign Brewster Higley " was appointed the executor of her 
estate. 

Brewster Higley, 2d, died March 21, 1794, aged eighty-four 
years, three months, and nine days. His will was received and 
accepted by the court, March 31, 1794. The will was written June 
21, 1793, and disposed of property inventoried at ^946 145. 2d. 
In the list are the following articles, which show him to have 
taken pains to attire himself as became a person of consequence: 

Best great coat, valued at \ 145. : coats, black and brown ; vest and breeches, 
black, brown, and gray ; worsted stockings, blue and gray ; best linen shirts ; 
"three checked shirts ; wool shirts ; another linen shirt ; shoes and old boots ; black 

1 Jonathan Trumbull, Esquire, Captain-General and Commander in Chief, of the State of 

Connecticut in A merica : 
To BRKWSTER HIGLEY, 2ND, Gentleman. 




estab- 



or other your superior Officers, according to the Rules and Discipline of War, ordained and estab 
lished by the Laws of the State aforesaid, pursuant to the Trust reposed in you. 

Given under my Hand and Seal, At Arms, at Lebanon the 25 Day of September, Ann 
Domini 1777. 



1777. 

By his Excellency's Command 

JONTH. TRUMBULL. 



JAMES WADSWORTH Clerk 



1 68 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

handkerchief ; silver shoe buckles, silver knee buckles, valued at 8s. each ; 5^ 
yards of mixed colored cloth ; 7^ yards of wool shirting, valued at 155. ; one 
Bible ; Watt's Hymns ; spelling book, etc., etc. 

Lieutenant Joel Higley and Enoch Higley are recorded by the 
Court of Probate as executors of the estate.. The will begins with 
a sort of declaration of his faith as follows : 

" Being advanced in years and in the 84th year of my age, and calling to mind 
the mortality of my body and that it is appointed for all men to die and after 
death to come to judgement. . . 

" First of all I recommend my soul into the hands of God who gave it, and my 
body to the Earth to be buried in a decent and Christian manner, nothing doubting 
but I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. . ." 

He then bequeaths to 

" My loving wife Mindwell, a garden plot of half an acre of plow lands in the 
most convenient place near my dwelling, also, a third part of my cellar with liberty 
to pass to and from the same, and the well, for her use and benefit, with liberty of 
cutting fire-wood enough to support a fire for her own benefit, and liberty to pas- 
ture one cow on the farme, and liberty to cut two loads of hay in my meadow an- 
nually during her natural life, with what I gave her by a marriage settlement as by 
a written agreement may appear is to be in full of her Dowery in my estate. Also 
liberty to put her hay in my North barn and stable for a cow in winter." 

He then makes bequests of lands to his sons, giving location 
and boundaries, and also gives bequests to his daughters. 

For the descendants of Breiaster Higley, 2d, see the following pages . 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

ENSIGN BREWSTER HIGLEY, 30. 

Brewster Higley, 3d, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
By Emma L. Higley of Middlebury, Vt. 

To belong to a family which has earned well-deserved respect : to be able to look back upon 
forefathers who have lived well and bravely : this is indeed a birthright worth having. An inheri- 
tance of money may or may not be a desirable thing, an inheritance of character, an ancestry of 
generous, true-hearted men who did justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly with their God, this 
is a thing that kings might covet. EDNA LYALL. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, 3d, the first Higley of Castleton, Vt, was 
born at Simsbury, Conn., on the i4th of March, 1735. He was 
the eldest child of Deacon Brewster Higley, 2d (page 162). 

Little of -his boyhood and youth is known. The composition 
and well-formed handwriting give evidence of an early educa- 
tional training. His good father so lamented his own limited 
education that he was doubtless prompted by his own deficiencies 
to give his sons better advantages. 

In the days when young men were modest and kept in the 
background unless possessed of unusual ability, we find Brewster, 
3d, appointed to the offices of constable and collector of 
rates at the age of twenty-four. I have in my possession the 
rate book of Simsbury first Society, Salmon-Brook, Turkey-Hills, 
and Wintonbury, besides cider-mill, saw-mill, and farm account 
books, which give evidence of Brewster, 3d's, early aptitude in 
business affairs. These are duly registered with the minutest 
accuracy, and some racy observations and aspirations are sand- 
wiched among the dry figures. 

He married at the age of twenty-two, the fact of which is set 
forth in the Town Records of Simsbury, thus: 

" Aprill 7, A. D. 1757. Brewster Higley the 3d, son of Brewster Higley the 2d, 
and Esther Owen, Daughter of John Owen and Esther his wife, were Joined in 
marriage by John Humphery Esqr. Their grandfather's name is Brewster Higley 
and Grandmother's name is Esther. Their father's name is Brewster Higley 
and mother's name is Esther, so that there are three generations from Grand- 
father and Grandmother down to Grandson and grand-daughter, all of one name 

i6q 



1 7 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

for male, and one name for female Three generations are now living. May the 
Divine blessing rest on them and theirs to the latest posterity." ' 

The father of the bride, Deacon John Owen, was at that time 
the town clerk, and made the record. 

They settled at Simsbury, where they resided for twenty-two 
years, then removed to Castleton, Vt. 

Is it in answer to the above benediction that the Castleton 
branch of Higleys counts fifty members on the Castleton church 
roll, a dozen of whom entered the ministry, three were mis- 
sionaries, and eight were among its twenty-three deacons ? 

I must call special attention to these deacons, four generations 
in unbroken succession having served the church from Brewster 
Higley, 3d, elected in 1793, down to this present year (1890), when 
its senior and junior deacons now serving are his great-grandsons, 
grandsons of the grandson of Deacon John Owen and Deacon 
Brewster Higley, 2d, of the Simsbury church. 

Captain John Higley's account book finally fell in succession 
to his great-grandson Brewster, 3d, and it was in blank leaves left 
unused in this book that he kept his muster roll under various 
dates. He served as clerk of the town military or train-band, 
and carefully preserved in another book is his commission as 
ensign, dated September 25, 1777, bearing the signature of his 
kinsman, Governor Jonathan Trumbull. 8 Among his papers is 
also found a record of service in the campaign that compelled 
Burgoyne's surrender in 1777. 

He may have been one of the fifty Connecticut men who joined 
the military company of his town under Captain Noah Phelps of 
Simsbury, and came with the expedition led by Colonel Benedict 
Arnold to Castleton, where soon after a council of war was held 
on the village green, which resulted in the successful attack upon 
Ticonderoga -the following day under command of the indomni- 
table Colonel Ethan Allen. 

Was it during this campaign, when associated with the Vermont 
troops, that he decided to emigrate to Vermont? 

His son, Brewster Higley, 4th, had served under Colonel Ethan 
Allen in the Vermont militia the winter of 1778. It is altogether 
probable that these circumstances introduced Brewster, 3d, and 
his son to the fine tracts of tillable lands in the western part of 

1 " Simsbury Records," book iii. p. 269. 

' Whether there were two commissions given bearing this date, one to the father and one to the 
son, seems somewhat obscure. The commission to Brewster Higley, ad, page 167, is an exact copy 
of the original document. ED. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREIVSTER HIGLEY, ^D. I?* 

the Green Mountain State, and suggested the advisability of 
now removing thither. 

The deed of conveyance to Ensign Brewster Higley of a farm 
of 323 acres in Castleton, bears date October, 1778. Twelve 
hundred pounds was the price paid for this home in the 
wilderness, the next year after Burgoyne's invasion. The land 
was purchased from Ephraim Buel, and was "bounded on the 
north by Whitlock Hill, and on the south by Gershom Lake's 
farm." There was standing on it a rude log cabin. 

In May, 1779, Brewster, 3d, and his family took possession of 
this new home. The father, forty-four years of age, in the prime 
of his strong manhood, six feet tall, broad-shouldered, high fore- 
head, high cheek bones, keen gray eyes, stern and grave face, but 
with a tender heart of which he was a bit ashamed. The mother 
was forty, a noble woman, and just such a character as might be 
expected of the daughter of Deacon John Owen; the eldest son, 
Brewster ; 4th, was now twenty; then came four daughters: 
Louisa, a brave, bright-witted and intelligent girl of seventeen; 
Annie, the timid one of the band, aged fifteen; Zilpah, who was 
thirteen; Delight, aged ten years; Erastus, the second son, a boy 
of seven; Esther, a child of four years; and lola, a yearling baby. 
Two other daughters, Harley and Zeruah, were born in Castleton 
after the removal of the family from Simsbury. 

On setting out for Vermont the family goods and chattels 
were packed in ox-carts, Mrs. Higley and Louisa riding on 
horseback, carrying the babe and younger children in arms, 
and on pillions behind. The elder children walked with their 
father and two nephews who accompanied them, Amasa Alford 
and John Case. 

At one stage of the long journey, when the roads became almost 
impassable for the loaded carts, Brewster, 3d, sent his son on 
ahead with the mother and children to the end planned for that 
day's journey, and to bring back the horses to help with the loads. 
But after they had gone his imagination suggested so many 
possible perils, that he walked the entire night and overtook the 
party just as they were mounting their horses for the next day's 
journey. Louisa was the first to descry her father through the 
thick forest, and was fond of relating in after years how her heart 
was lightened as she saw him leaping from one fallen log to 
another, and answered her cheery "Hallo!" 

In June, after their arrival, the account book opens with the 
following entries : 



172 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 



June, 1779 



To two Bushel of Wheat, 1 

To two pounds of hog fat, old way,. . . 

to Nine pounds and half of flower 

to four pounds flower, 

To one week Spinning, old way 

to Spinning Six Runs and half of yarn, 



Under another date we find this significant entry : 
" To four shillings cash for wolves." 

Our most vivid imagination can scarcely realize the deep 
wilderness to which they had come. 

The old well and a spice-apple tree are all that now (1893) 
remain on the spot of this first home which they occupied. 

Judge John Owen's diary contains the following record : 

" June 3, 1780 : Heard by Mr. Mason from Castleton that my son-in-law Higley 
and his wife, my daughter, and family, are all well and not much concerned about 
y e Enemie." 

But all the while they were in danger from foraging parties of 
British tories and Indians, whose coming was of frequent occur- 
rence from the military posts on Lake Champlain. 

Castleton Fort was on the frontier, near the thoroughfare for 
military expeditions during the War of the Revolution. This fort 
was ten miles south of the old road from No. 4, the old French 
war highway to Fort Ticonderoga, and twelve miles east of 
Skeenesboro (now Whitehall, N. H. ), at the south end of Lake 
Champlain. 

One foraging party slept one night on the kitchen floor, while 
Mrs. Higley and her daughters worked all the night through 
baking bread for them, finding it difficult to pass from the mold- 
ing board to the brick oven without stepping on one of the men. 

One day word came from the fort that a skirmishing party was 
approaching. The family packed in hot haste. The horses were 
loaded with the children, feather beds, blankets, silver spoons, 
and other valuables, and led off toward the settlement at Poultney 
for safety; and colts, calves, pigs, and chickens were coaxed to a 
hiding-place. My grandfather, the little boy of the family, hid 
his half bushel of nuts where he was sure "the British" could not 



1 The entry of " fifteen pounds " as the price of the wheat is in very clear figures in the old 
account book, and though the country was at that time a wilderness the Editor thinks there must 
be a mistake in the figures. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ZD. 173 

find them ; and when the danger was past, and the scattered family 
was at home again, he was much grieved to find them missing. 
The father looked at the hiding-place and said : "Squirrels, not 
British, this time, my son." 

Another such rumor one dark night caused timid Annie to 
spring from her bed and rush with her little sister Esther (after- 
ward Mrs. Sylvanus Guernsey) to the woods. They crouched 
low behind a big log and shivered with cold and fear till daylight, 
when their brother's cheery whistle, as he hunted for them, 
assured them the danger was over for that time. 

In the spring of 1782 the rumors of a fresh invasion from 
Canada assumed such definite shape that it was decided to send 
Mrs. Higley and Mrs. Lake, a neighbor, with the young children 
in ox-carts to Connecticut, to stay till the trouble was over. 
Brewster, 4th, was now a member of the garrison at the fort. 
Annie went to Poultney, spinning, to pay for her board. Louisa 
volunteered to remain and keep house for her father. She was 
regardless of fear. She earned a barrel of flour that summer by 
baking bread for the garrison. Hiland Hall, in his lectures on 
the "Forts of Vermont," tells how "the commandant spent his 
evenings at Mr. Brewster Higley's quite often, and one night 
remained so late that he was locked out." This story fits with a 
family tradition, that "a commandant at the fort stole away the 
heart of the fair Louise, and then marched away and forgot her." 
This explains her bravery in . being left behind when the family 
took flight. 

The coming of a man to the .little new settlement of so much 
intelligence, property, and executive ability as Brewster Higley, 
3d, was duly appreciated by his townsmen. We find him at once 
appointed to various offices : serving as moderator, justice of the 
peace, town clerk, on a committee to secure a minister, on 
another to arrange for a singing-school, and attending to duties 
in drawing up petitions to the General Assembly, resolutions, 
etc., etc. The original drafts of some of these papers are still in 
our possession. 

In the year 1784 the church was organized, and two years later 
the parish was in a state of contention over the location of the 
meeting-house. Brewster Higley, 3d, exercised a controlling 
influence in the church, as he did in all town matters, for more 
than twenty-five years. In the matter now to be settled, he put 
an end to the contention by donating the land for a church, with 



174 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

a churchyard attached. He also gave the village green in front 
of it. A few years later he donated another lot of land lying 
opposite the church for a military parade ground. 

As justice of the peace it became his duty to solemnize mar- 
riages. Between the years 1781 and 1792, thirty-four at which 
he officiated are upon his record book; also copies of the prayers 
which he offered before and after the ceremony. 

As Brewster Higley advanced in years, and his strength failed, 
he gave up the care of the mills and the farm to his son Erastus. 
But he continued to take special pride and pleasure in his garden, 
with its apple, cherry, and plum trees, Connecticut grapes, 
asparagus, artichokes, etc., some of which were still growing 
within my memory. He enjoyed the church, which was near at 
hand, and its means of grace, the rapidly improving State, town, 
and country roundabout ; his increasing family of grandchildren, 
and the visits of his children, their letters and the letters from 
his relatives and friends at the old Connecticut home of his 
younger years. 

And so he grew mellow and ripened for his heavenly home, 
which he peacefully entered one early spring day at the age of 
seventy years. 

He was interred in the burial ground in Castleton, near the 
church he loved. 

His tombstone is thus inscribed : 



Beacon JSrewgter 
THHas born in Slmeburg (Conn.) 
flfcarcb 14tb a. 5). 1735. 
2>feo Bpril lltb 1805. 

" We mount the stage of life, 

Prove actors in the scene, 
Soon close the short account 

Of three score years and ten ; 
But when the trumpet's sound 

Awakes the sleeping dust, 
Eternal youth will crown, 

The triumph of the just." 

Esther Owen Higley, the wife of Brewster Higley, 3d, who was 
born October 27, 1739, lived to the age of seventy-three. Her 
death took place September 28, 1812. 

Her oldest living grandchild remembers her as much enfeebled 
and bowed with age during the last years of her life. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY,ZD: 175 

She was of a kindly, gentle temperament, and held the warm 
affections of her family and neighbors. Long after she was gone 
from earth, her daughters talked of her memory in much loving 
respect and affection. 

For the descendants of Brewster Higley, $d, and their families see chapters 
xxxvi, xxxvii, and xxxviii. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

HANNAH HIGLEY ALFORD PORTER. 

Continued from page 162. 
Hannah, Brewster 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

All long-known objects, even a mere window-fastening or a particular door-latch, have sounds 
which are a sort of recognized voice to us a voice that will thrill and awaken, when it has been 
used to touch deep-lying fibers. The Mill on the Floss. 

HANNAH HIGLEY, the eldest daughter and second child of 
Brewster Higley, 2d, and Esther Holcombe, his wife, was born 
March n, 1737. 

Her first marriage, which took place about 1756, was with Elijah 
Alford, who was one of the first settlers of Becket, Mass. They 
resided at Becket till the death of Mr. Alford, which occurred 
January 16, 1771, leaving her a widow with a family of young 
children. The inventory of his property amounted to ^"493 35. 
lod. 

The following is upon the records of the ancient Becket 
church : 

" August ye 4th 1771. Then was admitted to full communion with this church 
ye widow Hannah Alford." 

On the 5th of the month, the day following, the Rev. Zadoc 
Hunn records : 

" I baptized Elijah, 'Asel,' Abner, Amasa, and Hannah, ye children of ye widow 
Hannah Alford." 

On the 7th of May, 1775, tne " Intentions of Mairiage of James 
Gaines of Boston with the Widow Hannah Alford" were pub- 
lished and placed upon record. It was customary in those days 
to make public proclamation of a matrimonial contract. No 
record of this marriage is discoverable. But by this union Mrs. 
Alford had one child who was named James Gaines. 

She afterward removed with her family to Castleton, Vt, proba- 
bly with a desire to live near her brother, Deacon Brewster 
Higley, 3d. Here she married, September 23, 1784, Seth Porter; 
her brother performing the marriage ceremony. Seth Porter, 

176 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ZD. 177 

an excellent and upright citizen, was living in 1799. The date 
of his death has not been ascertained. Mrs. Porter spent the 
remainder of her life at Castleton. She was administered to, 
during her old age, by her son, James Gaines, to whom she left 
by her will all of her property. She died January 27, 1823, in the 
eighty-seventh year of her age. 

The children of Elijah and Hannah (Higley) Alford were as 
follows: 

Elijah, born April 13, 1757; Asahel, born November 22, 1760; 
Amasa, born September 17, 1762, died, 1764; Abner, born, June 

29, 1767; Amasa, born September n, 1764; Amos, born January 
25, 1769, died, September n, 1769, and Hannah, born May 14, 
1771. 

ELIJAH ALFORD, JR., the oldest son, born April 13, 1757; 
married, October n, 1779, Olive Higley, the widow of his 
cousin, Micah Higley, who met his death by accidental shooting 
the preceding December. They united with the Becket church, 
March 12, 1786. He was a man of sound, substantial character, 
and about the beginning of the present century was useful in 
church matters and prominent in public affairs. He served the 
town of Becket, Mass., as surveyor, 1805, as juror, 1806, and 
was of the committee for visiting and inspecting the schools. 
September 3, 1807, he was chosen deacon of the Becket 
church. 

On the 2d of May, 1811, he and his wife, Olive, were promi- 
nent among the eleven individuals who, with Colonel Benjamin 
Higley, the son of Olive Higley by her first husband, formed a 
church organization in Becket, which was afterward established 
permanently at Windham, Portage County, O. ; on their removal 
there, later in the season, he was made its first deacon. The 
subsequent history of this church, in its general growth and pros- 
perity, proves conclusively that the Divine protection and care 
marked the self-denying zeal of these earnest founders. It is now 
known as the First Congregationalist Church of Windham, O. 

Four months afterward, Mr. Alford says, in a letter addressed 
to Judge Erastus Higley of Castleton, Vt., bearing date "August 

30, 1811": 

" I have now begun my journey with my family for the wilderness of New Con- 
necticut, having exchanged my land for land in Township No. 4, in the 6th range 
of the Connecticut Western Reserve. I have 1167 acres of land in the aforesaid 
township." 



1 78 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The emigrants arrived at Windham after a long and perilous 
journey in carts, on the i2th of October, 1811. Mr. Alford with 
his family settled on lot No. 57. 

Here he and his wife brought up a family; many of their 
descendants still reside in the same locality, well-to-do and 
highly respected citizens. 

Deacon Elijah Alford died at Windham, O. , April n, 1832. 
His wife, Olive (Higley) Alford, died September 16, 1827, aged 
seventy-three years. They were interred in the Windham 
cemetery. They had children, all born in Becket, Mass., viz. : 

Elijah, 3d, born August 12, 1780; Ruth, born November 20, 
1784; Olive, born October 12, 1786; Levi and Oliver (twins), born 
April 14, 1789; Anna, born November 25, 1792; Sarah, born 
June 3, 1795. No data of Olive, Anna, and Sarah has been 
furnished. 

ELIJAH, 3d, the eldest, served in the War of 1812, and resided at Windham, O., 
till his decease. 

RUTH was admitted to the Becket church, October 4, 1801, and was one of the 
eleven founders of the First Congregationalist Church at Windham, O. 

LEVI and OLIVER were the first of the Becket family to go on a prospecting tour 
to the Western Reserve, Ohio, making their journey to Windham in March, 1811. 
They erected a rough log house for shelter on half of lot No. 84 ; but returned to 
Massachusetts that spring. They, however, subsequently returned and became 
residents of Portage County. 

ELIJAH ALFORD, son of the above Elijah, 3d, now resides on the old Alford 
farm at Windham. He served in the late Civil War, Company I, I7ist Regi- 
ment, O. N. G. He married, first, Silence M. Brewster, August 14, 1856. She 
died November 6, 1861. Married, second, September 12, 1865, Harriet C. Snow, 
a lady of fine abilities. Their children : 

Silence E., born September 28, 1866 ; Herbert J., born April 19, 1869 ; Arthur 
M., born April 5, 1871. 

ASAHEL ALFORD, the second son of Elijah and Hannah (Hig- 
ley) Alford, served in the War of the Revolution. From Sep- 
tember 22, 1819, till his death, his name was included in the 
list of Revolutionary pensioners receiving eight dollars per 
month. He was a man fond of adventure. Early in the history 
of the settlement at Windham, O., he lived there, but finally 
removed to Herkimer, N. Y., where he died. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY,ZD. 179 

LIEUTENANT JOEL HIGLEY. 

Continued from page 162. 
Joel, Brewster Higley, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

LIEUTENANT JOEL HIGLEY, the second son of Ensign Brewster 
Higley, 2d, was born in Higley-town, Simsbury, January i, 1739'. 

The precise date when he was united in marriage with Eunice 
Haskins is not known. It was, however, when he was about 
twenty-one years of age. 

The young couple settled in Granby (now North Granby), Conn., 
probably on land belonging to Joel's father, to which he received 
a " Deed of Gift" given by Brewster Higley, 2d, June 17, 1765, 
described as "a part of the land which I inherited from my hon- 
ored father," Brewster Higley, ist. In addition to this parcel of 
land, Joel purchased in the following October land adjoining. 

By his father's will, executed June 21, 1793, ne receives the fol- 
lowing bequest : 

"A lot of land lying in Granby, where he [Joel] now lives, containing about 
sixty acres, also a quarter of the lot of land lying in Pine-Plains, lying on the east 
side of the road that leads to Salmon-Brook near the old Fort so called." 

He is named in the will in the disposal of movable estate, and 
is the first named son, whom his father appoints in connection 
with his brother Enoch, as executor of his estate. 

The manual of the First Congregational Church in North 
Granby shows that Joel Higley became a member of church when 
fifteen years of age, 1754, but he appears afterward to have joined 
the Simsbury parish for a time. The bent of character of Deacon 
Brewster Higley, 2d's, sons was decidedly of a religious nature, 
wrought into them, no doubt, by the precept and example of their 
father, to whose faith and teachings they strictly adhered. They 
were all prominent laymen in the church. 

Joel and his wife together were admitted by letter to the First 
Ecclesiastical Society of Granby, and " signed y e covenant " 
January 22, 1769. There is much evidence from this time till his 
removal from Connecticut of his devotion to and activity in 
church matters. He served as member of the " Prudential Com- 
mittee," and on many other important appointments for a period 
of twenty years. The documents to which his signature is 
appended show that he wrote a fine, clear hand. 

1 " Simsbury Records," book iii. 



i8o THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

His father's cider-still had a share of his patronage, though 
the quantities of cider brandy charged to his account are far 
more moderate than those charged to other residents of Higley- 
town. 

That the use of pure and honest apple brandy, flip, and punch, 
in which these venerated members of the church indulged under 
the old church customs, did not fall into decay for many years 
after this period, is often apparent, though in other respects they 
were "screwed up to the pitch of Calvinistic stiffness." It is an 
extremely interesting subject to follow. Later on the following 
church record is found under the heading of " Deaths of Church 
Members," the church to which Joel Higley belonged : 

" October 22. Ephraim Saunders ; found dead in a tub in a distillery, 
aged ." 

The military instinct developed in Joel Higley is in line with his 
father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather. He was com- 
missioned to the rank of lieutenant in the North Train Band in 
1778, and served in this rank during the remaining part of the 
War of the Revolution. He appears to have followed agricul- 
tural pursuits during his entire life, living peacefully and quietly 
in the society of his kindred and neighbors. He was clever and 
genial, given to rough humor and exceedingly fond of practical 
jokes. Of his wit and jokes many stories are told. He one day 
met his match in a woman whom he overtook riding on horse- 
back on a country road in an adjoining neighborhood. He too 
was traveling on horseback. Approaching her he made inquiries 
about a road leaving the main highway, on which he wished to 
turn off in a different direction. He found her well acquainted 
with all the roads thereabout, and quite capable of giving him 
satisfactory information, upon which he intimated that he would 
remain in her company, remarking that "poor company was 
better than none." This remark he so frequently repeated 
during their conversation as they rode along that his guide, 
though she appeared not to notice it, became irritated. They 
traveled on and on, until Joel began to think the distance very 
long. Finally he made inquiry how far it was to the point where 
he must turn off. "Oh, "she replied, "we passed it two miles 
back." " Why, you said you would tell me when we reached it," 
said Joel. "I thought 'poor company better than none,'' 
retorted his fellow- traveler; and Joel turned and galloped away, 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ID. l8l 

saying afterward that he "never was so taken aback in all of 
his life." 

In 1803, when sixty-four years of age, he removed in company 
with his married son, Joel Higley, ad, and other of his children, 
to Gallia County, Ohio (now Mergs County), and settled near 
the present location of the town of Rutland. Here he resided 
the remainder of his life. He was interred in the old burial 
ground at Rutland, the use of which is now abandoned. His 
grave is not known. His wife, Eunice (Haskins) Higley died at 
Rutland in 1823, at the age of seventy-eight. Lieutenant Joel 
and Eunice (Haskins) Higley were the parents of eight children, 
all of whom were born in Granby, Conn., and all removed to Ohio 
in 1803 with their parents. 

They were as follows : Rachel, Joel, Jr., Luanda, Abiah, 
Eunice, Electa, Sophia, and Elim, 

Of the daughters, Rachel married first Whitlock, and 

second H. Williams. Lucinda married Earl P. Archer ; Abiah 
married Benjamin Whitlock ; Eunice married Silas Knight ; 
Electa married Benjamin Williams, of Rutland, O., in 1807, and 
had two children, Benjamin S., and Sophia, Sophia Higley mar- 
ried the Rev. Asa Stearns. 

MAJOR JOEL HIGLEY, Jr., the eldest son of Lieutenant Joel, ist, 
and Eunice (Haskins) Higley, was born in Simsbury, Conn, (that 
division which is now Granby), July 31, 1764. He married 
Cynthia Phelps, May 25, 1785, and settled adjacent to the place 
of his birth. Here they lived eighteen years. The second Sab- 
bath in March, 1785, just before his marriage, he united with the 
church at North Granby on profession of his faith. The records 
show that he filled his place in life to good purpose. Among 
other town appointments, he was surveyor of highways in 1795. 
In military matters he held a commission as major, belonging to 
the Connecticut State troops. It is not known that he was in 
any of the wars of his time. 

In the year 1803 he emigrated with his family of seven children, 
accompanied by his parents and their family, to Gallia County 
(now Meigs County), Ohio, and settled near the present site of 
the town of Rutland. He was no doubt incited to take this im- 
portant step through letters written by his cousin, Judge Brew- 
ster Higley, 4th, 1 who had removed from Vermont, and here 
founded a home in the spring of 1799. The country at that time 

1 See sketch of Brewster Higley, 4th, for the early settlement of Rutland, O. 
13 



1 82 THE II IG LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

was one deep, dark, tangled wilderness, where mother nature lay 
almost undisturbed. Ohio had only just then become a State. 
Major Joel Higley's family of growing children grew with the 
growth and progress of the new State they had entered, and be- 
came real specimens of the strong, honest men and women whose 
sinew and brow-sweat developed this large area of farm lands 
with the industrial and commercial resources of this noble section 
of our country. He died April 26, 1823. Major Joel Higley, Jr., 
and his wife, Cynthia Phelps, had seven children, all of whom 
were born in Granby, Conn., viz. : 

Polly, born November 26, 1786 ; married Philip Jones ; she died May 30, 1866. 
Elihu, born December 26, 1788 (see following sketch). Lucy, born August 20, 
1793 ; married Daniel Rathburn, May, 1812 ; no further account given. Sally, born 
March 8, 1795. Cynthia, born February 7, 1797 ; died unmarried. Maria, born 
July 30, 1799 I married Willis Knight ; and_/iv/ Phelps, Jr., born June 9, 1802. 

ELIHU HIGLEY, the eldest son of Joel, Jr., and Cynthia (Phelps) 
Higley, was born December 26, 1788, and married Nancy Cook, 
December 20, 1815. 

He was of a jovial temperament and somewhat eccentric. 

When the call for soldiers came in the War of 1812, he and his 
uncle, Elim Higley, were among the first who responded, and 
were at one time stationed near Sandusky. He used to relate to 
his boys an incident of his war experience: 

Sometimes enjoying a bit of daring adventure, he one day de- 
termined to slip out of camp. Hostile Indians were swarming 
all around. 

" They'll get your scalp if you go," said his comrades. But 
Elihu, knowing no fear and trusting to his knowledge of Indian 
wood-craft, said that if he could get entirely away from camp 
and into the woods before they saw him, he would be equal to 
them. 

He had but barely reached the deep woods, creeping stealthily 
from bush to bush, when he espied at some distance a big Indian 
dodging from tree to tree. Elihu played the same maneuver, 
taking care to keep behind trees and logs for protection. They 
both continued these tactics for some time. Finally they came 
within close shooting distance. Elihu, wishing the Indian to fire 
first and empty his rifle, slyly pushed a part of his coat from be- 
hind the tree which concealed him, making believe he was peep- 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ^D. 183 

ing. The redskin was deceived. Bang ! went his rifle. The 
ball whizzed across Elihu's shoulder. He gave no time for the 
Indian to reload, but bounded toward him before he knew it, be- 
ing a remarkably good shot. 

"Did you kill the Indian, Uncle Elihu ? " asked the boys. 
" Oh, don't ask questions ! " was always the reply. But the truth 
was, Elihu returned unconcernedly to camp and his comrades 
knew there was a dead Indian left in the woods. 

Elihu Higley died April 23, 1877. Elihu and Nancy (Cook) 
Higley had one child, viz. : Clarissa Fidelia, who was born 
June 12, 1817. She married Martin Fox, August 15, 1835, and 
resides on the old home farm, which originally belonged to 
her father. 

SALLY HIGLEY, the third child of Major Joel Higley, Jr., and Cynthia Phelps, 
born March 8, 1795, married Daniel McNaughton, December 16, 1816. She was 
baptized in the church at North Granby, Conn., October 4, 1795. They have one 
son, Harlow Phelps McNaughton, who was born July 5, 1830. He served in the 
late Civil War, entering February 23, 1862, the 7th Ohio Battery. Besides other 
notable fights, he did brave service in the battles of Pittsburg Landing and Corinth, 
Miss. For gallant and meritorious conduct he was promoted to the rank of cap- 
tain of the 7th Ohio Battery. He resides in Rutland, O. 

CAPTAIN JOEL PHELPS HIGLEY, the third by the name of Joel, and youngest child 
of Major Joel Higley (2d) and Cynthia Phelps, was born June 9, 1802, in Granby, 
Conn ; and was yet an infant when taken by his parents to Meigs County, Ohio, 
1803. He married Catherine Wise, December, 1823. They resided near Rut- 
land, O. He died October 23, 1836. Their children were : 

Joel Phelps (4th), George A., Samuel W., and Adeline, who married Samuel 
Martin. 

CAPTAIN JOEL PHELPS HIGLEY (the fourth in line by the name of Joel), 
was born at Rutland, O., January 20, 1825. He married Mary, the daughter of 
Lucius and Nancy (Shepherd) Higley, September 14, 1848. His patriotic 
impulses led him to volunteer in the Civil War, in which he sacrificed his life. 
He enlisted July, 1863, and was commissioned captain, Company D, 7th 
Ohio Cavalry. He served three months, during which time his bravery and 
high soldierly qualities were frequently manifested. He was killed by sharp- 
shooters, while in command at Blue Springs, London County, Tenn., October 10, 
1863. His widow resides at Middleport, Meigs County, O. They had four 
children, viz.: 

Mollie E., born January I, 1850 ; married March 14, 1870, Joseph S. Bradbury. 
Ransom Ludlow, born October 20, 1852. Samuel Gary, born August II, 1855; 
died January 14, 1870, unmarried. Lucius G., born April 18, 1857; died Septem- 
ber 15, 1859. 

Ransom L. Higley, of the above family, married January, 1879, Amelia Gard- 
ner, and has four children, viz.: Nola Fee, Lillie Fay, Robert Ray, and Joseph B. 



184 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

GEORGE A. HIGLEY, the second son of Captain Joel Philips Higley (3d) and his 
wife Mary, was born at Rutland, O., October 2, 1830. He married January 
20, 1853, Mary Ann Parker. They reside at Platteville, Wis. They have three 
children, viz.: y 

Addie Irene, born September 20, 1867 ; married H. P. Moffatt ; live at Emmetts- 
burg, Iowa. Frank Norton, born April 15, 1860, who resides at Dubuque, Iowa ; 
and George A., Jr., born April 7, 1864, who resides at Platteville, Wis. 

SAMUEL W. HIGLEY, the third son of Captain Joel Phelps (3d) and Mary his 
wife, was born in Rutland, O. , July 12, 1834, and married Adeline R. Simpson. 
Samuel possessed a cheerful, jolly disposition, which made friends for him. His 
tastes were for music, in which he happily spent much of his time, becoming profi- 
cient in the use of several different musical instruments. 

Samuel W. and Adeline R. (Simpson) Higley had five children, viz.: 

Otto K. Higley, born in Rutland, O., August 20, 1857 ; married Nellie C. 
Gross, June 5, 1882. Othello G., born October 27, 1859, at Rutland, O. ; married 
Josie A. Sanderson, March 17, 1882 ; they reside at Union-Mills, Ind., and have 
two children, viz. : essie C., born April 19, 1883, and Mabel, born August 13, 
1885. Adelia M,, born June 12, 1862 ; unmarried, and is a practicing physician 
residing in Minnesota. Linnie S., born February 10, 1864, and Kate M., 
born May 26, 1871, both of whom reside with their parents at Rutland, O. 



ESTHER HIGLEY DE WOLF. 

Continued from page 162. 
Esther Higley De Wolf, Brewster Higley, ad, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

ESTHER HIGLEY, the fourth child of Brewster Higley, 2d, and 
Esther, his wife, was born at Simsbury, Conn., September 19, 

1743. 

She married Peter De Wolf, of a well-known family of North 
Simsbury. The young couple resided at Salmon Brook. In the 
Salmon Brook rate book for 1774 her husband's name is entered 
upon the list for 96. 

Peter De Wolf served in the Army of the Revolution, i8th 
Connecticut Militia Regiment, Captain Jonathan Bittolph's 
company. The regiment arrived in New York, August 18, 1776. 

Esther Higley De Wolf is mentioned in her father's will in the 
year 1794, and again in family letters bearing date 1806, which 
show that she was living at that time. The date of her decease 
is not known. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

i 

SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 
Seth ist, Brewster 2d, Brewster ist, Captain John Higley. 

Our Lord God doth like a printer, who setteth the letters backwards ; we see and feel well 
his setting, but we shall see the print yonder in the life to come. Luther's Table Talk. 

SETH HIGLEY, the son of Brewster Higley, 2d, and Esther Hoi- 
combe, was born in Higley-town, October 29, 1746, in the house 
built for his father near the northern line of the present town of 
Simsbury. 

A fine illustration of this old colonial homestead, which stood 
for full 150 years, is given, page 161. 

This was the home of Seth Higley during the greater part of 
his life. The property came into the possession of Brewster 
Higley, 3d, his eldest brother, soon after Brewster, 2d, went to 
reside with his aged mother in the old Captain John Higley 
homestead. Finally it fell into the hands of Seth Higley, who 
held it as long as he lived, and then it was held by his descend- 
ants for two generations. 

Seth Higley was the fifth child and third son of his parents. 
His marriage to the daughter of Nathaniel Higley, who was his 
grandfather's half-brother, 1 is thus placed upon record :* 

"Seth Higley and Mindwell Higley, both of Simsbury, were joined in Marriage 
the 3d day of March A. D. 1 768." * 

Mindwell Higley appears to have been a few years her hus- 
band's senior. 

We find the newly married pair, in December of the same year 
of their marriage, seated in the church, pew 12, in close proximity 
to others of their numerous kindred. 

But the following year they appear to have removed for a brief 
period to North Granby, probably in the close vicinity of Mind- 
well's father, Nathaniel Higley. Here in the North Granby 
church they " owned y e covenant" on the gth of July, 1769. 

1 There was but ten years difference between the ages of Nathaniel, the father of Mindwell 
Higley, and Brewster, ad, the father of Seth Higley. 
* " Simsbury Records," book iv. p. 180. 

185 



1 86 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Tradition tells us that Seth Higley was intensely puritanic in 
his religious belief and practices, clinging rigidly throughout his 
life to the law of his father's faith and the old influences of 
Brewster, 2d's, hearthstone. 

Early in 1776 he is again found established in the old Simsbury 
church, where he was "chosen collector to collect y e said 
Society's Rates for the year." 

A few months later he enlisted for the War of the Revolution, 
entering the i8th Regiment Militia, Lieutenant Job Case's com- 
pany, and arrived in New York August 24, 1776. It is not 
known how long he served. When he left the army he had 
reached the office of corporal.' After his return to his home the 
records show that he filled appointments in matters concerning 
the society. 

He evidently lived in comfortable circumstances. Besides the 
farm which he managed, he owned a joint interest, with his 
brother-in-law, Elijah Higley, in a saw-mill, and about this time 
he opened his house as a tavern. In the latter business he was 
no doubt faithfully aided by his ready-handed wife. The old 
cupboard from which was served out the liquors at the bar is 
still preserved, now a relic of just one hundred years, and the 
cider-mill account-book reveals the fact that Seth was a faithful 
patron of its yield. 

The cellar in which was stored barrels of choice rum, apple- 
jack, and "bull's-blood," a is in perfect condition, while not far 
from the door the ancient well, with its oldtime wellsweep and 
pure water, also a lively bubbling spring close by, still speak 
with exhilarating freshness of the "good old times "when the 
ancient host of the inn, as was the custom in his day, received 
his traveling guests and their tired horses with the same social 
attentions that he would have bestowed had they been his per- 
sonal friends. 

From what is known of Seth Higley we may draw the conclu- 
sion that his life was a silent example of a steady, honest, and 
unobtrusive daily walk, and while he did not fail in his task in 
life, there is no indication that he possessed a masterful quality 
of mind, or that he made a strong mark upon the community. 

He was afflicted, the latter part of his life, with a scrofulous dis- 
ease known in those days as "king's evil," his health failing him, 
from this cause, some time before the disease terminated his life. 

1 "Record of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution." * Boiled cider. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ^D. 187 

Seth Higley died in the full tide of middle life, the latter part of 
February, 1794, at the age of forty-eight. His death occurred 
only two weeks previous to the decease of his father, Brewster 
Higley, 2d. It is supposed that he was interred in the ancient 
burial-ground at Simsbury. There is no trace of his grave. His 
will, which was written February 8, 1794, just before'his death, 
and received at the Court of Probate March 15, 1794, declares as 
follows : 

" Being sick and in a weak and infirm state of body, but of sound and disposing 
mind ... I give to my well-beloved wife, Miudwell, the use of one-third part 
of my real estate during her natural life, and one-third part of my personal estate 
to be her own property. 

" I give to my sons and daughters, Philer, Levi, Warren, Oliver, Roxanna, 
Amelia, Polly, Rhoda, and Sally, all my Estate, both real and personal, in the 
proportion following : 

" That the said sons have two shares or portions to the said daughters, and to 
them and their heirs forever : and it is my will that my said wife have the care and 
direction of what part of my Estate that shall descend to my said sons and daugh- 
ters that are under age until they arrive, the sons to twenty-one years of age, and 
the daughters to eighteen years old. 

"I do hereby constitute and appoint my said wife, Mindwell, to be my Executrix 
on this my last Will and Testament, in witness whereof I have hereunto set my 
hand and seal this 8th day of February 1 794. 

[Signed], "SETH HIGLEY." 
[Witnesses.] 

The inventory of the personal effects amounted to .87 75. 2d. 
Among the articles mentioned in the inventory are a " Brown 
coat ; a Great light colored coat, pair of black Breeches, one vest, 
one white one, one old one, linen shirts, three woolen ones, 
silver stock buckle, and silver shoe buckles, one half of a saw- 
mill, and a saw-mill saw," together with a full list of the usual 
household articles and farm belongings, hogs, cattle, sheep, etc. 

By his father's will, which was executed June 21, 1793, and not 
presented at court till sixteen days after his son Seth's, it is 
shown that he gave Seth a full title to the farm on which he had 
lived, including the house (see illustration), together with other 
small lots of land, besides " moveable estate." The location of 
his home farm is thus described : "To my son Seth Higley my 
meadow land called Ram Dover which is surrounded by a Ditch 
and contains about ten acres, and also one quarter part of said 
plains lot by the old fort ; And also the lot of land he now lives 
on which I bought of Widow Miller lying in the long lots so 
called." 



1 88 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Some time after the death of her husband, his widow, Mindwell 

Higley, married Latimer, and resided in Bloomfield until 

she was in advanced years. The date of her death is not known. 

The children of Seth and Mindwell Higley were : Seth Filer 
(sometimes found on record incorrectly spelled "Philer"); Levi ; 
a son who died in childhood, May 2, 1778 ; Warren, Roxanna, 
Amelia, Polly, Rhoda, Sallie, Oliver. 

SETH FILER HIGLEY. 
Seth, ist, Brewster, ad, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

" To us, my friend, the times that are gone by 
Arc a mysterious book." 

SETH FILER HIGLEY was the eldest born child of Seth ] ist, and 
Mindwell Higley. The middle name which he bore, and by which 
he was generally called, was Filer, the family name of his maternal 
grandmother, Abigail Filer, the wife of Nathaniel Higley. His 
parents had already taken possession of the old homestead of 
Brewster Higley, 2d, near the north line of the present town of 
Simsbury, when his birth occurred in 1769. He seems to have 
received but a meager common school education, spending his 
early youth in vigorous work upon the farm. Later on he 
assisted at the saw-mill, of which his father was the owner of a 
one-half interest. 

The notable "dark day," May 19, 1780, which was ever after 
during the lives of those who experienced it the memorable date 
of a scene of solemnity and significance, took place when he was 
a boy of eleven years. He was at work hoeing in the field when 
it grew dark, and leaving his work he fled to the house. The 
family lighted the candles and sat down in funeral-like gravity, 
superstitiously regarding the strange and unusual phenomena as 
of serious foreboding. This occurrence left a deep impression 
upon the boy's mind, and was often a theme of his conversation 
during his later years. On the igth of October, 1790, he married 
Naomi, the daughter of Peter Holcomb* of Granby. She was 
born 1772. The year following their marriage they removed to 
Steventown, N. Y. Three years later, after his father's death, 
they returned to Simsbury to the old homestead where he was 
born. Here he lived the remainder of his life. 

Seth Filer Higley was endowed with a solid, well-balanced 
mind, which was of somewhat an austere type. He was an ex- 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 189 

ceedingly strict religionist, and rigidly kept the Sabbath accord- 
ing to the Puritanic idea, not even softening his restrictions 
enough to permit the floor of the family room to be swept on a 
Sunday morning, which in this case might have been considered 
an excusable innovation upon the sanctity of the day, since it 
was the living room of a family of thirteen. In his religious pro- 
fession he was an Episcopalian, a member of St. Andrew's Church, 
the parish of Scotland. Here the most of their children were 
baptized, and all of them attended the parish school. Not long 
before his death he withdrew from the Episcopal Church, and 
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church of West Granby. 

His wife, Naomi Holcombe Higley, died on the 2oth of Janu- 
ary, 1817, aged forty-five years and eight months. He afterward 

married Mabel , to whom, in the distribution of his estate, 

a dower was " set off." 

He died August 19, 1821, aged sixty-two years and six months. 

Seth Filer and Naomi Holcombe Higley had a numerous fam- 
ily, viz. : 

Navmi, Lohama, Nancy, Seth, Jr., Lyman, Lohama (zd), Har- 
low, Or sen, Peter, Homer, Homer (ad), Eratus, and Diana. 

NAOMI, the eldest child, was born September 3, 1791. She had a jovial and 
social disposition, which made her a happy companion. She married Allen Dean, 
and lived for a number of years in Southwick, Mass. They then removed to East 
Granby, and afterward to Westfield, Mass., where she died, and where her descen- 
dants now reside. She died July 12, 1853. 

LOHAMA, the second child of Seth Filer and Naomi Holcombe Higley, born 
April 13, 1793, died an infant, November I, 1793. 

NANCY, the third child and third daughter, was born November 2, 1794, in 
Steventown, N. Y. She was an infant in her mother's arms when her parents re- 
turned to Simbury, Conn., and took up their residence in the old homestead. From 
this home she attended the parish school which was under the auspices of the 
ecclesiastical society, the^ family at this time being Episcopalians. On the 1 3th 
of February, 1806, she married Asa Wyman of Union, Conn., a millwright by 
trade. In the year 1825 Mr. Wyman built a house on land which he purchased 
adjoining the Seth Higley farm at Simsbury, which was her home during the 
remainder of her long life. They had two children, Manerva Ann and Caroline 
Nancy. 

Her husband, Asa Wyman, died December 13, 1850. Mrs. Wyman lived a 
widow thirty-five years. She was a woman of decided character and strong 
principles. It was an offense in her view, almost worse than crime, for a person 
to be guilty of not strictly keeping his word. Her life was one of unceasing 
industry. The interests of her household were well looked after, and with per- 
fect discipline, which was one of her chief characteristics, she ruled with strength 
and honor, fully meriting the "praise and properties " of a good wife. Her 



19 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

decease took place at Siitisbury, September 14, 1885, at the advanced age of 
ninety-one. 

" Her children and children's children rise up and call her blessed." 

MANERVA ANN, the eldest of the two daughters of Asa and Nancy Higley 
Wyman, was born November 10, 1816. She married Samuel Hinman, August 19, 
1841, and became the mother of four children, viz.: 

John S., born September 23, 1842. Nancy M., born December 25, 1844, who 
married Lucius Terry and resides in Guilford, Conn. Charles Z.,born May 3, 
1847, and Daniel Silas, born July 16, 1850, who died on the 7th of the following 
November. 

Samuel Hinman died November 7, 1850. His wife, Manerva Hinman, died 
March 3, 1856. 

JOHN S. HINMAN, their eldest son, enlisted for the Civil War October 9, 1861, for 
three years, in Company C, 8th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel Charles 
\V. Nash. His first service was under General A. E. Burnside at the capture of 
Roanoke Island, N. C. Subsequently he was at the capture of Newbern, N. C., 
Fort Macon, at the siege of Suffolk, Frederick City, and in the battles of Cedar 
Mountain, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, Drury 
Bluffs, Chopin Farms, Bermuda Hundred, and the siege of Petersburg. He 
serve dunder Generals McClelland, Burnside, Grant, Meade, Butler, Ord, Han- 
cock, and Reno. He was wounded in four different engagements, but not seri- 
ously, and each time soon again joined the ranks. He received an honorable 
discharge when his term of enlistment expired, October 21, 1864, having made a 
record most worthy of high praise. On the gth of May, 1867, he married Clara C. 
Gifford of Meriden, Conn., where they resided for some time, Mr. Hinman being 
engaged in the Britannia works in that city. They have three children, one son 
and two daughters, They now reside in New Haven, Conn. 

CHARLES L. HINMAN, the youngest son of Samuel and Manerva Hinman, and 
grandson of Nancy Higley Wyman, enlisted at New York in the U. S. Navy, June 
4, 1864, the last year of the Civil War. He first served on board the U. S. S. 
Monongahela. He was in the engagement at Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, August, 
1864, with the immortal Admiral Farragut, when his monitors forced their way, 
under heavy fire from the Confederate forts, Morgan and Gaines, with their 
brave commander lashed to the mast of his flag-ship, and captured the forts ; and 
in the fierce conflict when the formidable ram Tennessee was destroyed. He 
participated in the taking of Spanish Fort, and was with the Federal forces at the 
occupancy of Mobile, Ala., the spring of 1865. 

The following June he was sent to Philadelphia, where he received a ten clays' 
furlough. Immediately after his return to service, being seized with hard chills 
and fever, he was transferred to the naval hospital at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and 
on his return to health was placed on board the U. S. S. Pensacola, which was 
ordered to the South Pacific Squadron. After visiting a number of South American 
ports, the vessel was finally ordered to the navy yard, Mare Island, Cal., where he 
was honorably registered out of service, June 4, 1867, w^th transportation to New 
York by the way of Panama. Soon afterward he went to Liverpool, where, in 
1868, he shipped on the Fair Wind, a vessel chartered by the British Government 
to carry supplies to Aden for the Abyssinian War. He was more than a year 
voyaging in this ship. Later he made voyages from London to Cape Town, the 
West Indies, and other foreign ports, and twice suffered shipwreck. He returned 
to his home, August, 1870, after a vast amount of interesting and oftentimes thrilling 
experiences, having followed the sea six years and three months. In January, 1 871, 
he married Harriet Augusta Golden. His wife died December II, 1872. He now 
resides in Meriden, Conn. 

CAROLINE NANCY, the second child of Asa and Nancy Higley Wyman, was born 
October 20, 1823, and at the age of eighteen married Newel Goddard of Granby, 
Conn., October 19, 1841. During the first four years of their married life they 
resided in Simsbury, and the following five years in Granby. In 1851 they 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 191 

again removed to Simsbury, taking charge of their aged mother, Mrs. Nancy 
Higley Wyman, during the remainder of her life. Newell Goddard died December, 
1891. The family reside in close vicinity to the spot where the ancient Seth 
Higley homestead stood. Mr. and Mrs. Goddard were the parents of three children, 
viz.: 

Henry N., Lucius A., and Albert ., all of whom reside at Simsbury, Conn., 
except Lucius, whose home is in Granby. 

HENRY N. GODDARD, the eldest son of Newell and Caroline Nancy Goddard, 
was born February I, 1843. Owing to his parents having assumed the care of 
some orphaned children, his education was interrupted at an early age, it becoming 
a necessity that he should work on the farm. His school life was confined to the 
short winter months, and his advantages for learning were limited. When twenty 
years old he entered a manufacturing establishment in Unionville, Conn. In the 
spring of 1863 he was employed by the firm of Collins & Co., of Collinsville, 
Conn., making bayonets. After the hostilities of war ceased in 1865, and there was 
less demand for firearms, he engaged with the same company in making cast-steel. 
In 1868 he returned to farming, which he followed three years, and in 1873 he 
became engaged in milling at Simsbury, Conn., in which business he has con- 
tinued. On November 24, 1864, Mr. Goddard married Lavina S. Cobb. She 
died October 7, 1883. His second marriage was to Charlotte E. Noble of Simsbury, 
December 2, 1885. By his first marriage he had one child, a son, Charles H. God- 
dard, born September 20, 1867, who is married and resides in Rutland, Vt. He is 
a machinist. 

Lucius A. GODDARD, the second son of Newell and Caroline Nancy Goddard, 
was born August 23, 1844. He married, July 17, 1870, Salina Fletcher. They 
became the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters, two of whom are 
deceased. They reside in Granby, Conn. 

ALBERT E. GODDARD, the youngest child of Newell and Caroline Nancy Goddard, 
was born August 3, 1846. He married Anna L. Reylford November I, 1882. 
They have two children, a son and daughter. They reside with the parents of Mr. 
Goddard on a farm at Simsbury, Conn. 

Continued from page 189, 

SETH HIGLEY, Jr. (or 3d), the eldest son and fourth child of Seth Filer and Naomi 
Holcombe Higley, was born at Simsbury, Conn., August 25, 1796, and married 
Lura Goddard of West Granby, Conn. He was administrator to his father's estate. 
They emigrated to Ohio, settling at Mantua, Portage County, where they had a 
family. Seth Higley, 3d, died at Mantua, July 21, 1856. Their children were as 
follows: 

Alvin, who died in 1868. Nelson, who resides in St. Louis, Mich., and has 
children, viz.: Susan, Julia, Nancy, Milton, and Henry N., who is married and 
resides in Mesopotamia, Trumbull County, O. Henry N. Higley's only child v 
Jay J. Higley, was born January 2, 1872. 

LYMAN HIGLEY, the fifth child of Seth Filer and Naomi Holcombe Higley, was 
born at Simsbury, October 28, 1798. He married first Orrilla Northway, Janu- 
ary 7, 1825. She was born June 13, 1795. His second ivife was Mrs. Rose, 
the widow of Josephus Rose of Granville, Mass. The year following his first 
marriage they left Simsbury and settled at Attica, N. Y., where they resided till 
1844. They then removed to the city of Nauvoo, 111., where his wife and daughter 
embraced the religious faith of the Mormons. Lyman Higley, however, was not 
satisfied with the beliefs and practices of that sect, and when the Mormon Church 
emigrated to the Great Salt Lake Valley, Utah, in 1846, he with his wife, who 



I9 2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

still clung to that religious faith, left Nauvoo, and after stopping a few months in 
Iowa, where he purchased and owned the entire site of Council Bluffs, they finally 
settled in Wisconsin. Their daughter, Harriet, then a young woman of twenty- 
one, chose to accompany the Latter Day Saints to Salt Lake. 

Lyman Higley purchased a farm in Columbia County, Wisconsin, and established 
a home at Dekorra, about the time that the Territory became a State. For some 
years his was the only dwelling between the two county seats, Madison and 
Portage. Wisconsin then contained but forty thousand inhabitants. He was a 
resident of the State the remainder of his life forty-one years, and witnessed its 
remarkable development like a moving panorama continuously before him. His 
second wife died June 30, 1884. In October of that year he removed to Eau 
Clare County to reside with his youngest son. His faculties remained bright, 
and he was interesting to the last days of his long and eventful life. He died of 
apoplexy, May 13, 1888, aged eighty-nine years and six months. The interment 
was at Hadleyville, near Eau Claire. Lyman Higley and his first wife were the 
parents of five children, viz.: 

Harriet R., Oliver, Virgil, Ezra Marvin, and Addison. 

HARRIET R. HIGLEY, their eldest child, born October 28, 1825, resided in Utah. 
She married John Hodge, July 4, 1855. He died September. 1868, and in 1876 
she married Lafayette Williams. She died at Ogden, Utah, July 13, 1881. 

OLIVER HIGLEY, the second child, born January 28, 1828, died at the age of 2j 
years. 

VIRGIL HIGLEY, the third child, born January 8, 1832, married Hannah L. Powers, 
August I, 1855. They resided at Loveland, Iowa, afterward removing to Pleasant 
Valley, Wis., and are the parents of three children, viz.: Marian Orilla, born 
November 30, 1859 ; Mary Eugene, born December 7, 1863 ; and Charles, born 
March 8, 1868 ; all born in Columbia County, Wisconsin. 

EZRA MARVIN HIGLEY, the fourth child of Lyman and Orilla Higley, was born 
July 26, 1834, and married Sarah A. McNash, March 18, 1851. They reside at 
Eleva, Trempealeau County, Wis., and have two sons living. Two daughters died 
in childhood. The sons are Lyman O., born October 2, 1889, and A din M., born 
December 19, 1875. Both are married and have families. 

ADDISON, the fifth child of Lyman and Orilla Higley, was born January 19, 
1837. He married first Eliza J. McNash, September 3, 1861, who died May 
17, 1882. His second wife was Jennie A. Lampman, whom he married Decem- 
ber 31, 1884. His children by his first wife are, Elmer A., born August 10, 1862 ; 
Harriet O., born November 9, 1865, who married in 1885 Samuel J. Woodward ; 
and Samuel, born December 31, 1866. By the second wife, John V., born Sep- 
tember 21, 1885 ; and William L., born November 26, 1886. Addison Higley 
resided in Columbia County, Wisconsin, till 1866. He settled with his family, 
October, 1868, at Pleasant Valley, Eau Clare County, where they now live. 

LOHAMA HIGLEY, the sixth child of Seth Filer and Naomi Holcombe Higley, 
was born September 8, 1800. She married Israel Messenger, of one of the old 
Windsor, Conn., families who, early settled in Granby. They resided in West 
Granby for many years, and brought up a family of three sons and five daughters. 
After the decease of her husband Luhama- Messenger removed to Kingston, N. Y., 
and resided with her daughter, Mrs. Lucy Bray, until her decease, March 3, 1888. 
Her remains were brought to West Granby, Conn., and interred by the side of her 
husband. Mrs. Messenger was a faithful and much respected member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. She had children, viz. : 

Miranda, born March 18, 1821 ; Manila, born February 21, 1822 ; Philura, 
born October 6, 1824 ; Harlow, born October 2, 1826 ; Harriet L., born January 




REV. WALTER O. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, \ST. 193 

7, 1829 ; Francis /., born May 15, 1833 ; Lorenzo, born November 23, 1836 ; 
Lucy, born May 13, 1839. 

HARLOW HIGLEY, the seventh child of Seth Filer and Naomi Holcombe Higley, 
was born July 18, 1802. On the I3th of November, 1822, when a young man 
about twenty, he sailed for the Island of Cuba, where he became a permanent 
citizen. He married a Cuban lady who died two years after, leaving no child. He 
so fully adopted the Spanish language and customs, that, on his first visit to his 
native land and kindred, after an absence of thirty-three years, he seemed of 
another race and people. It was with some difficulty that he could speak his native 
tongue. But he did not, to the end of his life, lose his affection for his childhood's 
home and his family, and made subsequent visits to the United States. He was f 
stout physique, robust, and of a social nature. He died in Cuba in 1882. 

ORSEN HIGLEY, the eighth child of Seth Filer and Naomi Holcombe Higley, 
was born February II, 1806, at Simsbury, Conn. He married first Susan Parsons 
Griswold 1 of Granville, Mass. , by whom he had three children. His second wife, 
to whom he was married September 30, 1841, was Lucy Keep Holcombe of 
Southwick, Mass. She was born in Elizabeth, N. J., August n, 1822. By 
this marriage there were five children. Orsen Higley was a man of good abilities 
and in comfortable circumstances. At one time, besides his farming occupations, 
he conducted a fair business in fresh meats, and later on about 1835 he built and 
managed a well kept hotel in East Granby. He possessed a gentle nature, and was 
of a temperament that lived much within himself. He was a citizen much respected. 
His death took place July 10, 1851. He lies buried in the ancient cemetery at 
Simsbury. Mrs. Lucy K. Higley, his widow, who is now living, afterward 
married Alonzo Holcombe of Southwick, Mass., who died many years ago. She 
resides with her married daughters. 

HOMER E. HIGLEY, the eldest child of Orsen Higley, was born November 14, 
1832. He removed to Illinois when a young man, and in October, 1858, married 
Mary Denman in Elpaso, Woodford County, of that State. A daughter was born 
to them in January, 1860, who was called Fannie, 

JOHN, the second child of Orsen Higley, was born in East Granby, April II, 1835. 
On the 8th of January, 1866, he married, in St. Louis, Mo., Florence De 
Latourette, who was born in that city, April 22, 1849. He afterward removed to 
Kansas. They are the parents of four children, viz.: 

Jennie Florence Higley, born March 27, 1869 ; Henry Blossom, born October 27, 
1871 ; Robert D., born December 31, 1875 ; William Joseph, born November 21, 
1883. The family reside in Collinsville, 111., John Higley being engaged in busi- 
ness in the Valley Flour Mills. The daughter, Jennie Florence, is an efficient 
teacher of music in St. Louis. 

SUSAN J., the third child of Orsen Higley, was born August 26, 1840. She 
married Henry Prentice. They resided in Bloomfield, Conn, She died August 
23, 1871, and was laid beside her father in the Simsbury cemetery. She left no 
children. 

REV. WALTER ORSEN HIGI.EY, the son of Orsen and his second wife, Lucy 
Keep Holcombe, was born in East Granby, Conn., June 12, 1842. He received a 
common school education and worked on a farm until he was seventeen years of 
age. He was then employed in a hook and eye manufactory in Unionville, Conn., 
and the year preceding the Civil War he worked in Thompsonville, Conn. On the 
I cth of September, 1861, when nineteen years of age, he enlisted in Company 
B, 8th Connecticut Infantry, the regiment being assigned to the gth Army 

1 The date of her decease has not been given. 



194 THE III G LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Corps under command of General A. E. Burnside. He was at the capture of 
Roanoke Island, Newbern, Fort Macon, and Beaufort, on the coast of North 
Carolina, and in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. In the fight at 
Antietam, September 17, 1862, he was wounded in the right forearm, which forced 
him to retire from the service, after having spent six months in an army hospital. 
He received an honorable discharge March 13, 1863. He has for a number of 
years received a Government pension. In course of time he recovered of his wound 
sufficiently to resume business. He then entered the manufacturing establishment 
of Charles Cooper & Co., at Thompsonville, Conn., in which he was engaged 
three years. He was afterward employed as a builder, but again entered the 
spring knitting-needle manufactory of Charles Cooper & Co. , on the removal of the 
concern to Bennington, Vt. , in which connection he remained fifteen years. During 
thirteen years of this period, and while still engaged in business avocations, he 
preached the gospel at Wood ford, Vt. 

On the loth of May, 1866, he married Martha Ellen Davidson, at Thompson- 
ville, Conn. She was born November I, 1841. The Rev. Mr. Higley was or- 
dained to the ministry at Woodford, Vt., on the I2th of July, 1872, where he 
continued to fill the pulpit acceptably till April, 1884. He then accepted the charge 
of the Advent Christian Church at Sandy Hill, N. Y., to which town he removed, 
and devoted, with much success, his entire time for seven years to his pastoral 
work. Early in 1891 he was called to the Advent Christian Church (Gerard 
Place), Hartford, Conn., to which city he removed with his family, assuming his 
charge April I, where he has since occupied an important sphere. Mr. Higley is 
possessed of a pleasing address and an attractive style and cultivated manner. He 
is earnest and sincere, and is much beloved by his parishioners and all who know 
him. The Rev. Walter Orsen and Martha Ellen Higley have five children, viz.: 

Herbert Samuel, born October n, 1867, in Enfield, Conn., who is in the employ 
of a large merchantile firm of Boston. Clifford Walter, born October 9, 1869, in 
Bennington, Vt., and resides in Sandy Hill, N. Y. He is bookkeeper in the firm 
of Drake & Stratton, Limited. Carrie May, born May 7, 1871, in Bennington, 
Vt., who resides with her parents. Freddie Andrew, born April 15, 1873, in 
Bennington, Vt., died September 13, 1873. William Clark, born February 3, 
1876, in Bennington, Vt., who resides with his parents. 

FLUVIA AMELIA HiGLEY,daughter of Orsen and Lucy Holcombe Higley, was born 
June 5, 1844, in Simsbury, Conn. On the 5th of November, 1863, she married Dwight 
H. Cady, who was born in Aganam, Mass., March 31, 1841. They reside in Thomp- 
sonville, Conn., where their daughter, Emma Louisa, was born January I, 1872. 

SARAH EI.IZA, the third child of Orsen and Lucy Holcombe Higley, was born 
March 22, 1846, at Simsbury, Conn. She married at Unionville, Conn., February 
2, 1871, Abram Alphonzo Johnson of Brooklyn, N. Y., in which city they resided 
for several years. Mr. Johnson was born in New York City, January 28, 1846. He 
is of the firm of S. M. Johnson & Bro., cigar and tobacco dealers in Wall Street, 
New York City. Their children, who were all born in Brooklyn, N. Y., are : 

Edwin Hamilton, born June 25, 1872 ; Frauds Marilla, December 21, 1873 ; 
Samuel Walter, November 13, 1876 ; and Raymond Elaine, December 22, 1881. 
The family reside at Springfield, N. J. 

LUCY MARILLA, the fourth child of Orsen and Lucy Holcombe Higley, was born 
at Simsbury, Conn., January 13, 1849. She married at Thompsonville, Conn., 
July 14, 1870, John Elliot Eaton, who was born in Worcester, Mass., February 18, 
1848. They reside at South Headley Falls, Mass. Their children are : 

Charles Davenport, born July 9, 1872, and William Higley, born January 16, 1875. 

JULIETTA ELIZABETH, the fifth and youngest child of Orsen and Lucy Holcombe 
Higley, was born at Simsbury, Conn., March 12, 1851. She married George 
Cornelius Curtis of Harwinton, Conn., November 22, 1873. Mr. Curtis was born 
July 5, 1845. They reside at Bristol, Conn. Their children are : 

Sadie E., born January 20, 1878, and died the 22d of the following June ; Ina, 
born September 10, 1879 ; and George Walter, born March 2, 1882. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, \ST. 195 

Continued from page 189. 

PETER HIGLEY, the ninth child of Seth and Naomi Holcombe Higley, was born 
at Simsbury, March 9, 1807. His manner of life during his boyhood years 
was in common with the children of the rural households of his time. He left 
home when quite young not yet twenty. He was bright and active and soon 
found a means for livelihood. For more than two years he conveyed merchandise 
about the country, selling it at retail, which proved a profitable business. He 
learned the trade of harness-making, which he followed in Union Village, N. Y., 
till his eyesight became impaired, when he removed to Cory, Pa., before the 
town was scarcely founded, and while the surrounding country was yet a wilder- 
ness. Here he purchased and opened a farm, which was his home during the 
remainder of his life. In March, 1835, he married Elvira Colby, daughter of 
Joseph Colby, with whom he lived in happy union for forty-eight years. She died 
May n, 1883, after a lingering illness, her decease removing one who was greatly 
beloved and missed by her family and neighbors. The law of her life was kindness. 
In the chamber of the sick she was a ministering angel. Peter Higley lived to a 
good old age eighty-three years. From an attack of pneumonia in the early winter 
of 1889 he became prostrated, and never recovered his strength, lingering in much 
patient suffering from day to day till his departure, March 4, 1890. His gentle 
and affectionate disposition caused him to be greatly beloved by his children and 
grandchildren, who sincerely mourned his loss. He was interred on the 6th of 
March in the Steward cemetery at Cory, Pa., beside his wife and daughters. 
Their children were as follows : 

Nancy Jane, born December 23, 1835, who married Jared Blakslee in 1853, and 
died March 7, 1859 ; Betsey Maria; Count Sobeiski; Joseph Eugene, born 1843, 
and died 1845 ; Pember Edson; Ellajenelte, born 1849, an d died 1850, and Emma 
Isadore. 

BETSEY MARIA HIGLEY, the daughter of Peter and Elvira (Colby) Higley, was 
born February 14, 1837, and married John D. Palmer, December 15, 1853. Their 
children were : 

Melvin L., born December 16, 1855 ; Peter D., born June 12, 1858 ; Viola J., 
born January 6, 1862, who died January 7, 1872 ; Flora K., born August 13, 1864 ; 
Lillian K., born May 5, 1867 ; Nellie M., born August 8, 1870 ; Frank D., born 
July 3, 1872 ; and Nellie Jenetta, born July 28, 1880. The family reside at Corry, 
Erie County, Pa, 

FLORA R., daughter of John ,D. and Betsey M. (Higley) Palmer, married Isaac McCray, Sep- 
tember 27, 1883. She resides with her father. They had one child, Grace, born February 3, 1886. 

COUNT SOBEISKI HIGLEY, the eldest son of Peter and Elvira (Colby) Higley, 
was born October 5, 1839, and married Lizzie Samis, 1869. Their children are: 

Albert P. and Allen H., twins, born January 10, 1870 ; Edward J., born January, 
1875, and Emma, born 1878. They reside at Obi, Allegheny County, N. Y. 

PEMRER EDSON HIGLEY, the second son of Peter and Elvira (Colby) Higley, was 
born September 12, 1845, and married Julia E. Green, February 9, 1868. He 
served his country three years in the late Civil War, enlisting January 5, 1864, 
in the I4$th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company A, and was after- 
ward transferred to the 53d Pennsylvania Regiment. Besides participating in a 
number of lively skirmishes, he fought in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsyl- 
vania Court House, Cold Harbor, Deep Bottom, Natchez Run, and was in the 
siege of Petersburg. During his time of service he lay ill of fever two months in 



I9 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Campbell Hospital. He faithfully served till the close of the war. Pember and 
Julia (Green) Higley have three children : 

Carrie B. born April 19, 1869 ; Frank, born April 25, 1872, and May, born June 
3, 1876. They reside at Corry, Erie County, Pa. 

EMMA ISADORE HIGLEY, the youngest child of Peter and Eliza (Colby) Higley, 
was born January 22, 1857, and married John A. Lemon, July 3, 1870. They 
have one child, George Eugene, born September 9, 1872. They reside in Waverly, 
Spokane County, Wash. 

HOMER HIGLEY, 2d, the eleventh child ' of Seth Filer and Naomi (Holcombe) 
Higley [page 189] was born at Simsbury, Conn., July 10, 1810. He went South 
when quite a young man, acting as a traveling agent for a New England clock 
firm. He finally settled in Texas while that country was yet an independent repub- 
lic, and resided at Wharton, where he married and lived many years. He accumu- 
lated property, and owned slaves. He died at Wharton, June 6, 1856. He left 
no children. 

ERATUS HIGLEY, the twelfth child of Seth Filer and Naomi (Holcombe) Higley, 
was born at Simsbury, Conn., September 8, 1812. He was a traveling salesman 
for a Bristol, R. I., manufacturing firm. He owned a considerable property in 
Illinois, in the early history of that State. He never married. His death took 
place suddenly, August 14, 1847. 

DIANA, the thirteenth and youngest child of Seth Filer and Naomi (Holcombe) 
Higley, was born at Simsbury, Conn., March 19, 1815. At the age of sixteen years, 
March 12, 1831, she married Luke Mason of Simsbury and became the mother of 
four children. Her husband, Luke Mason, died, March 21, 1840. Her second 
marriage took place April, 1843, to Clinton Mather, a well-known citizen of Canton, 
Conn. Mrs. Diana Mather was a communicant in the Episcopal Church, a faithful 
church member. She possessed a loving nature. On the 22d of February, 1879, 
Mr. Mather was accidentally thrown from his sleigh, his head striking upon a rock, 
and died from the effects of the injury two days afterward. His death caused great 
sorrow throughout the entire community. He was a person of pleasant and affable 
manner, of strict integrity, living truly a noble life. His wife, Diana Higley, 
resided during her last widowhood with her daughter, Mrs. J. E. Hamilton, in 
Unionville, Conn. She died, June 6, 1888, and was interred in Canton, Conn. 
No account of her descendants has been furnished. 



LEVI HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 

Continued from page 188. 
Levi, Seth, ist, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John. 

LEVI HIGLEY the second child of Seth and Mindwell Higley, 
was born in the town of Simsbury, Conn., in the year 1771. He 
married Hepsibah Holcombe, of the same place, and settled on a 
farm near his father's home. Our information concerning his life 
and his descendants is too meager and uncertain for an extended 
sketch. 

1 The tenth child of Seth Filer and Naomi (Holcombe) Higley was also named Homer. He died 
in infancy. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 197 

It appears, however, that he was a man of sterling worth and 
excellent character. That he was enterprising is evidenced by 
the fact that in 1802, he, with others, made a prospecting tour 
through the wilderness of Central New York, with a view to join- 
ing the tide of emigration that had then set in from New England. 
Two years later he emigrated with his family, in company with 
others, including his younger brothers Oliver and Warren and 
his family, to Central New York, and settled at Pompey Hill, 
Onondago County, where he cleared the forests, became a pros- 
perous farmer, and reared a family of eleven children. He died 
in the town of Spafford, N. Y., April 29, 1853, aged eighty-two 
years. The names and order of birth of these children, as fur- 
nished by Mrs. PhideliaHigley Doubleday, since deceased, of Cort- 
land, N. Y., who was the youngest of the eleven, are as follows : 

Levi Jason, Hepsibah, Lyman, Melissa, Philura, Isaac Anson, 
William, Harvey, John, Chauncey, and Phidelia. 

LEVI JASON was born in Simsbury, Conn., September 29, 1795. 
Died at Fayetteville, N. Y., in 1856. He was twice married; 
first to Sally Cornish, born May 28, 1794, died September 16, 
1829. They had four children. 

JANE, born July 29, 1817 ; married H. Cornish, January 29, 1846, and after 
his death married twice Mr. Thomas, April 5, 1853, and Mr. Hammond, May 
8, 1861. She died July 4, 1870. 

DANIEL, son of Levi Jason Higley, born February 23, 1819 ; married Lenah 
Shaw, March 25, 1849. They have two sons, and by last accounts are living in 
Napanee, Canada, West. The older son, Daniel Levi, born in Picton, Prince 
Edwards County, Canada, West, June 20, 1852. Second son, Samuel Richard, 
born at same place, April 12, 1855, lives in California. 

DENISON, born October 27, 1821 ; married Jane H. Rownling, August 18, 1858. 
They are now living at Fayetteville, N. Y., and have one daughter, Florence C. 

LEVI, born December 26, 1824. Died April 2, 1889, in Grand View, la. He 
married Anna Elizabeth Brown, October 7, 1852. They had three sons, as 
follows : 

DenisonJ., born at Fayetteville, N. Y., October 23, 1853 ; married Sarah T. 
Warner, October 17, 1883. They have two children : Ruth, born June 16, 1885, 
and Bessie, born May 10, 1888. He is a prominent physician in Grand View, la. 
William JCerr, born in Fayetteville, N. Y., July 31, 1858 ; married Harriet E. 
Warner, June 29, 1882. He is a successful professor in the Illinois College of 
Pharmacy in Chicago. Charles Denton, born at Hudson, N. Y., October 13, 1865 ; 
married Mertie E. Allen, March 13, 1890. They have one child, Helen, born 
December 23, 1891. He is a druggist in Syracuse, N. Y. 

The children of Levi Jason Higley by his second wife, Sally 
Clemont, whom he married December 31, 1829, and who died 
March 19, 1884, are eight in number, and are as follows: 
14 



198 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Henry, born November 14, 1830 ; married Helen Anderson, May 8, 1860, 
and Anna Gilson, October 8, 1873. He lives at Fairmount, 111., where he carries 
on a large and successful business as one of the proprietors of the "Fairmount 
Mills and Elevator." Sarah M., born August 26, 1832, married twice: Still- 
man Clark, August 25, 1864 ; and John Russell, June 10, 1871. They live 
near Berlin, Wis. Albert, born September 25, 1834. Died November 8, 1862. 
Lynian, born October 10, 1835. Lives in Missouri. Mary F., born February 
3, 1837 ; married Francis Malolin, June 23, 1855. They have six sons and one 
daughter living. Louisa P., born April n, 1838 ; married A. B. Morrison, 
December 20, 1855. They have three sons and one daughter. Isaac, born 
July 13, 1840 ; married Amelia Burton, May 12, 1868. Lives at De Ruyter, 
N. Y. He was sergeant in Company D, New York Volunteer Engineers. 
Lucinda M., born February 12, 1845. Died October 31, 1848. 

HEPSIBAH, daughter of Levi and Hepsibah Higley. No data of her received. 

LYMAN, the third child, married Minerva Chapin ; died in Brooklyn, N. Y. , 

MELISSA, the fourth child, married a Mr. Carter. 

PHILURA, the fifth child . No data of her received. 

ISAAC ANSON, the sixth child, was born at the old homestead in Pompey, Onondago 
County, N. Y., in 1807. While a young man he went to Pottsville, Pa., and settled 
there. His daughter, Emily B. Higley, in a letter dated Minersvilla, Pa., May 27, 
1895, writes of her family as follows : "My father married Mary B. Falls in 
December, 1832 I think in Pottsville, Pa. They had nine children, all born in 
Pottsville, Pa.: Jas. H., in 1836; Sarah Jane, 1838; Emily B., 1840; John 
Harvey, 1843 ; Mary, 1845 ; Helen M., 1847 ; Camilla, 1850 ; Isaac Anson, 1852, 
and Chai. A., 1855. Jas. H. and John Harvey were in Company A, g6th Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, in the late war. The former died of camp fever, in May, 
1862 ; the latter was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness, and died in August 
of the same year. Helen married Seth Winslow Geer, attorney at law, in Sep- 
tember, 1865. She died March 15, 1881. Mr. Geer died in March, 1888. 
They left four boys: Benjamin, Seth W., Har-vey, and Joseph. Mary married 
Joseph C. Ramsey in April, 1869. She died in March, 1870. The two surviving 
children of my father are my sister Camilla and myself. My father died in October, 
1856, aged forty-nine. My mother, Mary B. died April 19, 1894, aged eighty." 

In a letter written in 1889, she says: " My mother has been postmistress of this 
place Minersville continuously since 1872, and has filled the office acceptably to 
the Department at Washington and to the people here. My father was an educated 
gentleman, a worthy descendant of my Higley ancestors." 

WILLIAM, seventh child of Levi and Hepsibah Higley. We have no further 
record. 

HARVEY, the eighth child, lived recently at Hillsdale, Mich. 

JOHN, the ninth child. No data. 

CHAUNCEY, the tenth child, is living near Angolia, N. Y. 

PHIDELIA, the eleventh and youngest child of Levi and Hepsibah Higley, 
married Henry Doubleday. They settled in Cortland, N. Y., where she died, 
December 15, 1891. They had four children, all living. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

WARREN HIGLEY, SR., AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 

Continued from page 188. 

" Upon the great dial-plate of ages 
The light advanced no more recedes." 

By Hon. Warren Higley of New York City. 

WARREN HIGLEY, the fourth son of Seth and Mindwell Higley, 
and grandson of Brewster, 2d, was born on the old homestead in 
Simsbury, Conn., November 10, 1775, the year before his father, 
as a corporal in Captain Case's company, joined the Continental 
Army, and marched to the defense of New York. He grew to 
sturdy manhood amid the hardships that prevailed during the 
revolutionary period and that just following. On reaching his 
majority he married Lucy Sawyer, a beautiful young woman of 
Pomfret, Conn., and settled near his father's home, following the 
occupation of his ancestors a tiller of the soil. 

In the following year, June 14, 1797, the first child was born to 
them, Warren Alson. Then followed Chauncey, May 13, 1799, 
Jacob Sawyer, January 3, 1802, Lucy Rosetta, February i, 1804, mak- 
ing, no doubt, a busy hive in the Simsbury home. The father and 
mother were still young, not thirty, and were naturally looking 
for larger opportunities. The great West with its virgin soil in- 
vited settlers, and the towns of New England were sending their 
sons and daughters out into this new world, so lately redeemed 
from the sway of English rule and the savagery of native tribes. 
Alluring inducements were offered in cheap lands, fertile beyond 
comparison, and within easy access of the natural highways of 
commerce, in Western New York, in Pennsylvania, and in Ohio. 
There were three principal routes through which the tide of 
emigration was pouring its flood westward ; up the Mohawk 
Valley into Central New York, and thence onward via Buffalo 
and Lake Erie to Northern Ohio; across Southern Pennsylvania 
and over the mountains to the headwaters of the Ohio; and 
down the Appalachion Valley and thence over into Kentucky and 

99 



200 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Tennessee. Land companies and syndicates were active in secur- 
ing large tracts of land and promoting their settlement. For 
example, Oliver Phelps of Simsbury and Windsor, Conn., and 
Nathaniel Gorham, purchased in 1787 a tract of land containing 
two and a quarter millions of acres lying west of Seneca Lake in 
New York State. This tract is known as the "Phelps and Gor- 
ham Purchase," and constitutes one of the most fertile and 
beautiful sections of the State. 

In 1789 Oliver Phelps opened, at Canandaigua, N. Y., the first 
land office in America for the sale of lands to settlers. 

It appears from the data we have, that Levi Higley, an older 
brother of Warren, went with others to Central New York in 1802 
or 1803, and visited that part of the wilderness which was within 
easy reach of the wonderful salt springs near Syracuse. Whether 
he located and purchased lands at that time does not appear. 
But Levi returned to Simsbury for his family. 

In the spring of 1804 Warren Higley, with his wife and young 
family, his brothers Levi and Oliver, and others of the neighbor- 
hood with their families, left the home and surroundings of their 
forefathers for the new West, of which they had heard so much. 
They loaded their household goods and necessary provisions on 
carts and wagons; and with ox-teams to haul them, and cows to 
furnish milk, they made the toilsome journey to Central New 
York, and settled in the wilderness at Onondaga Hill, about six 
miles from Syracuse. The log house was quickly built, the clear- 
ing made for the corn field and the garden, and the pioneer life 
begun. 

The following year, October 25, 1805, Emily was born; Decem- 
ber 9, 1807, Chester ; July 21, 1813, Rachel ; October 5, 1815, 
Harriet Rachel j making a family of eight children, all of whom, 
excepting Lucy Rosetta, who died in early womanhood, lived to 
mature ge, married, and had families of children. 

Lucy Sawyer Higley, the mother, was a woman of great energy 
and executive ability, and of remarkable devotion and sweetness 
of temper. Up to the time of her death she strictly observed the 
tenets of her church, and kept her Sabbath from sundown on 
Saturday night to the setting of the sun on Sunday, during which 
time all the work in the household and on the farm was sus- 
pended, excepting that of necessity. 

Like the noble, self-sacrificing women of our pioneer times, 
she not only performed the household duties, but spun and wove 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 20 1 

the flax and the wool, and cut and made the garments for the 
family; and a most excellent cook and housekeeper and manager 
she was. There were no " hired girls " in those early days, but the 
spirit of helpfulness pervaded the family and the neighborhood, 
and thereby the burdens were lightened, and peace and content- 
ment reigned. Thus was the large family reared, and sturdy 
character formed for the responsibilities of mature years. 

There are few, if any, striking events in the life of the farmer; 
and none in the subject of this sketch worthy of note, unless it 
be the fact that he, imbibing the military spirit like his ancestors, 
was chosen captain of the local artillery company, and near the 
close of the War of 1812 went with his company to Niagara 
Falls, to serve his country. But peace came before his battery" 
was called into active service. He died at the home of his 
daughter, Emily, near the site of the old homestead, on Onondaga 
Hill, of a virulent attack of smallpox, May 16, 1848. His faith- 
ful wife survived him but a few months, and died in the same place, 
August 27, 1848. Seven sons and daughters survived them. 

In height they were above the medium, the husband standing 
six feet, broad-shouldered and well proportioned, and more than 
usually good-looking. They both had fine physical constitutions, 
wholly free from taints; and, consequently, health and vigor 
characterized the children, an inheritance that cannot be too 
highly valued. 

The Onondaga salt springs had for a number of years made 
this section well-known throughout the State. These were about 
seven miles distant, and furnished the early settlers an oppor- 
tunity to get a little ready money, for these springs were in the 
State Reservation, and freely utilized by the settlers in that 
vicinity for securing what they wanted for use; and the more 
enterprising manufactured considerable quantities of salt for the 
market. All Western New York depended on these springs for 
its supply of salt. It used to sell for about fifty cents per bushel, 
and a fair-sized family would make about fifty bushels per week 
in favorable weather, and so reap a good income for those times. 

The forests yielded an abundance of sugar for the family. 
The " men-folks" in the early spring were accustomed to 
make about two tons of maple sugar for the year's supply. The 
expense was slight; iron kettles, pot- rack, iron ladles, augers 
for boring, and buckets for carrying the sap, were everything 
needed beyond what the workmen themselves could supply with 



202 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

the ax. During this season the neighborhood was kept very 
gay by the frequent parties given at " sugaring-off" times, when 
they ate the delicious wax from the snow, or sipped the rich aro- 
matic syrup, dipped hot from the kettle; the newly-made sugar 
was added to the feast according to taste. 

The pioneer life had its charms and pleasures as well as its 
hardships and sorrows. Their tastes were simple; their family 
wants were few beyond what the farm supplied. They were 
neighborly, helpful, x one to another; they were honest and trusty. 
The doors of their houses were without bolts, and "the latch- 
string was always out." A sort of Arcadian life was led by these 
early settlers at Onondaga, so far as can be gleaned from the 
records, and peace and happiness and prosperity prevailed among 
them. 

WARREN ALSON, the first child of Warren and Lucy Sawyer 
Higley, was born in Simsbury, Conn., on Wednesday, June 14, 
1797. He died at the home of his son, Hulbert, in Trempeleau 
County, Wisconsin, October 14, 1871. He lived on the farm with 
his parents until his marriage with Permelia Duell, daughter of a 
prominent farmer of that section, on March 4, 1824. He settled 
on a farm at Onondaga Hill, where his children were born and 
brought up, viz. : Juliette, Hulbert, and Marian. 

JULIETTE, born October 9, 1825. October 14, 1846, she married Charles R. 
Borradaile of Sodus, Wayne County, N. Y., a gentleman of excellent family and high 
standing. They settled in Sodus, N. Y., and enjoyed many years of happiness and 
prosperity. They had three children : 

EMMA J., the eldest, was born July 25, 1848 ; was married to Dr. C. H. Eggleston 
of Marshall, Mich., April 22, 1869. They settled in Marshall, Mich., where he 
became prominent and prosperous in his profession, and she an angel of mercy 
to the distressed. She died June 18, 1889. They had three children : 

Nina Juliett, born January 22, 1870; Kittle Adah, born April I, 1874, an< J 
Edwy Borradaile Reid, born at Allegan, Mich., December 2, 1886. 

MARY ADAH BORRADAILE, the second child, was born at Sodus, March 9, 1850 ; 
married Edwy C. Reid of Allegan, Mich., August 28, 1876, where they still live. 

CHARLES HIGLEY BORRADAILE, their third child, was born at Sodus, March 3, 
1856. Not married. Has long been a resident of Marshall, Mich., prosperous in 
business, and very highly respected by all who know him. 

HULBERT HIGLEY, only son of Warren Alson and Permelia Duell Higley, was 
born at Onondaga Hill, January 10, 1828. He grew up on the farm and lived 
according to the custom of those days. He married Mary A. Victs of Orangeville, 
Pa., March 25, 1856. He soon after went with his bride to the State of Wisconsin 
and settled on a farm in Neshonac, La Crosse County. They have seven children, 
as follows : 




CHAUNCEY AND MARGARET HEAD HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY,\ST. 203 

Leonora Emma, born April 26, 1857, at Neshonac, La Crosse County, Wis. 
Was married at Centerville, Trempeleau County, Wis., December 22, 1875, to 
Zalmon S. Martin of the same place. They have had four children : 

Edith Lyle, who was born November 24, 1876, at Centerville, Trempeleau 
County, Wis. ; Harold Arthur, who was born October 16, 1878, at same place ; 
Mabel Emma, born December 4, 1880, at Jamestown, Stutsman County, North 
Dak. ; Florence Cordelia, born November 8, 1886, at the same place. 

Warren A., son of Hulbert and Mary A. Higley, was born September 6, 185-, 
at Neshonac, and at last advices was still a bachelor. Emma Jane was born at 
the same place, June n, 1863. She was married at Hale, Trempeleau County, 
Wis., March 30, 1881, to William J. Gordon, of the same place, and had a son, 
fohn Emory, born May 9, 1884. Florence Permelia was born October n, 1866, 
at Trempeleau, W T is. Nellie May, was born January 27, 1870, at the same place. 
Marian Juliette, was born December 7, 1879, at Hale, Wis. Samantha Mabel, 
was born May 14, 1882, at Jamestown, Stutsman County, North Dak., to which 
place her parents had removed and settled. 

MARIAN HIGLEY, third and youngest child of Warren Alson and Permelia Duell 
Higley, was born at Onondaga Hill, April 27, 1830. She was married at Onondaga 
Hill, May 12, 1854, to William J. Hillabrant of Syracuse, N. Y. Died at her home 
in Marshall, Mich., 1895. She was a beautiful woman, and most devoted mother, 
respected and loved by all who knew her. They had three children, viz., 

Willis Duell, George M., Charles H. 

WILLIS DUELL was born at Salina, N. Y., February 21, 1855. He married 
in Chicago, June 5, 1884, Miss Kate Kenny, daughter of the late Judge Kenny 
of Ashland, O. They reside in Chicago, and have a daughter, born May 29, 1885, 
christened Susan Marian. 

GEORGE M. HILLABRANT was born at Marshall, Mich , July 5, 1858 ; died 
August u, 1859. 

CHARLES H., was born at Marshall, Mich., September 14, 1860, where he still 
resides. 

CHAUNCEY HIGLEY, the second child of Warren and Lucy 
Sawyer Higley, was born in Simsbury, Conn., May 13, 1799. He 
grew to be a healthy, strong, energetic young man under the care 
and influence of the pioneer home. At the age of fifteen he 
enlisted for the war (1812-14) in the local company under Captain 
Forbes, and marched to the defense of Sackett's Harbor, at that 
time threatened by the British. Colonel Ellis was his regimental 
commander. He remained in the service until the close of the 
war. In after life he was a pensioner, and so continued up to the 
time of his death. He became a skilled distiller, and was early 
appointed to the charge of large establishments. The business 
in those days was not clouded by any influence of temperance 
agitation. It was held in equal honor with that of other call- 



204 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ings and he prospered in it. He was a very temperate man all 
his life, of the strictest integrity, a consistent Christian, a member 
and officer of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and always a 
good, patriotic citizen. 

At the age of twenty-one, May 2, 1820, in the town of Owasco, 
adjoining the then village of Auburn, N. Y., he married Margaret 
Head, who was born at Springfield, Otsego County, N. Y., 
May 25, 1804. 

For twenty years he lived in different places in New York 
State, Owasco, Auburn, Port Byron, Sennett, and in the 
spring of 1840 went to Ohio, via the Erie Canal and Lake Erie, 
the usual route of travel then, with all his family and household 
goods, and settled on a farm in Westfield, Delaware County, O. 
He afterward devoted three years to the business of distilling in 
West Cleveland, and four years in Newark, O.,and then returned 
to his farm, and continued a farmer for the remainder of his life. 

His daughter, Adeline, in a letter dated Cardington, O., May 
31, 1887, wrote: "I can say for my father, that in character he 
is second to none. He has lived a long life of usefulness, always 
showing his Christianity in his liberality to the poor and to the 
Church. He always took sunshine with him wherever he went. 
He often says that he has lived out his time and is only waiting." 
He died at the home of his youngest daughter, Emily, in the town 
of Ashley, Delaware County, O., July 29, 1887, in the eighty- 
ninth year of his age. 

LUCY ROSETTA, the eldest child, was born in the town of Owasco, Cayuga County, 
N. Y., March 14, 1822. In 1840 she accompanied her parents to Ohio, and was 
there married to Edward Terry of New York, June 30, 1842, at their home in 
Westfield. They settled near Cardington, O., and brought up a family of seven 
children, all of whom were married and living in 1887. She was left a widow in 
1867. Their children : 

Emaline was born April I, 1843 ; married January I, 1860, to John W. Mere- 
dith. Adeline was born January 13, 1845 ; married November 12, 1865, to Leroy 
P. Slack. Henrietta was born April 8, 1848 ; married November 14, 1869, to 
James Potter. Bradford was born August 13, 1852 ; married October 23, 1873, to 
Mary Sands. James and Jane, twins, were born June 21, 1856. Jane was mar- 
ried July 26, 1879, to Simeon Glaze. James was married November 2, 1884, to 
Mary Aldrich. Florence was born October 9, 1860 ; married June 6, 1881, to Cyrus 
E. Weatherby. 

The mother writes from Cardington, O., June 5, 1887 : "By these I have twenty- 
one grandchildren. Now comes the old adage, ' Large streams from little fountains 
flow.' A pretty good list for one Higley, don't you think ? " 

ARETAS, second child of Chauncey and Margaret Higley, was born in Auburn, 
N. Y., March 29, 1824, and died October 24, following. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, \ST. 205 

ADELINE E. was born in Auburn, N. Y., September 24, 1825. She was married 
at her father's home in Westfield, O., September 7, 1842, to George B. Terry, 
brother of her sister's husband. He died April 3, 1855, leaving her a widow with 
four children, viz. : 

Evaline, born July 2, 1844 ; married Reuben P. Smith. She died February 
IO, 1870, leaving two children. Margaret Ann, born August n, 1846; married 
William H. H. Smith. They have seven children. Chauncey G., born March II, 

1849 ; married . They have seven children. George B., Jr., bom July 27, 

1851 ; married . They have four children. 

After living a widow for seventeen years, she married Taylor Barge of Carding- 
ton, O., where they now live. 

WARREN HIGLEY, fourth child of Chauncey and Margaret A. Higley, was born 
at Auburn, N. Y., December 10, 1827, and died December 9, 1828. 

EDWIN R. was born at Auburn, N. Y , November 25, 1829. Married in Ohio, 
April 17, 1850, to Catherine Devar of Newark, O. They settled on a farm near 
his father's, and had nine children : 

Frank G., born August 15, 1851 ; Jane J., born July 10, 1853 ; Delphine, 
Clara Estclla, Ella Jane, Jessie, William, Howard C., and George. 

His wife died not long after the birth of George, and after about two years he 
took to himself a second wife, by whom he had seven children up to August, 1887 : 
John Sherman, Emily Rosetta, Charles, Chauncey, Lewis, Curtis Jay, and Joseph 
Gran-ville. All were living at last advices sixteen. 

DESIRE R., daughter of Chauncey and Margaret Higley, was born in Butler, 
Wayne County, N. Y., September 13, 1832. Married December 24, 1850, in 
Newark, O , to James F. Peyton. She died May 3, 1852. 

EMILY S , daughter of Chauncey and Margaret Higley, was born in Westfield, 
O., April 6, 1841. Married at her fathers house in Ashley, O., December 24, 
1859, Peter Z. Hopper, of Hackensack, N. J. They reside at Ashley, O. Six 
children were born to them : Herbert, October 29, 1860 ; died February 27, 1861. 
Charles, April 14, 1862. Margaret, July 27, 1864. Levi J. t August 6, 1866. 
Chauncey, September 19, 1871, and Lizzie, July 4, 1876. 

JACOB SAWYER, third child of Warren and Lucy Higley, was 
born in Simsbury, Conn., January 3, 1802, and was over two years 
old when his parents moved into the wilderness of Onondaga. 
He developed a splendid physique, and a strong, manly character 
under the influence of farm life and the busy cultured home. 

On November 10, 1822, not yet twenty-one, he married Nancy 
Delina Spencer, the daughter of a neighboring farmer. He was 
powerful in strength, of a kind and generous nature, noble 
character, and a most exemplary husband and father. He died 
May 15, 1873. His devoted wife had died October 28, 1866. 

His grandson, Rev. Elmer Higley, writes: "In 1827, my 
grandfather moved to Wayne County, N. Y., in company with his 
brother Chauncey. In 1831 he moved to Cattaraugus County, 



206 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

N. Y. From there he moved to Conneaut Township, Crawford 
County, Pa., in 1835, settling each time in the wilderness. In 
1845 he moved to Millcreek Township, Williams County, O. 
Here he cleared the land and followed farming. He lived there 
until his decease in 1874 his death occurring, however, in 
Munroe County, Mich., while visiting at the home of his eldest 
son Sheldon." 

They had ten children, six boys and four girls, whose names 
and dates of birth are as follows, as taken from the family record : 
Sheldon, born August 4, 1823; Emulus, November 13, 1825; Ben- 
jamin, March 10, 1827, no further data; Lucy M., December 7, 
1828 ; Austin, April 5, 1830 ; Harriet, April i, 1832; Emily J., July 
4, 1835; Miles Warren, April 22, 1842; Elba, July 17, 1844; Janette, 
February i, 1851, no data. 

The following deaths are recorded: Emily J., August, 1847, 
aged twelve years;- Austin was killed in the late war near Atlanta, 
Ga., July 24, 1864; Harriet G. died April 18, 1888. 

SHELDON HIGLEY, eldest son of Jacob Sawyer and Nancy Delina Spencer, 
farmer, resides at Bancroft, Kossuth County, la. 

EMULUS HIGLEY, resides at Coopersville, Ottaway County, Mich. 

LUCY MARILLA, married Amos Sullivan in 1843; he died in 1853. They had 
two children, Emma Rossetta and Cornelius Eugene. February 24, 1859, she 
married Solomon Rogers, who died September 10, 1887. She now lives in Stryker, 
Williams County, O. 

AUSTIN HIGLEY, the fifth child of Jacob Sawyer and Nancy D. Higley, served in 
the Mexican War, and until the beginning of the late war lived on the frontier, 
where he served as an Indian scout and encountered many dangers. He was 
three years in the gold regions of California. In 1861 he enlisted in the 68th Ohio 
Volunteers, Company I, and went to the Civil War. He was wounded in an engage- 
ment near Atlanta, Ga., July 21, 1864, and died three days after. 

HARRIET C. HIGLEY, the sixth child, married William Moore, a fanner, living in 
Bridgewater Township, Williams County, O. They had three children, only one 
of whom is living Samuel. 

MILES WARREN HIGLEY, the seventh child, was born in Conneaut Township, 
Crawford County, Pa. His father moved to Williams County, O., three years after. 
In 1861 he enlisted in the 6ist Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, and served in the war 
to its close. He was wounded at Champion Hills, near Vicksburg, May 16, 1863. 
He married Amanda Ann Snow, September 18, 1863. Three children were born 
to them : Elmer, July 6, 1867 ; Fred, October i, 1868 ; and Orin, July 23, 1872. 
In 1881 they moved to Conneautville, Pa., where they still reside. 

The Rev. ELMER HIGLEY, eldest son of Miles W. and Amanda A. Higley, was 
born near Pioneer, Williams County, O., July 6, 1867. When fourteen years old his 
parents moved to Conneautville, Pa., where he enjoyed the advantages of the com- 
mon school, and three years after entered the high school, from which he was gradu- 
ated in 1887. After teaching one year, and spending one year in travel, he entered 




CHESTER AND PRUDENCE MILLER-HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY,\ST. 207 

Alleghany College, Meadville, Pa., where he pursued the classical course to the 
senior year, when, in 1891, he entered the ministry, and since then has filled 
pastorates in the Methodist Episcopal Church. While serving in the ministry 
he has completed the college course of studies, and will graduate in '96. He 
married Alice C. Dowler, August 16, 1892, and is now the settled pastor of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church at Milesgrove, Pa. 

ELBA HIGLEY, daughter of Jacob Sawyer aud Nancy Delina Spencer, married 
Jerry Zolomon, and now resides near Pioneer, Williams County, O. 

EMILY J. HIGLEY, their seventh child, married Leander Zolomon. They 
reside near West Unity, Williams County, O. 

LUCY ROSETTA HIGLEY, fourth child of Warren and Lucy_ 
Sawyer Higley, was born in Simsbury, Conn., February i, 1804, 
and was therefore a babe in arms when her parents removed to 
Central New York. Family tradition says that she was an 
unusually beautiful and lovely child, and that her early death, 
March 25, 1816, was the cause of deep and widespread sorrow. 

EMILY HIGLEY, fifth child of Warren and Lucy Sawyer Higley, 
was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., October 25, 1805, soon 
after the first crop of corn was gathered from the new lot. She 
developed a strong, beautiful character, and lived respected and 
loved by all who knew her. 

In 1822, at the age of seventeen, she married Newel Wiard, the 
son of a neighboring farmer. They remained childless for nearly 
ten years when their first child, 

FLORA E., was born, May 7, 1832. She grew to be a very attractive and highly 
accomplished young lady. While spending the winter of 1858 with friends in the 
far South, she became ill and died in Handsboro, Miss., at the age of twenty-six. 

CHARLES WIARD, the second child of Newel and Emily Higley Wiard, was born 
March 2, 1834 ; married June 27, 1860, at Onondaga Hill, an accomplished and 
highly educated lady, Mary C. Annable, and settled on the homestead with his 
parents. He was a farmer, and continued to live where they first settled until his 
death, which occurred January 9, 1890. Three children were born to them: 

Flora E., August n, 1861. She married March 4, 1886, Henry H. Hamilton. 
On February 20, 1887, a daughter was born, whom they named Bertha. Frank 
C. was born May 20, 1865, and at last advices was a bachelor. Lyman A. was 
born July 2, 1874. 

CHESTER HIGLEY, the sixth child and fourth son of Warren and 
Lucy Sawyer Higley, was born December 9, 1807. He grew to 
a lusty manhood in the old home, and was noted for his genial 
nature, generous spirit, and industrious habits. When about 
eighteen he joined his brother Chauncey, who was then in 
charge of " Garrow's Distillery " at Auburn, N. Y. After serv- 



208 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ing his apprenticeship, he had charge of large distilleries in 
different parts of the State, until 1845. The remainder of his 
life was spent on a farm in the town of Owasco, Cayuga County, 
N. Y. He died at his home near Auburn after a brief illness, 
May 3, 1875. He was of a strong and vigorous constitution, and 
until his last illness had seldom experienced a sick day. 

In 1828, July 6, he married Prudence Miller, then residing with 
her grandparents on West Genesee Street, Auburn, N. Y. She 
was born at Pine Hill, N. Y., September, 30, 1809. Her father, 
George Miller, emigrated from Southeastern New York in the 
early part of the century and settled with his family near Albion, 
N. Y., and brought up a large family. She died January 5, 1882, 
at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Eliza Nickason, in Auburn, 
N. Y. 

Chester and Prudence Miller Higley had a family of five chil- 
dren, viz.: 

COLLINS JACOB, born at Auburn, N. Y., May 5, 1829. He grew to young man- 
hood, strong, healthy, genial, of fair skin, black hair, and large brown eyes. He 
was well educated, served an apprenticeship, according to the custom of that time, 
at the joiner's trade in Auburn, N. Y., and during this period joined the local 
brass band and began the study of music, Afterward he became quite distin- 
guished as a musician. At the age of twenty-one he abandoned his trade and 
devoted himself to music. He traveled for many years as a leading musician, and 
was very skilled and unusually popular with his craft. As opportunity offered, he 
composed and arranged music for local bands. 

About the year 1858 or 1859 he went with a party from Chicago overland to Pike's 
Peak, Col., to mine gold. They went with a full outfit of teams, cattle, provisions, 
and tools, and were many weeks in making the journey across the plains. He sent 
favorable reports for the following two years, and in the early summer of 1861 he 
wrote, inquiring anxiously for news of the war, and saying that he would soon be 
able to return East with a good competence. The letter in reply was returned 
through the dead letter office at Washington. He has not been heard from since. 
It is thought that he must have lost his life in some one of the border conflicts that 
prevailed between the Union and Confederate forces about tliat time. He never 
married. 

GEORGE MILLER, second son of Chester and Prudence Higley, was born in 
Auburn, N. Y., April I, 1831. He died from the effects of a railroad accident in 
Nashville, Tenn., in the fall of 1879. He was twice married, but left no children 
surviving. 

He was in the railroad business a large part of his life, as master of freight, 
engineer, conductor, etc. He was conductor of a war train, under General 
McPherson, in the late war, and did daring and effective service for the Union 
cause. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH H 1C LEY, 1ST 209 

By the Editor, 
Warren, Chester, Warren, Seth, ist, Brewster, zd, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

WARREN HIGLEY (of New York City), the youngest son of 
Chester and Prudence Miller Higley, was born in Genoa, near 
Auburn, N. Y., July i, 1833. He is a lineal descendant in direct 
line from both of his honored maternal ancestors, Captain John 
Higley's two wives, his great-grandfather, Seth Higley, having 
contracted a marriage of near kin. 

His childhood was spent upon the farm in the midst of the 
simplicity of an agricultural life. Like the youth of those days, 
his early education was gained at the common district school, 
which he attended faithfully, winter and summer, until ten years 
of age, after which he attended only during the winter months, 
his labor being required on the farm in the summer. The 
molding of his earlier years fell largely upon his mother, who 
was a gifted and superior woman. Her maternal heart was 
wrapped up in this son, and it is to her energy, perseverance, 
and wise direction that he says he owes his successful efforts in 
after life more than to anything else. 

He was noted for his perseverance, industry, and frugality 
during his youth. In the country school he early rose to the 
first class in scholarship, and, by having free access to the dis- 
trict library, he supplemented the education of the schoolroom 
by that education which comes from the eager reading of a great 
variety of excellent books, in history, biography, travels, science, 
and art. It embraced such works as Headley's "Napoleon and 
his Marshals," "Washington and his Generals," Dr. Dix's works, 
Dr. Lardner's works on science and art, Freemont's exploring ex- 
peditions to the Pacific coast, "Life of Benjamin Franklin," etc. 

Through good home training, the education of the school and 
the library, and the industrious habits of farm life, he developed 
into an energetic, long-headed boy of great application a fair 
type of an American country youth, who afterward rose to an 
influential and successful manhood through his own individual 
energy and unfailing perseverance. 

He was early ambitious to earn his own living and to accumu- 
late from his earnings. At the age of sixteen he purchased five 
acres of land near the city of Auburn, upon which, with the aid 
of his parents, he built a comfortable cottage, which home they 
thereafter enjoyed until their decease. 



210 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The fond dream of his early youth was to obtain an education 
sufficient to enable him to teach a country school, and thus 
insure an income from the winter as well as from the summer 
months. He easily surpassed his fellows in the country school, 
and, at the age of seventeen, entered the Auburn Academy, where 
he received the advantages of advanced instruction. He became 
a member of one of the first teachers' classes in the State, organ- 
ized under the auspices of the Regents of the University. 

This was about the year 1850-51. The following winter he 
taught his first district school at Aurelius, three miles west of 
Auburn, and "boarded round," according to the custom of those 
days. This school consisted of forty-five pupils, ranging from six 
to twenty-five years of age. His salary was sixteen dollars per 
month. The branches taught ranged from the A B C's to higher 
algebra. Before the end of his term, the trustees engaged him 
for the following year at largely increased wages. 

His broadened experience and observation, as a student at the 
Auburn Academy and teacher in the country school, fired him 
with an ambition to obtain a collegiate education. He took up 
the study of Latin and Greek, and pursued it with great zeal, 
inspired by the bright hopes which the attainment of his purposes 
seemed to hold out; and in the summer of 1858 he entered the 
freshman class of Hamilton College at Clinton, N. Y., with forty 
dollars surplus funds to start on. 

By virtue of a trusting faith, of determined energy, industry, 
and careful economy, he worked his way through college without 
the aid of others. To secure the necessary means he worked for 
wages in vacations, and taught portions of the time. In his 
freshman year, as he was far in advance of his class in all the 
English branches, he accepted the position of head teacher in the 
Auburn Academy, where he had just finished his preparation for 
college. During the greater part of this year, he also taught the 
prisoners in the Auburn State Prison for five days in the week, 
between the hours of 6 to 8 o'clock, p. M., having received 
the appointment for this position from the Governor of the State, 
and received for such service $12.50 per month. The following 
year he joined his class in college with sufficient means to meet 
all necessary expenses. In the fall of 1861, while a senior in 
college, he was appointed by the Governor of the State to fill the 
vacancy of school commissioner for the second district of Cayuga 
County. He was able to discharge the duties of this office by 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 211 

devoting all of his vacations and a part of the winter term to them, 
and at the same time to keep up his studies with his college class; 
he was graduated with honor in the summer of 1862. 

After graduation he continued in the office of school commis- 
sioner, discharging his duties with great efficiency and acceptance 
to the public, until the following year, when he was elected to 
what he deemed the more important position of principal of 
Cayuga Lake Academy, located at Aurora, N. Y., one of the 
oldest academies in the State. 

Under his energetic direction the school rapidly increased in 
patronage, and rose to high rank among the educational insti- 
tutions of New York. 

After three years of flattering success, he yielded to the solicita- 
tions of the Board of Education of Auburn, N. Y., to remove to 
his native town and take charge of the reorganization of the 
public schools of that city, and the establishment of a high school 
in place of the old academy, and to this end he was elected 
secretary of the Board of Education and Superintendent of the 
Publ : c Schools in the summer of 1866. This position he filled 
with eminent satisfaction to all concerned. The high school 
flourished beyond the expectations of its most zealous supporters, 
and the public schools generally, under his personal direction, 
rose to a high degree of excellence. 

His friends at Aurora were determined to secure his return, if 
possible, and under various strong inducements, financial as well 
as in the direction of promised means for the building and endow- 
ment of a college of high rank, he returned, after two years' 
work at Auburn, and again took charge of the old academy, with 
the understanding that a new building would soon be erected by 
one of the wealthiest citizens of that place, and duly equipped to 
take its place among the leading colleges of the State. 

He was ambitious to be at the head of such an institution, and 
to be instrumental in its development. It was for this purpose 
and with this understanding that he returned to Aurora. 

But difficulties arose to prevent the founding and building up 
of the proposed institution. Financial conditions were changed, 
and after waiting for two years and continuing at the head of the 
academy, he felt justified in accepting an offer of the principal- 
ship of the West High School at Cleveland, O., and in the 
summer of 1870 he removed to Cleveland. His success there 
was so marked, and he became so well known to the distin- 



212 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

guished educators of Ohio, that the Board of Education of the 
city of Dayton, O., invited him to the superintendency of their 
schools. The offer of a largely increased salary, and the attrac- 
tions of the work to be done in this new field, induced him to 
accept the position offered, which he did in the summer of 1871. 

For some time, his logical qualities of mind, and a fair acquaint- 
ance with law already acquired during intervals of his regular 
duties, had been bending him toward the legal profession, and in 
1873 he resigned from school work and became a resident of Cin- 
cinnati, O., where he was admitted the following year, 1874, to 
the practice of the law by the Supreme Court of the State. 
Thorough and painstaking in all that he did, he was not long in 
gaining a professional foothold and winning a name in legal 
circles. 

In 1881 he was chosen- Judge of the City Court of Cincinnati, 
a Court of Record having original jurisdiction of all crimes and 
misdemeanors within the city, with the right of trial by jury. 
His career on the bench, until the expiration of his term, was 
characterized by sound judgment and common sense. 

His decisions upon several questions of general public interest 
were copied widely by the press of the country. His adminis- 
tration was noted for its efficiency in the punishment of crime 
and the sustaining of law and order. He probably achieved his 
greatest fame in his decisions under the law forbidding the 
opening of saloons and theaters on Sunday. Public feeling pro 
and con became very intense. The law was openly defied by the 
saloon keepers. Six hundred arrests were made by the police. 
The most prominent and influental among them were tried before 
Judge Higley and a jury, and convicted after a long and exciting 
trial. The full penalty of the law was promptly inflicted, and 
the most orderly Sabbath followed that had ever been known 
in Cincinnati; the greatest excitement prevailed, and riots were 
threatened in some portions of the city, but law and order 
triumphed. 

Judge Higley served on the bench the two years for which 
he was elected, and positively declined to be a candidate for 
re-election. 

He closed his term with the good wishes and high respect of 
the members of the bar. It was a just recognition of his faithful 
services that prompted a number of prominent citizens to mark 
the occasion by entertaining him at a elaborate dinner, at the 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 213 

close of which he was presented with a beautiful silver tankard, 
suitably inscribed. 

The following is taken from a leading morning paper : 

"Judge Warren Higley, whose term on the bench of the City 
Criminal Court will end on the 25th inst, gave a delightful 
semi-official entertainment at his home on Mount Auburn last 
evening. The only ladies present were Mrs. Higley and ladies 
who assisted her in receiving the judge's guests. Among those 
present were : William Means, Mayor of Cincinnati, Judge M. L. 
Buchwalter, Judge M. F. Wilson, Judge Fitzgerald, Judge John 
P. Murphy, Hon. John A. Caldwell, Hon. Howard Douglass, 
Assistant Postmaster Muller, Colonel Luther Parker, Mr. 
Benjamin Harrison, and a number of press representatives, 
including the gentlemen whose duties call them frequently to 
Judge Higley's court. With such a company and so admirable 
a host and hostess, the evening was a delightful one. The 
intellectual commission was helped out by beautiful accidentals : 
the tasteful decoration of the rooms ; the punch that was a 
study, a delight and a delusion; the cards and the supper that 
included the substantials, as well as the delicacies of the season. 
Judge Higley leaves a fine record as the magistrate of the court 
whose duties from their nearness to the daily welfare of the 
people are most difficult and important, but even more has he 
endeared himself, during his two years of public life, to all who 
have come in contact with him, as a man and gentleman." 

In the month of January, 1882, the American Forestry Con- 
gress had its birth in Judge Higley's law office. 

A few gentlemen, including Judge Higley, who had had the 
pleasure of getting up a public reception for Baron Richard Von 
Steuben, Royal Chief Forester of the German Empire, and his 
associates, soon after the centennial celebration of the battle of 
Yorktown, in November, 1881, met in Judge Higley's office in the 
early part of the January following, and discussed the subject of 
forestry. "Before they separated they resolved to bring the 
subject to the earnest consideration of the people. A committee 
was organized, and for the next three months the press of the 
country laid before the people the subject of forestry in its vari- 
ous important aspects." 

This movement culminated in a three days' meeting at Music 



214 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Hall, Cincinnati, held April 25, 26, and 27, 1882, at which most 
of the distinguished foresters of the United States and Canada 
were present and read papers before the scientific departments. 
The Governor of the State made the address of welcome. The 
2yth of the month was appointed by the chief executive of the 
State as Arbor Day, the first Arbor Day celebration in Ohio, and 
the first except two in the United States. The city was in holi- 
day attire. A great procession of soldiery and citizens, and pupils 
of the public schools, marched to Eden Park, where various 
groves were planted, with appropriate ceremonies. 

Thus closed the first session of the American Forestry Con- 
gress, which embraces in its scope the United States and Canada. 
This organization has done more than all other instrumentalities 
for the promotion of forestry in America. 

In 1884 Judge Higley was elected President of the American 
Forestry Congress, and was re-elected the following year. His 
opening address before the congress assembled in Boston in 
September, 1885, was clear and convincing, and commanded the 
thoughtful attention of the citizens of New England especially. 
He is still an active officer in this organization. 

One year after the first meeting of the American Congress, 
January, 1883, the Ohio State Forestry Association was organized, 
of which Judge Higley was an active mover, and of which he was 
elected its first president. 

The summer of 1884 Judge Higley removed to New York City, 
where he has since transacted a profitable law business, maintain- 
ing his previous reputation as a lawyer. Here he early began 
taking an active interest in matters appertaining to both social 
and public affairs. 

Of the Ohio Society of New York, organized January, 1886, he 
was one of the leading founders, and an indefatigable worker in its 
early history. He served as its secretary for some years, and has 
always been active in the interests of the society. 

He was one of the principle organizers of the New York State 
Forestry Association, of which he was made first vice president, 
and has occupied a well achieved place in the front ranks of its 
membership, working with zealous and praiseworthy effort to 
arouse public attention to the imperative importance of preserv- 
ing our State forests. He spoke upon invitation, in different 
parts of the State, without moneyed compensation, making timely 
addresses upon the urgent necessity of preventing the destruction 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 215 

of the Adirondack forests; urging that laws should be enacted 
giving the State power to purchase and hold absolute control 
over millions of additional acres of forest, deemed necessary to 
the Adirondack Preserve, and that all waste places should be 
devoted to forest growth. 

It is due in great measure to the influence of such earnest men 
as Judge Warren Higley and his coadjutors, men capable of 
dealing with the great questions of the day, that the State of 
New York stands far in advance of any other State in the Union 
in her forestry legislation, and the management of her State 
forests. 

Judge Higley became one of the incorporators and a trustee of 
the Adirondack League Club, founded in 1890, for the purpose of 
a game and forest preserve. The club now (1895) owns 115,000 
acres of forest lands lying in Hamilton and Herkimer Counties, 
N. Y., upon which are three fine club-houses. Forest Lodge on 
Honnedago Lake, Bisby Club-house on Bisby Lake, and Mountain 
Lodge Club-house, on Little Moose Lake, several cottages, and 
numerous camps adorn this wilderness tract, the most beautiful 
and attractive of which is Judge Higley's "Cedar Lodge," lately 
erected on Little Moose Lake. 

The club owns the finest stretch of native forest in the Adiron- 
dacks, and is trying to apply, for the first time in this country, 
advanced principles of forestry management, whereby forest 
preservation and forest utilization will not be inconsistent the 
one with the other. Judge Higley, as vice president of the club, 
takes an active interest in its management. 

In politics he is a Republican. Apart, however, from some 
active service as an officer in the Business Men's Republican 
Organization during the campaigns for Republican success in 
1888-90, he has not devoted much attention to the general politics 
of New York. About that time, the New York Financial Gazette 
had the following most complimentary words for Judge Higley : 

" The Business Men's Republican Organization of the Twelfth 
Assembly District held a large meeting recently for the purpose 
of transacting important business. Several speeches were made 
by members, notably that of Ex-Judge Warren Higley, which was 
declared by all who had the pleasure of listening to it to be the 
best of the evening. He expounded the plan of the business 
men's organizations, showing the wisdom and the foresight em- 



2l6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

braced in the scheme of work concentrated under it. He recom- 
mended meeting-places where young men could assemble and dis- 
cuss the questions of the day, and acquire information, which 
would certainly prove of advantage to them. Judge Higley's 
speech was full of good advice and encouraging facts. He 
has always done much to advance the interests of his party 
in this city, and during the last presidental campaign worked 
hard and earnestly for the success of the national ticket. As 
a lawyer he stands high in his profession, and his career at 
the bar has been a most successful one; he is considered one of 
the ablest and best read of our local practitioners." 

The Patria Club, of which Judge Higley is the presiding officer, 
held its initial meeting at Sherry's, April 23, 1891. 

Shortly before that date, at a dinner of the New York coun- 
cilors of the American Institute of Civics, over which Judge 
Higley presided, it was proposed to effect an organization includ- 
ing the members resident in New York City and vicinity, the 
object of which should be to promote the patriotic aims of the 
Institute, and be known as the "Patria Club," the membership to 
be open to ladies as well as gentlemen. Its first meeting was 
addressed by the Right Rev. A. C. Coxe, bishop of the Western 
Diocese of New York, who made an able address upon "Standards 
of Citizenship and Government." 

This club, over which Judge Higley has presided for two years, 
now (1895) numbers about two hundred ladies and gentlemen in its 
membership, and is accomplishing a quiet but effective work in 
"the maintenance of high ideals in affairs of government, by 
influence and channels largely educational in character." It 
ranks among the foremost literary social clubs of the metropolis. 
Among its active members are Daniel Greenleaf Thompson, Ex- 
United States Treasurer Ellis H. Roberts, Hon. and Mrs. William 
H. Arnoux, Hon. Warner Miller, Editor La Salle A. Maynard, Mr. 
and Mrs. William Ives Washburn, Mrs. J. C. Croly (Jennie June), 
Colonel and Mrs. Abraham G. Mills, Mrs. Mary Lowe Dickinson, 
Hon. and Mrs. William Brookfield, Ex-Judge Noah Davis, Rev. 
Dr. and Mrs. John R. McArthur, Professor and Mrs. S. S. Packard, 
Hon. Stewart L. Woodford. 

Judge Higley is a charter member of the Alpha Delta Phi Club 
of the City of New York, a member of the -American Geographical 
Society, the President of the Hamilton College Alumni Associa- 




CHRISTINA J. HALEY HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 217 

tion of the City of New York, and a member of the Republican 
Club. He is a 32 Mason, and a prominent officer in the Scottish 
Rite bodies. He is also a member of the Sons of the American 
Revolution. 

He delivered the historic addresses at the reunions of the 
Higley family at Windsor, O., in 1887, at Windham, O., in 1889, 
and at Simsbury, Conn., in the summer of 1890. From the first 
inception of this genealogical work he has taken an active interest 
in its progress, rendering valuable contributions of time and 
service, for which he will be honorably remembered. As has 
been already stated, he finally assumed the entire financial respon- 
sibility of its publication. 

From the time that his college course was closed and his mind 
and character matured, his exceptional gifted powers for public 
speaking have brought him into request to deliver addresses at 
conventions, public meetings, and before Associations having 
different objects. Tall and well-formed, standing full six feet, 
with a mind well stored with a general knowledge of men and 
things, a scholarly manner, and a strong and most agreeable voice, 
speaking with directness, and with perfect ease in the art of ex- 
pression, his audiences rarely fail to become enthusiastic in their 
appreciation. 

His temperament, which is confident and hopeful, fits him to 
rank with men described in the following words of Henry Ward 
Beecher: " Men who carry good nature in society are as much 
perceived as spicewood is, that carries sweet odors." It follows 
then that his social life is a busy one, that his quality and fine 
humor, with his catholic spirit, make him many friends, and a 
welcome guest. 

Like all other popular men who serve the public in responsible 
places, he has sometimes been placed in circumstances of unusual 
difficulty, and "escaped not calumnious strokes." Who is the 
public man that has not had maligners ? The course which he 
took, and which is a marked characteristic, of maintaining perfect 
silence, speaking ill of no one, has always won for him the highest 
respect, leaving his detractors contending in vain. 

In religious faith he is a Presbyterian, and a member of the 
West Presbyterian Church, New York City. 

He has been three times married; first, to Frances W. Tyler, 
daughter of B. B. Tyler, Esq., a prosperous farmer, near Auburn, 
N. Y., January i, 1863, by whom he had two children : Edward 



2l8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

North, born May, 1864, died in infancy; Arthur W., born 
November 23, 1866, educated in the public schools of Auburn, and 
now engaged in business in Wisconsin. At Cincinnati, O., June 
30, 1873, he married his second wife, Emma W. Clark, a lady of 
rare culture and learning. She became a devoted student of art, 
and an art critic of high rank. She twice visited Europe in 
the interest of her chosen studies, and made an extensive collec- 
tion of art works. Soon after settling in New York she became 
a member of Sorosis, where her brilliancy and learning and apti- 
tude in debate gave her special prominence. She died in the City 
of New York, from a surgical operation, April 19, 1890, leaving no 
children. 

On the zist day of July, 1891, he united in marriage with 
Christina J. Haley of New York City, a most estimable lady. She 
had been a prominent member of Sorosis for many years, and 
filled several of its important offices. She was the publisher and 
business manager of the Woman's Cycle. She is a life member 
of the Woman's Press Club, an active member of the Woman's 
Health Protective Association of New York City, a member of 
the Patria Club, of which her husband is president, and the first 
woman to join the Adirondack League Club, of which her hus- 
band is the vice president. Mrs. Higley is a woman of rare execu- 
tive ability, an excellent and devoted wife, and her home is the 
center of her greatest activity. Her kind and generous nature, 
helpful spirit, and keen sense of duty command the esteem and 
admiration of those who know her. 

ELIZA ZADAH, fourth child of Chester and Prudence Miller Higley, was born in 
Auburn, N. Y., March 15, 1836. She received a good education, and married 
William H. Nickason, then a neighboring farmer, March 8, 1854. They soon after 
settled in Auburn, where he has since been engaged in the carpenter and building 
business. A goodly measure of prosperity and happiness has been theirs. They 
have two children living (one died in infancy), viz. : 

Fred Nickason, was born June 27, 1861, and lived with his parents until his 
marriage with Carrie Ashton, April 30, 1890 ; one child, Winifred A., was born to 
them June 14, 1891. Mary Nickason, was born May 23, 1876, and is still in school. 

MARIA RACHAEL, the youngest child of Chester and Prudence Higley, was born 
in the town of Owasco, Cayuga County, N. Y., August 13, 1845. She was educated 
at the Auburn Academy, where she made special preparations for teaching. She 
first taught a country district school, and afterward for several years with marked 
success taught in the public schools of Auburn. On the igth day of April, 1870, 
she married Alexander Walker, of the town of Owasco. They settled on a farm 
in the town of Fleming, five miles from Auburn, and prospered as thrifty farmers. 




ELIZA Z. HIGLEY NICKASON. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH H1GLEY, \ST. 219 

After a few years they sold out, and purchased a large farm in the town of Scipio, 
about seven miles from Auburn, and near the shores of Owasco Lake, beautiful in 
situation, and among the finest farms in Cayuga County. They have a family of 
seven children a family remarkable for harmony, industry, thrift, helpfulness one 
toward another, intelligence, and strong characters. 

Hugh, born February 15, 1871 ; married January 3, i8g4, Nina Denniston, and 
settled on a farm in Steuben County, N. Y.; Warren Higley, born March 31, 
1873 ; Maud C., born December 25, 1874 ; Alexander, Jr., born November 15, 
1878 ; Harry, November 15, 1881 ; Fred. ., August 15, 1878, and Floyd, the 
youngest, November 21, 1887. 

This completes the family of Chester and Prudence Higley, with a word concern- 
ing this devoted mother. She was a woman of rare excellence and worth. She 
inspired her children with the virtues that lead to success through industry, integ- 
rity, prudence, and laudable ambition. Ever watchful, in her motherly tenderness, 
wise in her counsels, helpful in her example, making home cheerful and happy and 
pure, a noble type of a beautiful, devoted, and loving wife and mother. 



Continued from page 200. 

RACHAEL HIGLEY, seventh child of Warren and Lucy Sawyer 
Higley, was born July 21, 1813. She married Royal Philkins of 
Wayne County, N. Y. Shortly after their marriage they moved 
to Illinois where she died quite young. They had three children : 

Margaret, F.lmira, and Nathaniel. Nathaniel went out in the late war as captain 
of Company C, loth Ohio Cavalry, and afterward rose to the rank of major. 

HARRIET R. HIGLEY, the youngest child of Warren and Lucy 
Sawyer Higley, was born in Onondago County, N. Y., October 
5, 1815. In 1835 sne went with her brother, J. Sawyer, to Craw- 
ford County, Pa., and thence to Williams County, O., where she 
married H. Barbour, a farmer. They had five children. She 
now lives, a widow, in Millcreek, Williams County, O. Her hus- 
band died in 1890. 

Continued from chapter xxxiii. page 188. 

ROXANNA HIGLEY, the fifth child of Seth and Mindwell Higley 
was born at Simsbury, Conn. She married Abel Holcombe. They 
removed to Volusia, Chatauqua County, N. Y., where she died at 
an advanced age. They brought up a family. 

No material has been furnished from which to write a sketch 
of the Holcombes or their descendants. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

AMELIA HIGLEY BATES. 
Continued from page 188. 

Amelia, Seth, ist, Brewster, zd, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

The spindle and the loom of her grandmother gather and consecrate the dust of the garret, while 
the woman of to-day watches the spindle and the loom of the factory. PHILPOTT. 

AMELIA HIGLEY BATES, the sixth child of Seth, ist, and Mind- 
well Higley, was born at the old homestead of her father and of 
her grandfather, Brewster Higley, ad, March 10, 1779. When 
about the age of nineteen (1798), she married Lieutenant Erastus 
Bates, whose birth took place October 22, 1764. They lived in 
East Granby, Conn. Lieutenant Bates was the son of Captain 
Lemuel Bates,* a Revolutionary officer who purchased his farm 
in East Granby in 1774. Erastus, too, was a military man, 
receiving his commission in the Connecticut militia, October 12, 
1799, joining the i8th Regiment, Company 4. 

The home farm upon which Lieutenant Erastus Bates and his 
young wife settled, containing forty-seven acres, was purchased 
by Captain Lemuel Bates adjoining his own estate. On the death 
of Captain Bates this share of the estate came into the full owner- 
ship of his son, Erastus, to which, in the year 1794, he added 
fourteen acres by purchase. The tract in later years had further 
additions, and now contains eighty-six acres. These lands, which 
have been owned and occupied by the Bateses for 120 years, lie 
in the town of East Granby, directly on the old highway from 
Boston to New York. When Lieutenant Erastus Bates died in 
1826, his widow, Amelia Higley, retained possession of the farm 
till her death. The present dwelling (now belonging to her 

* Lemuel Bales was a captain during the Revolution, and participated in several battles. For 
many years Captain Bates kept a tavern in the north part of East Granby. The merry old gentle- 
man was fond of fighting his battles over again by relating his reminiscences of those stirring 
times. After the surrender of Burgoyne several detachments of the British prisoners of war were 
marched through East Granby, and a portion of them bivouacked on the premises of Captain 
Bates. " The British had plenty of money," said Captain Bates, " to pay for the best we had, 
and my folks were kept busy in distributing pitchers and pails of cider among them. At night all 
the floors of my tavern were spread over with them." At one time several teams laden with specie, 
en route from Boston to Philadelphia, halted for the night at Captain Bates'. The specie had 
been borrowed from France. It was inclosed in strong plank boxes, drawn by thirteen teams, well 
guarded, and amounted to several millions of dollars. " Newgate oj 'Connecticut" p. 112. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 221 

grandson, Albert C. Bates) stands on the site of the house in 
which she lived her married life, and where her death took place; 
the rear part of the building now in use being a part of her old 
homestead. She was a woman of unusual force of character, 
capable, and possessing readiness to accomplish with her own 
hands an ample amount of domestic duties. Martha-like care and 
labor filled her daily life as it did the lives of the women of her 
time. The scope of her industry included dyeing, spinning, and 
weaving. There are still to be found in the old homestead woven 
relics bearing evidence not only of her patient skill and refined 
taste, but exhibiting, as well, a rare artistic knowledge of dyeing 
attractive shades and designing patterns. 

She survived her husband thirteen years, and died in the year 
1839, aged sixty. Lieutenant Erastus and Amelia Higley Bates 
had ten children, viz. : 

Anson, Daniel, Albert, Flora, Carlos, Milton, Laura, Alfred, Mind- 
well. An infant daughter was born and died, October 19, 1802. 

ANSON BATES, the eldest child, born May 4, 1799, practiced law and was also a 
farmer in East Granby. He married and had a family. He died aged eighty. 

DANIEL, the second child, was born August 23, 1800. He died unmarried, 
October 12, 1821. 

ALBERT, the fourth child, born January 15, 1804, married Lucretia Bates, his 
cousin. He removed with his family to Medina, Medina County, O. He died 
February 6, 1885. 

FLORA, the fifth child, born May i, 1806, married Metcalf. They 

resided for some time in Granby, but later on she removed with her two sons to 
Caledonia, Minn., in the early history of that State. She died in 1877. 

CARLOS BATES, the sixth child of Lieutenant Erastus Bates and 
Amelia Higley, was born at the old family homestead in East 
Granby, March 23, 1808. This spot was his home during the 
entire period of his life seventy-one years. 

He attended the district school, afterward taking an academic 
course at the Westfield Academy. He pursued his studies still 
further under a private tutor, Cicero Holcombe. At the age of 
nineteen he began teaching a district school, teaching and study- 
ing alternately for several years. 

About the year 1834 he began mercantile pursuits, opening a 
country store in Poquonoc, Conn. He afterward went to 
Natchez, Miss., engaging in the same business. Here he became 
the owner of two slaves a man and a woman. For a period of 
twenty years, from the year 1837, he traveled throughout the 



222 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Southern States, engaged in collecting for the clock manufactur- 
ing firm of Erastus Case & Co., of Canton, Conn., generally 
returning to his Northern home at East Granby each season. 
In the year 1845 Mr. Bates was elected and served in the Con- 
necticut State Legislature as representative for the town of 
Granby. His last journey in the South was made in 1860, just 
previous to the Civil War. 

As one of the heirs of his mother's estate, he became the 
purchaser, at her death, of the shares in the home farm which 
were inherited by his brothers and sisters. This gave him full 
right and title to the farm and homestead. In the year 1860 he 
married Maria Stimpson, who died, after a brief illness, of conges- 
tion of the lungs, leaving an infant, which survived the mother but 
a few months. 

On the 1 2th of December, 1861, Mr. Bates married Mrs. 
Hannah S. Stowell, a widow * with two children, the daughter of 
Captain Enoch and Sophia T. C. Powers. Mrs. Stowell was born 
February 27, 1820. By the year 1861 Mr. Bates had acquired a 
handsome competency. When the turbulent days of the Civil 
War came, he was outspoken and thoroughly loyal in its most 
shadowy times. Retaining unshaken faith in the financial 
credit and ultimate national supremacy of our government, he 
invested liberally in government bonds. This action finally 
resulted in his realizing a handsome increase of fortune. After 
this period he occupied his time in settling estates and filling 
engagements of trust, and attending to his personal affairs. He 
was a man to whom his fellow-citizens and neighbors of all the sur- 
rounding towns appealed and consulted on every important ques- 
tion, especially those concerning public measures. In the year 
1874 he again entered actively into politics, and received the Re- 
publican nomination in the third district for Member of Congress. 
But he suffered defeat, the district proving strongly Democratic. 

Mr. Bates bore a strong and well-rounded character, with a 
well-stored mind. He was capable of delivering an eloquent and 
happy speech on public occasions, when it came in his way. 
Books were a source of pleasure to him. He was a man who read 
widely and thoughtfully, and was acquainted with literature. 
A friend who knew him well, says that " he was thoroughly 
acquainted with a dozen good poets, and delighted in Shaks- 
pere." He acquired a fair knowledge of both Latin and French. 

* Mrs. Stowell was the widow of Austin C. Stowell, whose death took place in the year 1853. 




ALBERT CARLOS BATES. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETff HIGLEY, 1ST. 223 

He died December 20, 1878. The Hartford Courant contained 
a few days afterward the following editorial : 

"Mr. Carlos Bates, a native and much respected citizen of 
East Granby, died at his residence Friday morning, the 2oth, at 
the age of seventy-one. Mr. Bates sat in his chair conversing 
with his family and friends the preceding evening, cheerful and 
apparently quite strong. He had been confined to his house 
with indisposition for a few days, but had given evidence of 
an improved condition. His whole life has been one of useful- 
ness and activity. Many will mourn the loss of his wise counsel 
and advice." 

Mr. Bates was interred in the grounds of Elmwood Cemetery, on 
the 23d, a large concourse of people attending the funeral. The 
spot is marked by a beautiful shaft of Scotch granite. The 
children of Carlos and Hannah S. Bates were: 

An infant son, born August 7, 1863; died August 10, 1863. 
Albert Carlos, born March 12, 1865. 

ALBERT CARLOS BATES, the younger of the two sons, and the only surviving 
child of his parents, was born in the ancient homestead in East Granby, on the 1 2th 
of March, 1865. 

As has been already shown, his father was a man possessing a strong mind, and 
rose to considerable distinction in the political, social, and moneyed world, by his 
energy of character and fine mental abilities. Young Bates had only entered his 
thirteenth year when death deprived him of paternal care. Upon his mother, 
a woman of unusual brightness and quick intelligence, devolved the guardianship 
of his youth. His education, till he reached his fourteenth year, was received at the 
district school ; he was afterward sent to the Athol High School, at Athol, Mass., 
where his progress in his studies gave highest satisfaction to his professors. He 
then entered the Connecticut Literary Institute at Suffield, Conn. Here his 
advance was so rapid that he completed the full four years' scientific course in three 
years, passing successful and highly creditable examinations, and receiving his 
diploma, June 24, 1885. Astronomy and chemistry were studies especially agree- 
able to his natural tastes. For these sciences he showed such aptitude that he was 
called to the capacity of assistant teacher in the chemical department, a position 
which he filled with great acceptance for several school terms. 

His father, at his decease, left a large estate, consisting of farms, bank stocks, etc., 
including the old Bates farm and homestead in East Granby. On reaching his 
twenty-first birthday Albert C. Bates became the absolute owner of this property. 
He bears the reputation of possessing excellent business ability ; he appreciates 
the value of money, and his " cast of thought," life, and habits having always 
been praiseworthy and manly, he has managed his property in accordance with 
the conditions of prosperity. His natural tastes, however, run into subjects of a 
literary and scientific character ; to these pursuits he is ardently devoted. He is a 



224 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

natural-born antiquarian, nothing pleasing him better than to be engaged in 
diligent investigation and patient inquiry, no matter the labor and painstaking it 
requires. In his home he possesses a very creditable cabinet collection of curios 
and relics, some of them of much worth, as well as a valuable telescope of high 
power, indicating his pleasure and familiarity with the study of the heavenly bodies. 

Mr. Bates' thorough habit of investigation and historical research won his way 
to prominence in the Connecticut Historical Society, of which he had the honor to 
be elected a member, July 2, 1889, the youngest man in the society. On January 
I, 1893, he was elected its librarian, a very responsible position, though an employ- 
ment thoroughly congenial to his tastes. The office requires great minuteness of de- 
tail, thorough method, and systematic arrangement ; all of these qualifications arise 
from an original element or fitness of mind with which few are gifted. These abili- 
ties Mr. Bates at once applied to the best interest of the valuable library of twenty- 
five thousand volumes and several thousand pamphlets, with the gratifying result, 
that after months of patient labor, valuable records and " long forgotten treasures," 
which had long been concealed, were brought to light and chronologically arranged 
and classified. 

Mr. Bates was one of the earliest contributors of time and labor to this Family 
History. From the first of the undertaking he faithfully rendered invaluable aid 
to the writer in the pursuit of necessary historical material, furthering its interests 
in every possible way, and spending much time in research, copying records, etc., 
which entitles him to a large share of profound gratitude from its readers. 

He is a man utterly devoid of egotism, reticent and sensitive, of amiable temper- 
ament, and possessing a cheerily constituted nature. 

In the year 1891 he was elected the treasurer and town clerk of the town of 
East Granby. 

MILTON BATES, the seventh child born to Lieutenant Erastus and Amelia Hig- 
ley Bates, was born November 15, 1810 ; died September 25, 1831, unmarried. 

LAURA BATES, the eighth child, born March 17, 1813, married, first, Harvey 

Trumbull. Her second husband was Van Dorn. They resided in Ohio. 

She died in Hartford, Conn., 1884, leaving three daughters. 

ALFRED BATES, the ninth child, born March 13, 1815, was twice married. His 
second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of General George Owen of East Granby, 
Conn. They reside in Enfield, Conn. 

MINDWELL BATES, the tenth and youngest child of Lieutenant Erastus and 
Amelia Higley Bates, was born June 9, 1819. She married, first, Henry Johnson 
of Suffield, and, second, Benjamin E. Smith of Hawley, Mass. They lived in East 
Granby. She died in the year 1887. She was the mother of two children, a son 
who died in infancy, and a daughter, Harriet, who died aged twenty-three. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 225 

FAMILY OF SETH AND MINDWELL HIGLEY. 
Continued from page 188. 

POLLY HIGLEY, and a twin sister, children of Seth and Mindwell 
Higley, were born in the old homestead at Simsbury, Conn, (no 
date obtained). The twin died at two years of age. Polly mar- 
ried, first, Herman Pinney. She married, second, Palmer. 

No account of the family has been given. 

RHODA HIGLEY, the eighth child of Seth and Mindwell Higley, 
was born at Simsbury about the year 1783. She married, first, 
October 29, 1800, Pliny Humphrey, son of Theopolis Humphrey. 
Her second marriage was to Aaron Moses Seymour. She died 
in Simsbury, September 15, 1867. 

SALLY HIGLEY, the ninth child, was born at Simsbury, Conn., 
November 20, 1785. She married, October 15, 1805, George 
Barnard, a man who bore a reputation for exceptional worth and 
character as long as he lived. They settled on a farm in a part 
of Simsbury which is now the town of Bloomfield. Here they 
always resided. Mr. Barnard was a blacksmith by trade, which 
he carried on as well as farming. They were well-to-do in the 
world, and highly respected. They were both members of the 
Baptist Church. Mr. Barnard died of pneumonia, April 19, 1862. 
His wife, who was a bright and active woman, always enjoying 
strong health till late in life, died of disease of the heart, Novem- 
ber 20, 1870. 

They were interred in the cemetery of the parish of St. An- 
drews. They were the parents of twelve children, viz.: 

George A., Caroline, George again, Harriet, Chloe, Carlos, Caro- 
line again, Amelia, Elizabeth, James, Mary, Henry. 

Of this family, George A., Caroline, and Carlos died in infancy; 
Chloe and James both died when about sixteen years of age; two 
others, one of whom was Elizabeth, died at thirty, unmarried. 



OLIVER HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 

Continued from page 188. 
Oliver, Seth, ist, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

OLIVER HIGLEY, the tenth child of Seth and Mindwell Higley, 
was born in the old homestead at Simsbury, Conn., October 21, 
1790. He married Clarissa Phelps of Simsbury, April 26, 1812. 



226 . THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

It Is difficult to follow the course of their lives, the data fur- 
nished being very incomplete and meager. Most of their lives 
after their marriage were spent in the complicated circumstances, 
isolation, and struggle attendant upon new settlements in unset- 
tled States. They appear to have emigrated about 1830 to Central 
New York, and made a home in the vicinity of Cicero, Onondaga 
County. After residing here a number of years they removed to 
Independence, la., while that State was yet a new country. Later 
in life Oliver Higley removed with married children to Decatur, 
Neb., where he spent the last years of his life. 

He was always marked as a hardworking man, of thoroughly 
honest principles, and did his everyday work after the quieter 
fashion in agricultural pursuits ; but his round of life contained 
its measure of worth, for he was much respected in whatever 
community he lived. He lacked financial ability, and was inno- 
cent of the love of money-making, and therefore did not accumu- 
late lands or property. To do his best, toiling in good heart, to 
supply his large family with actual necessities, was his daily battle 
with the world ; the development and education of his chil- 
dren was left much to the spirit of their own inclinations, and 
the enlightenment which the few advantages and influences sur- 
rounding them could give. 

Of his wife, Clarissa Phelps, who was of the highly respectable 
Phelps family of Simsbury, Conn., little has been preserved. She 
was born at Simsbury, August 14, 1790. There is no question 
but that her children inherited from her much which inspired 
them to honest motives and the better type of living. She 
died March 30, 1860. Oliver Higley died in Decatur, Neb., 
in 1883. 

Their children were : 

Oliver Nelson, Harrison, Almon, Rosetta, Augustus, Hiram, 
Edwin, Louisa, Thomas, Elizabeth A., and Chauncey, who was 
killed by falling from a sled loaded with logs. The two eldest 
children are given as having died, no data being furnished for 
these pages. 

ALMON HIGLEY, the third child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, was born 
November 18, 1816. He married February 15, 1844, in Seneca Falls, N. Y., 
Mary E. Neafie, who was born in New Jersey, October 22, 18 o. They settled 
in Seneca Falls the year of their marriage, afterward sojourning for a time at 
Independence, la., and later (previous to 1861) removing to Decatur, Bur! 
County, Neb., where they now reside. They had children, viz. : 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH H 1C LEY, \ST. 227 

MORRIS GOETCHINS, born in Seneca Falls, N. Y., November n, 1844, who 
married November 14, 1877, in Decatur, Neb., Jennie Griffin. She was born 
in Chicago, 111., in 1861. They reside in Decatur. They have two children : 
Homer Clarence, born February 27, 1878 ; and Lizzie Goetchins, born Novem- 
ber 17, 1880. 

ELIZABETH SHAW, the second child of Almon and Mary Neafie Higley, 
was born in Independence, la., April 26, 1848. She married June 7, 1867, in 
Arizona, Burt County, Neb., John Creagan. He was born Octobor 19, 1843. 
John Creagan served throughout the entire Civil War. Elizabeth Higley Creagan 
died November 13, 1876. Their children : 

Frank Alman, born in Arizona, Neb., April 9, 1869 ; Lida Evangeline, born on 
the Omaha Indian Reservation, Nebraska, October 9, 1871. 

ROSETTA the eldest daughter of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, is recorded 
as having died; no dates. 

AUGUSTUS, fifth child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, was born in Onon- 
dago County, N. Y., October 24, 1819. He married Mary Shaver, September 4, 
1845. She was born January 23, 1825. Their children: Delavan, born April 12, 
1846 ; Seward, born March 23, 1851. 

DELAVAN HIGLEY married, and has two children, viz.: Grace, born Decem- 
ber 2, 1876 ; and Josephine, born March, 1883. 
SEWARD married , December 2, 1876. 

HIRAM, sixth child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, was born in Cicero, 
N. Y., 1824. He married in 1845 Caroline M. White. 

Mr. Higley removed with his family from Cicero, N. Y., to Waukesha, Wis., in 
the year 1838, where he resided till 1861, when he removed to Decatur, Neb., 
where they now reside. They had six children, viz. : 

I.ouis Dalton Higley, born 1846 ; married in 1861, Julia A. Pounds. They reside 
in Decatur, Neb., and have children : Mary> Josephine, born 1869 ; Elsina Blanch, 
born 1871 ; and James Myrl, born 1875. Clara L,, born 1848; married, 1866, 
E. P. Porter. They reside in Wayne, Neb. Josephine E., born 1852 ; died 1859. 
Cora M., born 1860 ; married F. M. Nolin, 1877. They reside at Omaha, Neb. 
Jennie J., born 1863, resides at Decatur, Neb. Hiram A,, born 1865. 



EDWIN HIGLEY, SON OF OLIVER. 

Continued from page 226. 
Edwin, Oliver, Seth, ist, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

EDWIN HIGLEY, the seventh child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps 
Higley, was born at Cicero, N. Y., December 24, 1825. 

His childhood's earliest days were spent in his paternal home. 
While yet a young lad he went to live with his aunt, Mrs. Amelia 
Higley Bates, at East Granby, Hartford County, Conn., and being 
quite separated from his brothers and sisters, the family becoming 
widely scattered, he knew little of them afterward. 

He resided for some time in Bridgeport, Conn. Early in the 
year 1846 he took up the westward march, removing to Waukesha, 



228 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Wis. Here, at the age of twenty-one, he married Louisa G. White, 
July 7, 1846. She was born March 27, 1829. 

He joined the 28th Wisconsin Regiment, V. I., in the late 
Civil War, and served with zeal and courage in the din and can- 
nonade of battle for three years, receiving an honorable discharge 
at its close. 

On the 4th of May, 1866, he, with his family, left the town of 
Waukesha by wagon and emigrated to Decatur, Neb., where, after 
a long and wearisome journey, they arrived on the 7th of July. 

His wife, Louisa White Higley, died December 6, 1878. On 
July i, 1882, he married Mrs. Susan H. Thompson (formerly 
Susan Roe). She was born March 13, 1836. They reside in 
Decatur, Neb. 

His children, who were all by his first wife, are: Herman Ward, 
Frank ., and Addie F. 

HERMAN WARD HIGLEY, the eldest of the three children of Edwin and Louisa 
White Higley, was born at Waukesha, Wis., November 12, 1849. He attended 
school in his native town eight years, and in the year 1 866 went with his parents 
to Decatur, Neb. 

Mr. Higley has had a varied career, his whole life having been spent on the 
frontier of our country. Actuated by the spirit of adventure, he went in the early 
spring of 1877 to the Black Hills, then among the wilds of the great far West. It 
was in these new and unsettled regions that his life was shaped into an ideal man 
of the mines and mountains, and his character became stamped with traits of the 
very best type frankness, geniality, perseverance, and large-heartedness. 

As a matter of course such a life has given him great intuitional powers, courage, 
and physical vigor. Prospecting for ores on the great Pacific slope has been the 
main feature of his occupation. In this he has met with flattering success ; as a 
man of business he is well balanced and has accumulated wealth. 

He once remarked to the writer : " My experience has been far from one of com- 
fort and ease it has been a life among strangers, one of excitement, hardships and 
privations, ups and downs, but, God be thanked, it has not been all downs. I have 
always had plenty and to spare." 

On the 1 2th of November, 1882, he married Mary D. Scott, who was born in Gerry, 
Chatauqua County, N. Y., in the year 1864. Her father, a gold seeker, who, like 
thousands, flocked to the far West in 1849, became a miner of Pike's Peak that 
year, and afterward going onward to California, and there sifting the gold sands 
when as yet there was no home civilization in that fertile State. In the year 1879, 
in search of new soil and scenes, the Scott family became pioneers into the Black 
Hills when Mary was but twelve years of age. They resided for some years in 
Lead City, a mining camp in South Dakota. Here she met Mr. Higley, her future 
husband, whom she married at seventeen. She was a person of amiable qualities, 
had received a fair education, and possessing a talent for music, gained considerable 
merit by her close application to its study. She has always been remembered by 
the old residents of Leadville as one of the most cheerful and clever young ladies 




HERMAN WARD HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF SETH HIGLEY, 1ST. 229 

in " the Hills," during its earliest history. Though of slender build and refined 
features, she had a brave and courageous heart ; in times of emergencies and frontier 
perils she did not hesitate to take her Winchester rifle and follow her husband 
where strong men failed. Many were the marked and thrilling incidents of their 
experience. 

In September, 1881, Mr. Higley went to the Judith Mountains, Northern 
Montana. After their marriage his young wife accompanied him to this region. 
Residing here about four years they went, in 1886, to Washington, then a Territory, 
spending their winters on Vashon Island, Puget Sound, and their summers in min- 
ing camps in the mountains. Finally, attracted by the mineral discoveries in 
Okanogan County (Washington), they settled at Conconully. Mr. Higley here 
provided a comfortable and pleasant home, and life to them appeared to be replete 
with happiness. But, alas, for human plans and anticipations ! The untimely 
death of the attractive young wife cut short a career whose future was full of ye 1 
brighter promise. 

An issue of the Okanogan Outlook published a few days after the sad event con- 
tained the following obituary notice : 

" One of the most sorrowful visitations of the angel of death that ever occurred in 
this community took place when Mrs. Mary Scott Higley departed for a fairer and 
brighter land. She was seized about ten days ago with an attack of peritonitis, and 
although attended by the best medical skill the county affords, she sank so rapidly 
that soon all hopes of her recovery were abandoned. She quietly passed away at 
three o'clock, Tuesday morning, December 16, 1890. It is seldom that human 
eyes have looked upon a more strangely pathetic scene than that witnessed at the 
deathbed of the deceased. Gathered about were the stricken husband and sorrowing 
friends, powerless to save her valuable life ; for two hours before her death, and 
while perfectly unconscious, Mrs. Higley sang almost constantly, and her voice 
was not less clear and strong than when she was in perfect health. 

" The funeral was largely attended. The services were conducted by Rev. H. 
M. Marsh of Ruby, in accordance with the rituals of the Episcopalian Church, of 
which deceased was a member and the faithful organist. 

" She left a bereaved husband and three little children, one a babe of twenty-one 
months, and a boy and girl aged six and seven respectively. She was of a cheerful 
and animated disposition, an amiable and affectionate wife. Beloved and honored 
for her mother-love and wife's devotion, respected and esteemed as a friend and 
neighbor, her loss has broken up one of the happiest families in Okanogan County, 
and cast a gloom over the entire community." 

Few men realize what the situation involves to be left with three young children, 
one an infant in arms, in a rough mining town so isolated from the great world. 
Mr. Higley proved himself equal to the trying circumstances. For many months 
following the decease of his wife, with his own strong arms he rocked the cradle, 
and without assistance tenderly cared for his group of little ones, as well as to all 
their needs except the laundry work ; this was done by an Indian squaw from a 
neighboring Indian Reservation ; however, this convenience and aid at last failed 
him, because of the village camp inhabitants having taken from the jail an Indian 
accused of some foul deed, and, applying lynch law, hanged him to a convenient 
tree ; the frightened squaw never appeared at Mr. Higley's door again. 
16 



230 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Three years later Mr. Higley married the second time. His wife, Jessie Arzella 
Henderson, to whom he was married in Chicago, November 18, 1893, bore deserved 
reputation as an artist, and possesses well cultivated musical ability. 

To avail his children of school advantages and society, Mr. Higley purchased a 
home in Seattle, where he resides (1895) with his family, still holding his interests 
in the mountains of Okanogan County, where they spend their summers. 

Children of Herman W. and Mary Scott Higley : Pearl, born August 5, 1883 ; 
Ray C., born November 2O, 1884 ; Carl W., born July, 1886, died October, 1886; 
Earl W., born March 25, 1889. 

FRANK E. HIGLEY, the second child of Edwin and Louisa White Higley, was 
born in Waukesha, Wis., July 9, 1854. He married January 21, 1877, Belle 
Darling of Indiana. They reside in Decatur, Burt County, Neb. 

Their children: Fred A., born October 23, 1877; Percy B., born August 29, 
1879, died March, 1881 ; Ward C., born July 20, 1881 ; Orville D., born March 28, 
1883 ; Florence C., born April n, 1885. 

ADDIE F. HIGLEY, the third child of Edwin and Louisa White Higley, was born 
December 27, 1867, in Decatur, Neb. She married September 28, 1886, Nahum 
T. Dinsmore of Castle, Mont., where they reside. They have one child, Naomi 
Louisa, born July 4, 1887. 

Cant fn tied from page 226. 

LOUISA HIGLEY, eighth child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, was born 
at Cicero, N. Y., September 30, 1827. She married J. W. Briggs, December 31, 
1844. They had ten children, as follows : 

Ether, born October 24, 1845, died November 5, 1865 ; Thales, born March 31, 

1847, married Emily Bronson January I, 1871 ; Horlense A . , born November 27, 

1848, died October 18, 1865 ; Plutarch H '., born December 29, 1850, married 

February 22, 1877 ; Elenora C., born October 9, 1852, married P'. S. Brown 
October 25, 1881 ; Ida L., born July 24, 1856 ; Beatrice C., born May 9, 1859, 
married Charles Turk March 18, 1884 ; Cora E., born April 25, 1861, married 
Colonel F. Wood November 14, 1883 ; Nettie A., born July 27, 1864, died May 20, 
1865 ; Ada F., born August 14, 1870. 

There are ten grandchildren whose names are not given. 

THOMAS HIGLEY, the ninth child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, was 
born May 9, 1829, in Madison County, N. Y. He married January 7, 1858, 
Sarah Welch. She was born in Waukesha, Wis., May 17, 1841. 

He married, second, Ida Hilton May 5, 1878. Mrs. Ida Hilton Higley died 
October 8, 1883. He resides in Plum Creek, Neb. 

Children by first wife : 

W. G. Higley, born in Vernon, Wis., January 9, 1859; resides at Blair, Neb. 
Harry, born in Waukesha, Wis., September 12, 1861. Vernon, born August 23, 
1863 ; resides in Clinton, la. Maurice E., born October 30, 1866 ; died May 
23, 1872. 

Children by second wife : 

Minne, born June, 1872 ; Fred, born 1874, died the same year ; Allie, born 1876, 
died 1880 ; Thomas, born 1879 ! Jessie, born 1883. 

Of the above family, Harry Higley removed to Nebraska with his parents 
in 1862. He married, October 23, 1881, Mary E. Cane of O'Neill City, Neb., who 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 2Z>. 231 

was born in Pendleton, England, April I, 1864. They reside at Blair, Neb., 
where Mr. Higley is doing a thriving business, dealer in fruits, nuts, tobacco, 
etc., etc. They have two children, viz.: 

Eva ., born March 22, 1883 ; Clarence ff., born January I, 1885. 

ELIZABETH, the tenth and youngest child of Oliver and Clarissa Phelps Higley, 
married Frank Blodgett. No record of the family can be given, its place of resi- 
dence not being known. 



HULDAH HIGLEY CASE. 

Continued from page 162. 
Huldah. Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

HULDAH, the sixth child of Brewster Higley, 2d, and Esther, 
his wife, was born at Simsbury, February i, 1750. 

On July 8, 1777, she became the first wife of Abel Case, son of 
Amos and Mary Holcombe Case of West Simsbury (now Canton), 
Conn. 

Here Mr. and Mrs. Case resided through her life, in the old 
paternal homestead on "East Hill," which came into the hands 
of Abel Case from his father, Amos Case, Sr. They were the 
parents of five children : 

Huldah, the eldest, born 1778, married Jabez Hamblin ; 
Abel, Jr., born 1783, married Rachel Humphery ; Dinah, born 
1786, married Ira Case ; Tirzah, born 1787, married Sadoc Case ; 
and Carmi, born 1793, who died unmarried at twenty-two. 

The descendants of Huldah Higley Case residing in Canton 
were numerous. She lived to the age of sixty, and died 
August 12, 1810. 

Her husband married a second time. He died April 29, 1834, 
aged eighty-six. 

ENOCH HIGLEY. 

Continued from page i6a. 
Enoch, Brewster, zd, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

ENOCH HIGLEY, the youngest son and last child of Brewster 
Higley, 2d, and Esther Holcombe, was born August 25, 1754. 
He grew to manhood in Simsbury. 

Rosannah Moore, to whom he was married October 28, 1783, 
was the daughter of Job Moore, of the now venerable and historic 
Church of St. Andrews, the oldest Episcopalian parish formed in 
the State of Connecticut. 



232 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

On his marriage Enoch sold his farm in Simsbury, and the 
young couple settled in North Granby. 

Enoch Higley made profession of his Christian faith on the 8th 
of October, 1787, with the Church at North Granby. Rosannah 
probably retained her connection with the Episcopal Church, in 
which faith she was baptized, until the 27th of September, 1817, 
when she was admitted to membership in the same church to 
which her husband belonged. 

There is no record concerning children having been born to 
them till the 2d of September, 1798, when the birth of the first of 
four daughters is registered. The child was named Harriet, The 
second child, named Lucy, was born May 29, 1800 ; the third, born 
June 3, 1804, was called Chloe. The youngest, Betsey, was born 
November 6, 1808. 

Harriet, the eldest, married Almon Holcombe ; Lucy married 
Samuel Weed ; Betsey united with the Church in Granby, Janu- 
ary 6, 1828, and in 1829 removed to Providence, Luzerne County, 
Pa., her sister Chloe, who was yet unmarried, accompanying her. 

We have no genealogical account of the descendants of the 
children of Enoch and Rosannah Higley. Enoch received by 
bequest a liberal share of property from his father's estate, of 
which he, with his brother Joel, served as executors. 

In common with his older brothers, his religion was the fore- 
most principle of his everyday life, and his energies were devoted 
to the work and interests of the Church. The truths of the Bible 
were his guiding star. He left behind him " the good name 
which is to be chosen rather than great riches." 

Enoch Higley and his wife were interred in the North Granby 
cemetery. The inscriptions upon the tombstones which mark 
their last resting place read thus : 



Enocb f>fgleB TRosannab 

2>teD 3ulB 12 1827. UOlife of Bnocb 

73. BieD flfcas 10> 1823. 

Sgefc 62. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

JUDGE BREWSTER HIGLEY, 4TH. 

Continued from chapter xxxi. p. 171. 
Brewster Higley, 4th, Brewster, 36, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

Let the sound of those he wrought for, 
And the feet of those he fought for, 
Echo round his bones forever more. 

TENNYSON. 

THE birth of Brewster Higley, 4th, is thus entered in " Book 4," 
page 156, of the time-stained record of Simsbury, Conn. : 

" Brewster Higley, the son of Brewster Higley, 3d, and Esther his wife, was bom 
in Simsbury, March 14th 1759." 

There is no question but that his birth occurred in the home- 
stead built by his grandfather, Brewster Higley, 2d, which is 
shown in the illustration, page 161. 

His penmanship and orthography indicate that he acquired a 
fair education for the times, though the schools in his day had 
deteriorated, and common school education was then at a low ebb. 

He contributed, wherever he lived during an active life of more 
than eighty-eight years, his full share to the stability, activities, 
and excellent citizenship which characterized the Higleys of his 
day. 

Like the three Brewsters Higley who were his seniors, the 
patriotic spirit was deep-rooted in his nature. There is little 
doubt that his broad round shoulders and fine manly physique, 
with a frame fitted at an early age to endure hardship, greatly 
aided him in gratifying his natural inclination to military service; 
for when he was not yet eighteen he joined the troops of the 
Revolutionary army, serving for a time in the division com- 
manded by Major-General Charles Lee. 

He fought in the battle of White Plains the syth of October, 
1776, and was with the American forces on their gloomy retreat 
which preceded the battle of Trenton. This battle, which was 
fought two months later, was one that lived vividly in his memory 
to the latest day of his life. 

233 



234 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Christmas night, 1776, a memorably bitter cold night, the 
troops struggled across the river among the great drifting blocks 
of ice, to the opposite shore, where Brewster did guard duty 
through the night. 

He returned from the war, and after remaining at home a year, 
he again entered service under Ethan Allen, when that patriot 
was Major-General of the Vermont militia. 

He never forgot the extreme sufferings of the troops during 
those winters. 

Provisions were scantily supplied, "the cold was intense, the 
men were thinly clad and their feet so lacerated from walking 
over the rough frozen ground with worn-out shoes, or with bare 
feet, that the clods upon which they stepped were sometimes 
marked with their blood." 

His children and grandchildren used often to listen to his 
recital of these stirring war stories, and hear him relate how 
Colonel Allen's feet were badly frozen during a march in Vermont. 
He often spoke of the shocking profanity of this commander. 

Brewster Higley, 4th, was twenty years of age when he removed 
with his father and the family from Simsbury, Conn., to Vermont. 
From that year (1779) his home was with the "Green Moun- 
taineers," till he emigrated to Ohio eighteen years later. 

Vermont had declared her independence two years before, but 
was not admitted to the Confederation of States till March, 1791. 
He was thus associated among the founders of that State. During 
the stormy days of invasion by the British and Indians from 
Canada, after the family removed from Simsbury, Conn., to Ver- 
mont, he belonged to the garrison at Castleton Fort. 

On February 25, 1783, he returned to Simsbury and claimed 
for his bride his second cousin, Naomi, daughter of Joseph 
Higley. 

The union proved a singularly congenial and happy one. The 
young husband and wife took up their residence at Castleton, in a 
house just west of that of the bridegroom's father. Here there 
was born to them a family of six children. The seventh was 
born in Ohio. 

While a resident at Castleton, Brewster, 4th, was engaged in 
farming his land. He was appointed justice of the peace, and 
occupied important positions in public service. 

But the time came when his attention was directed to the then 
far away wilderness which had been organized by the old Con- 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 3Z?. 235 

tinental Congress under the name of the Northwest Territory, a 
part of which is now the noble and populous State of Ohio. 

At the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston the first meeting for 
the organization of the " Ohio Company " was held March i, 1786. 
On the zyth of October, 1787, a contract between the United States 
Government and the appointed agents of the Ohio Company was 
signed for the purchase of a great tract of land lying on the north 
bank of the Ohio River, in which was included the present counties 
of Meigs, Gallia, and a part of Washington, now in the State of 
Ohio ; and in April, 1788, the first settlement of this purchase 
was farmed at Marietta, which was also the first settlement in the 
Northwest Territory. 

The country was a dense wilderness forest, bordering the 
beautiful river bearing the name of the future State. 

From Boston and elsewhere, Brewster, 4th, no doubt, heard 
news of the vast rich tract of country now open for settlers, and 
considering the advantages of making it his future home, he 
resolved upon emigrating thither. 

The step was evidently taken without his father's approbation. 
In his grim grief and dissatisfaction, Brewster, 3d, enters in his 
private record book,am0ng a list of deaths, the following: 

"July 27th 1797. Brewster removes with his family, viz: wife, three sons, and 
three daughters, with a desire to go to the Ohio as 7 suppose." 

What the effort cost Brewster, 4th's, affectionate heart may be 
conjectured from a letter addressed to his mother a few years 
later: 

" It is true, my mother, that I have been remiss in writing to my friends in New 
England. The reason you have cause to complain is because you do not know, 
neither can you realize .what were my feelings when I sold my home and came away 
with my family to live wherever I might find a place to settle. 

" I have often seated myself with a great deal of pleasure to write for particular 
news, or of circumstances respecting my affairs, but soon found my mind was led 
directly back to that one delightful spot in Vermont where in former days I so much 
doted on spending the remaining part of my life. These reflections baffle my reso- 
lutions. I lay aside my pen saying to myself ' I cannot write How can I ! ' 

" I am, my honored mother in duty bound, yours unfeigned until death. 

" Farewell, 

"BREWSTER HIGLEY." 

The journey which he now undertook was the first westward 
emigration of the Higleys. 



236 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

" On the 2gth of July, 1797 [says his grandson, Milo H. Higley of Rutland, 
O.], my grandfather Brewster Higley 4th, with his wife and family of six chil- 
dren, and their household goods packed in a wagon drawn by two oxen, started on 
their long and tedious journey to the Northwest Territory. 

" After a toilsome and wearing travel of six long weeks they arrived, the loth of 
the following September, at Wheeling, Va. Here my grandfather purchased a 
small flatboat, into which he placed their household effects, and gave it in charge 
of their two eldest sons, Brewster [5th] and Cyrus, assisted by a stranger, a man 
who desired passage down the river. The parents and younger children journeyed 
onward by wagon and oxen to a point nearly opposite the mouth of the Little 
Hocking, where the town of Belle Ville, W. Va., is now situated. 

" Here, after long delay and much anxiety on the part of the parents for the safety 
of their boys, the flatboat arrived. For four days and nights, meanwhile, either 
the father or the mother had sat upon the river bank watching for their coming. 
Motherlike, Mrs. Higley's eyesight penetrated farthest up the dark deep-flowing 
stream, and she was the first to discern the boat between the broken cliffs em- 
bosomed in foliage. Her shout of joy made the forest ring. 

" The family spent eighteen months on the Virginia shore in a rude log cabin, with 
their boat moored to a tree close by. All this while my grandfather was busy 
looking out for a location to found a new settlement. He was guided through the 
wilds by the little compass which his great-grandfather, Capt. John Higley, had 
used in the Connecticut forests more than one hundred years before. 

"Finally a surveying party which was surveying the Ohio Company's purchase 
came into camp, and from these he learned there was a desirable tract of land, sec- 
tion seven, range thirteen, about twenty miles north of Gallipolis. 1 One of the 
party offered to act as guide to my grandfather in finding it. 

" Leaving his family at the rude camp, they set off in the dense forest without 
even a path to guide them. On reaching the ' promised land ' and carefully look- 
ing it over, he decided the matter at once, saying, ' This shall be my future home,' 
and took possession. He purchased the whole of this section [7], which lay in what 
is now Rutland Township. In addition he purchased two hundred acres of Sec- 
tion 13, and eighty acres near Marietta, O. They left their camp on the river 
bank at Belle Ville in the spring of 1799, and again took to the family boat, in 
which they floated down the Ohio river to the mouth of Leading-Creek, which was 
then very full in consequence of back water, the river being high from spring 
freshets. The stout arms of the father and sons propelled their boat up this creek 
a distance of four miles with long poles. Here they safely landed, and tearing 
their boat to pieces they built on an elevated knoll out of the lumber thus obtained 
a rough shelter for the family to occupy until they could select a location and build 
a log cabin. In this rude home they camped the most of the summer. In due 
time a cabin three miles from this spot was constructed of bark and poles resem- 
bling in style an Indian wigwam. The site on which this first rude dwelling stood 
was many years ago consecrated to the uses of a family burial-ground. 

"When the family was finally settled in their wilderness home, Gallipolis, twenty 
miles distant, was the nearest town ; and their nearest neighbors were two families 
of settlers who lived eight miles away." 

1 Gallipolis was settled by the French in 1791. It is described about the time Brewster Higley, 4th, 
came to Ohio, as " a singular village settled by people from Paris and Lyons [France], chiefly arti- 
zans and artists." 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 3 A 237 

Governor Arthur St. Clair, the first Governor of the Territory, 
appointed Brevvster Higley, 4th, justice of the peace, in 1801, and 
in 1803 he was appointed, by Governer Edward Tiffen, Associate 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for a term of seven years. 
This commission gave him jurisdiction overall the eastern section 
of territory northwest of the Ohio River, extending to the Lakes. 
In 1807 he was appointed postmaster, which office he held about 
twenty years. 

Ohio became a State in 1803, and was admitted free from the 
blighting influences of slavery. 

Rutland, near which place Judge Brewster Higley's farm lay, 
was the first group of houses in Meigs County, and received its 
name by his proposition, from the lively town of that name in his 
Green Mountain State. It did not, however, come to the dis- 
tinction of being called a town until 1815. 

It was not until 1825 that there were church privileges nearer 
than Gallipolis. In that year the Higleys, the Binghams, and 
their neighbors organized "the First Presbyterian Church" of 
Meigs County, and in 1830 a church edifice, which is still in use, 
was built a half a mile from the Higley homestead. 

The first school in the neighborhood was opened in 1802 by 
Samuel Dennd, a collegiate graduate from Massachusetts. He 
taught here four years. 

In his religious beliefs and practices, Judge Brewster Higley 
clung closely to the religion of his fathers. He united with the 
First Presbyterian Church in Gallipolis in 1810, and from this 
time walked an out and out Christian professor. 

For years numbering almost a half century, Judge Brewster 
Higley and his esteemed wife resided on the farm where they 
first settled in Ohio. The time came, as the country opened and 
the hardships of the pioneer's life were lightened, when a well- 
built house succeeded the first simple dwelling. 

There had been a long and varied experience during these 
years. Hard toil and great privations had in no small measure 
attended the beginnings and development of a new and wooded 
country, and many a time these labors had been unpalatable to 
thei." natural inclinations and tastes ; but their energies never 
failed them. They pressed onward, and are worthily counted 
among the old civilizers who were privileged to lead the van in 
the founding and opening of one of the most prosperous States 
in our great Union. It is well stated that " the increase of popu- 



238 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

lation, the development of resources, and the growth of the towns 
and cities of the State of Ohio, seemed like a work of magic," in 
their day. 

After a life fraught with wide experiences, through which he 
walked with constant reference to his obligation to God, Judge 
Brewster Higley reached its last mile-stone in 1847, i n the luxuri- 
ant month of roses. During his latter days he had little to dis- 
turb the tranquillity of his mind ; and to recall from his well-pre- 
served memory his own early history, and with his good wife to 
review that of their forefathers, was a constant pleasure. They 
have together thus left a legacy of information, the most of which 
has been received through Milo H. Higley, of Rutland, O., which 
has proved a most valuable contribution to this volume. 

About two weeks before he quitted earth he was seized with an 
affection of the heart. 

As the disease progressed he was calm and serene, speaking of 
the nearness of his dissolution with the greatest composure, and 
giving minute directions concerning his burial. 

He often spoke of the comforting assurances the Gospel 
afforded him, and dwelt upon " the Saviour's dying love." He was 
buoyant in his expectation of ''the crown of righteousness laid 
up for them that love Him." 

When the last moment of his earth-life came, while gazing with 
melting tenderness upon his son, who was attending him, he fell 
asleep. It was in the holy quiet of a Sabbath, June 20,1847. 

He was interred in the family burial plot, which, as has been 
already stated, is the identical spot where his first home in the 
wilderness stood. 

The following is inscribed upon his tomb : 



3Brewster fjfgleg Sen. 
a sototer of tbe "Revolution 
Bleo June 20tb. H. D. 1847. 
88 gears, 3 montbs, anD 6 Dags. 

Mrs. Naomi Higley, his wife, was a woman of vigorous constitu- 
tion and excellent abilities. It will be remembered that she was 
the daughter of Joseph Higley and second cousin to her husband, 
Judge Brewster Higley. 

She was born in Simsbury, Conn., January i, 1761, and sur- 
vived her husband. She united with the First Presbyterian 
Church at Gallipolis in the early settlement of the country, and 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY^D. 239 

lived the life of a Christian woman. In her after years she looked 
backward to days well-spent, and forward with confident hope to 
the joys of a life that should never close. Her Bible was her com- 
panion and chief study. 

She was a real existence of King Solomon's picture of the model 
woman of olden time, " who looked well to the ways of her house- 
hold, and ate not the bread of idleness." In the "willing work 
of her hands, she sought wool and flax, laying her hands to the 
spindle and hold of the distaff," and "all her household were 
clothed." Her granddaughter, now living, well remembers that 
her grandmother once hatcheled, with a great iron comb, a 
quantity of flax which she spun and wove into sixty yards of linen. 
The comb is still retained by her descendants as a valuable heir- 
loom. 

Her hospitality knew no bounds within the compass of their 
circumstances " the latch-string of their door was always out" to 
welcome the stranger, friend, or neighbor. For years after they 
became residents of Ohio, the wayfaring traveler depended upon 
the hospitality of the private homes of the settlers, there be- 
.ing then no taverns. It was rarely that charges were made to 
these lodgers, and the main labor of their entertainment fell upon 
the women of the household. Naomi Higley was a woman of a 
kindly, affectionate temperament, but firm in what she believed 
to be right. In cases of illness she was ever ready to aid her 
friends and neighbors by nursing and serving, taking their afflic- 
tions and pains upon her own heart. 

Through the long period of her married life, sixty-four years 
and six months, by the side of her husband she bore her full 
share of its unremitting toil and cares. In the repose of old age 
she sat beside him recalling the times when their souls had been 
tried by scenes of privation and peril, and enjoying the contempla- 
tion of the progress and prosperity which had attended (in their 
own times) the growth and development of their beloved country. 

As the weight of years settled upon her she retained to a fair 
degree her elasticity and vigor. Her memory of the people and 
scenes of her childhood remained clear as long as she lived. 

It is related of her that on their arrival in Ohio, while living 
with their young children in the rude "shanty " near Leading 
Creek, she daily mounted a horse and rode a distance of three 
miles, through the dense and tangled forests, to the site where the 
cabin, which was to be their future home, was being built and the 



240 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

field cleared for cultivation by her husband and older sons, carry- 
ing to them their midday meal. Here she regularly hitched her 
horse to a certain young mulberry tree, which grew near the 
little log cabin. 

In the course of many years the tree spread its long leafy 
branches over the family burial-ground, the same spot where 
once had stood their first home in the wilderness, and it became 
a highly valued relic as a witness of their early days. Sixty-six 
years passed by, and all the members of the family which had 
emigrated thither had one by one put life's burdens down and 
lay silently sleeping beneath its shade. The tree, too, died. 
Their son, Dr. Lucius Higley, preserved its stump in the form 
of a memorial, imbedding into it a block of marble bearing this 
inscription : 

" SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF MY DEAR MOTHER WHO 
HITCHED HER HORSE TO THIS TREE IN 1799." 

The side-saddle she used in those days, and upon which she 
rode horse-back from Castleton, Vt., to Ohio, is still preserved by 
Milo H. Higley. Mrs. Higley was feeble and tottering during 
her last years, and though the scenes and events of her younger 
life were fresh in her mind, she was forgetful of nearer happen- 
ings about her. She pathetically inquired each day for her hus- 
band, wishing his return, seeming to forget King David's 
beautiful grief-stricken expression : " But now he is dead can I 
bring him back again ? I shall go to him, but he shall not re- 
turn to me." 

It was in less than three years, during which time she was ten- 
derly cared for by her son, Dr. Lucius Higley, and his family, 
that she joined her husband in his eternal home. 

She departed this life, Febuary 4, 1850, aged eighty-nine years 
and one month, and was laid to rest by his side. 

" So willing to toil and suffer, 
To care and watch for all, 
So near in heart to the Master, 
So eager to follow His call ; 
She spent her soul in His service sweet, 
And only in death could rest at His feet." 

Brewster Higley, 4th, and his wife Naomi were the parents 
of seven children, six of whom were born at Castleton, Vt., the 
seventh near Rutland, O. They were as follows : 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ^D. 241 

Brewster Higley, jt/i, Susan, Cyrus, Theresa, Harriet, Lucius, 
and Joseph Trumbiill Higley. 

For descendants of Brewster Higley, $th, see chapter xxxix. 



Continued from page 171. 

LOUISA HIGLEY, the eldest daughter of Brewster Higley, 3d, 
born August 9, 1761, married Benajah Guernsey Roots, the son 
of the Rev. Benajah Roots of Simsbury, Conn, on the pth of 
January, 1783. They settled at West Rutland, Vt. 

Their children were : 

Alanson, Esther, Zeruah, Polly,' Betsey, Louisa, and Caroline. 

Louisa Higley Roots died May 16, 1832. 

ALANSON, her eldest child, removed to Ohio. He was the father of Guernsey Y. 
Roots, the head of the widely known commission firm of Roots & Co., of Cin- 
cinnati, O. 

ESTHER, the second child, died unmarried. ZERUAH married John Jordon ; 
POLLY married Bryant Bartlett, and removed to Michigan ; BETSEY died unmarried ; 
LOUISA died unmarried ; and CAROLINE married the Rev. Mr. Prince of Michigan, 
with whom Mrs. Louisa Higley Roots spent the last years of her life. 

PROFESSOR CYRUS GUERNSEY PRINGLE, A. M., the distinguished American 
botanist, the great-grandson of Louisa Higley, has performed notable public service 
in the line of his chosen science. He has made extensive reports for the census 
of 1880, upon the forests of some of the New England States, Northern New 
York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. For the past ten years he has been a 
collector of plants in Northern and Central Mexico. He worked under the 
direction of Dr. Gray of Harvard College, until the death of the latter, and since 
under the patronage of Professor Sereno Watson of Cambridge, and of Professor 
Sargeant of the Arnold Arboretum. He has discovered hundreds of species, many 
of which bear his name ; and recently Dr. Watson has founded a new genus Neo- 
pringlia in his honor. His plants go into all the leading herbaria of Europe and 
America, as he has secured a very high reputation among botanists for his accuracy 
of observation, and for the neatness and completeness of his specimens. 

ANNIE, the second daughter of Brewster Higley, 3d, and 
Esther Owen, born April 13, 1764, married Lieutenant Samuel 
Campbell, September 22, 1786, and was the mother of thirteen 
children, viz : 

John, Annie, Cyrus, Phebe, Attrtlia, Samuel, Amanda, Esther, 
Chauncey, Milo, Minerva, Harvey, and one whose name is not given. 

They resided at West Rutland, Vt. Several of their children 
removed to Ohio. Annie (Higley) Campbell died January 20, 
1852. Her husband, Lieutenant Campbell, died 1812. 

ZILPAH, the third daughter of Brewster Higley, 3d, born 
December 8, 1766, died unmarried, March 30, 1798. 



242 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

It is recorded that a half bushel of silver coin, a part of the 
legacy left by Brewster Higley, 2d, to his son Brewster, 3d, 
was received by the latter from Connecticut in 1794. 

A part of this money was spent in the purchase of a necklace 
of gold beads for each one of the eight daughters of the family ; 
and the remaining amount was used in furnishing the new red 
frame house, and in taking this invalid daughter, Zilpah, for the 
benefit of her health to the newly discovered, and now famous, 
Congress Spring at "Sarratogua. " But the effort to recover her 
health proved fruitless. She continued to decline till death 
released her. 

DELIGHT, the fourth daughter of Brewster Higley, 3d, born 
August 23, 1769, married Deacon Enos Merrill of Farmington, 
Conn., November 23, 1789. They settled in Castleton, Vt., 
where they lived long and useful lives. They had four children.' 
The family possessed musical talent, and directed the singing on 
all of the social occasions of the church for a great many years. 

Deacon Enos Merrill died at Milton, Vt, August 9, 1858, in 
the ninetieth year of his age. His wife died at Castleton, 
October 13, 1800. Their children were : 

Lucy, Allison, Owen, who removed to Ohio ; Selah Higley, and 
Laura. 

Delight (Higley) Merrill's two sons and two grandsons were 
graduated at Middlebury College, Vermont. 

Of their daughter LUCY'S children was the Rev. Edwin Hoyt of Grand Rapids, 
Mich., who was graduated in 1836 at Middlebury. His son, Judge Birney Hoyt, 
resides in Detroit, Mich. 

Hon. SELAH HIGLEY MERRILL, the second son of Delight Higley Merrill, was 
a prominent lawyer in Castleton; register of Probate, 1814, 1823, 1829, 1837; 
representative to the State Legislature 1831-38 ; and States attorney 1829-37. He 
died 1839. 

LAURA, her youngest daughter, married Professor Henry Howe, who was prin- 
cipal of the Canandaigua Academy, New York, for twenty-four years. He died 
in 1865, He was graduated at Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1817. 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

ERASTUS HIGLEY. 
Continued from page 171. 

Erastus, Brewster, sd, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
By Rev. Henry Post Higley, D. D. 

Blessed the natures shored on every side 
With landmarks of hereditary thought ! 
Thrice happy they that wonder not life-long 
Beyond near succor of the household faith. 
The guarded fold that shelters, not confines '. 
Their steps find patience in familiar paths, 
Printed with hope hy loved feet gone before 
Of parent, child, or lover. 

THE CATHEDRAL. 

ERASTUS HIGLEY was born in Simsbury, Conn., May 16, 1772. 
He was the sixth of ten children born to Brewster, 3d, and Esther 
Owen Higley Brewster, 4th, the first born, and himself being 
the only sons. Brewster Higley, 3d, the father, removed with 
the eight children then born, from Simsbury, Conn., to Castleton, 
Vt., 1779, and settled upon the farm that was to have the Higley 
title plowed in, by a little more than a hundred years of occu- 
pancy, extending from himself to children of the fifth generation. 

Erastus would have been a boy of seven when the journey was 
made to the new home. He was not old enough to bear any 
part in the war of the Revolution, but his child-memory reached 
back to those, times. Once, when the family were removed for a 
little while from home for their safety, he carefully hid his store 
of beech-nuts from the Britishers, to find them gone when he 
returned, nicely shelled by deermice. 

Following the example of his father and the two preceding 
Brewsters, Erastus chose an Esther to be queen of his kingdom. 
October 9, 1798, Erastus Higley and Esther Anna Guernsey were 
married. He was twenty-six years of age; she a few months 
older. Erastus Higley was called "a man of good judgment," in 
after years. He never showed it more plainly than in the choice 
of his wife. Fifty-nine years of married life followed, wedded to 
one who lives in the memory of her grandchildren, as nearly 

43 



244 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

perfect as it is given to woman to attain. In stature she was 
rather below medium height, slight and yet compact ; in manner 
quiet and self-contained ; a gentle spirit, well balanced with firm- 
ness, love, and truth, to which was joined rare common sense; 
practical skill and judgment were well-nigh lost sight of in that 
deeper spiritual insight which only they attain whose lives know 
the same companionship that marked the patriarch Enoch. What 
a blessed grandmother she was ! 

Seven years after this marriage, the death of the father left 
Erastus Higley, at thirty-three years of age, with the full care 
of a varied business on his hands. 

Beside farming and stock-raising, they had two years before 
undertaken a carding machine and fulling-mill business, and a 
grist-mill and marble sawing were added. 

He was one of the company that built the dam on Castleton 
River at the village. He sold his interest in the water-power to 
S. H. Langdon in 1835. Building had a large place in his life. 
The forests were cut down to furnish a place for pasturage and 
crops, but construction turned much of the forests into per- 
manent shelter and use. A large barn was built, while smaller 
barns, sheds, and fences filled out a full line of such production. 
The chief work of all was the substantial and spacious brick house 
completed in 1812. A large cider-mill was built, and a still pre- 
pared to manufacture cider-brandy, but the opening of the tem- 
perance reformation won his approval, and mill and still were 
never used save as the former became a barn. 

The following, taken from the address of his grandson, Professor 
Edwin Hall Higley, at the Higley reunion held at Simsbury, 
Conn., in 1890, is here inserted : 

" The quantity of self-denial shown in thus giving up the cider business can be 
appreciated only when one recalls the excessive use of spirituous beverages which 
then prevailed among all people, and on all public and private occasions. The 
cellar of the brick house which Erastus Higley completed in 1812, was designed 
with especial reference to the reception of cider. It was deep and cool and spa- 
cious, and divided into numerous rooms, alcoves, and recesses. It was all floored with 
broad, smooth slabs of slate-stone, and in some places stone shelves stood along the 
walls. Here the cider and the other preparations of apple-juice were to be stored, 
and the fame of Deacon Brewster, 2d's, large cider mill and distillery was to be 
revived. Fifty barrels was the regular annual supply for the family. This amount 
was not consumed, however, by the Higleys alone. On Sundays, during the recess 
between the morning and afternoon sermons, all the church-goers who lived at a dis- 
tance from the meeting-house used to repair regularly to Deacon Higley's for a little 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ZD. 245 

bodily refreshment. Huge pans filled with doughnuts (prepared on the preceding 
Saturday) and mugs of cider were consumed on these occasions. Mrs. Zeruah 
Caswell, a granddaughter of Brewster, 3d, who is still living (1895), well remem- 
bers the scene when these large companies were assembled on a Sunday noon, 
warming their mugs of cider in the embers of the enormous fireplace. That no 
secular thoughts or conversation might arise to disturb the sanctity of the day, 
someone always read aloud from a volume of sermons during the progress of these 
solemnities. A book of sermons which was kept for this use is still preserved in the 
family. When, however, as above stated, the New England conscience became 
generally aroused to the dangers resulting from strong drink, the cider was given 
up, and the huge wooden screws and other timbers for the presses were piled away 
in a barn where we boys used to play. The barrels still remained in the various 
rooms and alcoves of the cellar, barrels of different sorts and sizes, some stout and 
some slender, others long and queer-shaped, which had served for the divers brands 
of cider, cider brandy, and apple-jack in the old days. But they were empty and 
covered with dust and cobwebs, and we grew up to regard them as a conventional 
furnishing for a cellar, but as having no conceivable use." 

The brick house of 1812 has been the Higley home for more 
than seventy-five years. Counting children, it has well served 
four generations, who have known its shelter, comfort, rest, and 
cheer; its condition giving promise of a long future yet. 

No notice of the " subject of this sketch " would be complete 
that did not recall his unusual physical strength. He was a well 
built man of about six feet in height, but if one may believe the 
stories told of him, he had muscles of steel. Such items as these 
could be gleaned: a balky horse felled by a blow of his fist; logs 
loaded, by himself and a big Irishman in his employ, as other men 
would handle rails ; medical students caught plundering his 
orchard tossed headlong over the fence. Rev. John Spaulding 
writes of him "while he was Sheriff of Rutland County a man 
in the neighborhood committed a crime which shocked and deeply 
stirred the vengeance of the whole community. Armed to the 
teeth the criminal fled to the fields, threatening death to any- 
one who should lay hands on him. Sheriff Higley had the nerve 
to tame, and the muscular strength to lodge him in prison." 

The estimate of his fellow-citizens was shown in various offices 
and trusts, which he filled with fidelity and honor. He repre- 
sented the town in the Legislature in 1839 and in 1840. He was 
made Judge of Probate in 1814 and again in 1821 and in 1823. 

Whatever his early training may have been, he was a man of 
substantial culture, by virtue of his associations, his reading, and 
his own thinking. Even in his old age he became interested and 
well informed in the then advancing science of geology. 
17 



246 THE HIG LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

He was a man that had earnest convictions on all matters of 
public interest. He was a zealous Whig the last colt raised on 
the farm while it was under his supervision was named " Zachary 
Taylor " ! 

He was a strong anti-slavery man, with the courage of his con- 
victions. When occasion demanded he aided with the business 
of the underground railroad. 

In a great revival in Castleton, Erastus Higley and Esther 
Anna, his wife, with their sons, Harvey and Nelson, were part 
of a company of ninety-one who confessed Christ, and joined the 
Congregational Church, an February 2, 1817. 

In 1834, he was chosen deacon, and served the church in that 
office till his death, twenty-seven years after. He was a con- 
scientious and intelligent Christian, a liberal supporter of the 
gospel, an earnest, faithful, and judicious officer of the church. 

Seven children were born to Erastus and Esther Anna Higley, 
in the fifteen years following their marriage. The mother out- 
lived all but two of these, and the father all but one. Thus come 
trial and sorrow as well as blessing. 

" Bits of brightening and of darkening, 
Bits of weariness and of rest, 
All the hoping and despairing, 
Of the full or hollow breast. 
With these is life begun and closed, 
Of these its strange mosaic composed." 

Financial embarrassments were also in his old age a sore dis- 
appointment to this strong, and for that period successful, man. 
Even with the burden of increasing years he chafed at any limi- 
tation of his strength. His health was impaired by a partial sun- 
stroke, and perhaps by the too little caution to which his strength 
and ardor inclined him. From this cause came a check upon 
accumulation ; there was added an unfortunate interest in a 
bank, which was almost wrecked by a cashier ; a root (Root) of 
trouble that it took in the end a good part of the farm to root 
out. Yet amid these clouds of life there was a silver lining in 
their perfected discipline: very clearly it shone in the aged 
grandmother, as she grew ripe in faith and grace and beauty 
of character for the waiting home in heaven. Not many saw a 
tender side to Judge Erastus Higley. Yet a grandson remembers 
how it did appear even in the midst of these annoyances. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ^D. 247 

Speaking of this bank loss the old man said : " I ought to have 
heeded your grandmother when she cried and begged me not to 
mortgage the farm. She always knew best, and gave me sound 
advice. I thought I knew better than she about such business, 
fool that I was ; I was mistaken, and she was right." The tears 
and tones of these words made them a tribute to a faithful wife, 
and told how the heart of her husband rested in her. 

Both lived to pass well beyond the boundary of fourscore years, 
going from useful lines to the welcome and reward that awaits 
those who had sought faithfully to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Erastus Higley died September 3, 1861. 

Esther Anna Higley, his wife, died November 13, 1857. They 
rest side by side in the Castleton cemetery. 



The seven children born to Erastus and Esther Anna Higley 
were: 

Sarah Maria, Hervey Owen, Nelson, Zilpah, Esther Ann, Erne- 
line, and Columbus. 

SARAH MARIA HIGLEY, the eldest child, born January 27, 1799, married Marquis 
de Lafayette Hooker April 7, 1825. He was born February 22, 1792. Mr. Hooker 
was a widower with two children ; he was a descendant of the noted Rev. Thomas 
Hooker, the founder of Hartford, Conn. They resided in Hampton, N. Y. 

Marquis de Hooker died August 18, 1831, leaving with his widow five children, 
three of whom died of scarlet fever within one week. Sarah M. (Higley) Hooker 
married, second, March 9, 1841, Joseph Morse of Poultney, Vt., where she resided 
the remainder of her life. She died August 22, 1860. 

NELSON HIGLEY, the third child of Erastus and Esther Anna Higley, was born 
October 6, 1803, and prepared for college in the Rutland County Grammar School, 
Castleton, Vt., the oldest chartered school in the State, and was graduated from 
Middlebury (Vt.) College in 1826. He chose the ministry for his profession. 
During his theological studies the succeeding three years, his health became im- 
paired, which he never recovered. He was ordained in 1829. Though the hand of 
death was visibly upon him, his spirit was firm in its purpose and he preached 
supplying destitute churches three years without a settled parish. His strength 
then succumbed. He died March 19, 1832. He never married. 

ZILPAH, the fourth child of Erastus and Esther Anna Higley, was born 
November 5, 1805. She received a good education at the Rutland Grammar 
School in Castleton. On May 12, 1835, she became the third wife of Josiah Per- 
kins, M. D., who was then the Dean of the Castleton Medical College, and a physi- 
cian highly honored by the profession. Her married life covered a period of less 
than one year. She gave birth to a daughter, Mary Amelia Zilpah Perkins, dying 
in childbirth, March 25, 1836. 

Her daughter married the Rev. Nathaniel P. Gilbert of Pittsford, September 



248 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

29, 1860, and went immediately to Santiago, Chili, where five daughters were 
born to them. The date of her death has not been given. 

ESTHER ANN, the fifth child of Erastus and Esther Anna Higley, was born Janu- 
ary 25, 1808, and died aged seventeen. Her father writes : "She had a strong 
and retentive memory, which rendered her capable of unusual progress in the 
acquisition of knowledge in whatever branch she pursued." 

Without extraordinary advantages she excelled in the studies that were then 
commonly taught in the schools, and in English literature ; and had few rivals in her 
style of English composition. With little assistance she acquired French so that 
she read and translated it into English with much facility. Before she was thirteen 
years of age she committed to memory and recited the Gospels of St. Matthew, 
St. Mark, and St. John, the Acts, Romans, First Corinthians, and a part of Second 
Corinthians. 

In her fourteenth year she made public profession of religion. She died in the 
Christian faith, March 4, 1825. 

EMELINE, the sixth child of Erastus and Esther Anna Higley, was born Septem- 
ber 22, 1810, and died June 20, 1817. 

COLUMBUS, the seventh and youngest child, born August 13, 1813, died April 12, 
1815. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

REV. HERVEY OWEN HIGLEY. 

Continued from page 247. 

By his son, Professor Edwin Hall Higley. 

Hervey Owen, Erastus, Brewster, 3d, Brewster, ad, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. ECCLESIASTICUS i, iv. 

HERVEY OWEN HIGLEY, the eldest son of Erastus and Esther 
Anna Higley, was born in Castleton, Vt., July 14, 1801. His first 
home was the " Southmayd House," where his parents had made 
their home since their marriage in 1798. In 1805 occurred the 
death of his grandfather, Brewster Higley, 3d, when his parents 
returned to the "old red house," and resided with the mother 
till 1811, when the new brick house was built, in which members 
of the family dwelt until 1886. 

Hervey was the second child of his parents. He was of a quick 
and thoughtful disposition, and possessed of a retentive memory 
from his earliest years. He had a distinct remembrance of his 
grandmother, Guernsey, who died when he was but three years 
old. He vividly remembered a reproof for wastefulness which 
the old lady gave him, warning him that God looked with dis- 
favor upon those who wantonly destroyed any of his good crea- 
tions. Seventy years after he recounts this early lesson, suggest- 
ing that the impression then received might have been the origin 
of an overcautiousness about " saving the fragments that nothing 
be lost." Other reminiscences which he recorded of his child- 
hood show him to have been peculiarly sensitive to anything 
involving rebuke or humiliation. Owing to his father's positive 
and incisive character, opportunities for such impressions were 
doubtless somewhat frequent. 

In 1874, commenting upon some of his early memories, Hervey 
wrote: " Parents should as much beware of exposing their child 
to too deep a sense of shame on the one hand, as of cultivating 
vanity on the other." 

Partly as a result of the home influences, and partly no doubt 
as an inheritance, his disposition was early shy, shrinking, and 

249 



250 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

bashful, characteristics which he felt to be a burden throughout 
his whole life. His boyhood, however, was a happy one, and en- 
livened with much social visiting and intercourse among the 
numerous cousins the Roots, Campbells, Merrills, Guernseys, 
Denisons, the Porter and Cross families, who all dwelt in or near 
Castleton. 

In the early summer of 1811, just as the new brick house the 
old Higley homestead was commenced, he planted near the west 
door a maple tree, which has grown to large proportions, and is 
still standing (1892). 

In 1817 a deep religious interest spread over Castleton, and on 
February 2 eighty-six persons united with the church the Con- 
gregational. Among these were Erastus Higley and his wife and 
their three eldest children, Sarah, Hervey, and Nelson. 

Some two or three years later Hervey was pursuing his studies 
in the Rutland County Grammar School in Castleton, and was 
urged by his preceptor, Henry Howe, to prepare for college. 

In those days a religious lad rarely went to college unless with 
the view to becoming a minister of the Gospel. And after much 
prayerful consideration, he decided to study for the sacred pro- 
fession. 

He entered college at Middlebury, Vt., in 1822 as a sophomore, 
and was graduated in 1825. He was distinguished for scholar- 
ship during his college course, and received the valedictory honor 
at graduation. 

A fine critical discernment in philological and literary matters 
was his prominent intellectual trait, which he retained to after 
years. He carried the habit of. self-criticism to an extreme 
which he believed to have hindered him in his subsequent labors. 
"How often," he writes, "have I detected myself hesitating, 
when addressing a public assembly, to speak the word in mind, 
questioning if another word would not be more appropriate or 
felicitious." 

He formed many close friendships during his college life with 
men whom he ever afterward held in high esteem and affection, 
and some of whom, in after years, attained great eminence. 

In March, 1825, shortly before his graduation, the family life 
was saddened by the death of his sister, Esther Ann, seventeen 
years of age and of unusual promise, as her sprightly letters and 
essays show. 

Hervey was much affected by this parting, and writes of "the 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY^D. 251 

views he then had of the vanity and worthlessness of earthly 
good, and the inexpressible value of true religion." 

After leaving college he taught in the Academy at St. Albans, 
Vt, with pleasure and success. He then entered the Theological 
Seminary at Andover. Dr. Ebenzer Porter, the senior professor 
at Andover, was a brother of Jared Porter, who had married 
Harley Higley, an aunt of Hervey, and Professor Porter, through 
this relationship, was led to take a special interest in him during 
his studies at Andover. 

These studies were entered upon and continued with delight. 
Concerning them he afterward wrote: "The Hebrew language, 
while it was the treasure-house of such important truths, was 
rich enough in rhetorical and philological beauties to make every 
lesson a feast." He found, too, an "absorbing interest in the 
exegesis of the New Testament, pursuing the precise sense and 
meaning of the words used by evangelist and prophet." 

At this time he made an index to one of Professor Porter's 
published works, for which a note of acknowledgment from Dr. 
Porter is preserved. 

In his senior year his classmate Henry Little (afterward the 
well known Home Mission Secretary of Indiana), invited him to 
join him in a sleigh ride of fifty miles to his home at Bascomen, 
N. H. The invitation was accepted. Some seven miles from 
the house they stopped at a ladies' school which Henry Little's 
sister Sarah was attending ; the sister was persuaded to become a 
third inmate of the sleigh and accompany them to the homestead. 

Thus a pleasant acquaintance was commenced, and the days of 
the furlough seemed too short. The acquaintance was continued 
by correspondence, and a marriage engagement ensued. 

After he was graduated at Andover, Hervey Owen Higley was 
ordained as an evangelist by the Newburyport Presbytery, Sep- 
tember 24, 1829, at Boston. 

Fifteen others commissioned for home and foreign missionary 
work were ordained at the same time. The choice of a field for 
future labor had received much thought. He felt strongly the 
claim of the foreign field, and his facility in acquiring a new 
language was urged by his friends as an indication of his fitness 
for such labor. 

But after much prayer and consultation with his parents and 
friends, he decided for home missionary work in the sparsely 
settled State of Ohio. 



252 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

On the 29th of September, 1829, he was married to Sarah 
Gerrish Little, and after a visit to his parents they set out on 
their three weeks' journey to Ohio. They went by stage from 
Poultney, Vt, to Albany, N. Y., and thence to Schenectady, where 
they embarked on the "safe waters of the Erie Canal." This 
brought them to Lockport, whence they journeyed by stage via 
Niagara Falls to Buffalo. At Buffalo they took a sailboat to 
Cleveland, O. There they again took a canalboat going to Mas- 
silon, O., and from thence by stage to Granville, Licking County, 
where their brother, Jacob Little, was already established. 

During the next seven years Mr. Higley became familiar with 
all the hardships and experiences of home missionary life in a 
new country. Long rides on horseback over muddy roads, 
through swollen rivers and dense forests ; preaching in rude 
structures of logs, and laboring among a rough and heteroge- 
neous population, made up his daily life. 

His first parish was Georgetown, near the Ohio River. The 
inhabitants were largely from Kentucky, without much receptivity 
for Yankees or New England ideas on temperance, Bible classes, 
or general decorum, and still less for their notions about taste 
and refinement. 

Mr. Higley labored among this inharmonious people for a year 
with moderate success, and then removed to Hartford, Licking 
County, where he saw his church increase under his ministration 
from twenty-four to one hundred within three years. 

In 1835 his health succumbed to the continued fever and ague 
contracted during the first year at Georgetown. He made a 
journey to Peoria, 111., whither another brother-in-law had gone, 
and for a time the question of going to this farther and newer 
region, or of returning to Vermont for a season of rest and 
recruiting, hung in the balance. The decease of his brother 
Nelson, his brother-in-law Hooker, and sister Zilpah, leaving his 
father and mother quite bereft, decided the question, and in the 
early summer of 1836 he returned to the Castleton home. Here 
he dwelt until his death in 1878. His health was partially restored 
after his return to Vermont, but it was never strong. 

The influence of his life in the home, the church, and the social 
and intellectual world about him cannot be adequately chronicled. 
Who can make a summary of the good accomplished in forty 
years of noble Christian living ? 

The "hired men " employed in his service were usually con- 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY.ZD. 253 

verted during their stay with him, and, if capable, were encouraged 
to make effort for more education and fit themselves as useful 
members of society. He filled and magnified the office of super- 
intendent of the Castleton schools. Many teachers would bear 
testimony to his helpfulness in their work. He was clerk of the 
Castleton Congregational Church for thirty years. In 1847 ne 
accepted the office of deacon, an office which had been held in 
the same church by his father, grandfather, and two great-grand- 
fathers before him. 

It is altogether probable that all the successive pastors with 
whom he served would concur in the statement of the Rev. Lewis 
Francis at the Church Centennial in 1884 ; Mr. Francis spoke 
thus of Deacon Higley: 

" A more faithful, godly, and able officer no church could desire. A man of 
scholarly ability, and educated for the ministry, he accepted the office of deacon, and 
in his kindly sympathy, in his generous appreciation of his pastor's work, in his 
untiring faithfulness, every pastor had reason to rejoice." 

Deacon Higley was a member of the Board of Trustees of the 
Castleton Seminary, and was constantly watchful of its progress 
and interests. He contributed occasional pithy articles to the 
religious newspapers, wrote papers for the Rutland County 
Conference of Ministers, delivered interesting temperance and 
Sunday school addresses, and aided in all good causes as much as 
his health would permit. 

His classics never grew rusty. A knotty page of Latin was 
sure of a graceful translation at any call, and his Greek Testa- 
ment was a portion of his daily reading. 

He died after a brief illness, by a sudden attack of pneumonia, 
April 4, 1878, and was interred in Castleton cemetery, where a 
suitable monument marks the spot. 

His classmate and lifelong correspondent, the Rev. John 
Spaulding, D. D., writes: "The analysis of such a character 
strongly reveals the noble virtues of sincerity, integrity, faith- 
fulness, and usefulness." The following lines are from the poem 
by Rev. George F. Hunting, delivered at the Castleton Cen- 
tennial, 1884: 

" And lo, another, long revered, 
Stanch Deacon Higley, calm and wise ; 
I mark his slow, deliberate speech, 
And see the kindness in his eyes. 



254 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

He stood beside the stream of life, 
A sturdy oak, so strong of limb 
That we, who sported on the tide, 
And drifted over to his side, 
Knew we could moor our little boat, 
And lie in safety, tied to him ! " 



CHILDREN OF THE REV. HERVEY O. AND SARAH GERRISH (LITTLE) 

HIGLEY. 

EMMA LITTLE HIGLEY, the eldest child of Hervey O. and 
Sarah Gerrish Higley, was born at Hartford, Licking County, O., 
March 12, 1834. 

Her birth took place during the brief period of the missionary 
labors of her father while her parents were residing in the then 
"backwoods State." 

On their return to Vermont in the summer of 1836, while she 
was yet the baby of the household, she was brought to Castleton, 
where she was reared in the ancient Higley homestead. 

The seminary at Castleton was the scene of her school-life. 
The inspiration for the "love of study," for which that honored 
institution was famed in those days, reached in her a mind 
capable of comprehension and well balanced. She developed 
into a good and true woman, and a teacher of fine ability. 

She was graduated in the class of 1852. In 1868-69 she taught 
in the seminary from which she was graduated, and soon after 
one of her pleasing experiences was the teaching of a select 
school of twelve girls. For a period covering fifteen years 
previous to her removal to Middlebury, Vt., Miss Higley 
occupied various spheres as a teacher, both in the Southern and 
Middle States. Acquainted with life in its various phases, she 
has done much by her wide experience and thoroughness of pur- 
pose for the advancement of the young, uplifting many a life to 
an elevated plane, and making it of greater value. 

But music was Miss Higley's natural gift. From an early age 
it was her genius. In this science she has attained a high degree 
of excellence, in which her pleasant and agreeable disposition 
has proved a valuable factor in her calling. 

The proof of her well attested merits is shown by the fact 
that she occupied the position of instructor of vocal music 
in the Middlebury, Vt., public schools for twenty successive 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ID. 255 

years from 1871. We have no hesitation in stating that her 
name will exercise a lasting influence upon her music-loving 
pupils. 

Nothing in this connection of her life is more pleasing to 
observe than the marked and deferential love which the young 
people and children, especially her boy pupils approaching man- 
hood, greet her as she walks about the town. 

The town of Middlebury, Vt., has been her permanent home 
for the past ten years. Soon after her father's decease in 1878, 
she purchased here a pleasant cottage home, where she has made 
gardening and fruit-raising somewhat of a study, and where she 
is the companion of her aged mother. 

For several years, amid the daily pressure of her profession 
and cares, she engaged in collecting a quantity of genealogical 
material which has been cheerfully contributed to, and proved of 
much value in the compilation of this work, in connection with her 
own branch of the Higley Family; she has also been one of the 
leading movers in founding a subscription library in the town, to 
which she devotes much of her time and personal attention. 

She became a member of the Hawthorne Club in 1879, a 
literary society whose membership comprises the best talent and 
culture of the village, together with members of the faculty of 
Middlebury College. Miss Higley possesses a heart full of gener- 
ous impulses and human tenderness, and in her nature there is 
an unfailing fountain of juvenility and good spirits, with a strong 
sense of humor. 

It was in 1851 that she enrolled herself among the list of 
members of the church home, the First Congregational Church 
of Castleton, where for four generations, since 1793, the Higley 
Family of that town have helped most efficiently to make the 
church a power for good. 

LEAVITT NELSON HIGLEY, the second child of the Rev. Hervey 
O. and Sarah Gerrish (Little) Higley, was born September 19, 
1836, and died November 26, 1837. 

HENRY POST HIGLEY, A. M., D. D., the third child and eldest 
surviving son of the Rev. Hervey Owen and Sarah G. (Little) 
Higley, was born at Castleton, Vt., February i, 1839. His 
earliest associations were with scholarly people, and he undoubt- 
edly inherited impulses for study. He was prepared for college at 
the long-useful and still efficient Castleton Seminary, from which he 
was graduated at seventeen; in the meanwhile, without neglecting 



256 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

his studies, he was taught to be industrious in season and out 
of season, learning to perform the detail of out-of-door work 
promptly and efficiently. In his response to an after-dinner 
toast at the Castleton school centennial some years later in 
life, he remarked: "I owe more than some who have preceded 
me to Castleton schooling, for I took lessons in open-air elo- 
cution on yonder side hill, driving oxen. That picture, to the 
southeast, framed between these two maples, showing just where 
the wood-road enters the timber, reminds me what great shouts 
it took to get safely down that hill." 

His out-of-door exercise bore good fruit in developing a fine 
physique, mental vigor, and a strong constitution, giving him also 
a large and broad comprehension of the real affairs of life, which 
proved valuable toward his marked success in his future calling. 

In due course of time young Higley entered Middlebury Col- 
lege, taking the entire course, and was graduated in 1860; and in 
1865 he was graduated from the Auburn Theological Seminary, 
Auburn, N. Y. 

On the completion of his theological studies he was asked to 
supply temporarily the then vacant pulpit of the Second Con- 
gregational Church at Beloit, Wis. It was not long before the 
church recognized in its temporary supply the man qualified 
to become her permanent pastor, and accordingly measures were 
adopted which terminated in his installation the following year, 
1866. During the interval he accepted for a few months a small 
charge at Vevay, Ind. 

On the 25th of July, 1866, he married Lillie Maria Condit 
of Auburn, N. Y., daughter of the Rev. Dr. Condit, who was at 
one time pastor at Longmeadow, Mass., afterward professor of 
rhetoric at Amherst, and later professor in the Auburn Theo- 
logical Seminary. Miss Condit was born July 29, 1837. She 
inherited the peculiar charm of native grace and gentleness 
which was a chief characteristic of her honored father's life. 
Gifted with wisdom, tact, and sympathy, she was a true "help- 
meet" in Dr. Higley's peculiar sphere of usefulness "a model 
wife of a model pastor." 

By the favor of Middlebury College, Henry Post Higley, M. A., 
received the degree of D. D. in 1886. 

Dr. Higley remained in the pastorate of the Second Congrega- 
tional Church at Beloit twenty-five years. The small member- 
ship of 90 which gave him an earnest welcome in 1866 increased 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ID. 257 

and grew. The church building was of necessity twice enlarged, 
and at the close of his pastorate, of the 633 he had received into 
membership, 420 were on profession of faith, many of whom Dr. 
Higley had baptized. To this number might be added a large 
number of persons who regularly attended divine services, but 
who did not enter the communion. 

Dr. Higley's public teaching was Biblical, meeting the purpose 
of life : it was clear, earnest, effective, and to the heart. The 
result was life and vitality in the church. 

His influence outside the parish was most valuable. In Beloit 
few ministers had so many outside calls upon their time and sym- 
pathy. He was on the side of every good cause, and while he, in 
some cases, maintained an active and armed protest against 
virulent forms of evil, he preserved the love and respect of his 
fellow-citizens. 

Dr. Higley was a stanch friend and supporter of Beloit Col- 
lege. His educational impulses enabled him to enter with keen 
interest into its development and prosperity, serving as a member 
of the board of trustees for eighteen years, and much of that 
time being the secretary. His loyalty to the college was only 
equaled by his loyalty to his church; his deep interest was never 
found wanting, and his wise counsels and words of advice will ever 
prove to have been of substantial value to the institution. 

His association and influence with the Wisconsin Congrega- 
tional Union, in the proceedings of which he was an active and 
valuable member, will remain among the pleasant memories of his 
associates. 

There was a strange commingling of joy and unfeigned sorrow 
in the hearts of his parishioners, as well as in the hearts of his fel- 
low-citizens, on the approach of the two silver anniversaries, 
June 10, 1891 the quarter of a century of Dr. Higley's pastor- 
ate, and July 26, 1891 the twenty-fifth anniversary of the mar- 
riage of Dr. and Mrs. Higley; both dates coming near each other. 
Because of Mrs. Higley's enfeebled state of health, he had, 
after much serious deliberation, decided that he was compelled 
to relinquish his charge and seek a more congenial climate, 
hoping for her restoration. 

Among the social events that had occurred in Beloit the last 
twenty-five years, none exceeded in interest the banquet which 
celebrated the joyful, yet sorrowful, occasion. It was a social 
gathering in its truest sense a church family gathering. With 



258 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Dr. Higley's own parishioners came many invited guests from far 
and near, including clergyman and their wives, and honored men 
from other cities. The festive event was made all that perfect 
arrangements and extensive provision, with excellent manage- 
ment, coupled with sincere affection for the pastor and his wife, 
could make it. 

It was a happy moment to the friends of Dr. and Mrs. Higley 
when they could congratulate them on their silver marriage anni- 
versary, and wish them many happy returns of the event, but 
there was genuine sorrow that the hour of " good-by " had come, 
when they should leave the church and city where they were so 
much loved. At the close of a long and interesting programme 
of proceedings which extended far into the night, a member of 
the board of trustees, stepping forward with a bag containing 
a goodly quantity of silver coin, said in part : "I have the 
pleasure, dear pastor, in behalf of this church and society to 
hand to you this our united tribute of affectionate regard. We 
ask you to accept it not because it measures our love and esteem 
for you, but because it is a tribute made up from the dimes, the 
quarters, the halves, and the dollars of those who will ever hold 
you in kindly remembrance. It comes from the aged, the 
middle-aged, the youth, the boys and girls, and our infant class, 
together with those who have gone from our midst. The band 
then struck up : 

" God be with you till we meet again." 

Dr. Higley responded in a few appropriate remarks, and with 
much feeling dismissed the large company with his benediction. 

Dr. and Mrs. Higley are sojourning at present (1893), in the 
salubrious climate of Southern California. They have no 
children. 

PROFESSOR EDWIN HALL HIGLEY, A. B., A. M., the fourth 
child of Hervey Owen and Sarah G. (Little) Higley, was born at 
Castleton, Vt, February 15, 1843. He received his name in 
honor of his father's friend, Professor Edwin Hall. After the 
usual common school course, he was sent to the Castleton Seminary 
in 1856, under the administration of the Rev. E. J. Halleck. 
Among his instructors were the Rev. Stephen Knowlton and Mr. 
Watts, men whose exact scholarship and personal interest in their 
pupil left an abiding influence. 

In 1858 he became a member of the Castleton Congregational 




PROF. EDWIN HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 3Z>. 259 

Church. He entered Middlebury, Vt, College, September, 1860; 
but inspired by a noble patriotism, when the trumpet note of battle 
sounded the following year, on the breaking out of the Civil War, 
he withdrew from his studies while a sophomore and enlisted. 

At a farewell dinner given by his classmates at the Addison 
House on the ad of October, 1861, in honor of the departure of 
Mr. Higley and his two comrades, John Williamson and H. D. 
Smith, for the field of contest, in reply to a parting address, Mr. 
Higley said in part: "Classmates, there is a divinity which shapes 
our ends. I think there is more work for me to do after the war 
is over ; I do not go with the expectation of never coming back. 
I rely on God; if he wills that I survive the conflict, well; if not, 
'tis well I am ready to die. If any praise is due for this act of 
mine, give it not all to me; my mother deserves it. Listen to the 
letter she sent me. She says : 

" ' I have a good deal of sympathy, my son, with your feeling that fifty years hence 
you will be ashamed to say that neither of my three sons lifted a finger in the hour 
of our country's peril. Though you know very little of the hardships before you, 
doubtless you can bear them as well as others. If you feel it your duty to go, I 
should be sorry to stand in your way ; Go, and may God bless you y keep you, and 
bring you safely back but especially may you be kept from the evil influences 
around you, and may you never allow a spirit of revenge to dwell for a moment in 
your breast.' 

"I go, classmates," said Higley, "feeling that I am attended 
by my mother's blessing." 

He was mustered into service with the ist Regiment, Vermont 
Cavalry, November 19, 1861, a regiment made up almost entirely 
of native Vermonters. The regiment attained a notable history, 
fully deserving the encomiums it received, and sustaining the 
characteristics of the Vermonters pointed out in the old-time 
geographies: 

" Vermont is famous for men 
And women, and horses, and sugar. 
The first are strong, the third are fleet, 
The second and fourth exceedingly sweet, 
And all exceedingly hard to beat." 

Edwin Hall Higley was elected orderly sergeant of Company 
R at the outset. He was early promoted to the rank of lieu- 
tenant, and later on received his commission as captain. He was 
finally breveted major of his regiment for meritorious conduct. 

He took part in many battles and finally found himself a prisoner 



260 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

of war incarcerated in the famous Libby Prison at Richmond, Va. 
Of his direful experiences here during nine weary months, dragged 
out through almost hopeless days, little will be learned from these 
pages, interesting as the narrative would prove to be. The dark 
battle-cloud then covering this nation has fully cleared. Heaven's 
descending dew of peace and reconciliation has fallen upon every 
section of our country fallen alike upon the " Blue and the Gray, " 
all having taken hands again in fraternal union and expressions 
of sympathy between the victors and the vanquished ; and 
Professor Higley, true to the wise admonitions of his beloved 
mother, " never to allow a spirit of revenge to dwell for a moment 
in his breast," bears no ignoble prejudice or bitterness in his 
memory of the scenes in Southern prison life he will not nar- 
rate them. 

After having taken honorable part in the entire campaign of 
the war, he was mustered out of service, May, 1865. He re-entered 
Middlebury College the same year, from which he was graduated 
in 1868. 

Immediately after completing his college course, he became a 
teacher at Charlestown, Mass., where he continued till 1872, and 
during this period, on the 2d of June, 1870, he married Jane 
Shepard Turner of Middlebury. She was born February 12, 

1845. 

In 1872 he became a member of the faculty of Middlebury 
College, Professor of Greek and German, remaining in this 
position till 1882, when he went to Leipsic, Germany, where for 
three years he added to his earlier achievements in his knowl- 
edge of language. Returning to the United States in 1885, 
Professor Higley was appointed Master of Greek and German in 
Groton School, near Worcester, Mass., which position he con- 
tinues acceptably to fill (1895), taking rank as a superior 
instructor. 

In recognition of his scholarly attainments, Middlebury 
College, in 1871, conferred upon him the degree of Master of 
Arts. 

Professor Higley has devoted himself to a very considerable 
degree to music, enjoying a high reputation among those possess- 
ing unusual attainments. 

Music is in him. Among the Americans who have won honors 
in Germany his composition has excited favorable attention. 
For a number of years he performed on the organ during the 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY ,%D. 261 

services in the church at Castleton, and for many years was the 
organist and musical director of the Central Church in Worcester, 
Mass. 

It was a high day in Castleton, Vt., June 7, 1884, when on the 
completion of a century of church life the First Congregational 
Church of that town celebrated the epoch. 

For four generations, since Deacon Brewster Higley, 3d, became 
associated with the founding of the church in 1793, the Higley 
family had been represented in its board of deacons. Brewster 
Higley, 3d, was the second deacon elected; his son Judge Erastus 
Higley was for twenty-seven years, from 1834 to 1861, an officer 
of the church, and from 1847 to 1878, Hervey, the son of Judge 
Erastus, served as deacon; then the mantle fell upon the youngest 
son of Hervey, Alfred Higley of the present generation. 

For this most interesting occasion, Professor Edwin Hall 
Higley composed the following centennial hymn with the 
music, which was sung by both choir and congregation, and 
afterward published for preservation in the Historical Com- 
memoration Proceedings. On announcing the hymn, the presid- 
ing member "counted it most fortunate that a son of the church 
was moved to be the psalmist of the occasion." 

" In vain the watchman waketh, 

And keepeth constant ward. 
Unless Jehovah taketh 

The city in his guard. 
This lesson from the Psalter 

Our fathers heeded well, 
And built to God an altar 

When here they came to dwell. 

" Here 'midst the forest's rudeness 

Amid the eternal hills 
They joined to bless the goodness 

Of Him who all things fills. 
The voice of exhortation, 

Of prayer and praise was heard. 
They laid their homes' foundations 

Upon God's Holy Word. 

" Thou whom the Fathers trusted, 

Still for their children care ! 
Their armor yet unrusted 
May we with courage wear ! 

H 



262 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

O may we never falter 

To face the self-same foe, 
With those who built this altar 

A hundred years ago ! " 

Professor Higley was called to preside over the after-dinner 
exercises, which, on calling the gathering to order, he opened by 
a happy speech. 

During the reminiscences given, the fact was brought out that 
forty years before (1844) the Sunday school was marched as 
a cold water army, with badges and banners, from the church to 
seats and a collation under Judge Higley's wide-spreading butter- 
nut trees; the badges bearing the words: "Here we pledge per- 
petual hate to all that can intoxicate." An immense roll of 
signatures to the temperance pledge was 'displayed in the show 
window of a jewelry store in the town. 

At the general reunion of the Higley Family at Simsbury, 
Conn., August, 1890, Professor Edwin Hall Higley added much 
to the pleasurable success of the occasion by his power in music, 
as well as by an interesting historical paper he furnished. 

In person he is tall, robust, of fine physique, with a face glow- 
ing with genial feeling, and possessing a fine sense of humor, yet 
unassuming and retiring, seeking no public honors, and prone to 
hide his gifts. 

ALFRED ERASTUS HIGLEY, the fifth child and youngest son of 
Hervey O. and Sarah G. (Little) Higley, was born September 26, 
1844, at Castleton, Vt. His early schooldays were spent in his 
native town. At sixteen he went to the Castleton Academy, 
which, he declared in an after-dinner speech at the school cen- 
tennial, August 10, 1887, "were golden days when he serenaded 
the girls and climbed the balconies, and was under the instruc- 
tion of the best and strongest teachers of his time." To his 
principal, Miss Harriet N. Haskell, he paid a happy tribute of 
respect, speaking of her as " his ideal teacher." 

At this school, which he entered in 1860, and from which he 
was graduated 1864, he was fitted for college. 

He then entered Middlebury College and was graduated in the 
class of 1868. 

On the 7th of April, 1869, he married Jane Anne Van Vleet, a 
lady of bright attainments and attractive manner, who was also a 
pupil at the Castleton Seminary. She was born June 22, 1848. 

To Alfred Erastus fell in succession the Higley homestead at 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY t %D. 263 

Castleton, of which he took charge in 1868, and where he re- 
sided with his family till the year 1886. Following in the foot- 
steps of his father of forty years before (1839-46), he was 
made a member of the Board of Trustees of Castleton Seminary, 
1885 ; and also was his father's successor as deacon in the Castle- 
ton church, being, as has been stated, of the fourth generation of 
Higleys which have served in this official relation, taking an un- 
flagging interest in the church's prosperity and workings since its 
early organization. On that memorable historic occasion the 
one-hundredth anniversary of this church, he rendered efficient 
service on the committee of arrangements. 

In 1886 he removed with his family to Benson, Vt., remaining 
till the year 1890, his practical farming proving an excellent 
proof that a college education does not unfit a man for becom- 
ing a thoroughly capable agriculturist. Indeed, Mr. Higley gave 
evidence in this special vocation- of the .value of a trained mind. 
For several years he turned his attention particularly to raising 
high-blooded stock. 

In 1891 he received an appointment to the United States Ar- 
senal at Watertown, Mass., where he was engaged for some 
time. Later on he built an attractive residence near his mother 
in Middlebury, Vt, where he now resides (1895). 

Mr. Higley is of fine personal character, has a genial tempera- 
ment, and full of excellent qualities of mind and heart. Alfred 
Erastus and Jennie Van Vleet Higley are the parents of two 
children, viz.: Edna Van Vleet Higley, born July 18, 1872 ; Mary 
Gerrish Higley, born March 2, 1874. 

EDNA, the eldest, was graduated, 1890, from the Castleton, Vt., State Normal 
School. After pursuing three years of musical study in the New England Con- 
servatory in Boston, from which she was graduated, she continued for two years 
her violin study in Berlin. The " glory of the music " which she produces from 
her favorite instrument, since the pursuit of her study abroad, ranks her among those 
who have attained very high excellence, and cannot fail to distinguish her future in 
the musical world. 

MARY, the youngest daughter, was graduated from the State Normal School in 
Castleton, Vt., spent three years at the Loring School, Chicago, and entered 
Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., '94. She is taking the full college course. 



264 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 



ESTHER HIGLEY GUERNSEY. 

Continued from chapter xxxi, p. 171. 
Esther, Brewster, 3d, Biewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

ESTHER, the sixth child of Brewster Higley, 3d, was born July 
29, 1775, and on Thanksgiving Day, November 20, 1797, married 
Sylvanus Guernsey, the Rev. Lemuel Haynes of West Rutland 
officiating. The elder daughters of the family had all had the 
marriage ceremony performed by their father, Deacon Brewster 
Higley, 3d. Erastus Higley and Esther Ann Guernsey were 
"best man" and bridesmaid. After the wedding ceremony was 
over and the festivities were near closing, the bride and brides- 
maid, who had long been bosom friends, wished a little private 
chat together. The house was full, and the weather too cold for 
muslin-robed lassies to6tand outside the door. So they cuddled 
among the wraps in a sleigh standing with the horses hitched 
near the door. Dr. Gridley's sharp eyes noticing their move- 
ments, he quickly loosed the hitching strap, sprang into the 
sleigh, seized the lines and drove the team to Landlord Moulton's 
Inn, some two miles away, where he traded the young ladies for a 
mug of cider. The discovery, pursuit, and bringing them back, 
which created great merriment, were not long delayed, and no 
ill-will was entertained against the joke-loving doctor. 

Esther's daughter, Mrs. Zeruah Caswell, who is now living, 
says that her grandfather, Brewster, 3d, walked to Hartford 
and purchased for Esther a brass kettle, a silk dress, and white 
muslin for her bridal trousseau. For both Esther and lola he 
purchased red broadcloth cloaks trimmed with " thag." 

ZERUAH CASWELL, daughter of Esther (Higley) Guernsey, was born October 31, 
1805. She is the only survivor of her generation, and is now a resident of Castle- 
ton, Vt., where the main part of her life has been spent. She was one of six 
grandchildren of Brewster Higley, 3d, who were all born the same season and 
brought home at Thanksgiving, During the family gathering the six babies were 
placed upon a blanket which was spread upon the floor in front of the grandmother 
as she sat in her great armchair, to the great delight and admiration of all present. 

Zeruah married Memri Caswell of Middletown, Vt., March 5, 1846, and has 
lived to a bright old age, ninety years, a woman of strong character and rare 
ability, a most interesting link with the long past. Throughout her life she has 
been greatly beloved by her kindred and friends ; she still superintends her house- 
hold affairs, and retains her memory and lively faculties to a very remarkable degree. 

A pleasant reminiscence in connection with her younger days is told of the first 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, ZD. 265 

Sunday school held in Castleton. This was in the year 1819, and on " Frisby 
Hill," held in a little, old-fashioned, unpainted schoolhouse. " The two young 
girls, Zilpah and Esther Ann Higley, having read about the Sunday school started 
by Robert Raikes in England, talked with their schoolmates and begged the con- 
sent of their parents to the plan of starting one in the schoolhouse on the hill. 
Having obtained the permission they sought, and promises from the boys and girls 
in the district to be present, they made an urgent request to Miss Margaret Merrill, 
who was teacher of the day school, to be also the teacher of the new Sunday school. 

Mrs. Caswell, who was one of the youngest of the children, well remembered 
how the young teacher knelt upon the bare floor to ask God's blessing upon this 
first Sunday school in Castleton. The lesson given the scholars was the first ten 
verses of the first chapter in Genesis, to be perfectly learned and repeated to Miss 
Merrill at the close of one hour. 

Weeks passed, and the news of the little Sunday school on " Frisby Hill " spread 
among the children in the schools of the other districts, and soon other Sunday 
schools were born. The good work went quietly on in the little schoolhouses here 
and there, till the pastor of the Congregational Church in the village thought it 
time to organize a Sunday school in connection with the church ; he therefore 
visited all the schools in the out-districts and invited them to unite in one to be held 
in the town academy. One hundred and fifty children gathered, not one over 
twenty-one being found among the number. In 1821 it was decided to remove the 
school to the church building, where it has now remained for seventy-four years, the 
nursery of the church. 

Esther (Higley) Guernsey died at Castleton, Vt., May 7, 1831. Her hus- 
band, Sylvanus Guernsey, died April 3, 18 , aged eighty-eight years. They had 
four children, viz. : 

Soloman Kasson, Horace Roots, Calvin Owen, and Zeruah. 

SOLOMON K. was born September, 1798, and died May 6, 1821. ZERUAH, as 
before stated, was born October 31, 1805, and is still living (1895). 

SARAH GUERNSEY, daughter of Calvin, is now (1895) filling an important posi- 
tion in the missionary field in the Indian Territory. Except her aged aunt she is 
the only descendant of this branch of the family. 



TOLA, the seventh of Brewster Higley, 3d's, children, was born 
May i, 1778. She married Deacon William Denison of Lyme, 
Conn., on the 25th of March, 1800. They resided at West Rut- 
land, Vt. Their children were : Eliza, who married Henry 
Post ; Fanny, who married John F. Duncan ; lola, who married 
Hoyt Guernsey; and William Cowper, Francis Le Count, Edward 
Higley, and Mary. 

Their youngest daughter, Mary, married the Rev. Horace Ly- 
man, and went to Oregon in the early history of that Territory, 
while it was yet little known, and when it was reached only by 
ships passing around Cape Horn. 

Mrs. lola (Higley) Denison died March 26, 1821. 



266 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

HARLEY, the eighth daughter of Brewster Higley, 3d, was 
born October 9, 1781. She married Jared Porter, son of the 
Hon. Thomas Porter of Tinmouth, Vt, on the 8th of June, 
1804. They settled in Tinmouth, where their children were all 
born, and where they resided until August, 1831, when they 
joined their children, who had removed that year to Redford, 
Wayne County, Mich. 

Mrs. Harley (Higley) Porter died at the residence of her 
eldest son at the above place, October 16, 1831, aged fifty years. 

Her husband, Jared Porter, died in Wilmington, Del., May 2, 
1837, aged fifty-six years and five months. Mr. and Mrs. Porter 
had three children, viz. : 

Zachariah, born June 4, 1805 ; Thomas Rodney, born January 3, 
1810 ; Brewster Higley Porter, born January 2, 1820. 

The latter now resides in Indiana. 

Professor Edward D. Porter, son of Zachariah, and grandson of 
Mrs. Harley (Higley) Porter, is Dean of the College of Agricul- 
ture of the University of Missouri, and resides at Columbia, Mo. 

ZERUAH, the youngest child of Brewster Higley, 3d, born Au- 
gust 18, 1784, married Ebenezer Cross January i, 1812. They 
removed to Oxford, O., September, 1817, with their three daugh- 
ters. Their three sons were born after their removal to that 
State. Their children were : 

Eliza, Maria, Laura, Owen, Kasson, and Ebenezer. 

Zeruah Higley Cross died at Marion, Ind., September 24, 1854. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 4TH. 

Brewster Higley, sth, Brewster, 4th, Brewster 3d, Brewster, 2d, Brewster, ist, Capt. John 
Higley. 

Continued from page 241. 

But who is this by the half opened door, 
Whose figure casts a shadow on the floor ? 

MATTHEW ARNOLD. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, 5th, was born in Castleton, Vt., March 30, 
1784, and emigrated with his parents to Ohio when he was thir- 
teen years of age. In 1805 he returned to his native State to 
attend school, and remained two years. He performed this jour- 
ney the entire distance afoot. Just as he was leaving his home 
on the long and lonely pilgrimage, he provided himself, from a 
forest tree near at hand, with a stout cane, upon which he notched 
the height of each child of the household. This cane has been 
preserved, and is now in the hands of Alfred E. Higley, Esq., 
of Middlebury, Vt, a descendant of his grandfather, Brewster 
Higley, 3d. 

In 1814 he married Achsah Evarts of Rutland, O., where *hey 
settled. Here their three children were born, viz. : 

Louisa, Zeruah, and Brewster Higley ', 6th. 

Brewster Higley, 5th, died August 19, 1823, aged 39 years. He 
was interred in the Family burial-ground on the old home farm 
at Rutland, O. 

His wife removed with her children to Dunlapsville, Union 
County, Ind., and resided with her brother, Dr. Sylvanus Everts. 
She died in 1828. 

Her two youngest children were taken back to Rutland, O., to 
their kind and generous grandparents. 

DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 5TH. 

LOUISA, the eldest child of Brewster Higley, 5th, and his wife, 
Achsah Everts, was born March 16, 1815, and in 1833 married 
Dr. Robert Cogley of Dunlapsville, Ind. 

Her second marriage was to John F. Allinson, a merchant of 

if 



268 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Union Mills, Ind., who died in 1857 in Irvington, la., where 
they then resided. Mrs. Cogley became a student of medicine 
and received a medical diploma. She practiced her profession 
successfully for several years in Wichita, Kans., where she lived 
the last fifteen years of her life. She died December 5, 1887. 

She was the mother of six children, two of whom by her first 
marriage are living, and one by the second. 

THOMAS S. COGLEY, her eldest son, is a practicing lawyer, residing in Washington, 
D. C. He joined the forces in the late Civil War, serving as orderly sergeant in 
the 2gth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, General Buell commanding. 

MARY JANE COGLEY, daughter of Dr. Robert and Louisa (Higley) Cogley, 
was born in Rutland, O., in 1845. She married, December, 8, 1864, George D. 
Ewing of La Port, Ind., where she resided many years. Mr. Ewing is a photog- 
rapher by profession. They now reside in Walkerton, St. Joseph County, Ind. 
They were the parents of six children, three of whom are living, viz. : 

Lydepham, born December, 29, 1868, who is in mercantile pursuits, residing in 
Winamac, Ind. ; Maud, born April 25, 1874, who is preparing herself as a 
teacher of the piano ; and Earl, born May 8, 1880. 

CHARLES R. ALLINSON, her youngest child, born in 1854, of the second marriage, 
resides in Van Buren, Ark. 

Zeruah, the second child of Brewster Higley, 5th, was born at 
Rutland, O., August 26, 1817. She married James E. Sanderson 
September 17, 1835, w i tn whom she lived nearly thirty years, 
until her husband was removed by death, May 8, 1865. He was 
interred at Bremen, Fairfield County, O. She now resides with 
her son Charles C. Sanderson at Union Mills, La Porte County, 
Ind. They were the parents of eleven children, viz. : 

Sidney, Amanda, William Brewster, Mary Luzetta, Harriet, Mary 
Augusta, George R. , James H. , Josie A. , Charles C. , and Horton E. 

SIDNEY, the eldest, was born September 26, 1835, and married John English. 
They reside in Copp, Potter County, S. D. They were the parents of four 
children, viz. : 

Mary, who married Francis Kirby ; and Harriet. The sons were Melvin and 
Harry Higley, a bright and promising boy of twelve, who died March, 1891. 

Mrs. Sidney English died of pneumonia December 27, 1891, four days after the 
decease of her son. Her body was taken to Union Mills, Ind., for interment. 

AMANDA, the second child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sanderson, born 
April 26, 1838, married A. Washbury. They have three children, viz. : Fin ley ; 
William, who died at seventeen ; and Ina. Mr. Washbury died August 21, 1877, 
aged forty-six. 

The family reside in M'Carthur, Vinton County, O. 

WILLIAM BREWSTER, the third child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sander- 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 4777. 269 

son, was born September n, 1840, and entered the war on the 15th of August, 
1862. He did not long survive the hardships he encountered. He died at 
Young's Point, Miss., February 7, 1863. 

MARY LUZETTA, the fourth child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sanderson, 
born November n, 1842 ; died at the age of two years. 

HARRIET, the fifth child, born May 12, 1845, married Otis Hathaway. They 
have three children : Gtty, who died at three years ; Dallis, and George. They 
reside in Sheldon, Iroquois County, 111. 

MARY AUGUSTA, the sixth child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sanderson, was 
born March 13, 1847. She is unmarried and resides in Copp, Potter County, S. D. 
She is a teacher in the Copp School. 

GEORGE R., the seventh child, born March 24, 1849 ; died, aged three years. 

JAMES H., the eighth child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sanderson, born 
July 16, 1852 ; married Lizzie Fielding. They have no family. They reside in 
Copp, Potter County, S. D. 

JOSIE A., the ninth child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sanderson, born 
September 17, 1854 ; married Othello Higley. No dates given. They are the 
parents of two daughters, Bessie and Mabel. They reside in Union Mills, La 
Porte County, Ind. 

CHARLES C., the tenth child of James E. and Zeruah Higley Sanderson, born 
April 25, 1839 niarried Emma Tice. They reside with their widowed mother, 
Mrs. Zeruah Sanderson, in Union Mills, La Porte County, Ind. They are the 
parents of four sons, viz. : 

Clarence, Lewis E., James E., and one whose name is not given. 

HORTON E., the eleventh and youngest child of James E. and Zeruah Higley 
Sanderson, was born April 26, 1860. He resides in Copp, Potter County, S. D. 
He is unmarried. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, 6th, M. D., the third child of Brewster 
Higley, 5th, and Achsah Everts, was born at Rutland, O., 
November 30, 1823, three months after the decease of his father. 
On the decease of his mother he resided with his grandfather, 
Judge Brewster Higley, 4th, and afterward with his sister. 

At the age of eighteen he began the study of medicine in the 
village of New Plymouth, O. His first medical practice was in 
Pomeroy, O. In the spring of 1848 he removed to La Porte, 
Ind., and formed a partnership with his uncle, Dr. Everts. From 
the medical college located at La Porte, he took his medical 
degree February 22, 1849. He also became a member of the 
Northwestern Academy of Natural and Medical Science. He 
practiced his profession in La Porte twenty-six years. ^ 

Dr. Brewster Higley married, October, 1850, Maria B. Winchell, 
who bore one child, born September, 1851, a son, who died a few 
days old. His wife fell a victim to a prevailing epidemic in 
May, 1852. August, 1853, Dr. Higley married Eleanor Page, 



270 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

who bore one son, Brewster Higley, 7th. His second wife died 
soon after the birth of this child. His third marriage was in 1857 
to Catherine Livingston. From this marriage there were born 
two children JEstelle^'bom April 4, 1859, and Arthur Herman, 
born September 3, 1861, both living ; but his wife met with an 
injury, of which she died, June 2, 1864. 

In the spring of 1871 Dr. Higley removed to Smith County, 
Kans., where he married, March 8, 1875, Sarah E. Clemans. 
To them four children were born, viz. : 

Sandford, who died in 1878; Achsah, born 1877; Everett, born 
July 26, 1880; and Theo., a daughter, born September 10, 1882. 

While living in Smith County, Kans., Dr. Brewster Higley, 6th, 
was elected and served one term as clerk of the court of the 
fifteenth judicial district for his county. 

The climate of Kansas proving too severe for his health, he 
sold his farm in 1886, and removed to Van Buren, Crawford 
County, Ark., where he now resides. He has retired from pro- 
fessional life, and is engaged in farming and fruit-growing. 

BREWSTER HIGLEY, 7th, the only son of Dr. Brewster Higley, 6th, and his wife, 
Eleanor Page, was born 1854, and married Mary Daniels. Brewster Higley, 7th, 
M. D., resides in Nebraska, where he has a lucrative medical practice. 

They had two sons, William and Frederick, both of whom died in infancy. 

Continued from page 241. 

SUSAN, the second child of Brewster Higley, 4th, and his wife 
Naomi, was born at Castleton, Vt., 1786, and resided with her 
parents after their removal to Meigs County, Ohio, until her 
decease. She never married. She died March 23, 1848, aged 
sixty-two. 

CYRUS HIGLEY, the second son of Brewster Higley, 4th, and 
his wife Naomi, was born in Castleton, Vt, July 26, 1787, and 
was a boy of ten years when his parents removed to Ohio. He 
spent the remainder of his life near the town of Rutland, O. 

He married Electa Bingham of Athens, O., February 13, 1816. 

Cyrus Higley was a soldier in the war of 1812, volunteering as 
a cavalryman, and furnishing his own horse. He was at one time 
among the troops stationed on the border near where Dayton, O., 
is now situated, doing guard duty against the hostile Indians. 

In religious faith he was a Presbyterian. The Home and Foreign 
Record, an organ of that denomination, makes allusion to Cyrus 
Higley as "one of the most valuable co-workers" of the society. 




JULIUS B. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, TH. 271 

His wife Electa (Bingham) Higley, died October 6, 1826. 
Cyrus Higley died July 30, 1854, at Rutland, O. The Pomeroy 
Telegraph contained the following with the announcement of his 
decease. 

"As he lived, so he died, in the faith of the Gospel of Christ. 
Our beloved brother was long a ruling elder in the Presbyterian 
Church of Rutland, taking a deep interest in the troubles which 
so long affected the church, and was very devoted in his attach- 
ment to old school views." 

As he neared his final close of life, of which he was conscious, 
he expressed his desire " to depart and be with Christ, which is 
far better." Of him it may be said, " Blessed are the dead that 
die in the Lord." 

Cyrus and Electa B. Higley were the parents of three children, 
viz. : 

Lucy P. , Julius B. , and Elizabeth. 

LUCY P. HIGLEY. their eldest child, born February 17, 1818, and married Dr. 
William Hooper, November, 1841. They resided at Rutland, O., where she died, 
October, 1876. 

JULIUS BICKNELL HIGLEY, the second child of Cyrus and Electa Bingham 
Higley, was born November 9, 1822, at Rutland, O. He married, March 14, 
1844, Maria Louisa Fuqua of Greenup County, Kentucky. They resided on the old 
home farm at Rutland, on which he had grown to manhood, till November, 1866, 
when with his family, then consisting of his wife and eight children, he emigrated 
to Greenwood, Jackson County, Mo., settling on a farm where he resided for six- 
teen years. The greater number of his children having by this time left the 
paternal home, and settled at different points in the great West, he, with his wife, 
in 1882 removed to a farm in Reno County, Kansas, where they remained till the 
year 1889, when they went to Sterling, Rice County. Here the decease of his 
wife, Maria Louisa Higley, took place, February 28, 1892, after a tranquil and 
happily spent married life of forty-eight years. 

One of his sons writes of his father as follows : 

" He is at the present time (1895) in the Territory of Oklahoma. It is his 
nature to live in a new country. He has frequently been heard to remark that 
nothing would gratify him more than to again aid in building up an unsettled 
country, if he were only a younger man, and equal to the activities required, yet he 
to-day possesses more vitality than many men of fifty, which he is proud to claim 
is the result of his very temperate and careful habits of life. 

" I realize my incompetency to do justice to the character of my father ; we are 
glad to, place on record something of his noble worth one has only to know him 
to speak his praise. 

" From his early years he has lived the life of the Christian, devoted wholly to the 
cause of his Master, Jesus Christ, as has been evidenced at all times by his daily 
walk and conversation. 



272 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

" At the age of thirty-two years he was ordained a ruling elder in the Presbyterian 
Church at Rutland, O., in which capacity he served many years. By force of 
circumstances he and his wife and some of his children became members of the 
Congregational Church at Greenwood, Mo., in which he served many years as a 
deacon. Mr. Higley is very liberal and progressive in his views ; he studies and 
thinks for himself, and since his connection with the Congregational body he 
finds that he prefers it to the Presbyterian Church, on account of its church 
government and more liberal teachings on the doctrine of predestination. He is 
at present an honored member of the Congregational Church of Sterling, Kans. 

" At all business meetings of the church his advice and counsel are eagerly sought, 
and received with marked respect and attention. 

" At the weekly prayer meeting he is ageneral favorite, and a regular attendant." 
The children of Julius B. and Maria L. Fuqua Higley were : 
S. Fnqua, Frances E., Cynthia, Dennis B., Artemas J., Addie L., Stephen W,, 
Huburt L. 

S. FUQUA HIGLEY, the eldest child, was born at Rutland, O., January 25, 1845. 
He is a typical Higley in every sense of the name ; broad-shouldered, weighing 
230 pounds, clever, active, cheery in disposition, and energetic. In politics he holds 
strong allegiance to the Republican party. He resides in Hutchinson, Kans., and 
is engaged in the profitable business of school supplies of all kinds. 

FRANCES E., the second child of Julius B. and Maria Louisa Higley, was born 
September 24, 1846, and married Charles L. Campbell of Pleasant Hill, Mo., 
April, 1867. She died March 8, 1868. 

CYNTHIA, the third child, born February 17, 1848, married Ira F. Davenport of 
Kansas City, Mo., August 14, 1884. They reside at Greenwood, Mo. 

DENNIS B. HIGLEY, the fourth child of Julius B. and Maria Louisa Higley, was 
born at Rutland, O., September 28, 1849, and, married Carrie E. Nobles of Hamp- 
ton, la., April 28, 1884. They reside in Sterling, Kans., where Mr. Higley is a 
citizen of excellent standing, engaged in a successful business " Loans and Invest- 
ments." Besides being the owner of a pleasant home in the town, he has large 
real estate investments in Sterling. 

ARTEMAS J. HIGLEY, the fifth child of Julius B. and Maria Louisa Higley, was 
born near Rutland, O., October I, 1851. At the age of fifteen he removed with his 
father's family to Greenwood, Jackson County, Mo., where he resided five years, 
working on the farm in the summer and attending school in winter. The last 
winter in pursuit of his education in Missouri he studied at the Lincoln Academy 
in Greenwood, after which he spent two years at Beloit College, Wisconsin, he 
then traveled one year, and returned to Missouri and engaged in farming. 

On the 6th of September, 1876, he married Emma E. Howe at Kewanee, 111., 
daughter of the late General J. H. Howe. Mr. Higley continued an agricultural 
life till the year 1879. I ts dull routine, however, not suiting his tastes, and afford- 
ing little opportunity for the higher intellectual attainment to which his ambition 
led him, he removed to Hutchinson, Kans., where after studying law in the office 
of Houck and Brown, Mr. Brown being at that time a Member of Congress, he 
was admitted to the bar. After practicing his profession for some time he became 
engaged, with nattering success, in investing money for Eastern capitalists. Devot- 
ing his energies to this business, he has placed a greater amount of money among 
the farmers and business men of Western Kansas than any other investment com- 
pany of his town. His opinions on business enterprises are considered of much 
value by those seeking to invest capital. He possesses an abiding faith in the 
future of the city of Hutchinson ; some of its most prominent buildings are 
standing witnesses of his push and energy. The Higley Block, built by Mr. 
Higley, is the finest office building which Hutchinson now contains. 

Mr. Higley is entirely devoted to his family, which consists of his wife, two sons, 
and two daughters, and can almost always be found at his home when not at his 
place of business. His children : 




MARIA L. FUQUA HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 47Y7. 273 

Florence, born January 2, 1878 ; Clyde S., born September 28, 1880 ; John, born 
April, 1885, and an infant whose name is not given. 

ADDIE L., the sixth child of Julius B. and Maria Louisa Higley, born March 
13, 1855, married Albert B. Clark, November 27, 1886, at Kearney, Neb., where 
they resided. The date of Mr. Clark's decease is not given. 

STEPHEN W. HIGLEY, the seventh child of Julius B. and Maria Louisa Higley, 
born May 3, 1857, married Sarah E. Henson of Socarro, N. M. , December 9, 
1885. They reside at Perry, Oklahoma Territory. Their son, Claude Higley, was 
born February 6, 1887. 

HUBURT L. HIGLEY, the eight child of Julius B. and Maria Louise Higley, born 
August 19, 1864, resides a: Riley, Oklahoma. 

, Continued from page 271. 

ELIZABETH, the third child of Cyrus and Electa Bingham Higley, born Decem- 
ber 30, 1824, married David D. Allen, April, 1846. They resided at Rutland, O., 
where she died December 30, 1846, in less than one year after her marriage. 

Continued from page 241. 

THERESA HIGLEY, the fourth child of Brewster Higley, 4th, 
and Naomi his wife, was born at Castleton, Vt. , May n, 1791, 
and married Josiah Simpson, July 23, 1829. They resided near 
Rutland, O. Two children were born of this marriage. Mary, 
who married Thomas Kirker and resides in Salt Lake City, 
Utah ; and Adeline, who married S. W. Higley of Rutland, O. 
Theresa Higley died May 12, 1863, and was interred in the public 
cemetery at Rutland. 

HARRIET HIGLEY, the fifth child of Brewster Higley, 4th, 
and Naomi his wife, was born at Castleton, Vt., 1793, and was 
brought to Ohio by her parents when four years of age. She 
married Alvin Bingham of Rutland, February 12, 1816. Here 
they settled, and became prosperous farmers. Mrs. Bingham 
died May 18, 1872. She was laid in the Family burial plot on 
the old homestead farm. 

Alvin and Harriet Higley Bingham were the parents of six 
children, viz. : 

Lucy; Lucius If., born June 28, 1819. Amanda, born April 3, 1821, married 
S. R. Cavender. She died P'ebruary 24, 1892 ; he died December 28, 1891. 

Clarissa, born March 6, 1823, married Carpenter ; she died March 14, 

1892. Alvina, born November 7, 1826; and Samuel N., born August 14, 1831. 
Lucius H. Bingham, the eldest son, served in the Civil War. 

Lucius HIGLEY, the sixth child of Judge Brewster Higley, 
4th, and Naomi, his wife, was born at Castleton, Vt., October 
24, 1796. He was not yet one year old when his parents removed 



274 THE HI G LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

from his native State to Ohio, taking this infant boy with 
them. 

He married Nancy Shepherd, November 26, 1821, and resided 
for more than four score years upon the farm that his father 
opened in the wilderness in 1799. He was a witness to remark- 
able changes in the progress of civilization, his life being pro- 
longed until he became one of the few living links connecting the 
present times with the early beginnings of Ohio. He was familiar 
with that part of the State in which he settled before the plow- 
share had turned the soil of the heavy forest-covered land, or 
the hum of human industry was heard in the almost uninhabited 
wilderness. It was with intelligent and unceasing interest that 
his eyes looked upon the development of the country, the whole 
face of which changed in his day. 

A great State, taking its place as the third in the Union, was, 
since his boyhood, hewn out of that section of the Northwest 
Territory; new counties were organized and old boundaries rear- 
ranged; section after section of cultivated field was covered with 
towns and villages, corduroy roads and depths of mud into which 
the vehicles sank to the hub were followed by the macadamized 
road, and then the railway ; postal communications were es- 
tablished, and the newspaper and telegraph came. 

Centers of mental activity were established ; educational facili- 
ties were brought to a high development ; church spires point- 
ing heavenward arose in every direction, bearing strong testi- 
mony to the declaration that " Righteousness exalteth a nation." 
It was the backwoods no longer. 

Lucius Higley was a man who noted these great passing events 
of real life, and who co-operated in the accomplishment of these 
rapid changes. Throughout his long career he was highly re- 
pected for his personal worth and solid character. 

He united with the First Presbyterian Church in Gallipolis 
while yet a young man. Personally he was social in habit, and 
exceedingly fond of music. During his green old age he re- 
tained his health and spirits. The final day came August 8, 
1881, when his freed spirit was gathered to his fathers, and his 
mortal remains were placed beside theirs and those of his beloved 
wife in the Family burial-place under the mulberry tree. He 
departed this life at the age of eighty-four years and ten months. 

When his days here closed, the last New England pioneer of 
this branch of the family had passed away. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 47W. 275 

" Our life's history," once remarked his aged uncle in a letter, 
"consists chiefly in entrance and exit the intervening space is 
passed at a step, and we fly away." 

Nancy (Shepherd) Higley, his wife, was born near Maysville, 
Ky. Her father removed, with his family, to Meigs County, 
Ohio, settling near the Higleys during the Indian troubles. 

By her energy and perseverance she obtained a fair education 
for those times, and at the age of seventeen she began teaching 
school, continuing until her marriage. 

She was a woman of a strong, well-balanced mind, was gifted 
with an unusually retentive memory, and considerable musical 
attainment. The cheerful evenings by the home fireside, which 
it was the habit of their father and mother to enliven by singing 
together, are among the happy recollections of their children. 
She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Rutland, 
O., from its first organization, and was ever a warm friend and 
counselor to the poor. Her husband in writing to a relative 
some months after her decease exclaims: 

"The beloved wife of my bosom departed this life Jan. 2ist 
[1862]. Her name is melodious in my ear I have lost my 
parents, my brothers and sisters, but there was no such void as 
when this wife of my bosom went from me. We were brought 
up near to each other, attended the same school, and have walked 
side by side many a year." 

Nancy Higley died in the Christian faith, in the sixty-sixth 
year of her age. Lucius and Nancy (Shepherd) Higley were the 
parents of nine children, viz. : 

Susan, Lucius M., Nancy A., Naomi, Mary, Ransom Br cluster, 
Charles W. , Milo H. , and L. Sardine. 

SUSAN, the eldest child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd Higley, born August 
22, 1822, married the Rev. William H. Bay. They reside in Marietta, O. 

Lucius M. HIGLEY, M. D., the second child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd 
Higley, was born in the ancestral homestead near Rutland, O., November 5, 1823, 
and married Elizabeth B. Morton, September 19, 1848. They reside on a part of 
the old home farm. Dr. Lucius Higley was a student at Chester, Meigs County, 
O., attending a collegiate school which was successfully established in 1842. At 
the age of twenty-two he began the study of medicine under the instruction of Dr. 
Richard Morton of Springfield, Ky., in which town he afterward practiced his pro- 
fession twelve years. In 1861 he turned his attention to business pursuits in the 
mercantile line, in Middleport, O., which he relinquished after three years of experi- 
ence, and in 1868, on the decease of his brother, Dr. Charles W. Higley, at Rutland, 
he returned to that town and again took up medical practice. He is now retired 



276 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

from active life. Dr. Lucius Higley has held the office of justice of the peace for 
near twenty years, and has given attention to matters of a legal kind, together with 
devoting considerable attention to literary pursuits. 

He is President of the Meigs County, Ohio, Pioneer and Historical Society, 
and President of the Board of Education. 

Dr. Lucius M. and Elizabeth B. (Morton) Higley were the parents of several chil- 
dren who died in infancy. Their living children are as follows : 

Nancy H., born May 22, 1852, who is unmarried and resides with her parents ; 
William M., born March 30, 1860 ; Pratt //., born January 2, 1862, who married 
January i, 1891, Luella Cornwell of Gillespeville, O.; Lillie ., born September 
2, 1872. 

WILLIAM M. HIGLEY resides with his parents near Rutland, when not engaged 
in teaching. 

NANCY ALICE, the third child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd Higley, born 
March 5, 1825, married George W. Moulton. They reside in Arkansas City, 
Cowley County, Kans. 

NAOMI, the fourth child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd Higley, born April I, 

1826, married Judge A. Logue. They reside in Cheshire, Gallia County, O. 
MARY, the fifth child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd Higley, born August 27, 

1827, married Captain Joel Phelps Higley, September 14, 1848. She resides at 
Middleport, Meigs County, O. (See sketch of Captain Joel Phelps Higley, 
page 1 83.) 

RANSOM BREWSTER HIGLEY, the sixth child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd 
Higley, born in Rutland, O., January 6, 1829, married July 7, 1857, Amanda Smith, 
who was born February 7, 1829 ; she was a daughter of Livingston Smith, a first 
cousin to Brewster Higley, 4th, on the maternal side. 

Ransom B. Higley was engaged in gold mining in the early days of California 
gold hunting, going to that State in 1851. His perilous passage by steamer to 
Panama, and long delay and discomfort at that point in the torrid heat, together with 
a leaky ship on the Pacific, and finally a shipwreck upon the coast of Mexico, is in 
striking contrast to the swift, luxurious journey across the continent as it is now 
accomplished. He remained in California six years, returning to Rutland, O., where 
he resided until his death, which took place January 22, 1870. His wife is still 
living. Their children were as follows : 

Brewster O., Emma N. and Ella, twins, and Homer R. 

PROFESSOR BREWSTER O. HIGLEY, the eldest son of Ransom B. and Amanda 
(Smith) Higley, and the eighth Brewster in the line, was born at Rutland, O., 
January 24, 1859. 

Having received his early education at a district school in his native town, he 
entered the university at Athens, O., and completed a college course, class of '92, 
degree B. Ph. During the course of his studies he engaged in teaching. He 
is a member of the Delta Tau Fraternity, a society whose growth is on the increase 
and becoming influential. He is now the associate professor in the department of 
United States history and political science in the Ohio University. 

On the 1st of January, 1891, he married Amelia H. Shutt, daughter of John and 
Sarah Shutt of Middleport, O. She was a successful and enterprising teacher 
in the Middleport Schools, an educational institution of the higher grade. 

They reside at Rutland, Meigs County, O. They have one child, Brewsler S. 
Higley (the gth Brewster), born June 5, 1894. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 47W. 277 

EMMA N., the only surviving daughter of Ransom B. and Amanda (Smith) 
Higley, her twin sister, Ella, died in childhood, was born July 6, 1861. Emma 
N. married, September 2, 1888, Elmer L. Bingham, son of Samuel N. Bingham, 
and grandson of Harriet (Higley) Bingham. He was born May 4, 1861. 

They reside at Rutland, O. 

HOMER R. HIGLEY, the youngest child of Ransom B. and Amanda (Smith) 
Higley, was born at Rutland, O., September 3, 1864. 

He entered the Ohio University at Athens in 1888, where he is at present taking 
a scientific course, as well as a special course in electrical engineering. He is also 
a member of the Delta Tau Fraternity, and has been a successful teacher. 

He resides at Rutland, O. 

DR. CHARLES W. HIGLEY, the seventh child of Lucius and Nancy Shepherd 
Higley, was born at Rutland, O., June 17, 1831. He married Sarah Williams. 
He became a medical practitioner of unusual ability at Rutland, where he had an 
extensive practice. He died February 9, 1866. 

Dr. Charles W. and Sarah Williams Higley were the parents of four children, 
viz.: 

William C., Rodney A., James B., and Julia. 

WILLIAM C. HIGLEY, their eldest son, born June 28, 1855, married Ella Lewis, 
October 9, 1878. They have three children, viz.: 

Carl, born September 30, 1879 ; Cora E., born June IO, 1882 ; and Clara, born 
December 23, 1884. 

Mr. Higley is a druggist and resides in Coolville, Athens County, O. 

RODNEY A. HIGLEY, the second child of Dr. Charles W. and Sarah Williams 
Higley, married Mary Lowery. (No dates furnished.) 

They have two children : Artie and Ethel. 

JAMES B. HIGLEY, the third son, married Mary Clark. They have two chil- 
dren : Charles and Bessie. 

JULIA, the only daughter of Dr. Charles W. and Sarah Williams Higley, married 
F. M. Grover. 

MILO H. HIGLEY, the eighth child and fourth son of Lucius Higley and his wife 
Nancy Shepherd Higley, was born November 18, 1832, at Rutland. O. 

His entire life has been associated with agricultural pursuits. He received his 
early education in the district schools in his native township, attending later on a 
select school in Pomeroy, O. 

His bent when quite a boy was for musical study, and at an early age he availed 
himself of all the opportunities within his reach to follow this ambition. 

His progress under competent teachers was satisfactory, and at seventeen years 
of age he became an instructor. In 1848 he formed a choir, the first organized 
choir in Meigs County, and became its conductor. For many years he has been a 
teacher of the science, and the leading conductor of music on the public occasions of 
his town. 

On Tune 17, 1855, he married Mary V. Pankey. Mr. Higley resides in the 
ancestral homestead which his grandfather, Brewster Higley, 4th, built, and which 
has come down through two generations. His wife, Mary V. (Pankey) Higley, 
died of la grippe, January I, 1892. 

Milo H. and Mary V. (Pankey) Higley were the parents of the following 
four children, viz.: 

James L., Edward S., Kate E., and Burt P., all of whom were born near Rut- 
land, O. 

19 



278 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

JAMES L. HIGLEY, the eldest son of Milo and Mary V. Higley, born November 
13, 1856, married Lenie Lamb of Barlow, Washington County, O. He was edu- 
cated at the Middleport, O., High School. He is a farmer, and resides on the 
ancient home-farm. 

EDWARD S. HIGLEY, M. D., the second son of Milo H. and Mary V. Higley, 
born September 28, 1862, received his early education at the Middleport High 
School, from which he was graduated at ninteeen. In 1882 he began the study of 
medicine at the Hahnemann College, Chicago, from which he took a medical 
diploma in 1886, and the following year he took a special course in the Chicago 
Homeopathic College, also receiving a medical diploma from that institution. He 
was appointed after competitive examination as Interne to Cook County, 111., 
Hospital. Since then he has actively engaged in the practice of his profession in 
Chicago, 111. 

He married Cora Van Zant of Rutland, O., December 29, 1886. They have one 
child, a daughter. 

KATE HIGLEY, the only daughter of Milo H. and Mary V. Higley, was born at 
Rutland, September 28, 1862. She died, unmarried, April 7, 1888. 

BURT P. HIGLEY, the fourth and youngest child of Milo H. and Mary V. Higley, 
was born January 2, 1872. He is a young man, bright, of marked intelligence, 
and full of good spirits, making many friends wherever he goes. He began teach- 
ing a district school when eighteen and has fully sustained his marked ability as a 
teacher. He is taking a college course at Marietta College, Ohio. 

His home is with his parents. 

L. SARDINE HIGLEY, the ninth and youngest child of Lucius and Nancy Shep- 
herd Higley, was born at Rutland, O., January 22, 1837. He never married. 

He enlisted in the Civil War in the ?th Ohio Battery, and departed on February 
23, 1862, with the troops for St. Louis, Mo., where they were furnished with 
arms and equipments. He fought bravely in the battle of Shiloh, which raged nearly 
two days ; was at the capture of Memphis; and in the siege and fight at Corinth, 
Miss., and at the taking of Vicksburg. 

From exposure in the service during the late summer of 1863, he was brought 
down with fever and lingered for some weeks in an army hospital. When it was 
clear that there was little hope that his life could be saved, he was granted a fur- 
lough at Jackson, Miss., and sent northward, making a courageous effort to reach 
his home. But with all his courage and endurance his strength did not rally suffi- 
cient for the entire journey. He succeeded in reaching Portsmouth, O., the home 
of his sister, where he survived but two weeks, and died October 22, 1863. 

He showed great fortitude throughout his entire illness, and expressed noble 
acquiescence to the fact that he was yielding up his life to the service of his country. 
With great calmness he settled all his affairs. As he neared his close he fre- 
quently repeated the familiar stanza : 

*' Jesus can make a dying bed 

Feel soft as downy pillows are, 
While on his breast I lean my head, 
And breathe my life out sweetly there." 

It was his expressed wish to be laid to rest under ' ' the old mulberry tree " in the 
Family cemetery on the ancestral farm near Rutland, beside " the old patriarchs," 
as he called them his grandparents and kindred. To him it was a Machpelah. 

Sardine Higley possessed a fine tenor voice, and was exceeding fond of singing. 
Full of humor, kind and sociable, no comrade in his company was better liked. 
He was declared to be " the life of the camp." 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 47V7. 279 

Contin uedfrom page 241. 

JOSEPH TRUMBULL HIGLEY, M. D., the seventh child of 
Brewster Higley, 4th, and Naomi his wife, was the only child in 
the family who was born after the removal of the parents from 
Vermont. His birth occurred in the year 1800. He was noted 
in his younger years for his poetical talent, a vein of which runs 
through different branches of the Higley family. 

He married Emily Reed, and in 1835 removed to Rushville, 
Rush County, Ind., where he was a medical practitioner of good 
standing. He died there in 1838. After his decease his wife, 
with her children, returned to Rutland, O., where she died. 
They had three children, viz. : 

Lucinda, born 1831, who died aged twenty; Joseph, born 1833, 
who died in 1879; and Marion, who died in 1875. 

There are no living descendants of this family. 



CHAPTER XL. 

DAVID HIGLEY. 

Continued from chapter xviii. 

David, ist, Brewster, tst, Captain John Higley. 

Speak of me as I am, nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice. SHAKSPERE. 

DAVID HIGLEY, ist, the second son of Brewster Higley, ist, and 
Esther Holcombe, was born 1712, and, according to the " Record," 
married Anna Owen, " Aprrille the 3: A. D. 1735." Their home 
was in Turkey Hills, Simsbury, Conn. 

David Higley held a place of social distinction in the com- 
munity, and was honored by the title of " Mr.," a form of 
address which was not, in those days, a mere title of courtesy to 
every adult male citizen, but bore a special significance. 

He possessed a comfortable property, which was increased at 
the decease of his father and his mother by legacies from their 
estates. In 1785, his "list for the year " for the Society 
amounted to 10 145. 

The pages of an old account book furnish evidence that his 
larder was supplied with the usual stores for the table furnished 
in the average colonial home; among the articles named are 
goodly quantities of cheese and pork. And like the greater 
number of his brother church laymen of his day, the product of 
the rude old-time country cider-mill appealed to his tastes; and 
the sight of a barrel of cider, or a jug of the more enlivening and 
richer distilled product, cider brandy, from his brother Deacon 
Brewster's still, contained a fountain of irresistible pleasure in 
which he indulged as he, sat with the old cider connoisseurs 
before the fire-heap of logs blazing on his broad hearthstone. 

The following entries were made the winter of 1768-69: 



Oct. 
Nov. 
Dec. 


1768 
1768 
1768 
1769 
1760 


David 
ii 


Higley Dr 


4 qts. Brandy. 
4 Quarts Brandy. 
2 Quarts do 
2 Quarts Brandy, 
i Ot. Brandy. 







a 


March. 


ii 



380 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 1ST. 281 

During the month of September, 1775, five gallons of brandy 
are charged. 

David Higley, ist, was well known in town affairs, receiving 
responsible appointments. As "surveyor of highways" and 
member of the school committee, he rendered long public service, 
while his popularity and efficiency as tything-man' is shown by 
the repeated appointments he received to that office, covering a 
period of several years from 1752. 

He must have been a man of exceptionally fine physical 
development, his exhibitions of manly power having been so 
excellent that they gave him fame throughout the colony. As an 
athlete he was champion in the foot-race, an attainment of high 
distinction in those times. Few equaled him. Tradition has it 
that in running races with horses, running from Salmon Brook 
to Westfield, he was always the victor. 

For this skill he was often called to the front when emer- 
gencies arose in Indian and deer hunting. 

A minute recorded on the church records, Turkey Hills parish, 
states: "February i6th, 1777: David Higley y e ist entered into 
full communion with y e church," and the records show him to 
have been ever afterward, to the end of his life, active in the 
affairs of the church society. 

His wife, who is entered upon the church roll of membership 
as " Jehannah, wife of David Higley y e first," was admitted to the 
full communion of the same church, July 6, 1777. She was then 
sixty-five years old. 

The year following their marriage David and Anna Higley 
buried an infant son who bore the name of his father. Their 
other children were as follows : 

Anne, Elizabeth, David, Deborah, and Tirzah. . 

ANNE, the eldest daughter, born August 19, 1738 ; married Daniel Halliday of 
Suffield, "ye yth day of Jan. 1760." They settled in Turkey Hills, and were 
admitted to the church the same day with her father. 

There is no account preserved of ELIZABETH, the second child, born February 13, 
1742/3. She may have died in infancy. 

DAVID, 2d, was the only son who lived to maturity. (See sketch.) 

DEBORAH, the third daughter, born October 15, 1747, was twice married ; her 
first husband, James Carr, was an Irishman. He died previous to 1778. They 
had two children. August 17, 1780, Deborah Higley Carr married Stephen Griffen, 
and became the mother of four more children. She was admitted to full com- 

1 See footnote i, p. 141. 



282 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

munion in the Turkey Hills Church, October 18, 1778. She outlived Mr. Griffen, 
who died in 1821. 

TIRZAH, born July 25, 1752, married, 1779, Benjamin Wright of Egremont, Mass. 

Anne, the wife of David Higley, ist, died after they had 
walked in life side by side for fifty-one years. The stone which 
marks her grave in the EastGranby cemetery is still standing and 
is inscribed thus: 

1Tn memory of flfcrs Bnnab, wife of Ob* Davfo 
wbo oieo December & 3lst &2> 1786. 
fln g 75 12ear of 1ber 



David Higley died about the year 1790, the exact time of his 
decease not being known. He is last mentioned at the close of 
the year 1787; moneys were "allowed to his heirs" in the settle- 
ment of the estate of his brother in 1794. 

It is reasonable to suppose that he was interred near his wife 
in the Turkey Hills cemetery; but the precise spot cannot be 
identified. 

Wherever it was, the little strip of green earth where his hands 
lay crossed was tenanted by a man who left this life not empty of 
its earthly honor, for he bore the esteem of the people. 

DAVID HIGLEY, 2d, the only son of David, ist, and Anna (Owen) Higley, was 
born in Turkey Hills, July 6, 1745. 

He married his second cousin, Mary, the daughter of Jonathan Higley and his 
wife Mary Thompson. She was born in Turkey Hills, June 9, 1750. The mar- 
riage took place near the time that her family were thrown into sudden bereave- 
ment by the accidental drowning of her father in the Farmington River, just above 
Tarrifville, Conn., 1771. (See sketch, chapter Ix.) 

From the year 1781, David, 2d, was active in the town and the church society, 
receiving many appointments for various services. In 1782 he took up the work 
of the "school committee," a service in which his father had faithfully engaged ; 
and at the town meeting held in Granby, the first Monday in December, 1790, 
that office of strange importance the tything-man, was conferred upon him. Our 
knowledge as to where he spent the latter years of his life is somewhat imperfect. 
That he emigrated about the close of the century seems quite evident, but whether 
to Vermont or to the Western Reserve, in Ohio, is not clear. It was probably the 
latter. He may have accompanied one of his children when they emigrated from 
the State. 

The date of his death is therefore missing. His wife, Mary Higley, appears to 
have died previous to 1795, as she is not mentioned in her mother's will, which was 
executed that year. 

David, 2d, and Mary Higley had children as follows : 

David, 3d. born June 14, 1773 ; Huldah, born March 20, 1777, and baptized at 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY,\ST. 283 

the Turkey Hills Church the 25th of the May following ; twin sons, born Febru- 
ary 1 8, 1779, one of whom died soon after birth on the same date ; the other, named 
Elisha, died February 19, 1779. 

DAVID HIGLEY, 3d, the eldest child, married Olive Allen and removed from 
Connecticut. A statement is found in writing that he emigrated with his family 
to Vermont, but there is no trace to be found of them in that State. It is altogether 
probable that they went to Central New York, with other Higley families. 

HULDAH HIGT.EY, the only daughter of David, 2d, and Mary Higley, married 
David King. They emigrated to the Western Reserve, Ohio, and settled in the 
vicinity of Kinsman, Trumbull County, where their descendants now reside. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 

Continued from chapter xviii. p. TOO. 
Joseph, ST., Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

Hold fast your Puritan heritage, 
But let the free thought of the age 
Its light and hope and sweetness add 
To the stern faith the fathers had. 

WHITTIER. 

JOSEPH HIGLEY, Sr., was the third child and third son of 
Brewster Higley, ist, and Esther Holcombe. He was born 
October 21, 1715, and baptized when two months old. His life 
and experience was passed in Higley-town, Simsbury, the place 
of his birth being the same as that of his death. 

His home estate lay next adjoining his brother Brewster 
Higley, zd's, farm. He was old enough to enter into the active 
relations of life while several of the families of the first gener- 
ation were yet in their prime. 

The Higleys of Higley-town, by the middle of the eighteenth 
century and during Joseph's day, were strong in numbers, cour- 
ageous in spirit, and of great influence in the community. There 
were now no less than twenty-seven families settled on their own 
estates at Simsbury and its adjoining parishes, whose heads were 
the sons, grandsons, and granddaughters of Captain John Higley. 

These had intermarried with many of the old well-known 
families of that vicinity, the Holcombes, Cases, Barbers, 
Humphreys, and other, still everybody in those parts seemed 
related or connected by marriage with everybody else. 

Joseph Higley was a prominent figure among them. He was 
the owner, by inheritance and purchase, of a considerable amount 
of landed property, the deeds of which are found upon the Sims- 
bury records, and was well-to-do in the world. His family lived 
in substantial comfort. 

Civilization in the colony had now reached a stage of advance, 
though the customs and habits of the people were in keeping 
with the simple mode of living which belonged to the times. 

284 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 1ST. 285 

Like the elder Higleys, Joseph Higley, Sr., took an active 
interest in the affairs of the town. At the town meeting held 
in December, 1756, he was "chosen Surveyor of highways " for 
the year ensuing, and sworn into office. To this official relation 
he was re-elected annually for a number of years. He filled 
appointments as "District Committeeman" as well as other 
public offices, which furnish commendation to his ability and 
faithful discharge of duties. 

There are many marks of distinction left upon record to 
indicate that his social position was dignified and on an elevated 
plane. His name was prefixed by the title of "Mr.," till a 
military title was conferred upon him, showing that his rank 
was fully recognized as among the notable citizens. His pew 
in the Simsbury Church, "No 4, front pew," re-assigned to 
"Ensign Joseph Higley" on the 27th of December, 1768, by a 
town committee appointed for " y e seating of y e meeting," was 
in a location which evidences that the committee carefully con- 
sidered his consequence. These church sittings were always 
distributed with "respect to persons." 

Joseph Higley was not less conspicuous in the Colonial militia 
than others of Captain John Higley's sons and grandsons who 
made soldiers' records. 

The following action of the General Legislature is found 
recorded under date, " October session 1762 " : 

"This Assembly do establish Mr. Joseph Higley to be the Ensign of the First Com- 
pany or train-band of Symsbury, in the first register in this Colony." l 

At the May session, 1769, he was promoted to the honorable 
rank of captain. 

Captain Joseph Higley was no exception among his brothers 
and neighbors who were fond of their flip, apple-jack, and the 
cider-mug, his name being entered upon the pages of Deacon 
Brewster Higley, 2d's, accounts, among thirty other accounts 
against different Higley's living in the neighborhood, concerning 
"Creditors bringing cider to the Still." 

Captain Joseph Higley was three times married. Soon after 
passing his twenty-second birthday he married Ruth Holcombe, 
April i, 1737. His wife died in childbirth the following July, and 
the infant followed his mother to the grave, one month after, 
August 26, 1737. A stone still marks the place where they were 
laid in the Turkey Hills cemetery, East Granby. 

1 " Public Records of Connecticut," vol. xiii. 



286 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

About 1740 he married Sarah Case, with whom he lived till 
separated by death, on the i2th of June, 1756. After a lapse of 
about seven years he married Mrs. Eunice (Smith) - , a 
widow ' with five children, with whom he lived a happy united 
life for twenty-seven years. 

By his second and third marriages he became the father of ten 
children, one of whom died in childhood, March 26, 1759. 

The children of whom his wife, Sarah Case, was the mother 
were : 

Joseph, Jr. (or 2d), Micah, Asa, Ozias, Simeon, and Sarah. 

His wife, Eunice Smith - was the mother of three of his 
children all daughters, viz. : 

Naomi, Ruth, and Susannah. 

Of the sons and their descendants sketches will be found on 
pages following. 

SARAH, his eldest daughter, who was born 1753, married James Rudd, November 
13. 1773. an <i removed to Becket, Mass. Here she resided during her brief married 
life. Upon her tombstone is the following inscription : 

Okies. Sarab 1RuD& 

fcte& Bpril 19> 1777 

In tbe 24*b gear of ber age. 



NAOMI, who was born January I, 1761, married February 25, 1783, her cousin 
Brewster Higley, 4th, then of Vermont. They removed to Meigs County, Ohio. 
She died at the ripe age of eighty-nine. Further particulars of her life are recorded 
in connection with the sketch of her husband. 8 

RUTH, born about 1763 or 1765, married Judah Case. She was living when her 
mother's will was probated, 1797. 

SUSANNAH, born 1769, married Alexander Campbell Humphrey of Simsbury. 
She died in 1859, aged ninety years. 

Captain Joseph Higley died at Simsbury, May, 1790, in his 
seventy-fifth year. His will was offered to the Court of Probate, 
July 17, 1790. 

He appointed his sons, Joseph, Jr., Asa, Ozias, and Simeon 
executors of his estate, and to his youngest son, Simeon, he 
devised his home farm. The will provides for his " beloved wife 
Eunice Higley." To his son, Joseph Higley, Jr., he gave " the lot 
on which he now dwells in Becket, Massachusetts Common- 
wealth"; and to his two grandsons, Micah and Benjamin, the 
children of his son Micah, then deceased, he gave lands in the 

1 The Editor failed to discover the name of Eunice Smith's first husband. * See p. 238. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 287 

same vicinity. The lands bequeathed to Asa and Ozias lay in 
Simsbury. Legacies were left to his daughters. The inventory 
amounted to ^1008 145. 6d. His wife, Eunice Smith Higley, sur- 
vived him seven years. Her will, which is upon the Simsbury 
records, was received at court, June 15, 1797, and mentions in 
a bequest to her daughter, Susannah Humphrey, "my cow." 
She left her property to her own children by her two marriages. 
The children of her husband, Captain Joseph Higley, by his former 
wife are not mentioned in the will. She had property in her own 
right received from her father Smith's estate. 



JOSEPH HIGLEY, 2D, AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 
Joseph, 2d, Captain Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

JOSEPH HIGLEY, 2d, the eldest son of Captain Joseph Higley 
Sr., and his second wife Sarah (Case) Higley, was born at Higley- 
town, Simsbury, May 22, 1741. He married Azubah -Gillette, 
December 3, 1772, a descendant in direct line of one of the 
oldest Connecticut families, her ancestor, Jonathan Gillette, 
having come from England with the Rev. John Wareham and the 
emigrating church in 1630, and a few years later settled in Wind- 
sor. She was born February 27, 1749. 

Soon after their marriage they went to reside at Becket, Mass., 
being among the early settlers in the rugged and beautiful Berk- 
shire hills, which at that time were covered with woods and brush. 
Their homestead appears to have been held by the father, Cap- 
tain Joseph Higley, till his death, eighteen years later, when by 
the provisions in his will he gave to Joseph, 2d, " the lot on which 
he now dwells in Becket, Massachusetts Commonwealth." Here 
they lived the remainder of their lives. Azubah, the first year of 
her marriage, busied herself in teaching the town school, and, as 
was the custom of that day, her husband collected her earnings. 
On the Becket town records is the following item : 

" Voted November i ith 1773 to pay Joseph Higley's account for his wife keep- 
ing school the sum of \, IDS." 

He filled the office of town surveyor for several years, about the 
beginning of the present century. 

Joseph Higley, 2d, died December 17, 1823. His wife, Azubah 
(Gillette) Higley died fourteen months later February 13, 1825, 
at the age of seventy-six. They were interred in the old burial- 



288 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ground at Becket, where tombstones, bearing the simple inscrip- 
tion of the names and dates of decease, mark the spot where they 
were laid. Children of Joseph and Azubah Gillette Higley : 

Joseph Higley, 3d, born April 25, 1774. Sarah, born March 
18, 1778; died October 28, 1782. Isaac, born May 30, 1776; died 
June 15, 1776. Silas, born September 23, 1780. Philena, born 
November 6, 1787. Minerva, born April 19, 1791 ; died April 6, 
1825. 



The following genealogical sketches of the descendants of 
Joseph Higley, 3d, were mainly prepared by the Hon. Brainard 
Spencer Higley of Youngstown, O. 

JOSEPH HIGLEY, 3d, was the first child and eldest son of Joseph 
Higley, 2d, and Azubah Gillette. He was born in Becket, Mass., 
April 25, 1774. Being a faithful student he obtained an education 
beyond the average young man of those times, and became a 
teacher whose praise was on the lips, in long after years, of those 
to whom he was instructor. He also practiced surveying. 

His marriage is thus recorded : 

"December 4th 1803. This day I joined in matrimony, Joseph Higley Jun. and 
Sybil Coggswell, both of Becket. " NATHANIEL KINGSLEY, Justice." 

Sybil Coggswell was born March 15, 1776. Leaving Becket with 
a family at that time numbering six children, they emigrated in 
October, 1815, to Windham, then Sharon, Portage County, O., 
arriving on the i9th of the month. Here they joined the colony 
of relatives and connections who had preceded them a few years 
before (1811) from Becket. Mr. Higley cleared the heavily 
timbered land of lot 54, the farm upon which he resided the 
remainder of his life, and which is still owned by his son, 
John Larkin Higley. He became a citizen highly esteemed 
and influential. He actively sustained the church, entered into 
military duties, and took part in all that pertained to the best 
welfare of the community. 

He died of a fever, October 18, 1825, and was interred in the 
Windham cemetery. 

His wife, Sybil (Coggswell) Higley, was a woman of iron con- 
stitution and of remarkable enterprise and industry. She died 
December i, 1864, aged eighty-eight years. 

Joseph, 3d, and Sybil (Coggswell) Higley were the parents of 




HON. BRAINARD S. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 289 

eight children, six of whom were born in Becket, Mass., and the 
two youngest in Windham, viz. : 

Sybil Rosella, born September 21, 1804; Joseph Nelson, born 
September 6, 1806; Sarah Melissa, born November 6, 1808; Ezra 
Coggswell, born August 22, 1810; Eliza Dewey, born April 22, 
1812; Henry Allen, born February 21, 1814; John Larkin, born 
January 17, 1816; and Oliver Brewster, born March 18, 1818. 

SYBIL ROSELLA, the oldest child of Joseph Higley, 3d, and Sybil Coggswell, 
was born in Becket, Mass., September 21, 1804; married, about 1832, David 
P. Robison, who was born January 15, 1805. The resided in Freedom, O., for 
many years, then in Danville, la., and again in Windham, O., where they died ; 
she died April 27, 1879, ne died January 22, 1880. His second wife was Eliza 
Dewey Higley Earl, sister to his first wife. They married September 17, 1879. 
No children by either marriage. 

JOSEPH NELSON, the eldest son of Joseph Higley, 3d, and Sybil Coggswell, 
was born in Becket, Mass., September 6, 1806. He married in Aurora, Portage 
County, O., May 2, 1832, Susan White Spencer, daughter of Deacon Brainard 
Spencer and Amy Camron (pioneers of the Western Reserve). She was born 
September 8, 1810, in Aurora. They resided at different periods in Windham, 
Aurora, Twinsburg, Harmon, and Youngstown, O. He was a hardworking man, 
and, although of limited education, was quite a reader and well informed. He 
died in Youngstown, March 17, 1879. After his death his widow resided with her 
daughter, Mrs. Harriet Allen, in Harmar, O., where she died, June 23, 1890. 

Children -.Joseph Brainard, born November n, 1833, died July 18, 1834 ; Brain- 
ard Spencer, born September i, 1837, in Windham, O.; Harriet Anna, born Sep- 
tember 29, 1843, i* 1 Aurora, O. 

[The following sketch of the Hon. Brainard Higley is chiefly 
taken from the " History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties," 
Ohio. THE EDITOR.] 

Brainard S., Joseph Nelson, Joseph, 3d, Joseph, 2d, Captain Joseph, Brewster, ist, Captain 
John Higley. 

BRAINARD SPENCER HIGLEY, the eldest surviving son of Joseph 
Nelson Higley and his wife, Susan White Spencer, was born in 
Windham, O., September i, 1837. He removed with his parents 
to Aurora, O., in 1840, and thence to Twinsburg, O., in 1849. 
Here he received his preparation for college at the Twinsburg 
Literary Institute, and entered the Western Reserve College, 
from which he was graduated in 1859 with third honors of his 
class. He studied law at the Cleveland Law College, also with 
the Hon. Sherlock I. Andrews, and the law firm of " Hitchcock, 
Mason, and Estep," and was admitted to the bar at Wooster, 
O., July 2, 1860. 



290 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY, 

On the ist of January, 1861, he married, at Twinsburg, O., 
Isabella R. Stevens, daughter of Dr. John G. Stevens, who was 
born in Nelson, O., August 15, 1838. They established their 
home at Youngstown, O. Here Mr. Higley was soon recognized 
as a painstaking and reliable counselor and attorney, qualities 
which peculiarly fitted him for the settlement of estates and the 
management of causes growing out of business transactions. 

In 1863, during the Civil War, Mr. Higley became a member 
of the National Guard, of which there were three companies in 
Youngstown. In April, 1864, Governor Brough ordered the 
whole force of Ohio National Guard to report on May 10, for 
active service for one hundred days. The Youngstown com- 
panies became a part of the i55th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 
Colonel H. H. Sage. B. S. Higley was corporal of Company D. 
The regiment was mustered into service at Camp Dennison, and 
immediately afterward sent to Martinsburg, Va. Subsequent 
orders took it to Washington, D. C., White House Landing, City 
Point, Bermuda Hundred, Norfolk, and other points, making a 
raid through the Dismal Swamp to Elizabeth City, N. C. 

While at Norfolk, on garrison duty in an entrenched camp, 
the whole regiment, and particularly the Youngstown troops, 
sickened. The climate seemed deadly to them. Very few 
escaped illness, many died, and large numbers were disabled. 
When the Youngstown companies were mustered out of service, 
August 27, and returned home, they excited and received 
commiseration from the hearts of the entire community. 

Brainard S. Higley's health was permanently impaired by the 
ordeal through which he had passed. 

"Just before entering service he had been elected mayor of 
Youngstown; a new marshal and council had also been chosen. 
These all enlisted for the war before assuming the duties of their 
respective offices, leaving the town to be governed temporarily by 
the old officials whose terms had expired. On the return of the 
regiment 'the incumbents-elect took their places. Mr. Higley 
filled the office of mayor two years, 1864-65. 

"In 1867 he entered into a business enterprise at Marietta, O., 
to which place he removed with his family and resided eight 
years. The business proving a failure and the stockholders 
suffering considerable loss, Mr. Higley returned to Youngs- 
town in 1875, and has since devoted himself closely to the prac- 
tice of his profession. With two exceptions he is the oldest 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 291 

member of the present bar. He is a lawyer rather than an 
advocate, and is particularly successful in causes requiring careful 
preparation and close, tedious study. As a citizen and man he 
is held in high esteem." 

Children of Brainard Spencer and Isabella (Stevens) Higley: 
John Stevens Higley, born October 20, 1861, died December 18, 
1865; Belle, born May 27, 1863, died September 17, 1863; Ruth 
Isabella, born May 22, 1866, died October 8, 1871; Joseph Nelson, 
born September i, 1868; Brainard Spencer, Jr., born January 13, 
1871; George, born February 3, 1872; Henry Brewster, born 
April 30, 1873, died November 24, 1873; Almon Knox, born 
February 14, 1878, died January 20, 1880. 

JOSEPH NELSON HIGLEY, the eldest surviving child of Brainard Spencer Higley, 
finished his course of study at the Rayen School, Youngstown, O., from which he 
was graduated June 18, 1889. 

As valedictorian of his class he made himself a record by the delivery of an 
oration which was worthy of, and received the highest plaudits from, the large 
number of citizens who filled the Opera House on the occasion. His subject was 
" Uncle Sam." 

He has chosen the legal profession, and is now pursuing the study of law under 
his father. 

Continued by the Hon. Brainard S. Higley. 

HARRIET ANNA HIGLEY, the youngest child of Joseph Nelson Higley (4th), was 
born in Aurora, O., September 29, 1843 ; married April 7, 1870, to George Luman 
Allen, who was born October 29, 1844. Since marriage they have resided in 
Harman, Washington County, O. 

Children : Charles Ethan Allen, born February 21, 1871; Florence May Allen, 
born August 26, 1872. 

SARAH MELISSA HIGLEY, third child of Joseph Higley, 3d, and his wife Sybil 
Coggswell (page 289), born in Becket, Mass., November 6, 1808, married, December 
IO, 1829, Elijah Adams Scott, who was the son of John Scott, and born in Becket, 
Mass., November 28, 1800. She died March 18, 1836. He died November n, 
1880, having on March i, 1837, married, as his second wife, Sarah Ann Under- 
wood, who survived him. 

Children of Sarah Melissa (Higley) and Elijah Adams Scott : 

JOSEPH STILLMAN SCOTT, born in Freedom, O., December 22, 1830; married 
Ann Eliza Purdy, December 25, 1850. They have one son, Frank Ellsworth, 
born July 20, 1862. They live in Donaldsonville, Marshall County, Ind. 

JULIA ELIZA, born in Freedom, O., December 17, 1833. Married Josiah B. 
Whippy, December 18, 1880; no children. They reside in Atwater, O. 

SARAH MELISSA, born in Freedom, O. , February 24, 1836. Married Isaac N. 
\Vilcox, May 26, 1857. They live in Windham, O. 

" In answer to the first call for troops in April, 1861, Lieutenant Isaac N. Wil- 



292 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

cox enlisted in Company F, 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served three 
months as second lieutenant. He afterward raised a cavalry company which was 
attached to the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and served as first lieutenant till near 
the close of the war, when he received a captain's commission. 

" Lieutenant Wilcox took an active part in the famous battle of the Wilderness, 
and in many other battles under General Grant, and in marches from the Rapidan 
to the James River." * 

Their children : 

Ida Melissa, born July 17, 1858; married, May II, 1886, Aaron B. Pinney; live 
in Windham, O. Scott Stillman, born June 14, 1864. Wesley Walter, born August 
31, 1881. 

EZRA GOGGSWELL HIGLEY, the fourth child of Joseph Higley, 3d, and his wife 
Sybil Coggswell, was born in Becket, Mass., August 22, 1810. Married, October 
28, 1835, Amanda A. Messenger. She died March 14, 1886. 

In 1838, three years after his marriage, he was induced to go to the then far 
West, accompanying his father-in-law, Hiram Messenger, on a visit to Iowa. 
Finding the broad prairies awaiting the husbandman, they decided that that 
should be their future home. The spring of 1839 found Ezra and his family 
in Danville, Des Moines County, la., where he resided till his death. He 
was one of the first and most substantial men who pioneered that State. He 
and his wife celebrated their golden wedding October 28, 1885. His wife died 
March 14, 1886. Ezra C. Higley died January 24, 1892, aged eighty-one years 
and five months. 

Their children : 

Sybil A., Harriet M., Henry H., Emily M., Mary P., born in Danville, la., 
May 9, 1855; died December 7, 1868. 

SYBIL A. HIGLEY, the eldest daughter, born in Windham, O., September 5, 
1836. Married, October, 1859, William H. Stewart. They have always resided in 
Danville, la. Their children : 

Edward E. Stewart, born October 3, 1860; married, December 23, 1884, Blanche 
Bodeboun, and lives in Oberlin, Kans. ; have one daughter, Edna Day, born Sep- 
tember 17, 1886. Alice M. Stewart, born October 9, 1862 ; married, December 
23, 1885, William Hunt; resides in Burlington, la.; they have two daughters, 
Clara L. and Helen E. Clara B. Stewart, born January i, 1867; married William 
Hanna, November 5, 1890. 

HARRIET M. HIGLEY, second daughter of Ezra C. and Amanda A. Higley, was 
born in Windham, O., February 5, 1838. Married, January 29, 1868, Judson A. 
Scovel. She died May, 1874, leaving the following children : 

Luman W. Scovel, born January 15, 1871, lives in Tucasto, la.; EJfie D. Scovel, 
born December I, 1873, died October, 1874. 

HENRY H. HIGI.EY, eldest son of Ezra C. Higley, was born in Danville, la., 
April 4, 1842. Married, January 30, 1867, Mary E. Minson. Has always lived in 
Danville, la., and is a farmer. 

Henry H. Higley enlisted August 25, 1862, in the i$th Iowa Infantry, and 
was with his regiment until the close of the war. Was with General Sherman 
from the time he left Grand Junction, through the seige of Vicksburg and Grand 
Gulf. Thence went to Atlanta, Ga., and was in both battles, 22d and 28th ; 
and then in the flank movement that forced Hood to surrender ; was with Sherman 
on his march to the sea. Was in Raleigh when Lee surrendered. He was in 
eighteen battles. He was honorably discharged August 5, 1865, at the close of 
the war. 

1 " History of Portage County, Ohio," p. 924. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 293 

His children are : 

Nellie A., born March I, 1869 ; died October 23, 1878. Twin girls, born July 
22, 1876. Frank //., born August 2, 1880. Pearl M., born May 15, 1887. 

EMILY M. HIGLEY, fourth child of Ezra C. Higley, was born in Danville, la., 
September 19, 1846, and resided with her father on the home farm. 

ELIZA DEWEY HIGLEY, fifth child of Joseph, 3d, and Sybil Coggswell Higley, 
was born in Becket, Mass., April 22, 1812. Married in Windham, O., June 15, 
1834, James Earl, who was born November 25, 1807. He died November 28, 
1846. Her second husband was David P. Robison, whom she married September 

17, 1879. He died January 22, 1880. Mrs. Robison died 1888. She was a re- 
markable woman. Left a widow upon a farm, with three children, the eldest only 
eight years of age, the youngest an invalid, incurable, and often helpless, and her 
aged mother, who soon became weak mentally and a serious charge, she managed 
her farm and business successfully, acquired a competence, educated and reared her 
children to adult years, and tenderly cared for and nursed her mother until she died, 
aged over eighty-eight years. Notwithstanding all her labors and cares, Mrs. 
Robison lived an active life till her decease in 1888. Her children, all of first 
marriage, are : 

ORLANDO LYCURGUS EARL, born July 22, 1838. He enlisted, September 20, 
1861, as private in Company A, 42d Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel 
James A. Garfield (subsequently President of the United States) commanding ; was 
in Camp Chase twelve weeks. The regiment was a part of the force sent in Decem- 
ber, 1861, up the Big Sandy, Virginia. Took part in the battle of Middle Creek, 
January 10, 1862 ; went down the Ohio to Louisville, Ky., then to Cumberland 
Gap. From the Gap, supplies being cut off, was forced to retreat, and reached the 
Ohio River at Greenupsburg in the fall of 1862 ; went to Memphis, Tenn., and was 
with Sherman in his unsuccessful attack upon Vicksburg ; was in Grant's army dur- 
ing the campaign that resulted in the capture of Vicksburg. During the rest of his 
term of service he was on or near the Mississippi River ; was honorably discharged 
at Columbus, O., September 30, 1864, never having received a wound or been ill 
one day. He married, December n, 1865, Emily J. Cutts, who was born April 

18, 1842. He lives in Windham, O., and has the following children : 

Edwin C., born July 6, 1868 ; Mabel A., born June I, 1870; Enise B. t born 
September II, 1873. 

EDWIN D. EARL, second son of James and Eliza Higley Earl, born June 17, 1841, 
enlisted in Company I, I7ist Regiment Ohio National Guard, in April, 1864 ; 
ordered to Johnson's Island to guard Confederate prisoners there. During Mor- 
gan's raid the regiment was sent to Kentucky, and the subject of this sketch was 
killed at Keller's Bridge, in the engagement June II, 1864. Windham never had 
a young man who was more highly esteemed, more loved, and more generally 
lamented. 

ELIZABETH A. EARL, born March n, 1846; died February 3, 1870. 

HENRY ALLEN HIGLEY, the sixth child of Joseph, 3d, and Sybil Coggswell Hig- 
ley, born in Becket, Mass., February 21, 1814, married, May 7, 1840, Mary E. 
Seeley, who was born October 16, 1821, and died October 4, 1866. His second 
wife was Marion M. Udall, born April 16, 1842. This marriage took place Novem- 
ber 7, 1867. His wife died October 7, 1870. His third wife is Sarah Joslyn, who 
20 



2 94 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

was born April 6, 1825, and to whom he was married August 24, 1871. He has 
lived in Windham since 1815, is a farmer, and one of the substantial and highly 
respected citizens of the town. He has repeatedly held offices of trust. His chil- 
dren are as follows ; all of them by first marriage except the last, who is of the 
second : 

Henry James. Charles Olin, born March 5, 1852 ; died January II, 1862. 
Nettie M., born May 25, 1855, resides in Cleveland, O. Frank S., born March 7, 
1869, resides in Windham. 

HENRY JAMES HIGLEY, the eldest son, was born in Windham, O., June 30, 1849 ; 
married, December I, 1870, Virginia A. Little. He is a painter by trade, and re- 
sides in Windham, O. Children: 

Warren William, born July 7, 1874 ; died October 23, 1877. James Little, 
born August II, 1880. Thomas William, \yon\ March 4, 1882. George Henry, 
born September 22, 1884. 

JOHN LARKIN HIGLEY, the seventh child of Joseph, 3d, and Sybil Coggswell 
Higley, was born in Windham O., January 17, 1816, and married, March 2, 1841, 
Elizabeth K. Frary, who was born in Becket, Mass., November 12, 1820. 

Mr. Higley bears the reputation of being one of the most successful farmers of 
the township. His farm is the original land which his father, Joseph Higley, 
3d, settled upon on his arrival in Windham in 1815. He has served as justice of 
the peace and held other town offices. Windham has no more reputable or 
worthy citizen than he. During the Civil War he did a noble work by faithfully 
rendering very efficient aid to the families of soldiers who were at the front. He 
is an honored and active member of the Presbyterian Church. Children of John 
Larkin and Elizabeth K. Frary Higley : 

Infant son, born and died March 12, 1842 ; Ophelia L., Joseph Larkin, Emma 
E., Halbert D., born November II, 1853 ; lives in Windham. Belle A., born 
April 26, 1857. Francis S., born July 16, 1859. 

OPHELIA L., the eldest daughter, born October 4, 1843, resides in Windham. 

JOSEPH LARKIN, eldest son of John Larkin and Elizabeth Frary Higley, was 
born January 23, 1847 ; married, October 31, 1876, Jennie A. Scott, who was born 
March 12, 1858. He is engaged in business in Canton, O. Children : 

Ethel, born May 3, 1880 ; died January 22, 1883. Etta, born September, 1883. 

EMMA E., daughter of John Larkin and Elizabeth Frary Higley, was born in 
Windham, O., May 25, 1849 ; married, August 12, 1880, N. S. Kellogg, and resides 
on a farm in Claridon, Geauga County, O. Children : 

Gertrude Belle, born February 7, 1882. John Sherman, born August 14, 1883. 

OLIVER BREWSTER HIGLEY, the eighth and youngest child of Joseph, 3d, and 
Sybil Coggswell Higley, was born in Windham, O., March 18, 1818 ; married, 
August 1 8, 1846, Eunice D. Johnson, who was born March 5, 1824. They resided 
in Danville, la., where on August 15, 1847, there was born to them a son, Milton 
B. Mrs. Eunice D. Higley died Angust 18, 1847. Oliver B. Higley married, June 
4, 1849, his second wife, Betsy Case, who was born June 4, 1827. About this time 
he removed to \Vindham, O., where he died, February 19, 1866. He was an indus- 
trious and thrifty citizen, a worthy member of society. His widow resides with her 
son, Edwin E. Higley, in Windham. The children by second marriage are : 

Charles W., born May 30, 1850. Mary Francis, born August 20, 1851 ; died 




WILLIAM E. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 295 

September 23, 1888 (unmarried). Julia A., born May 27, 1854 ; died August 13, 
1858. Clinton A., born July 13, 1859, a printer, resides in Minneapolis, Minn. 
Edwin E., born March 13, 1864. 

MILTON B. HIGLEY, the only child by the first marriage, was born in Danville, 
la., August 15, 1847; married, September 21, 1875, Celia Castle, who was born 
Febuary n, 1855. He is employed in a factory in Ashtabula, O. Their children : 

Ettie M. y born September, 19, 1878. Flossy M., born June 5, 1884. 

CHARLES W. HIGLEY, the eldest son of Oliver B. and Betsey Case Higley, born 
May 30, 1850 ; married, December 7, 1872, Lovena A. Weed, who was born 
August 12, 1850. He is a farmer and resides in Windham, O. Their children: 

Verna M., born December 7, 1874. Lena M., born June 20, 1876. 

EDWIN E. HIGLEY, the youngest son, born March 13, 1864 ; married, January 19, 
1886, Lucy Barnum, who was born May 12, 1863. He is a farmer and resides in 
Windham, O., in the house formerly owned by his father, Oliver B. Higley. 



SILAS HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 

Silas, Joseph, 2d, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
Continued from page 288. 

We now return to the direct line of Joseph Higley, ad, son of 
Captain Joseph, ist. 

SILAS HIGLEY, the fourth child of Joseph Higley, 2d, and 
Azubah Gillette, was born at Becket, Mass., September 23, 1780. 
He lived and died in Becket. On the 3oth of October, 1805, he 
married Deborah Messenger, who was born October 15, 1783. 
The marriage ceremony was performed by " George Conant, 
Justice." 

Silas Higley died June 9, 1864, at the age of eighty-four. His 
wife died March 9, 1857. They had six children, as follows: 

Silas Orlando, Deborah Laverna, twins, born August 28, 1806. 
Edwin Wood, born August 15, 1808; died March 7, 1844. Lueian 
Arthur, born April 13, 1810; died November 14, 1844. William 
Dwight, born January n, 1812; died November 28, 1817. Emily 
Aurelia, born September 27, 1813; died May 21, 1839. 

Of the above family SILAS ORLANDO, who was known altogether 
by his middle name, Orlando, married Lucinda Davis, May 13, 
1831. They reside in Becket. They had one child, George Edwin, 
born April 23, 1862, who died the following September. 

DEBORAH LAVERNA, his twin sister, married Myron B. Maltoon 
of Lenox, Mass. Their children were : George Myron, born 
October 9, 1834; Catherine Laverna, born June 20, 1837; Charles 
Giddings, born April i, 1839. Deborah (Higley) Maltoon died in 
Lenox, Mass., January 30, 1882. 



29 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

LUCIAN ARTHUR, the fourth child of Silas Higley, married 
Morilla N. Church of Middlefield, Mass., October n, 1831. 
They resided in Becket, Mass. He died November 14, 1844. His 
wife died January 18, 1870. 

Their children : Charles Wright and William Edward. 

CHARLES WRIGHT HIGLEY, born January 15, 1835, married 
Ann Miller of Lenox, Mass., November 21, 1858. He died June 
22, 1863. 

WILLIAM EDWARD HIGLEY was born September 23, 1837. His 
early education was obtained in the public schools. His father 
dying when he was but seven years of age, the care and solicitude 
of the family came upon the mother. William was thus early 
initiated into the responsibilities of life. Employment was found 
for him on a farm at Middlefield. When a youth of sixteen he 
went to Pittsfield, Mass., to learn the trade of tailoring, and 
afterward opened a tailoring establishment in Middlefield. 
Later on he removed to Becket, where he conducted a merchant 
tailoring business for many years. 

Mr. Higley displayed originality and ability in the art of cut- 
ting garments, and became widely and popularly known in his line 
of business. He wrote a series of articles for Scott's Mirror of 
Fashion, and other trade periodicals, which, attracted very con- 
siderable attention, and were republished in the columns of The 
Tailor and Cutter, in London. The many inquiries that came to 
him from these articles, instigated him to originate and patent a 
system of cutting, the best points of which have been adopted in 
nearly all of the systems of cutting garments now in use. 

In 1880 Mr. Higley opened a grocery house, and later he pur- 
chased an apothecary store, in which business he is now engaged. 

William E. Higley is a member of the Congregational Church 
in Becket, which he has served for many years as collector and 
treasurer. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity. 

Music happily being one of his delights, he entered its realm, 
devoting a considerable amount of time to its practice. He is a 
successful instructor, teaching in private schools, and for thirty- 
two years he played a Boehm flute at the church services, and con- 
ducted the singing. 

The cause of education has long laid upon Mr. Higley's heart, 
in which he takes practical interest, having served for some time 
as chairman of the school board of his town. 

On the ist of January, 1860, William E. Higley married Maria 




CHARLES W. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 297 

A. Miller of Stockbridge, Mass. They are the parents of three 
children, viz. : 

Charles William, born November 18, 1864; Arthur Lucian, born 
April 4, 1868; and Anna Morilla, born January 4, 1870. 

CHARLES WILLIAM HIGLEY, the eldest child of 'William E. and Maria A. (Miller) 
Higley, was born in Becket, Mass., November 18, 1864. His early education was 
obtained at a private school in that town ; later on he attended the high school at 
Stockbridge, Mass., and afterward was a student at the Wesleyan Academy, 
Wilbraham, Mass. During the year 1882 he took the responsibility of becoming a 
teacher,his mental power advancing him at an early age. He accepted a position in 
the school at West Becket. The following year, on obtaining a State scholarship, 
he entered the Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute, from which he was graduated 
July, 1886, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science. 

The same year he entered the engineering department of the Boston Bridge 
Works. By nature and habit industrious, he has proved, in this connection, thor- 
oughly efficient, his ability, energy, and activity challenging the respect and admira- 
tion of the company. He now holds a responsible position, being its representative. 

In his early boyhood Charles W. Higley developed a bent for music, in which he 
was indulged, and his development was such that he performed on the organ at the 
church services in his native town at the age of thirteen, continuing as organist for 
three years. 

He resides in Boston, Mass. 

ARTHUR LUCIAN HIGLEY, the second child qf William E. and Maria A. (Miller) 
Higley, was born in Becket, Mass., January 4, 1868. Scarcely one year of his life 
had passed when he was made deaf by the effects of an attack of measles. Every 
effort has been made by his parents to make the life of this most promising child 
both enjoyable and useful. 

He received an excellent education at the Clarke Institution for the Instruction 
of Mutes, at Northampton, Mass., where he was a student ten years. Here he 
learned the cabinetmakers' trade, making himself a reputation for his clever work- 
manship, and showing himself thoroughly possessed of mechanical genius. 

He resides with his parents in Becket, following his trade, in which he excels in 
turning out fine and beautiful work. To all who meet him, his bright, intelligent 
face and attractive bearing at once give evidence of his unusual natural abilities. 

ANNA M. HIGLEY, the third and youngest child of William E. and Maria A. 
(Miller) Higley, was born in Becket, Mass., January 4, 1870. 

Her first school days were at a private school in Becket. She pursued her studies 
and was graduated at the Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Mass. She afterward 
taught for ten school terms. 

On the igth of March, 1891, she married Fred M. Burleigh of Chester, Mass., in 
which town they now reside. 

Continued from pagt a88. 

PHILENA HIGLEY, the fifth child of Joseph Higley, 2d, and Azu- 
bah (Gillette) Higley, was born in Becket, Mass., November 6, 
1787. She married, July 5, 1813, John Milton Brewster, M. D., 



298 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

who was born in Becket, Mass., October 22, 1789. Dr. Brewster 
was one of the most eminent physicians of his State. 

The following sketch was furnished by a descendant : 

Philena Higley inherited the sterling qualities of her ancestry. 
Reared in a quiet New England town, improving the advantages 
of the village school, and imbibing the religious sentiment of a 
Christian home, the foundations of a strong character were laid. 

The delicate physique and refined face of the young girl con- 
cealed her power of endurance. When Philena was fourteen 
years of age her mother became abed-ridden invalid, and Philena 
was called to fill her place. Right cheerfully did she accept the 
trust. To this young housekeeper soon came another charge 
a child to claim her care. She adopted this niece (a twin daugh- 
ter of her brother Silas), who was ever after as an own daughter. 

The year 1813 brought another change to this young woman. 
Dr. John M. Brewster, a native of the same town, and a promising 
young physician, claimed her as his bride and took her to their new 
home, the adopted niece going with them. 

This proved an eminently Christian home, noted for its hos- 
pitality and resources : the sick were relieved ; the slave found 
refuge; and the sorrowful were always comforted; there was 
always room for the stranger, and few were the months extending 
through a long life when some needy person was not sharing Mrs. 
Brewster's attention. 

There are to-day many men of prominence who speak of her as 
" mother," because they owe their success in life to her encourage- 
ment and advice. 

Her daily life of patience, hope, love, and charity was her best 
teaching ; and although never robust, she was spared to her 
loved ones until she had numbered eighty-eight years, when she 
passed as peacefully away as a little child lies down to its sleep. 
"Her children rise up and call her blessed." 

Mrs. Philena Higley Brewster died at her home in Pittsfield, 
Mass., January 21, 1876. Her husband, Dr. John M. Brewster, 
died May 3, 1869. 

Children of Dr. John M. and Philena Higley Brewster : 
Flavia Jerusha, born June 20, 1814 ; died April 27, 1821. Oliver 
Ellsworth, born January 30, 1816, married ; died Septem- 
ber 12, 1866. John Milton, 2d, born November 28, 1817, married 

; resides in Monson, Mass. Joseph Higley, born January 

27, 1820, married ; resides in Monson, Mass. Flavia 




ARTHUR L. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 299 

Jerusha, 2d, born May 23, 1822 ; married Franklin W. Gibbs of 
Lee, Mass. Henry Badger, born April 14, 1824, resides in Pitts- 
field, Mass. William Cullen, born May n, 1827; died September 
19, 1847. Sarah Philena, born September 20, 1829; married Robert 
W. Adam of Pittsfield, Mass. Mary Minerva, born January 24, 
1832; married George H. Laflin of Chicago, 111., and resides in 
that city. 

MINERVA HIGLEY SCOTT. 
Continued frontpage 288. 

MINERVA HIGLEY, the sixth and youngest child of Joseph 
Higley, 2d, and Azubah Gillette, was born in Becket, Mass., 
April 12, 1791. She married Linius Scott, May 27, 1824, the 
Rev. J. L. Mills officiating. 

On the 22d of March, 1825, she gave birth to a son, Joseph Hig- 
ley, after which her strength never rallied ; she died April 6, 1825. 

JOSEPH HIGLEY SCOTT, her only child, became a faithful and successful clergy- 
man in the Presbyterian Church. He removed to the Western Reserve, where he 
preached for many years, beloved and honored. Metropolis, 111., was afterward 
his home, where he died after an illness of many weeks, leaving a family with a 
very comfortable living. His death took place February 26, 1879. The funeral 
services were conducted by the Rev. S. M. Burton of Golconda, 111., assisted by 
the Rev. B. Y. George of Cairo. Mr. Burton preached from Revelations xiv. 13. 

" A large audience of sympathizing friends filled the church in which Mr. Scott so 
long and faithfully labored as pastor, and kind hands laid tenderly away the 
remains of one whom they will ever remember with affection, for his genial nature 
and untiring devotion to the cause of Christ, and the good of his fellow-man. Mr. 
Scott was a marked man methodical in all things, he accomplished, without any 
ostentation, more than most men with greater strength are able to do. Though a 
quiet man, his convictions were always outspoken, and his influence for good in 
the community was very great. He will long be remembered by a community who 
sympathize with his family for their great loss, and who sensibly realize that one of 
its most justly honored citizens has gone to a sure reward." 



CHAPTER XLII. 

MICAH HIGLEY AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 

Micah, ist, Captain Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

Continued front page 286. 

MICAH HIGLEY, the second son of Joseph Higley, ist, and his 
second wife, Sarah Case, was born at Higley-town, Simsbury, 
Conn., January 12, 1743. He married Olive Adams, who was also 
of Simsbury, January 5, 1774. 

On the 3oth of the previous November, 1773, Micah Higley 
purchased a home in Becket, Mass., " House lot, No. 44," for the 
" sum of ;6o. " His father having also set apart land for his sons 
in Becket, Micah and his wife removed here soon after their 
marriage. They owned and settled on lot No. 48. 

His sister Sarah, who had married James Rudd less than two 
months previously, also removed with her husband to Becket, 
the two families living neighbors. 

The married life of Micah and Olive Higley was cut short in a 
little less than five years by a distressing accident. On the 
morning of December 19, 1778, a light snow having fallen in the 
night, Micah and his brother-in-law, Mr. Rudd, went to the 
woods to shoot deer, neither of them knowing that the other was 
out. Micah wore a deer-skin cap. Mr. Rudd, while stealthily 
watching about, caught glimpse of a moving object behind a 
fallen tree top, and supposing it to be a deer, took aim and dis- 
charged his gun. To his horror on approaching his game, as 
he thought, he discovered that he had shot and killed his brother- 
in-law, Micah Higley. The fatal accident caused a great shock 
to the neighbors and friends, and plunged Mr. Rudd into bitter 
emotions, but regrets were fruitless. 

The interment took place in the old Becket burial-ground. 
The tombstone bears this inscription : 

flfcfcab f>f0leg 

wbo was sbot an& Ofefc instantlg 
Dec 10tb 1778 
35 gears. 
300 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 301 

His widow, Olive (Adams) Higley, was left with two young 
sons, Micah, Jr., born January 25, 1776, and Benjamin, born 
November 30, 1777. 

She married, October n, 1779, Elijah Alford, Jr. (see p. 177), 
who was cousin to her husband, and in 1811 removed to Wind- 
ham, Portage County, O. , where they brought up a family of six 
children. She died September 16, 1827, near Windham. Her 
grave is marked by a tombstone in the Windham cemetery. 

The birth of Micah Higley, Jr., son of Micah Higley and Olive 
Adams, is found upon the Records at Becket, Mass., as follows : 

" Micah Higley, son of Micah and Olive Higley, born in Becket, February 9, 1776." 

He was baptized July 2, 1786. The same Town Records an- 
nounce his marriage thus: 

"Micah Higley and Mehitable May Bowen married at Becket, Sept. i3th, 1703." 

Mehitable M. Bowen was born in Roxbury, Mass., January 8, 

1783- 

On the i2th of May, 1808, they were together admitted to the 
church in Becket in full membership. 

On the death of their grandfather, Joseph Higley, ist, in 1790, 
Micah and his brother Benjamin received a legacy of lands at 
Becket, where Micah and his wife then resided, and where the 
five eldest of their family of ten children were born. 

In June, 1816, they removed to Augusta, N. Y., then to Whites- 
boro, Oneida County, in that State. Here they lived till the 
summer of 1833, when they removed to Windham, Portage 
County, O. Here they were received into the church by letter 
from New York Mills, N. Y., October 17, 1833. 

Micah Higley died May 14, 1841. His wife died January 20, 
1839. They were buried in the Windham cemetery. Their 
children: Cumberland W., Ebenezer, Abigail Smith, Olive, Martha 
Porter, Mary W. and Eliza Bowen twins, Harriet Newell, Eunice 
Washburn, and Henry. 

CUMBERLAND W., born in Becket, Mass., December 7, 1805. In 1826 he went 
afoot from Madison County, N. Y., to Portage County, O., making the journey in 
thirty days. He carried a gun on his shoulder, with which he supported himself 
the most of the way. He died of malarial fever at Windham, O., October 12, 
1827. He never married. 

EBENEZER, the second son of Micah Higley, Jr., was born in Becket, Mass., 
June 25, 1807. He was an earnest Presbyterian. While pursuing his theological 
studies at Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, O., intending to enter the ministry, he con- 



302 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

traded a severe cold, which ended in consumption. He finished his course of 
study, but never was able to enter the pulpit. He died November 15, 1837. 
Unmarried. 

ABIGAIL SMITH HIGLEY, third child of Micah Higley, Jr., born at Becket, Mass., 
June 6, 1809, married John H. Clark at Windham, O., March 4, 1839. Lives at 
Bell Centre, Wis. Children : 

Florilla, married Davis, and lives in Patch Grove, Wis. Theodore IV., 

who served in the Union Army in a Wisconsin regiment during the Civil War ; 

resides at Bell Centre, Wis. Mary, married Russell, and, second, John 

Harmon, who resides in Arizona. 

OLIVE HIGLEY, the fourth child of Micah Higley, Jr., born February 22, 1812, 
at Becket ; died at Windham, O., February 6, 1841 ; unmarried. 

MARTHA PORTER HIGLEY, the fifth child of Micah Higley, Jr., born in Becket, 
January 29, 1815; married Charles Curtiss, January 22, 1845 ; died of cancer, Sep- 
tember 9, 1873. Children : 

Ar delta Lee, born December 10, 1845 ; married Severus Hoard, September 3, 

1868. Marcus, born December 14, 1847 ; married , lives at Leroy, Mich. 

Augustus H., born May 20, 1850, lives at Scott, Van Wirt County, O. Katie 
Augusta, born October 5, 1852; married Benjamin C. Roberts, March 6, 1879 ; lives 
at Rich wood, Union County, O. Gains, born February 6, 1857 ; lives at Galena, 
Delaware County, O. 

MARY WILLIAMS HIGLEY, a twin, and the sixth child of Micah Higley, Jr., born 
at Augusta, N. Y., September 18, 1816, married Benjamin B. Clark at Windham, O., 
1836. He died 1845. Second marriage to Samuel W. Forman of Newton Falls, 
O., February 17, 1847. She died May 3, 1887, at Braceville, O. Children by 
first husband: 

JOHN B., born April 10, 1838, married Elizabeth A. Price, February, 1867. He 
was four years in the Civil War, Company D, 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Re- 
sides in Big Rapids, Mich. 

LOUISA M., born February 8, 1842, married, first, 1859, Earl B. Johnson, who 
served during the war on General Kirby Smith's staff, and died, 1865, at Shreveport, 
La.; married, second, A. R. Russell of Newton Falls, O., April, 1867, where she 
now resides. 

Children by second marriage : 

FRANCES LEVINA, born November 19, 1847, at Green, O. ; married Cyrus L. 
North of Braceville, O., November I, 1870. Cyrus L. North served in the Union 
Army during the Civil War. They have two daughters, twins, Jessie M. and 
Grace C., born May 19, 1875. They reside at Braceville, O. 

CATHERINE ELIZA, born November 16, 1849 ; married, January 3, 1877, Thomas 
W. Harrison, who died July 20, 1883, at Lapeer, Mich.; married, second, at Big 
Rapids, Mich., Stewart Gorton, August 5, 1884. Mr. Gorton served three years in 
the Union Army during the Civil War. They reside at Luzerne, Mich. Children : 

Mark P. Harrison, born January 29, 1878 ; died December 19, 1880, and an 
infant son, who was born and died July 8, 1879. 

EMMA ORMSBY, born April 4, 1854 ; married, April 19, 1882, Newton B. 
Allen. They have two sons, Charles Wallace and Arthur Newton. Reside at 
Braceville, O. 

CHARLES EDWARD, born June 27, 1857; died unmarried, April 5, 1882, at Brace- 
ville, O. 

ELIZA BOWEN HIGLEY, a twin, and the sixth child of Micah Higley, born Sep- 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 33 

tember iS, 1816, resided at Wellington, O. Her church letter was received at the 
Windham Church, from Whitesboro, N. Y., January 2, 1834. She had one child ; 
viz.: 

Samuel N. Alford, born in Braceville, O., 1842. Resides at Puget Sound. 

HARRIET NEWELL, the eighth child of Micah Higley, Jr., born at Augusta, N. Y., 
August 6, 1819 ; married William Russell, April 10, 1841. She died June 9, 1877. 
They had six sons and one daughter, six of whom are living ; no data furnished. 
One of the sons, Luman Russell, served three years in the Union Army in a 
Wisconsin regiment. 

EUNICE WASHBURN, the ninth child of Micah Higley, Jr., born Augusta, N. Y., 
October 17, 1821 ; married, April 7, 1845, Nathaniel E. Marcy. They reside at 
Wellington, O., being among the early settlers of the town, and among its most esti- 
mable citizens. Mr. Marcy was active and outspoken in the Abolition cause in its 
early agitation, and voted one of the first two ballots cast in the town against the 
slavery question, which was then " mastering American politics." In their home 
they hospitably received and entertained many of the reformers and prominent lec- 
turers in the anti-slavery cause. Nathaniel E. Marcy died July 15, 1887. Children : 

ADELBERT EDWIN MARCY born August 2, 1846, enlisted in the 4ist Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry at the breaking out of the war, when only fifteen years of age, 
serving one year, when he was discharged for disability. He afterward re-enlisted 
in the 2d Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and served till the close of the war. He gained 
high laurels as a scout. Married Mary Nash, April, 1872. They have three sons : 
Kenneth Edwin, George, and Chalmer. Reside in Wellington, O. 

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON MARCY, the second son, was born March 18, 1848. 
In his fifteenth year, 1863, he enlisted in the 86th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regi- 
ment of six months' men. While doing picket duty, on a bitter cold winter's night, 
January I, 1864, his feet were frozen to his ankles, from the effects of which, 
after much suffering, he died in nineteen days at Camp Nelson, Ky. He was 
interred at Wellington, O. 

LORIN, born October 6, 1850, died aged ten months. 

LAURA PHEDYMA, born May 17, 1852, married Charles Manville, January 30, 
1872. He died October 17, 1886. They had children : 

Harry Chester, Mabel Ella, and Leon Jerome, Reside in La Grange, O. 

ELLA IRENE, the last child of Nathaniel and Eunice W. (Higley) Marcy, born 
September 12, 1854, married E. Chauncey Fowles, April 19, 1883, and resides in 
Cleveland, O. 

HENRY HIGLEY, the third son and youngest child of Micah Higley, Jr., born at 
Augusta, N. Y., married, September 7, 1850, Abbie L. Bugden of Andover, O. 
They reside at New Windsor, 111. Mr. Higley is well-to-do in the world. He 
was at one time engaged in the boot and shoe business, but for twenty years has 
been a farmer. 

His wife, Abbie L. Bugden, is a bright, noble-hearted woman, of genial tempera- 
ment, and possessing a highly poetic nature, with considerable talent for giving it 
expression. Her mother, Martha Upham Wade, was the daughter of James 
Wade, a soldier of the Revolution, who emigrated to Ashtabula County, 'Ohio, from 
Massachusetts, and sister to the late distinguished senator from Ohio, the Hon. 
Benjamin F. Wade. Her father was William Bugden, a native of Wethersfield, 
Conn., who emigrated from Sharon, Conn., to Ohio, during Mrs. Higley's infancy. 

Mrs. Higley composed a strikingly appropriate poem for the Higley reunion of 
1887, held at Ashtabula County, Ohio, which met with much acceptance on that 
interesting occasion. (See appendix.) 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 
Colonel Benjamin, Micah, ist, Captain Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

Men of great integrity and purity of life, who have no thought of pushing into any ambitious 
sphere, but only of doing with all their might the work which their hands find to do, are the salt 
of society, the strength of a nation, and it is not well that such should be forgot. GREV. 

BENJAMIN HIGLEY, son of Micah and Olive (Adams) Higley, 
was born at Becket, Mass., November 30, 1777. His baptism, 
with that of his only brother, Micah, Jr., is entered upon the 
register of the Becket Church as having taken place July 2, 1786. 

When an infant but one year old he was deprived of paternal 
care by the accidental and sudden death of his father; he had, 
however, careful training and admonition under his stepfather's 
guidance, Elijah Alford, 3d, 1 who was his father's cousin, and 
whom his mother married the year following the decease of the 
latter. 

There is but little placed before us to make us familiar with 
the earliest years of his life. As far as is known his education 
was received at the county school, and though, during his day, 
there was a growing indifference and degeneracy in the cause of 
education, he acquired a fair knowledge of the common branches. 

But the life of the clear-headed man of after years, endowed 
with brain as well as sinew, possessing wisdom, tact, and enter- 
prise, guided in his daily acting and living by the true spirit of 
the Sermon on the Mount, plainly indicated that his childhood 
surroundings had been such as developed the higher qualities of 
a manly nature. 

Lives such as the subject of this sketch are an exhortation to 
honesty of purpose and integrity; they stood for right, and have 
exercised an influence lasting and fruitful. 

The Becket Town Records show that Benjamin Higley entered 
his active career as a teacher, having taught the district school 
for several terms. In 1804 he was chosen one of the school 

1 Elijah Alford, zd, was the son of Elijah, Sr., and Hannah Higley Alford of Becket, Mass, 
(see page 177). 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 305 

committeemen for the town. From his early manhood he was 
ever after an earnest supporter of the cause of education. The 
same year he was elected constable of Becket. 

On the i6th of September, 1802, he married Sally McKown, 
who was born in Norwich, Conn., March 10, 1773. The young 
couple settled in Becket on farming lands owned by Benjamin 
Higley; and on the 6th of September, 1807, "Benjamin and Sally 
Higley " were together " admitted into full membership in the 
church." 

Soon after establishing a home of their own they took under 
their care and shelter an orphan, six years of age, named Eli 
Case, to whom they were foster-parents till he reached his 
majority. 

In the summer of 1810 a number of the residents of Becket 
became greatly stirred by the description which was given by one 
Captain Mills, of an unoccupied township in that large tract of 
land then known as the Connecticut Western Reserve in the new 
State of Ohio. Captain Mills had already emigrated to Nelson, 
the township just north of it, and had returned on a visit to his 
native town in old Berkshire. The township described by him 
was No. 4, range 6. 

The report led to much discussion, and resulted in the proposi- 
tion made by three or four neighbors to Benjamin Higley, that 
they would work for him one, day each if he would go to North- 
ampton (Mass.), and confer with Governor Strong, the principal 
owner of the tract, concerning his willingness to sell, and learn 
the terms of purchase. 

This service Mr. Higley promptly attended to, making the trip 
the first week in July, 1810. He returned, bringing a good report 
from Governor Strong. 

Having now a young family of three sons, whose future he con- 
sidered, with that of their adopted boy, and feeling assured that 
on reaching manhood they would not remain on the rocky farm- 
lands of the Becket hills, together with being, no doubt, prompted 
somewhat by the land speculative spirit which had swept over 
Connecticut, Mr. Higley favorably decided upon the serious 
undertaking of removal westward. 

Some weeks after the date above mentioned, on the loth of 
September, 1810, a number of men came together at the house of 
Thatcher Conant in Becket, and entered into contract "to pay 
their equal proportion of the expenses of exploring and viewing 



36 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

this township of land in ' New Connecticut,' to be paid over to 
the agents of the Company." 

Benjamin Higley was one of the signers of the contract. His 
stepfather, Elijah Alford, acted as clerk of the meeting. It was 

" Voted, that Dillingham Clark Esqr. and Jeremiah Lyman be agents to Explore 
Said Township," etc. 

These two men immediately set off on horseback for that 
densely wooded wilderness. Having performed the journey by 
the 3ist of October, a meeting was held at the house of Elijuh 
Alford to hear their report, which being favorable, Mr. Clark was 
appointed to apply to Governor Strong for the privilege of 
purchase; and at a subsequent meeting, held November 3, a com- 
mittee was chosen to devise a plan for dividing the township, if 
purchased. 

The negotiations with Governor Strong having been satis- 
factorily completed, which included the appraisal of the farms 
and real estate belonging to the purchasers in Becket, to be 
turned in by them toward payment for the township, an exchange 
of deeds by the agents of the company was ordered at a meeting 
held November 27, 1810. 

This tract of wild land contained " 14,845 acres more or less," 
and was purchased at $1.76 per acre. 1 

Having now obtained the township they next preceeded to 
apportion it among the members of the company, and assign to 
each individual his particular share. This was done by lot. By 
the i$th of March, 1811, the proprietors received their deeds, and 
discharged their agents. Except Dillingham Clark, who invested 
the largest amount of money and drew much the largest quantity 
of land, the stepfather and son, Elijah Alford and Benjamin 
Higley, drew the largest shares. 

The value of the deed received by Benjamin Higley was $2040. 
His original share, together with that of a separate purchase made 
by his wife, amounted to 1227 acres. To this he added by 
exchange and purchase, making the whole number of acres which 
he obtained more than thirteen hundred. 

The company reserved half of lot 56, near the center of the 

1 The names of the original purchasers were : Dillingham Clark, Benjamin Higley, Elijah 
Alford, Jeremiah Lyman, Enos Kinsley, Bille Messenger, Ebenezer N. Messenger, Aaron P. 
Jagger, John Seley, Nathan Birchard, Elisha Clark, Benjamin C. Perkins, Alpheus Streator, 
Thatcher Conant, Gideon Brush, Isaac Clark, Oliver Brewster, and Spencer Clark. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 307 

township, for "a public green, a burial-ground, and the use of a 
minister." 

Arrangements having been finally concluded, several of the 
families began to look toward immediate removal, each family 
consulting its own convenience as to the time of beginning the 
journey. Fully believing in the ordinances of religion and in the 
rich advantages and benefits of church organization, a party of 
eleven of those who proposed to emigrate decided to organize a 
church before starting, and on the 2d of May, 1811, a meeting 
was held in the old First Congregationalist meeting-house in 
Becket, for that purpose. 1 

A written request was presented, signed by the parties " desir- 
ing to be dismissed with the design to be formed into a separate 
church before their removal." 

The persons named were : Deacon Elijah Alford and Olive, his 
wife, Thatcher Conant and Elizabeth, his wife, Benjamin Higley 
and Sally, his wife, Jeremiah Lyman and Rhoda, his wife, Ruth 
Alford, daughter of Deacon Elijah Alford, Susannah Conant, and 
Anna Streator. 

All of the above, it is stated, were "in regular standing and 
full communion." 

After giving the subject deep consideration and prayer the 
ministers present unanimously gave their permission for the pro- 
posed measure, and dismissed the applicants from their immediate 
relationship with the Becket church. 

The parties above named then " having taken upon themselves 
the Confession of faith and Convenant," were publicly formed 
and installed as a regular Church of Christ, Deacon Elijah Alford 
was chosen as standing moderator and deacon of the new 
organization. 

This infant church they transplanted to the leafy solitudes of 
nature in the wild forest of Ohio, and it is now the First Congre- 
gational Church of Windham, Portage County. 

Early in June (1811) six families of the emigrants set out 
"Westward ho!" The Higleys had a canvas-covered wagon 
which was laden with their beds and bedding for camping out, 
together with cooking utensils for camp-fires, and other essentials, 
two horses, a yoke of oxen, and two cows. They were thirty- 

1 The ministers present at this meeting were the Rev. Joseph L. Mills of Becket, Rev. William 
Gay Ballentine of Washington, Mass., Rev. Alvin Hyde of Lee, and Rev. Jonathan Nash of 
Middlefield. 



308 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

seven days making the journey, arriving at their destination July 
15. The families, not all keeping pace with each other, arrived 
on different dates. From a well-draughted plot each man knew 
just where his lands lay. For temporary shelter Benjamin Higley 
with his family occupied a rough log house built from trees, which 
had been felled by his two half brothers, Elijah Alford, 3d, and 
Oliver Alford, assisted by two young men named Messenger, be- 
longing to families of the proprietors, who had preceded the emi- 
grants in March and erected a rude structure on lot No. 84.' 
But the Messengers had returned to Becket late in the spring, 
greatly discouraged with the prospects. 

The dense forests covered the face of their surrounding world. 
All nature was wild. Except one Indian trail through the 
thickets near the northern border of the township, there was not 
even a pathway of access from one point to another. And the 
whole country teemed with deer, bears, and wolves, with innumer- 
able lesser game of every variety, and reptiles of many kinds. 

The struggle of life with their environments now began with 
the emigrants in serious earnest; but courageously and with 
energy and capacity both men and women gave their full contri- 
bution toward civilization. They laid the ax at the roots of the 
great trees with fresh blood and strong muscle, and began clear- 
ing a space in which to begin farming operations. 

Later in the season, 1811, Benjamin Higley sowed a small patch 
of wheat on lot No. 84, on a partial clearing in the woods which 
the Indians "had used. This was the first wheat that was raised 
in the township. From three bushels of seed sown upon four 
acres, one hundred bushels of wheat were harvested the following 
summer. 

Benjamin Higley early constructed a substantial dwelling of 
logs on lot No. 36, near the center of the township, and near the 
present site of the village of Windham, to which he removed. It 
was a well-watered, fertile section, on which is an exhaustless, 
beautiful spring of pure soft water. This spot was his home 
fifty-seven years, till the close of his long and useful life. 

Mr. Higley's was the third family from Becket that arrived in 

1 The original plot of lots drawn by the proprietors show that one half of No. 84, containing 75 
acres, was drawn by Benjamin Higley. He afterward sold the same to Elijah Alford, with other 
land, as shown by the land records, for the consideration of $257. " Windham Town Record" 
PP- 13. !$ 

a The Indians had all removed west of the Cuyahoga River previous to 1811. They joined the 
British in the war of 1812. The remains of an Indian village on the bottom lands of Windham 
township were to be seen for many years after the settlers came. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 39 

the township. By the last of July the little colony comprised 
eight families, a family from the neighboring township of Nelson 
having joined them. 

On Sunday the 28th of July, 1811, the little church in the 
wilderness held its first service. It was a memorable day. 

" Although it is always Sunday in a vast solitude like this, 
except in storm and earthquake, it now seemed all the more quiet 
and serene. The church doors were wide open; the grand 
cathedral aisles were full of light and beauty, soft and entrancing, 
leading the soul up along the mighty columns of evergreen life 
to the blue apse of heaven." The still small voice of the Eternal 
whispered to every heart. 

The echo of song rang through the solemn and mysterious 
forests in strange harmony with the music of the trees. There 
were forty-two persons present; and from that date forward, 
though they were without roads, without bridges, and constantly 
forced to meet numberless difficulties and inconveniences, as 
Sabbath after Sabbath came around, they never failed to meet 
together for public worship. 

A month later the settlement was visited by the Rev. Nathan 
B. Darrow, who was sent out by the Connecticut Missionary 
Society. He preached the first sermon to which they listened in 
their isolation, taking for his text : 

" For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his 
inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste 
howling wilderness." ' 

Mr. Darrow administered the holy communion the first Sabbath 
in September, which was received by sixteen communicants. 
Fifty years afterward Benjamin Higley stood the only living 
member who was present on that day, and but two others were 
inhabitants of earth. 

Early in October (1811) his stepfather, Deacon Elijah Alford 
with his mother, Olive, and their family, arrived. They made a 
temporary stay in the log house on lot 84," the first house built in 
the settlement, and finally settled there permanently. 

The first regularly held town meeting was held on the 24th of 
October. Benjamin Higley was chosen to preside. The busi- 
ness proceedings concerned the very genesis of the town. A 
committee was appointed "to erect corner posts, marking the 

1 Deuteronomy xxxii. o, 10. 

* This lot has been the home of Elijah Alford's descendants for three generations. 
21 



310 THE HIGLEYS A.VD THEIR ANCESTRY. 

boundaries to the lots." It being essential that the farmers and 
producers should at once have roads, Benjamin Higley and 
Alpheus Streator were made a committee to petition the commis- 
sioners that a committee be appointed to " lay them out." From 
this time, for more than a quarter of a century, Mr. Higley was 
notably associated with the construction of highways, and in 
advancing improved means for transit. 

The town was at first called by the proprietors Strongsburgh, in 
honor of Governor Caleb Strong of Massachusetts. Later on 
March n, 1812 it was formally named "Sharon" a Biblical 
name, by which it was known eight years. In 1820, by enactment 
of the State Legislature, it was changed to its present name 
Windham. ' 

From the beginnings of the town Benjamin Higley was inspired 
with the great need of a school system, and always bore in mind 
its large usefulness and strong influence in character building. 
His early teaching days had left their impress of its imperative 
importance. Being elected one of the first three trustees of the 
township, it lay within his compass to do much toward the advance- 
ment of educational interests, and from the first he never faltered 
in his steadfast and loyal support of public instruction. A school 
was opened in a private house the first winter, and early in the 
winter of 1812-13 a lg schoolhouse, which was the first public 
building erected in the town, was built. From that time the 
town has always sustained excellent schools of the common and 
high school grades. 

The year following Benjamin Higley's arrival in Ohio came 
the formal declaration of war, 1812. By Hull's cowardly sur- 
render the scattered border settlements were at the mercy of the 
treacherous Indians, being entirely unable to make defense 
against them. The little colony at Sharon was thrown into 
great apprehension and distress. It is stated that "every man 
ran to his arms," quitting his heavy labor of clearing the forests 
and preparation for seed-sowing. 

On the 23d of August of that year, just at nightfall, a messenger 
rode into the settlement, with military orders for all the able- 
bodied men to march at daybreak with their muskets, ammunition, 
and rations, destined to Cleveland forty miles distant. Cleveland 

1 This township was "set off" from Hiram township, April 5, 1813. It was many years before 
school districts were formed, or school commissioners appointed. " January 2, 1806, three Trustees 
and a Treasurer were authorized to Deflected in each township for the purpose of taking charge of 
the school lands or the moneys arising therefrom."" History a/ Portage County, Ohio" p. 302. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 311 

was then on the frontier. Devoting the night to the hasty prepar- 
ation of rations, " cleaning hunting rifles, sharpening their knives, 
and filling their powder horns and bullet pouches with ammu- 
nition," in the early morning they left their wives and families, in 
a desperate fright, to defend themselves against the maurauding 
Indian depredators and the bears and wolves of the dark woods, 
directing that in case the American forces were defeated they 
should promptly flee to the nearest settlement and fortify them- 
selves against attacks of the savages. The military tendency of 
Benjamin Higley was strong; a gift bestowed by legacy upon him 
by his ancestors of four generations. He now made no hesitation 
at shouldering arms and facing the situation. He went into camp, 
and was elected sergeant of the ist Battalion, 2d Regiment, 
4th Brigade, Ohio Militia. 1 

On the troops reaching the front, " so general had been the 
uprising that the Major-General commanding gave directions 
that half the volunteers should be sent home to act as a reserve 
or a second guard in case of emergency." Many of the men 
returned in ten days, the immediate cause of the alarm having 
proved not well founded. It is not definitely known how long 
Sergeant Benjamin Higley was absent, or how often he was 
called into active service during this war. 

On the 6th of May, 1813, another serious alarm was given. 
That summer " every able-bodied man in Portage County, not 
then in active service or on parole, was ordered to Cleveland, and 
the scattered settlements were again left defenseless."* 

An interesting old manuscript relates that "the people of 
Sharon suffered in the general calamity. Many who were sum- 
moned to the field of defense were gone for months at a time, 
others for an indefinite period, according to the emergency. In 
these sudden frays fear seized on every soul. By the close of 
the year some suffered for want of provisions which were scarce 
and high-priced, the men having turned their attention to the 
war, the yield of the small fields which had been cleared were light 
owing to the scanty seed sowing." 

The announcement by Perry of his glorious victory, Septem- 
ber 10, 1813, "We have met the enemy and they are ours," was 
received by the affrighted and anxious inhabitants with pro- 
foundestjoy, through "an excited horseman who dashed into the 

1 Whether he had joined the Ohio militia previous to the war has not been ascertained. 
8 " History of Portage County, Ohio," p. 281. 



312 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

settlement blowing a horn and conveying the glad tidings. The 
terrible suspense and dread of Indians were now past and soon 
gave way to thanksgiving and rejoicing over the brilliant success 
of the American naval forces on Lake Erie." 1 The church in the 
woods at Sharon observed the 2d of December, that year, as a day 
of thanksgiving and prayer. 

On the i4th of July, 1818, Sergeant Higley received a com- 
mission as lieutenant, and having signalized himself by military 
ability, he was on the icth of July, 1816, commissioned captain" 
of the 2d Company, 2d Regiment, ist Battalion. This com- 
mission was issued from Chillicothe, which was then the capital of 
the State of Ohio. On the 23d of September, 1819, he received a 
promotion, issued by Governor Ethan Allen Brown, to the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel of the ist Regiment, 3d Brigade, 4th Division. 

The date when he rose to the rank of colonel by his successive 
promotions does not appear among his papers. He served with 
devotion in the Ohio militia after the war closed, till August 9, 
1820, when, at his own request, he was officially and honorably 
"discharged from further military duty." 

On the 2d of June, 1816, Colonel Higley "raised " a barn, one 
of the first frame buildings erected in the township. Two years 
later, the 3d of September, he raised a substantially built frame 
dwelling-house, which was painted in 1821. These buildings, 
together with a wood-house and a "cow house" built in 1823, 
are still in a good state of preservation (1895). In 1826 he built 
a cider-mill. 

In 1824 a census was taken, showing that the colony had 
increased to eighty-three families, comprising "467 souls." The 

1 " History of Portage County, Ohio," p. 281. 

8 The following copy of Colonel Higley's old mustqr-roll, preserved among his papers, bears much 
of interest, the names of his company being the familiar names of the first settlers of the town- 
ship, whose descendants are now its leading citizens. 

"MUSTER ROLL. 

"Capt. Benj. Higley. "Sergeants Hiram Messenger. 

" Lieut. John Messenger. James Seley. 

" Ensign John Streator. " Corporals Erastus Snow. 

Joseph Southworth. 
" Music, EH Case. 

" PRIVATES : 

"Elijah Alford Junr., Oliver Alford, Gideon Bush, Joel Bradford, Levi Alford, Thatcher F. 
Conant, Jacob Earl, Joseph Earl, Jonathan Foote, Robt. M. Gondon, Joseph Higley, Aaron P. 
Jagger, Daniel Jagger, Thomas Lee, Thomas M. Seymour, Ebenezer O. Messenger, Nathan H. 
Messenger, Benoni Y. Messenger, Ephraim H. Seeley, Stillman Scott, Albion Taylor, Joshua 
Waldon, Nathaniel Rudd, Albion Taylor, Isaac Clark, John Condor, Benj. Roth, Alpheus C. 
Munsell, and others. 
" Stillman Scott defishanl in all but a musket. Joshua Walden defishant in all but a Rifle." 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 313 

readers of the Bible and Testament were carefully and separately 
numbered. Colonel Benjamin Higley's household, it appears 
from the register, contained eight person, six of whom could read 
the Scriptures. They were the possessors of " three whole Bibles 
and three whole Testaments." 

In 1819 an element of dissatisfaction arose in the church with 
Colonel Higley's views upon the subject of the Trinity. He was 
a thorough trinitarian, but, expressing himself concerning the 
"Three in One" in language somewhat different from that 
generally used in his time, the minister of the church, with a 
handful of followers, standing rigidly upon the old Puritan plat- 
form, and taking up the hair-splitting point, inflamed themselves 
with the idea that Colonel Higley was ''embracing heresy." 

We do not hesitate to declare that in these times of greater 
toleration of religious ideas, and a more liberal policy of the 
Church at large in platforms of beliefs, the question would be 
deemed unworthy of notice. There is no evidence that Colonel 
Higley ever undertook to advocate a doctrine at variance with 
the Westminster Catechism, or that he did more than to state 
his cogitations in quiet casual conversations with his familiar 
friends, yet the arbitrary and vigilant minister felt willingly 
bound to enter charges. 

Being an emphatic man of his sort, and tenacious of holding the 
sacred rights to his own convictions, Colonel Higley would not 
recant. The carefully kept records show him all through the 
difficulty to have been amiable toward the church, his tone being 
peaceable and without enmity, and assuming the policy of silence 
as far as he could. 

In March of the following year, 1820, after having been sus- 
pended from church fellowship for a few months, he stated to 
its official body his regret that "he had indulged in such reason- 
ings, and made use of language concerning this incomprehensible 
distinction of Persons in the glorious Trinity as had been calcu- 
lated to lead the mind into perplexity and had excited the feelings 
of the brethern "; at the same time avowing his belief in the doc- 
trine of the Trinity as expressed in the "Confession of Faith." 
This acknowledgment was accepted by the church as satisfactory. 

This ecclesiastical struggle, together with the character and 
ability he evidenced, made a marked impression upon the church; 
but the state of religion stood at a low ebb that year, and there 
was much feeling engendered which did not wear away. The 



3H THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

result was that in the spring of 1820 a number of prominent 
families retired from the communion. And Colonel Higley, 
after a time, withdrew for a number of years, attending worship 
with a small body of believers at Newton Falls and Garrettsville. 
Among his private papers is found a church letter in the hand- 
writing, and over the personal signature, of the Rev. Joseph 
Treat, pastor of the church, under date May 2, 1824, stating: 

" This may certify that Benjamin Higley is a member of the church of Christ 
in Windham, Portage County, O., in good and regular standing ; and as such he is 
entitled to the attention and esteem of the followers of the Lamb." 

The letter, however, is not upon record; the "brethern" 
evidently desiring to re-establish fraternal relations with so 
earnest and valuable a man, did not consent to his withdrawal. 
A month later the church appointed him the assistant superin- 
tendent of the Sabbath school. 

But the wound was not healed, nor the difference cordially 
settled. Later on, 1831, he united with a body of Christians 
known as "Seceders," and aided in erecting a church for this 
sect. In this connection he remained fourteen years. 

The day came when the zealous young minister of the First 
Congregation Church was deposed from his place by request of 
the congregation; the church passed through different stages, 
during which its spiritual and financial condition were often at 
a very low state. But time is a conciliator and time brings to pass, 

" The ringing grooves of change." 

On the 25th of January, 1845, Colonel Benjamin Higley, Elijah 
Alford, William C. Adams, John Larkin Higley, and their wives, 
with four other persons, were cordially welcomed into the mem- 
bership of the old church home which Colonel Higley, with his 
associates, had founded and nursed in its infancy, the rules being 
suspended in order that they might be admitted the same day 
that their names were presented. 

Colonel Benjamin Higley loved music. It was a happy factor 
in his useful life, and in this direction he made himself of special 
service to the church he loved. He studied the improvement of 
the choir, planned to have its members attend musical gatherings, 
and encouraged them in various ways. 

Among the projects which his music-loving spirit conjectured, 
and which was carried out, was the presentation in February, 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 315 

1852, of a church pipe organ an excellent instrument, in the 
cost of which he was joined by Dillingham Clark, Warren W. 
Hinman, and Daniel Jagger. A graceful acknowledgment of the 
handsome gift is spread upon the church records. 

At the semi-centennial celebration of the settlement of Wind- 
ham township, he was in request to represent the musical aspect 
of the occasion. Although he had passed his four-score years, he 
served with successful endeavor as chairman of the committee 
for arranging an old folks' concert. As a matter of course old 
time music was revived, and the breezes were filled with airs of 
"ye olden days." 

One of the most touching of his efforts at vocal music occurred 
at the first Sabbath service in May, 1864, following the departure 
of the volunteer soldiers of the village to the Civil War. It was 
a time of anxiety and sadness. Forty-five noble, strong men, 
accustomed to attend worship, were missing from the congrega- 
tion; there was but one male voice left in the choir. Julia 
Higley Colonel Higley's married granddaughter sang bass. 
Colonel Higley's indomitable spirit suggested taking the part of 
the absent ones. There was something strangely pathetic in the 
sight of his venerable form, crowned with the impress of eighty- 
five years, his fine brow touched with the halo of life's setting 
sun, when he arose, and, leaving his accustomed seat, he marched 
up the aisle with his bared head erect, and entering the choir, 
joined in with the organ as it pealed out its solemn tones. 
There was telling eloquence in the old man's eager act and in- 
spired manner, if there was inharmony in the quavering notes of 
his voice as he struck into the music, which brought tears, befit- 
ting the occasion, to more than one cheek of those who turned to 
gaze at him and listen. 

In the early days of his pioneer life in Ohio, Colonel Higley 
regularly set apart the months of November and December of each 
year for the hunt. He thoroughly enjoyed this agreeable pastime. 
But he made his enthusiastic fun pay; settling his annual tax bills 
for a number of years with the proceeds of the skins and furs which 
he collected. The spicy narratives of these wild and exciting 
adventures were a characteristic features of his extreme old age. ! 

1 One morning in the late autumn of 1815, Colonel Higley and his adopted son, Eli Case, muffled 
to their noses in deer-skin caps, which were pulled over their ears, set out hunting. It was a misty 
day, a light rain falling at intervals. On nearing a swamp in the woods a half a mile from his 
house (on lot 17), they separated from each other, Colonel Higley sending Case to steal around to a 
certain spot to see if he could get a shot. 

All at once the rustling of bushes told Higley's alert ears that something was happening. Case's 



316 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Sally McKown, his wife, was his affectionate and faithful com- 
panion throughout their united lives. Her kindly heart and true 
open-handed hospitality multiplied her opportunities for serving. 
The door of their hospitable home was always cordially open to 
the stranger. She was found at the bedside of the sick by night 
and by day, and if distress entered the home of a neighbor she 
was there. 

Like all pioneer women it was her lot to work, work, work, 
from early Monday morning till late Saturday night, with Sunday 
scarcely excepted. Her household duties were legion. She 
spun, wove, and dyed, cut and made all the garments worn by 
the entire family, nine in number. She also manufactured the 
skins of the deer which her husband killed in hunting into gloves 
and mittens, and became such an adept in the business that for 
many years she was called upon to make all of the wedding- 
gloves worn by the young bridegrooms of Sharon and the 
adjacent settlements. These she cut by a pattern. The leather 
was used in its natural color. With the proceeds of her glove 
industry was purchased, at the distant stores of merchandise at 
Ravenna and Pittsburg, all of the wares and notions which were used 
by the family during their first ten years in the Ohio wilderness. 

gun went Bang ! Colonel Higley with his gun in hand hurried to the spot. Case had surprised 
a big black bear which was feeding among the limbs of a fallen tree in the shadows of the thicket. 
Stepping back about three paces he fired, the ball entering the bear's head below the ears and com- 
ing out at the nose, tumbling it over, but not killing it. The beast was soon on his feet, running 
round and round in a circle. Higley quickly raised his gun to his shoulder and fired, but missed 
his aim. They both hastily loaded, but this time their triggers clinked, and their old flint-locks 
flashed in the pan ; their guns were wet and they could no longer use them. The bear was badly 
wounded and angry. Knowing there was serious danger at hand, the two men yelled for the 
Streator brothers, who were fitting up an addition to their log house a quarter of a mile away, who 
came with axes and clubs, and all gave chase, the bear now making off toward the swamp, having 
recovered himself enough to move as rapidly as a man could easily run. 

While he was crossing a little creek on a fallen log, the men with their clubs tried to knock him 
off, but could not. On bruin ran. He had just reached the swamp when Alvin Streator struck 
him with an ax, which infuriated him even more than before, and the brute showed fight. Alvan 
ran and the bear after him. It was a blood-curdling moment. Colonel Higley, Case, and John 
Streater hotly pursuing, the latter dashed forward with his ax meaning to deal a blow upon the 
bear's head, but his ax glanced as he struck, and the beast whirled and grabbed it, and raising upon 
his haunches, he hugged it. Streator, losing his balance by the impetus of quick motion, landed in 
the quagmire, sinking above his knees and losing one shoe, which the old men of the neighborhood 
still declare " is there yet." It was only by superhuman exertion that he managed to scramble out 
of reach of his enraged antagonist. 

Just then, as the bear was turning on to the other men, a sway of Colonel Higley's club, with a 
terrific blow across the nose, brought him to the ground and he lay dead at their feet. 

On skinning the animal it was found that the layer of fat upon its back was nearly four inches in 
thickness, which, together with the thick hair, had most effectually warded off the blows from 

^L - 



the axes. 



The bear was allowed for the present to lie where he fell until the next day, when Mr. Cas 
killed a deer near by. So they had a deer and a bear to take home. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY. 317 

These employments of her busy fingers were performed in 
addition to the usual household duties cooking, washing, and 
ironing, hominy, soap, and cheese making. The manufacture of 
cheese was an almost universal industry among the well-to-do 
and progressive farmers of the Western Reserve from early in 
the century. Butter and cheese were the chief products of the 
Higley farm for many years. Mrs. Higley's fame in these arts 
extended far beyond the township boundaries. 

She was also careful each year to dry native plants to be used 
in case of family ailments. Every mother of a household in 
those times had certain specifics for every malady that came to 
her family. It was many years before physicians were called 
upon, indeed, there were few in that part of the country, and 
apothecaries were not known. 

Mrs. Sally Higley was stricken by paralysis, which greatly 
enfeebled her, a few weeks before her final demise. Her decease 
took place October 2, 1849. 

To enter the beginnings of a State, when everything was rude 
and wild, and share the labors and responsibilities in laying the 
foundations of any of its parts is no ordinary place to have occu- 
pied in this life. 

Although never desiring political preferment, Colonel Benjamin 
Higley, in the full spirit of zeal for the public good, did his part 
in the essential and steady work of whatever would advance the 
interests and improvement of VVindham. He filled almost every 
office in town matters into which the townspeople could place 
him. 

He devised the construction of roads to render the new 
country accessible, he surveyed lands, was repeatedly appointed 
fence viewer, constable, overseer of the poor, grand juror, and, 
as the population increased, he served in arranging and " setting 
off " school districts, looked out that schoolhouses were built 
and schools established, and aided in building two churches; and, 
indeed, grappled with all the measures which the advancement 
and well-being of the community demanded. 

Colonel Benjamin Higley was commanding in figure, erect, 
firm, and military in his bearing. His individuality was strong. 
He always bore a thoughtful air. His cheerful and genial spirit 
made him companionable to both aged and young alike; children 
were his delighted little friends, made happy by listening to his 
entertaining stories of adventures with the wild animals and 



31 8 THE HIGLEYS AKD THEIR ANCESTRY. 

hunting exploits of early times, which he never tired of con- 
tributing to their amusement. He was square and upright in his 
dealings, though never behind in a bargain. 

When well on in years he contracted a second marriage with 
Mrs. Elizabeth A. Perkins, a widow, who died April, 1864. 

He gave farms in the vicinity of Windham to each one of his 
sons, together with his adopted son, and his only surviving 
daughter. 

He outlived nearly all of his contemporaries, sitting down in 
his old age in great tranquillity, after a long life of prosperity and 
active usefulness, having followed with deep interest the history of 
events, and witnessing his noble State Ohio richly endowed 
with a high state of cultivation and crowned with upward progress 
and prosperity. 

He lived on the same farm which he carved out of the wilder- 
ness till he entered his ninetieth year, when he peacefully closed 
his honored career, and was "gathered to his fathers." He died 
July 4, 1867. He was interred in the Windham cemetery, by the 
side of his first wife, Sally McKown. 

In the First Congregational Church at Windham an attractive 
memorial window of stained glass has been placed as a tribute of 
honor to his memory; bearing the inscription : 

Colonel JBenjamfn 



" Sure to the last end 

Of the good man is peace ; how calm his exit ! 
Night dews fall not more gently to the ground, 
Nor weary worn out winds expire so soft. 

Behold him in the evening-tide of life 
A life well spent, whose early care it was 
His riper years should not upbraid his green ; 
By unperceived degrees he wears away, 
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting. " 

The children of Colonel Benjamin and Sally McKown Higley 
were as follows : 

Robert M., born February 12, 1804; Benjamin ., born April 
25, 1807, died September 15, 1826; Lorin, born February 2, 1810; 
Matthew P., born September 12, 1813; Sarah Ann, born January 
19, 1819; Hannah Z.,born January 2, 1820, accidentally drowned 
July 12, 1824; Alfred J/., born December 12, 1822. 




ROBERT M. HIGLEY. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 
"We plow the deep, and reap what others sow." 

ROBERT McKowN HIGLEY, the eldest son of Colonel Benja- 
min and Sally McKown Higley, was born in Becket, Mass., 
February 12, 1804, and baptized September 20, 1807. He came 
to Windham, O., with his parents in 1811. His early years were 
spent working upon his father's farm, learning the first lessons of 
the privations and toils of a pioneer life. After a school had been 
established, he attended it during the winter months. When 
about nineteen he one day met with an accident, dislocating his 
hip, causing a lameness which affected him the remainder of his 
life. After this he made an education his chief aim, attending 
the school at Warren, O., and finally was fitted for a successful 
instructor. He taught steadily six years. 

He married Lydia Mary, daughter of Thatcher Conant, Sr., 
November, 1831. She was born April 23, 1808. They took pos- 
session of a farm given him by his father. He afterward entered 
into partnership with his brother-in-law, William C. Adams, 
pursuing a mercantile business, and while thus engaged made 
frequent journeys with teams, then the only method of transporta- 
tion, through sloughs of mud and over corduroy roads, to Cleve- 
land, Pittsburg, and Wellsville, on the Ohio River, to which 
places he took the various products of the farms, exchanging 
them for such staple goods as the needs of the frontiersman 
required. They could afford no luxuries in those times. 

January, 1835, became a way-mark in the family story by the 
husband and wife together -making public profession of religion, 
uniting with the Congregational Church in Windham, of which 
they remained consistent and esteemed members while they 
lived. 

For many years Robert M. Higley was a very active man in 
the public interests of the town. Among many other public ser- 
vices rendered acceptably to the inhabitants, he filled the office 



320 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

of justice of the peace for twenty-one years, and was always 
known as " Esquire " Higley afterward. 

The last years of his life were pathetically spent. Varied 
trials combined to weigh down his spirits, and his mind became 
clouded. For a period of more than twenty years he was to a 
great extent deprived of the ordinary scenes and associations 
that make life desirable, remaining in seclusion in his own home, 
under the faithful and affectionate care and attentions of his 
daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Goodrich. He passed peacefully -away 
in his home at Windham, on a Sabbath morning, August 3, 1890, 
in the eighty-seventh year of his age. 

The decease of his wife took place many years before, her 
health having declined by consumption. She died June 20, 1853. 

Robert M. and Lydia Conant Higley were the parents of five 
children, viz. : 

Edward B.; Sarah E.; Mary E.; Lydia ^.,'born March 10, 
1841, and died July 2, 1845; Rosaline E., born November 9, 1847, 
who married, July 26,. 1870, George W. Finley, and died August 
16, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Finley resided in Lawrence, Kans. She 
left no children. 

EDWARD B. HIGLEY, the eldest child of Robert M. and Lydia 
Conant Higley, was born at Windham, O., October 24, 1832. At 
an early age he attended the Windham district school, after- 
ward entering the Windham Academy. From the age of twelve 
he devoted a part of his time gaining experience by clerkship in 
a store of general merchandise. At twenty-one he established 
a mercantile house for himself, connecting with it the sale and 
shipping of dairy and farm products, which he continued for 
twenty-eight years in his native town. 

On the 7th of November, 1853, he married Julia M., daughter 
of Isaac M. Clark of Windham, an old schoolmate. In the 
spring of 1882 they removed to Mason City, la., where Mr. 
Higley now conducts an extensive wholesale and shipping busi- 
ness in poultry, butter, and eggs, with branch houses at Spencer, 
la., and in South Dakota. "The enterprising house of E. B. 
Higley at Mason City is one of the points west of Chicago which 
consolidates and sends to the Eastern seaboard cities a fast stock- 
train, laden entirely with the products in which it deals." His 
beautiful suburban residence, " Farm Home," at Spencer, where 
he resides, is one of the most attractive and desirable pieces of 
property in the township. 




EDWARD B. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 321 

His wife, Julia M. Higley, died at " Farm Home," December 
10, 1893. Her body was brought eastward and interred in the 
family burial lot at her native town, Windham, O., on the i7th, 
the funeral services being held in the Congregational Church, 
of which she became a member in February, 1856. The following 
extracts are from a sketch of her life which was then presented: 

" Julia M. Clark Higley, born in Windham on the 2Oth of June, 1833, the 
oldest child of Isaac M. and Sarah (Frary) Clark, was one of a family of seven 
children. Her early school advantages in the old academy of Windham gave her 
intellectual culture, and nearly two years of earnest study enabled her to complete 
the preparatory course at Oberlin, and fitted her for entering the regular college 
course in that institution, but her cherished hopes of a thorough education were 
blighted by financial reverses in her father's family. On the 7th of November, 
1853, she married Edward B. Higley, and in that relation they passed along life's 
journey together, mutually sharing their joys and trials for forty years. In intel- 
lectual and literary pursuits she took a deep interest, and, from her youthful days 
until her later years, was ready to lead or assist in temperance, literary, and social 
entertainments in aid of enterprises for the good of others. 

" During the war clouds of the Rebellion her voice and musical talents were 
prominent in a glee club of this place, which gave admirable concerts, the avails 
of which were given to aid in furnishing supplies for the hospitals and the suffering 
soldiers. In her later years she read the four years' course laid out by the Chau- 
tauqua Literary and Scientific Association, and was a leading active member of the 
large Chautauqua class at Spencer, la. , at the time of her death. In horticultural 
and floral subjects she was full of enthusiasm, and the plants she cultivated and 
the fruits she matured about her home were the admiration of her neighbors. The 
pleasure of watching the beauties of the opening flowers and their exquisite color- 
ings led her heart to adore the power and goodness of the Creator, in thus bestow- 
ing such marvelous loveliness and perfection upon the works of his hand. 

"On the approach of death, while conscious of its nearness, she looked forward 
to the change that awaited her with a spirit of resignation to God's will, and peace- 
fully fell asleep in death on a quiet Sabbath evening." 

The Clay County News (Iowa) says of her : " She was a true lover of flowers, a 
skilled horticulturist, and was a gifted literary character. She has read many excel- 
lent papers at our farmer institutes, and will be sadly missed by that organization ; 
and also by the C. L. S. C., of which she was an active and helpful member. 
These societies were represented at the funeral among attendants and pallbearers. 
The C. L. S. C. presented beautiful floral gifts." 

SARAH E. HIGLEY COTTON, the eldest daughter of Robert M. 
and Lydia Conant Higley, was born at Windham, O., September 
30, 1834, and married, January i, 1848, John Cotton, who was 
born in Mahoning County, Ohio, February 9, 1826. Falling a 
victim to consumption, Mrs. Cotton's married life extended to a 



322 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

period of a little less than six years. She died at Windham, O., 
December 9, 1853. Her husband survived her many years, his 
death taking place in Allen County, Indiana, January 26, 1880. 
They had one child, viz. : 

ROBERT McKowN COTTON, M. D., the only child of John Cotton and Sarah 
E. Higley, was born June 9, 1849, at Windham, Portage County, O. He was left 
motherless before he was five years of age. He remained under the care of his 
father till he was ten, when in the month of July, 1859, he was placed in the home 
of his grandfather, Robert M. Higley. Here he resided till May, 1865, assisting 
in farm work during the summer and attending the district school about four months 
of each winter. 

At sixteen he set out to make his own way in the world. He first went to the 
State of Illinois, then to Iowa, afterward drifting back to Indiana, and finally to 
Michigan ; all the while supporting himself by any employment he could find. 
At the same time he was a diligent reader, and spent his Sundays, stormy days, 
evenings, and early mornings in studying physiology, chemistry, and other sciences. 
He spent one winter in the lumber forests of Michigan, and during this time, in 
addition to being regularly employed at work by the month, he managed to take a 
course in double entry bookkeeping, by devoting his Sundays and evenings, and 
rising at four o'clock in the morning, to study. These efforts prepared him to 
pass his examination and enter the department of pharmacy, University of Michi- 
gan, on the 1st of January, 1873, though he was three months behind his class, and 
was without any experience in compounding drugs. 

While passing his senior year in pharmacy, by close application and using great 
economy of time, he took the junior year in medicine. He was graduated June 
24, 1874, receiving the degree of pharmaceutical chemist ; and was appointed 
assistant in analytical chemistry in the chemical laboratory, where he served during 
the school years 1874-75. While performing these duties he at the same time 
took his senior year in medicine, and was graduated with his class, receiving the 
degree of M. D., March 24, 1875. 

After leaving the university he gave his attention to pharmacy, residing one 
year in Central Illinois. . 

February 9, 1876, he married Lina Brown of Ann Arbor, Mich., who was born 
near Pickney, Livingstone County, Mich., October II, 1849. They resided in 
Fainnount, Neb., three years, where Dr. Cotton practiced medicine in Clay 
and Fillimore counties. They then removed to Clyde, Oakland County, Mich., 
remaining there till May, 1887, when he removed with his family to Tyndall, Bon 
Homme County, S. D., where he now resides, practicing his profession, and is the 
owner of a drug and apothecary store. Children of Dr. Robert M. and Lina 
B. Cotton : 

Grace Rena, born March 29, 1877, at Fairmont, Neb. ; Nina B., born August 
26, 1883, at Clyde. Mich. ; Lyra H., born February 16, 1890, at Tyndal, S. D. 

MARY E. HIGLEY, the third child of Robert M. and Lydia 
Conant Higley, born October 24, 1838, married William P. 
Goodrich, November 25, 1869, who was just six years her senior, 
having been born October 24, 1832. William M. Goodrich died 




JULIA M. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 323 

October 24, 1876. His widow and only surviving child reside in 
Windham, O., in the old homestead of her parents. They had 
two children, viz. : 

Charles C., born October 6, 1870 ; and died, June n, 1878 : Lina M., born 
July 13, 1876. 

LORIN HIGLEY. 
Lorin, Colonel Benjamin, Micah, ist, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

I found Him in the shining of the stars, 
I mark'd Him in the flowering of His fields, 
But in His ways with men I find Him not. 

Idyls of the King. 

LORIN HIGLEY, the third son of Colonel Benjamin and Sally 
(McKown) Higley, was born in Becket, Mass., February 2, 1810, 
and baptized on the i8th of March following. He was brought a 
babe to Portage County, Ohio, the following year, on the removal 
of his parents westward. The family was the third that arrived 
in the township. 

His boy-life, spent amid the solitudes and sublimity of the 
great forests and chaos of tangled thickets, was full of the variety 
of interests associated with the frontiersman's surroundings. 
Eager in the pursuit of game, with which the woods abounded, he 
had unrestrained fun in trapping and shooting, and many an 
adventurous hunt for " coons," oppossums, wild turkeys, squirrels, 
and numerous small game, including rattlesnakes, copperheads, 
black snakes, and other reptiles. It was no uncommon thing to 
any day kill a dozen or more snakes, the rocky hillsides and 
ledges being alive with them. He earned his spending money by 
tanning the skins of woodchucks, of which he made whip lashes 
and sold them, doing a thriving business. Deer, bear, and 
wolves were still numerous. The settlers generally made their 
shoes of deer skins. 

His education was received at the district school. Nobly and 
earnestly did he perform his part when he had arrived at mature 
years, in the enormous difficulties and labor of opening a new 
country, and getting at the fruitful soil; and in bringing the state 
of society upward, not in a restricted sense, but in laying the 
groundwork upon which the wider and more important economi- 
cal features of to-day are developed. 

March 8, 1832, Rachel Elmina Frary of Windham became his 
wife. On the i6th of January, 1834, they took possession of 



324 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY, 

a dwelling-house newly completed, which was built on a farm 
owned by Lorin Higley, located one and a half miles south- 
west of Windham Center. Here they spent fifty years of married 
life, much blessed in a social domestic tie, that stood the strain 
and stress of the usual cares, anxieties, and disquietudes which 
enter into so large a part of this earth-existence. 

On the same spot they celebrated their golden wedding, March 
8, 1882, an occasion of great interest to the gathered children, 
grandchildren, and kindred who hailed them with greetings of 
their veneration and love. In the autumn of 1884, October 22, 
wishing to lay aside the care of a large farm, Mr. Higley pur- 
chased a home in Windham village, to which they removed. 

On the 29th of April, 1840, Lorin Higley united with the First 
Congregational Church of Windham. After this the affairs of 
the church, with those of the society, were among his chief 
activities and close attachments. For many years he was an 
efficient worker in the Sabbath school. 

In politics Mr. Higley was a Republican. During his long life 
he filled various offices of trust in the township. 

His wife, Rachel Elmina Frary, was born in Becket, Mass., 
June 27, 1811. In October, 1829, she came to Windham in com- 
pany with her mother, who was then a widow, and six brothers and 
a sister, of a family of eleven. The other children remained in 
Massachusetts. Soon after their arrival Rachel engaged in 
teaching, which she continued till her marriage. 

She was a woman of remarkable bodily vigor. For forty-five 
years she performed her household duties without having to con- 
sult a physician. 

She made public profession of religion during the time of a 
great revival, and united with the First Congregational Church, 
February, 1860. Long before this time, however, she had illus- 
trated the life of a Christian by the best of evidence her daily 
walk and example. Quiet, unassuming, patient, and persevering, 
her special field of labor and influence was in the circle of her 
home. It may well be said of her that "she hath done what 
she could." Her children, and many who knew her, delight to 
"rise and call her blessed." For many years she suffered with 
sciatic rheumatism, together with weakened heart action, which 
finally ended her life. Her death took place July i, 1889. 

Her husband survived her more than two years, when calmly 
and peacefully, on the evening of February 25, 1891, he took his 




LORIN HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY 325 

departure, joyously realizing the glories of the unseen and 
eternal world beyond. 

Children of Lorin and Rachel Elmina (Frary) Higley: 

Sheldon Frary, Stephen Lorin, William Adams, twins, born and 
died March 20, 1842 ; Seymour Augustus and Sarah Ann, twins. 

SHELDON FRARY HIGLEY, the eldest child, was born November 
24, 1833, at Windham, O. He received his education at the com- 
mon school and at the Windham Academy. 

On the 6th of May, 1856, he married Cecilia E. Fitch of 
Geneva, O., and settled on a farm near his native village. In 
February, 1860, he united with the First Congregational Church of 
Windham, and the following year was among the first who nobly 
and patriotically offered themselves to save the Union in time of 
her peril. 

It was early in the autumn of 1861 that he enlisted in the 4ist 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served one year in the Civil War, 
when he was honorably discharged on account of disability for 
further service, caused by ill health. In the spring of 1864 he 
again enlisted in the ryist Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for one hun- 
dred days, and served his time. At the close of the war he sold 
his farm at Windham, and removed to Geneva, O., where he now 
resides. Since the year 1866 he has followed commercial travel- 
ing. He is also the owner of a well cultivated fruit farm lying 
near Geneva. 

Sheldon and Cecilia E. (Fitch) Higley are the parents of one 
child, Mary Elmina Higley, born July 15, 1867. She received her 
education at the Geneva high school, and was a student two 
years at Oberlin College. She married, March 23, 1890, Leslie 
Harry Webb of Cleveland O., where they now reside. 

STEPHEN LORIN HIGLEY, the second child of Lorin and Rachel 
E. (Frary) Higley, was born January 27, 1837. In 1857 he went 
to the then far West, taking up his residence in Colorado. 

On the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted (1861) in the zd 
Colorado Cavalry. He was assigned to the staff of General 
Blunt. He took part in many severe battles, and continued in 
active service till the war ended. 

He then returned to Colorado, and pursued his profession of 
surveyor, being engaged with Captain E. L. Berthoud's engineer- 
ing corps, surveying railroad routes in Colorado. In the autumn 
of 1883 he returned to Windham, O., broken in health, and died 
January 10, 1884. He never married. 



326 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 



WILLIAM A. HIGLEY. 
William A., Lorin, Benjamin, Micah, ist, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

WILLIAM ADAMS HIGLEY, the third child of Lorin and Rachel 
E. (Frary) Higley, was born at Windham, O., March i, 1840. 

His first school days were spent at the public school in Wind- 
ham village. He then pursued the entire academic course at 
the Windham Academy; and afterward attended one year the 
State Normal School at Geneva, O. His early boyhood and youth 
being spent on his father's farm homestead, he became familiar 
with agricultural pursuits. 

The Civil War roused in William A. Higley, as it did in his two 
brothers, the war instinct, as well as his loyal faith in our Govern- 
ment; he willingly offered his service in its defense. 

On August 31, 1862, the approach of the war on Ohio soil 
strangely disquieted the city of Cincinnati. The next day, Sep- 
tember i, "the Confederate general, Kirby Smith, with ten thou- 
sand men entered Lexington, Ky., and were soon joined by the 
daring raider, John Morgan, with his forces. Six thousand of 
these troops were sent against Cincinnati. 

"The situation looked dark and foreboding. The defeated 
troops of the Northern army were falling back to Louisville, Ky., 
and victorious Confederate forces were encamped between the 
cities. General Lewis Wallace arrived in Cincinnati and assumed 
command. Martial law was proclaimed, and the citizens were 
officially notified that ' an active, daring, and powerful enemy 
threatened them with every consequence of war.' Business 
ceased entirely, banks and schools closed, the street cars were 
stopped from running, thousands of citizens organized into mili- 
tary companies and began to drill. 

" Preparations for defense began on the opposite side of the 
Ohio River, where hasty fortifications were traced, guns mounted, 
and pickets thrown out. Bankers, clergy, teachers, merchants, 
and artisans worked side by side in the entrenchment." 1 

The citizens filled their cisterns, laid in food supplies, and 
hastily prepared for the "siege." It was threatened that the 
city was to be burned. 

Meanwhile Governor Tod was equally astir, and was fruitful in 
his steps for the defense of his State. 

1 Extracts from " The Military History of Ohio," p. 188. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY, 327 

"The soil of Ohio must not be invaded by the enemies of our 
glorious government," he proclaimed, as "he called on all the 
border counties to arm in self defense, "and ordered his adjutant- 
general to "send forward all available troops instantly; they 
were not to be held for muster but to be forwarded." 

In every quarter of the State, city, town, and village, volunteer 
defenders arose. Farmers and village men turned out by the 
thousands, armed with their squirrel guns and shot-pouches. 
They had no thought of pay or allowance, or of anything but the 
defense of their beloved State and to maintain the nation's honor. 
" It was one of the most patriotic actions taken by the men of 
Ohio during the entire war. All offers of armed men were 
accepted and were ordered to report to General Wallace." For 
days these heroic volunteer civilians, so suddenly organized, 
"henceforth to be known as the 'Squirrel Hunters,' " moved 
toward the threatened city and swarmed its streets. Every rail- 
road train brought large detachments of these untrained troops. 

One of the first young men of Windham to answer to Governor 
Tod's call for defenders was William A. Higley. Full of energy, 
life, and spirit, in the prime of strong young manhood, a few 
months past twenty-two, he was quick to place himself among 
the great reserve power ready for action. 

He shouldered his father's old silver-mounted rifle, that had for 
forty years served well on many a hunting expedition, and with 
which many a wolf and deer had been killed. All night the 
members of the family molded bullets, and his patriotic mother 
cooked a supply of rations. With a folded blanket upon his back, 
without uniform or knapsack, he, with his comrade "Squirrel 
Hunters," eagerly set forward and were early the next morning 
crowded at the railway station into a sheep transportation car. 

It was a rough experience for the farmer boys in exchange for 
their soft feather beds and well-laden tables, but the spirit of 
fight and defense was in every heart, and determination was upon 
every face. Each man made up his full contribution to the com- 
mon defense. 

On arriving at Cincinnati these troops were transported and 
stationed across the Ohio River on the Kentucky shore opposite 
the city. Here they stood vigilant and ready for determined 
action every hour of the day, and all night they laid upon their 
arms. 

"On the night of September 9 the advance of General Kirby 



328 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Smith's forces were so near the outskirts of the defenses that 
several skirmishes took place. In the city excitement reached 
its height." 1 September n the Confederate forces under General 
Smith began to retreat, and on the i3th the volunteers were dis- 
missed with public appreciation and pride of thousands of grate- 
ful citizens for their noble service. The Windham "boys" 
arrived home on Sunday, the i4th. 

The following is a copy of the official discharge received by 
Mr. Higley and his gallant comrades. 

"THE SQUIRREL HUNTERS' DISCHARGE. 

" Cincinnati was menaced by the enemies of our Union. 

" DAVID TOD, Governor of Ohio, called on the Minute Men of the State, and 
the Squirrel Hunters came by thousands to the rescue. 

"You, WILLIAM A. HIGLEY, were one of them, and this is your HONORABLE 
DISCHARGE. 

" September, 1862. 

"CHARLES W. HILL. 

" Approved by " Adjt.-Gen. of Ohio. 

" DAVID TOD, 

"Governor. "MALCOLM MCDOWELL, 

" Major and A. D. C." 

The following Certificate was subsequently issued by the 
Governor of Ohio: 



THE GRKAT SEAL) 'THE STATE OF OHIO, 



"j STATE OFOHIO, \ " EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, 

1802. ; 

v y / " COLUMBUS, March 4th, 1863. 

"To WILLIAM A. HIGLEY, ESQR., of Portage County, O. The Legislature of 
our State has this day passed the following Resolution : 

" Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Ohio, 
That the Governor be, and he is hereby authorized and directed to appropriate out 
of his contingent fund, a sufficient sum to pay for printing and lithographing dis- 
charges for the patriotic men of the State, who responded to the call of the Gov- 
ernor, and went to our Southern border to repel the invaders, and who will be known 
in history as the ' SQUIRREL HUNTERS.' 

"And in obedience thereto, I do most cheerfully herewith inclose a Certificate 
of your service. But for the gallant services of yourself and the other members of 
the corps of patriotic ' Squirrel Hunters,' rendered in September last, Ohio, our 
dear State, would have been invaded by a band of pirates determined to overthrow 
the best government on earth ; our wives and children would have been violated 
and murdered, and our homes plundered and sacked. Your children, and your 
children's children, will be proud to know that you were one of this glorious band. 

" Preserve the Certificate of service and discharge, herewith enclosed to you, as 
1 "The Military History of Ohio." 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 329 

evidence of this gallantry. The rebellion is not yet crushed out, and therefore the 
discharge may not be final : Keep the old gun then in order ; see that the 
powder horn and bullet pouch are supplied, and caution your patriotic mothers or 
wives to be at all times prepared to furnish you a few days cooked rations so that 
if your services are called for (which may God in his infinite goodness forbid), you 
may again prove yourselves ' Minute Men,' and again protect our loved homes. 
" Invoking God's choicest blessings upon yourself and all who are dear to you, 
" I am very truly, Yours, 

"DAVID TOD, Governor." 

On May 4, 1864, William A. Higley again entered the Civil 
War, joining the lyist Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company I, 
Ohio National Guard, and served his full term of enlistment. 
The story of this regiment is related in the sketch of Corporal 
Alfred M. Higley, the uncle of Mr. Higley, who belonged to the 
same company and regiment. 

William A. Higley was assigned to the quartermaster's de- 
partment. After his regiment suffered defeat by superiority of 
numbers at the battle of Cynthiana, Ky. , and were taken pris- 
oners and finally paroled, he met the scattered forces when 
they again collected together at Camp Dennison, O. He 
remained with the regiment, doing guard duty on Johnson's 
Island, till it received its honorable discharge at Sandusky, O., 
August 20, 1864. 

Mr. Higley has always resided in Windham. He has for 
many years owned a commodious, well-appointed home in the 
village, and a farm on the outskirts. For twenty-six years he 
has been engaged in commercial traveling, having been associated 
the greater part of this period with the National Lead Co. of 
New York, his business office being in Cleveland, O. With 
every detail of the business he is thoroughly familiar, and has 
brought to the Company in the discharge of his duties rare and 
faithful energy and business ability. 

The successful issue of that pleasant occasion, the general 
family reunion in 1889' of the Higleys at Windham, O., was 
largely due to Mr. Higley's efficient oversight and labors, 
together with his genial welcome to the guests, leaving nothing 
omitted which could contribute to their comfort and pleasure. 
In the cordial hospitality of his home, his wife and household add 
their full share. 

William A. Higley is a pushing man, of varied knowledge, and 

1 See sketch of Alfred M. Higley, p. 335. 



33 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

of generous character. He possesses a graceful geniality and 
pleasant friendliness at all times, to which he owes in a large 
measure the popular high esteem in which he is held. 

His wife, Elizabeth Elmina Scott, was the daughter of David 
Scott of Becket, Mass., who came to the township of Freedom, 
O., about 1828-29, and Sarah Philena Marcy, who arrived from 
Otis, Mass., at Freedom, January 13, 1828. 

Thomas and Elizabeth M. Marcy, the parents of Sarah Philena 
Marcy (and grandparents to Elizabeth Scott Higley), were 
among the early founders of Freedom township, and among the 
organizers of the first church in the town February 10, 1828. 
Their daughter, Sarah, was a woman of deep practical piety, and 
an excellent scholar for those times, and has left upon record 
interesting reminiscences of her devoted life. She married David 
Scott, 1 November 18, 1830. They settled on a farm near Drakes- 
burg, O., and here Mrs. Elizabeth Scott Higley was born, July 7, 
1842. She resided with her parents, near Drakesburg, till March, 
1860, when the family removed to Windham, O. Five years and 
six months later she became the wife of William A. Higley. 

She is of a cheerful and remarkably serene nature, of which her 
kind face is an index, gentle in social life, and diffident of her 
excellent abilities. Mrs. Higley is an admirable wife, well quali- 
fied to be the kindly companion of her husband. 

William A. Higley and Elizabeth E. Scott were married at 
Windham, Octobers, 1865. Their children: 

LUTHER SCOTT HIGLEY, the eldest, was born November 2, 1866. He was 
graduated from the high school of Windham, June, 1886, and entered the university 
at Worcester in September of the same year ; but was unfortunately not able to 
complete the course on account of impaired eyesight, which forced him to abandon 
his studies in the autumn of 1888. 

He resides in Cleveland, O., and is engaged in business with the Standard Sew- 
ing Machine Company of that city. From his boyhood he has given considerable 
earnest attention to music, and is well-skilled in the use of the cornet, bearing a high 
reputation as a performer in B flat. 

JOSEPHINE MARCY HIGLEY, the second child of William A. and Elizabeth E. 
Scott Higley, was born September 26, 1874. She was a bright and interesting 
schoolgirl while pursuing her studies in the high school at Windham. She is 
making a specialty of music. 

SEYMOUR A. and SARAH ANN HIGLEY, twin children of Lorin 
and Rachel E. (Frary) Higley, were born June 8, 1845. 

1 David Scott was born at Becket, Mass., 1803. He died at Windham, O., March 28, 1877. His 
wife, Sarah Philena Marcy, was born 1807, and died August i, 1876. 




MATHEW P. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 331 

They attended together the common school in Windham and 
afterward the Windham Academy, closing their schooldays by a 
course at the Hiram Collegiate Institute. 

Sarah Ann married, September 2, 1875, John Luther Miner, 
who was born and brought up in Cornwall, Conn. They reside in 
Jamestown, N. Y. They have but one surviving child : 

Lorin Luther, born January 20, 1878. 

Seymour A. Higley married, October 13, 1880, Emma R. 
Sheldon 1 of Aurora, O. He is the owner of, and resides in, the 
old homestead and on the farm near Windham village, where 
his parents founded their hearthstone in 1834. Their children 
are : 

Nellie Gertrude, born March 31, 1883; Benjamin Sheldon, born 
June 6, 1890; Herbert Seymour, born , 1894. 



MATTHEW P. HIGLEY. 

Matthew P., Colonel Benjamin, Micah, ist, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
Behold the upright : for the end of that man is peace. PSALM xxxvii. 

MATTHEW P. HIGLEY, the fourth son of Colonel Benjamin 
Higley, was born at Windham, O., September 12, 1813. He was 
the second male child born in the township. In his youth he 
attended the district school, but later on he acquired a good 
rudimentary education at the academy in Windham Center. 
Until he reached the age of twenty-one, when not in school he 
did the work usually falling to farmers' sons. Strength and 
muscle, with close application to the hard toil of farm life, was 
prized in those days as a card to good standing in the com- 
munity, quite as much as books and book-learning. 

On reaching his majority his father gave him a farm, which he 
subsequently sold in order to purchase one containing a greater 
number of acres. He received his pay in patent clocks, which he 
traded in part payment for a fine farm located in the adjoining 
township of Paris. Here he built, in 1840, a house and two barns, 
and resided nine years. 

He married, September 25, 1839, Luna C. Robbins, daughter of 
Philander and Lydia Robbins of Warren, Herkimer County, N. Y. 

1 Judge Ebene/er Sheldon, the grandfather of Emma R. (Sheldon) Higley, was from Sufiield, 
Conn., and was the first settler of Aurora township, arriving in Portage County, Ohio, June, 1779, 
Her father, Ebenezer Sheldon, Jr., came to Aurora in 1800. 



33 2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

In 1849 h e purchased a farm in Windham township, on which he 
built a residence which the family occupied till the autumn of 
1870. Retiring then from active life, he removed to Windham 
village, purchasing the old academy building in which he received 
his education and fitting it up as a pleasant residence. During 
the last days of his well-spent life, he occupied the same room in 
which he pursued his studies when in the vivacity of youth, more 
than sixty years before. He was long a familiar figure to the 
citizens in his walks through the streets, greeting with the same 
friendliness the humble and the well-to-do alike. 

Like his parents and brothers, Matthew P. Higley early came 
to believe in the principles of the Gospel. He united with the 
First Congregational Church of Windham in 1840. The moral 
weight of his father's umblemished character rested, too, upon this 
son as it did upon his brothers. His habits were always exem- 
plary, and he enjoyed the esteem of the community. 

The evening of his days were happily and contentedly spent. 
He retained his full interest in the current affairs of life, though 
in August, 1^90, he had a light stroke of paralysis, which greatly 
enfeebled him physically. 

On the 25th of September, 1889, Mr. Higley and his wife cele- 
brated the very interesting occasion of their golden wedding, as 
well as the tenth anniversary of the marriage of their daughter, 
receiving the congratulations of their numerous kins-people and 
friends. 

They bore in their beautiful old age the armor triumphant of the 
Christian; in happy cheerfulness looking toward the golden era 
in the life beyond, which they calmly approached. 

Matthew Higley died November, 1893. Children of Matthew 
P. and Luna C. (Robbins) Higley: Hannah Lovisa ; Philander 
Robbins j Marion C.; Perkins B.; Frank M. y born April 24, 1857, 
died March i, 1865; David Mack. 

HANNAH LOVISA HIGLEY, the eldest child of Matthew P. and Luna C. (Rob- 
bins) Higley, was born August 15, 1841, and married Henry B. Walden, November 
25, 1863. They are prosperous farmers in Windham. 

Mr. Walden did soldierly duty in the late war, entering, in the spring of 1864, 
the I7ist Regiment Ohio National Guard, serving with the one-hundred-day men, 
and seeing active service in the engagement at Cynthiana, Ky. 

Their children are : 

Frank, born February 3, 1866; Luna C., born August 18, 1867; Delia A. , 
born October 12, 1873 ; and Caroline M., born January 30, 1875. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 333 

PHILANDER R. HIGLEY, the second child of Matthew P. and Luna C. (Robbins) 
Higley, was born in the township of Paris, Portage County, O., January 17, 1843. 

He received his early education at the public school and the academy in Wind- 
ham, afterward taking the course at the Hiram Collegiate Institute, followed by a 
full commercial course at Eastman's College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 

When the emergency of the Civil War called men into action, Philander Higley 
came to the front. On the sudden demand for defenders of the city of Cincinnati 
and the southern border of Ohio, in 1862, he tendered his services for duty, and 
joined the " Squirrel Hunters" brigade. This service, however, as has been 
already stated, was of short duration. Mr. Higley received a certificate of com- 
mendation, which was ordered by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor, 
for his prompt and loyal response to the call for troops. 

In May, 1864, when he had only recently passed his twenty-first birthday, he 
entered the Union Army, with the lyist Regiment, Company I, Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry, a company composed chiefly of his fellow-citizens. With his regiment he 
passed through the rough foray when General John Morgan's men stole upon the 
Union forces unexpectedly at Cynthiana, Ky., a severe fight following, in which 
cannon ball and shot did deadly work. Philander Higley showed hero blood, doing 
brave and noble service as color-corporal of his company. He was captured and 
made prisoner, but was, with his comrades, finally paroled. He was in the war 
service till the term of his enlistment expired, and received an honorable discharge. 

On the I2th of October, 1870, he married Adelaide Cannon, daughter of Reuben 
P. Cannon of Aurora, O. They are the parents of one child, a daughter, named 
Maude, who was born December 20, 1877. They reside in Windham, O., and 
own a farm in the vicinity of the village. 

MARION C. HIGLEY, third child of Matthew P. and Luna C. (Robbins) Higley, 
was born June 13, 1848. Her schooldays were spent at the \Vindham public 
school, and at the Hiram Collegiate Institute ; afterward she spent one year at the 
Lake Erie Female Seminary at Painsville, O. 

She married, September 25, 1879, Frank O. Wadsworth, and became the mother 
of three children, viz.: 

Lee O. Wadsworth, born May 20, 1883 ; Flora V., born June 13, 1885 ; and 
Luna Olive, born March 20, 1887. They resided at San Diego, Cal., where Mr. 
Wadsworth engaged in the culture of tropical fruits. Mrs. Marion C. Wadsworth 
died of cancer May 10, 1892, and was interred at San Diego. 

PERKINS B. HiGLEY.the fourth child of Matthew P. and Luna C. (Robbins) Higley, 
was born at \Vindham, O., July 3, 1851. He received his education at the Windham 
schools. He married, December 15, 1875, Harriet Messenger, and owns a farm in 
Windham, upon which he resides. .Mr. and Mrs. Higley have three children, viz.: 

Lulu M., born August 9, 1877 ; Bertha M., born November 6, 1881 ; and Ray, 
born March 20, 1887. 

DAVID MACK HIGLEY, the sixth child and youngest son of Matthew P. and Luna 
C. (Robbins) Higley, was born December 16, 1858. He attended the Windham 
schools. On the iSth of October, 1883, he married Lucretia R. Cannon of 
Aurora, O., aud now resides upon his farm in W r indham. 

He displays a highly creditable talent in music, and plays alto, in the musical 
organization known as the " Windham Band." 

Their first child, Clayton Cannon Higley, was born June 26, 1895. 



334 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

MRS. SARAH ANN HIGLEY ADAMS. 
Continued front page 318. 

SARAH ANN HIGLEY, daughter of Colonel Benjamin and Sally 
McKown Higley, was born at Windham, O., January 19, 1817. 
When quite young she was sent from home to attend school at 
New Lisbon, O. On the i2th of July, 1832, when she had scarce 
passed her fifteenth birthday, she married William C. Adams of 
New Lisbon. They took up their residence at Newton Falls. 
Two years later they removed to Windham. Mr. Adams here 
conducted a dry goods mercantile business, in which he con- 
tinued till 1850, when he retired from active business life. The 
marriage was one of mutual happiness and comfort. After a 
lapse of nineteen years Mrs. Adams fell a prey to that insidious 
disease consumption, which, after some months of suffering, 
proved fatal. She died December 27, 1851. 

William C. Adams passed the remaining years of his life, after 
retiring from business, living quietly in Windham. June 9, 1853, 

he married Eliza McClintock. He died , 1875, aged 

seventy. 

William C. and Sarah A. Higley Adams were the parents of 
twelve children, only two of whom survived infancy; ten little 
ones passing away between April 3, 1835, and June 4, 1848. 
Benjamin Higley, the oldest child, survived ; and Mary Ann, the 
youngest. 

BENJAMIN HIGLEY ADAMS, the eldest child of Sarah Ann Higley and William 
C. Adams, was born at Windham, O., September 6, 1833. He was educated at the 
academy in his native town, leaving school in 1852. 

In 1854 he went to the then far West, now the State of Nebraska, where he se- 
cured a tract of land near Plattsmouth and remained two years. He afterward went 
to Colorado, but returned to Windham in 1857, and studied law in the O. S. & W. 
Law College at Cleveland and was admitted to the bar May 17, 1859. The 
autumn of the same year he went back to Plattsmouth, Neb., and entered upon the 
practice of his profession. 

In the early beginning of the Civil War he enlisted in the I4th Ohio Indepen- 
dent Battery, and was mustered into service September 10, 1861. Holding the 
responsible position of chief gunner of his battery, he proved himself a gallant 
soldier. At the memorable battle of Pittsburg Landing he was in the thickest of 
the fight, with determined bravery courageously remaining the last man at the guns, 
barely escaping being made a prisoner, when, "owing to failure of infantry sup- 
port, its guns were captured." 

Taking a severe cold the night after the battle, he fell seriously ill, and was 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 335 

brought home by his father, who had hastened to him, reaching Windham, June 16, 
1862. He died six days after, at the early age of twenty-eight. 

MARY ANN, the youngest child of William C. and Sarah Ann Higley Adams, 
was born at Windham, O., February 22, 1850. The year following, when she was 
scarce yet two years of age, she was left a motherless infant. In Eliza McClintock, 
who became her second mother, she found a kind-hearted, careful guardian, who 
devoted much faithful attention to her home training and education. Her school- 
days were spent, after attending the Windham Academy, at the Lake Erie Female 
Seminary at Painesville, O. At the general reunion of the Higley Family held 
at Windham, 1889, she presented an original poem, entitled " Our Family Tree," 
which, with the fine effect with which it was read, was received with much 
enthusiasm. 

She married, September I, 1887, John D. Bosley of Johnstown, Penn., where 
they now reside. 

ALFRED M. HIGLEY. 
Continued from page 318. 

ALFRED M. HIGLEY, the youngest son of Colonel Benjamin 
and Sally McKown Higley, was born at Windham, O., December 
2, 1822. He spent his youth in the rude toil incident to the 
Ohio farmer-pioneer's life. The district school was the scene of 
his first efforts for an education. Later on he enjoyed the advan- 
tages of the academy in his native town. He was eminently 
a child of religious stock, his home life and associations being 
spent amid intelligent Christian surroundings. 

At twenty he made public profession of religion and united 
with the First Congregational Church of Windham, to which he 
was a close adherent and a valuable member as long as he lived. 
Possessing a pleasant and amiable disposition, he endeared him- 
self to a wide circle who prized his friendship. 

At twenty-two, January 9, 1845, ne married Mary R. Knapp 
of Geneva, O., and by virtue of being the youngest son of his 
father's family, he remained with his parents, taking his young 
wife to their home. Here they launched out upon life together 
under happy and comfortable circumstances. A diligent, stead- 
fast, and honorable life," spent mostly in agriculture pursuits, 
brought him an ample competency, though in after years he met 
with reverses which somewhat reduced his living. 

In May, 1864, at the trumpet call of the Civil War, he volun- 
teered his services to do soldierly duty, joining the one-hundred- 
day men of the Ohio National Guard, who composed a part of 
the lyist Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Alfred M. Higley 



33 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

was made corporal, Company I. In the same regiment were his 
three nephews. 

The regiment was mustered into service at Sandusky, O., and 
placed on duty on Johnson's Island, Lake Erie. In June it was 
sent to Kentucky, detailed to meet General Morgan and his 
guerrillas, who were near Cynthiana. Immediately after arrival 
hot work began, the regiment finding itself suddenly surprised 
and surrounded by Confederate forces numbering full two- 
thirds more than its own men. They fought after bush-whacking 
fashion. The unequal battle continued five hours, against great 
disadvantages to the Northern troops, many of whom were 
untrained soldiers. After stubborn resistance General Hobson 
was forced to accept a flag of truce ; however, the service 
of the Federals was creditable, and they afterward received 
high commendations for displaying great personal courage. On 
being surrounded and taken prisoners they endured the hard- 
ships of a chilly night, without food or shelter, and were marched 
fourteen miles beyond the Confederate lines, where they were 
paroled without blankets, or rations, or arms for defense. They 
rapidly made their way to Augusta, on the banks of the Ohio 
River, forty miles distant, crossed the river, and finally joined 
their comrades who had come into camp before them at Camp 
Dennison, O. 

Being paroled, the regiment was returned to its old camp on 
Johnson's Island and could not be placed on duty for some 
time; it then served on guard duty till the expiration of the 
term of enlistment, when it was honorably discharged and mus- 
tered out of service, Corporal Higley returning to his home at 
Windham. 

During the winter of 1866-67 he made a journey to California, 
sailing from New York in December, and going by the way of 
the Isthmus. He arriving in San Francisco after a delightful 
voyage, January 19. He spent several months visiting different 
parts of the State. Returning via Panama, he arrived in Wind- 
ham July 5, just in time to attend the funeral of his aged father. 

On the 5th of September, 1889, a notable event took place at 
the homestead of Alfred M. Higley, on the old family estate of 
his father, Colonel Benjamin Higley the fourth annual reunion 
of the widely-extended Higley Family of this country. By 
general invitation of Alfred M., and his nephew, William A., 
Higley, the large assemblage of kindred and connections, num- 




ALFRED M. HIGLEY. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 337 

bering full three hundred, from several States, convened, and met 
a welcome in keeping with the generous and true hospitality 
with which the host and his excellent wife, with all of this branch 
of the Family joined by the descendants of Joseph Higley, 3d, have 
a well merited reputation. The rural feast was a thoroughly 
enjoyable success, a rich profusion of table varieties being served 
in tents erected for this special purpose. Formal exercises 
were held, at which able historical addresses were delivered by 
the Hon. Warren Higley of New York and Hon. Brainard S. 
Higley of Youngstown, O., and a historical paper presented 
by Mrs. Mary Coffin Johnson of Brooklyn, N. Y. Mrs. Mary 
Ann Bosley read an original poem. The occasion was enlivened 
by music given by the Windham Cornet Band, several members 
of which were of Higley families. Those present will long 
remember the tall and dignified presence of Alfred M. Higley, 
who presided on the interesting occasion, as he gave one and all, 
in a neat and graceful speech, a most kindly and hearty welcome 
to his home, "the old land-mark of his tribe, where seventy- 
eight years before a dense forest had covered the ground"; as 
well as the enjoyable day when old friendships were renewed, 
and blood relations for the first time met and became acquainted. 
Scarce one year had closed its days, bringing the next annual 
reunion close at hand, when the scene at the old Windham home- 
stead was suddenly and wholly changed. 

" They bade adieu to gladness, 
And joy was turned to sadness ; 
Life seemed a desert." 

Love was weeping in secret as well as openly. From the same 
home in which he was born, and in which he had always lived, 
the subject of this sketch departed " to a better country, that is 
an heavenly." 

His decease took place August 17, 1890, in the sixty-eighth year 
of his age. He left the precious legacy of a life above reproach, 
commanding the respect and trust of all who knew him. 

His wife, Mary Robbins Knapp, who survives him, was the 
daughter of Orin Knapp and Sarah M. Burrell, and was born in 
Geneva, O., March 16, 1823. Her parents came to Geneva, O., 
when they were young people, Mr. Knapp being a native of 
Norfolk, Conn., and Sarah Burrell of Sheffield, Mass. They were 
married in 1819. Mrs. Higley's childhood was spent in Geneva, 



338 THE HIGLEYS AXD THEIR ANCESTRY. 

her native place, where she attended a select school. She after- 
ward received two years' instruction at the Windham Academy, 
and attended an academy at Conneaut, O.. She then became a 
teacher for three years previous to her marriage. She united 
with the First Congregational Church at Windham at thirteen 
years of age. 

Children of Alfred M. and Mary R. Knapp Higley: 
Sarah Maria, born August 10, 1847; Burrell Alfred, born 
November 25, 1850; Arthur Stanley, born March i, 1861. 

SARAH M. HIGLEY, the eldest child, received her education at the Windham 
district and high school, and at the Hiram Collegiate Institute, afterward spend- 
ing one year at the Lake Erie Female Seminary. She married, November 13, 1867, 
Sergeant Edward Payson Clark of Windham, who had made a most honorable 
record during three years' service in the Civil War, having enlisted in its early 
history in Company D, iO4th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and when mustered out was 
first sergeant of his company. He fought in engagements at twelve different 
points. 

In company with her husband, Mrs. Sarah M. Higley Clark openly professed reli- 
gion, uniting with the Congregational Church at Windham, during a time of revival, 
March, 1868. She was of a happy, genial disposition, endearing herself to all who 
knew her. She died January 5, 1874, leaving one child, Edward Alfred Clark, 
who was born January 22, 1870, and resides with his father. 

BURRELL ALFRED HIGLEY, the second child of Alfred M. and Mary R. 
(Knapp) Higley, was born November 25, 1850. He received his education at the 
district and high school in Windham, afterward taking the preparatory course of 
Oberlin College. He then attended the Commercial College at Mount Union, O. 

At the age of seventeen he united with the First Congregational Church of 
Windham, in the work of which he took an active part, filling various offices. In 
a business line he was a merchant of Windham village, where he resided. 

He married, November II, 1878, Rilla E. Bosley. But the bright lives of these 
excellent young people were destined to a short duration. Burrell A. Higley died 
October 17, 1885. His wife survived him but five brief months. She died March 
16, 1886. 

Of a cheerful temperament and a generous nature, Mr. Higley left behind him a 
life fragrant with excellencies of character, the perfume of which still lives in the 
hearts of his friends and associates. 

ARTHUR STANLEY HIGLEY, the youngest son of Alfred M. and Mary R. 
(Knapp) Higley, was born March I, 1861. He attended the Windham schools, 
afterward studying two years at the Newton Falls High School. He completed 
his education by taking a full course in the Commercial Department of the Normal 
School at Ada, O., receiving a diploma February 24, 1882. 

Mr. Higley has by energetic and faithful practice developed his natural talent for 
music, and attained skill as a performer on the solo cornet, in B flat. He is the 
cornetist at the regular services of his church, and a member of a musical union of 
local fame, which gives regular weekly village open air concerts, and is much in 
request to play on public occasions in neighboring cities. 



DESCENDANTS OF COLONEL BENJAMIN HIGLEY. 339 

He owns the farm near Windham village once the old homestead of his grand- 
father, Colonel Benjamin Higley, which has come into his possession in succession, 
and partly by purchase, and where he now resides. 

Mr. Higley possesses a frank, clever personality ; he is a successful farmer of 
intelligence and unusual enterprise. 

He married, October 27, 1886, Alta E. Hudson, formerly of Edinburg, O. 
They together united with the First Congregational Church of Windham, March, 
1887. 

Arthur S. and Alta E. Higley are the parents of two children, viz. : 

Florence Mildred, born November 7, 1888 ; and Ruby Lucille, born July 21, 
1893- 



CHAPTER XLV. 

LIEUTENANT ASA HIGLEY. 

Asa, ist, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

Continued from page 286. 

Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another 
generation. JOEL i. 3. 

ASA HIGLEY, ist, the third son of Captain Joseph Higley, ist, 
and his second wife, Sarah Case, was born at Higley-town, Sims- 
bury, Conn., January 31, 1745. 

It appears to have been the design of Captain Joseph Higley to 
settle his four eldest sons in Becket, Mass., at which place he 
purchased lands, intending that his youngest son, Simeon, should 
remain with him at the home farm in Higley-town. 

The two eldest, Joseph and Micah, fulfilling their father's 
wishes, removed to Becket, but Asa and his next younger brother, 
Ozias, absolutely refused to go; whereupon their father sternly 
declined to give them a start in life. They were, however, strong, 
independent, and energetic, and not being daunted, arose to their 
emergency. To the mountain sides in West Granby they went, 
where they purchased lands a mile west of West Granby Center, 
contracting a debt for the same by agreeing to pay two bushels 
of wheat per acre. 

The times of the Revolution found them with some remaining 
^debt; yet, full of the military spirit, when open war came, they 
were ready to march against the British. 

Asa Higley, ist, served with the Connecticut State troops, iSth 
Militia Regiment, entering the army under Captain Samuel Hays. 
He was corporal of his company. 1 They arrived in New York, 
August 22, 1776. He was with the American army when the 
forces found their retreat cut off after the disastrous defeat 
upon Long Island, and his general with his forces charged and 
broke through the British lines, reaching their camp with great 
loss of life and at great peril. Hundreds were killed and made 
prisoners, but Corporal Higley was among the fortunate. He 

1 " Record of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution." 
34<> 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, \ST. 341 

was afterward in the fight at Horse Neck, and in the battle at 
White Plains, October 28, 1776. After the battle of Horse Neck, 
overcome by fatigue and exposure, he suffered from a serious ill- 
ness, which well-nigh cost him his life. Careful nursing at his 
home, to which he was removed, together with a fine constitu- 
tion, restored him, and no sooner was his health regained, than he 
hurried back to the fight for liberty. 

He was then promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The follow- 
ing year he was in the fierce encounter with Burgoyne at Still- 
water and Saratoga. After Burgoyne's surrender, October, 1777, 
Lieutenant Asa was detailed with his company to guard the 
British prisoners on their march to Boston. 

When the Revolutionary Army was disbanded he returned with 
his brother to their farm in Granby. Captain Joseph Higley, now 
seeing that these sons were industrious and thrifty, relented and 
assisted them to remove the debt from their land. 

The date of Lieutenant Asa Higley's marriage has not been 
ascertained. It was about the year 1770. His wife was Eunice 
Colton, daughter of the Rev. Eli Colton. 

They resided as long as they lived upon the farm which he, 
with his brother Ozias, purchased before the Revolutionary War. 
An old record states that he "was a respectable farmer and that 
both he and his wife were worthy professors of religion." They 
were members of the church at North Granby. They together 
"owned y e Covenant," December 29, 1771. It is probable 
that they took this step the year after their marriage. Asa 
had faithfully attended the Simsbury Church before going to 
Granby, since we find "the great pew in the gallery " assigned by 
the town committee for his use in 1768. In November, 1786, he 
was reappointed tything man, having previously filled the 
office; he was surveyor in 1793, and frequently served as grand 
juror. 

Lieutenant Asa Higley died early in 1805. 

His will was received at the Court of Probate on the 28th of 
March of that year. It was dated one year previous, March 12, 
1804, and the indications are that he was in declining health for 
many months. His will states that: "Laboring under infirmi- 
ties tending to dissolution, and sensible that the time of my 
departure is at hand, that my house may be set in order I have 
thought fit to dispose of my affairs," etc. He left substantial 

legacies to "his beloved wife Eunice," to his sons Asa and 
23 



342 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Pliny, and to his two daughters. His son Asa was named as his 
executor. 

The place of his burial remains undiscovered. 

Their children were : 

Asa, ad, Eunice, Theodosia, and Pliny. 

i 

CHILDREN OF LIEUTENANT ASA AND EUNICE (COLTON) HIGLEY. 

CAPTAIN ASA HIG^EY (2d), born October 13, 1771, spent his 
life in West Granby, Conn., upon the homestead farm that had 
belonged to his father. He was made freeman September 15, 
1794, at the age of twenty-three. 

He married Ruth, daughter of Noadiah Kendall; the date of 
the marriage has not been found. 

On the 7th of July, 1822, Asa, with his wife Ruth, were admitted 
to the First Congregational Church, North Granby, on profession 
of their faith, and they appear afterward to have continued faith- 
ful members till their decease, living lives that commanded the 
fullest respect of all who knew them. 

The absence of data prevents a record here of Asa, 2d's, mili- 
tary deeds. He served, in all probability, with the Connecticut 
State troops in the war of 1812. From many allusions found in 
old writings, as well as from the inscription upon his tombstone, 
it is known that he held the rank of captain, and that he was 
known in the community as " Captain Asa Higley." 

Captain- Asa and Ruth (Kendall) Higley were the parents of 
eleven children, three of whom died in infancy. On the 8th of 
September, 1832, two months after their parents were received 
into membership, seven of these children were baptized on one 
day in the North Granby Church. 

Captain Asa Higley died September 2, 1840. His wife died 
July 19, 1843. 

His tombstone is thus inscribed : 



1Tn flfcemorB of 
Capt. Ssa flbtglcE 

wbo Died 

September 2*> 1840 
69. 



How blessed are the pious dead 

Who follow Christ their living head, 

They rest in peace, their crown receive, 
In yonder heaven of perfect love. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 343 

His will was admitted to the Court of Probate, Granby, Sep- 
tember 31, 1840. 

Their children were: 

Asa, 3d, Eunice, Harold, Gunilda, Adune, Theodocia, Ruth, and 
Miranda. The dates of births have not been furnished. 



CAPTAIN ASA HIGLEY, 3D. 
Asa 3d, Captain Asa, Lieutenant Asa, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

ASA HIGLEY, 3d, the oldest child of Captain Asa and Ruth 
(Kendall) Higley, was born in West Granby, Conn., May 16, 1806. 

He acquired a fair education by devoting his leisure hours from 
farm work to study, and also attended the country school. 
While yet a young man he taught several school terms. He was 
devoted to music, by which he was made captive. Possessing 
decided ability, never was his time spent so happily as when in 
the company of his musical friends. He conducted the musical 
services of the Methodist Episcopal Church at West Granby for 
more than twenty-five years. 

In his early years he learned a trade, that of carpenter and 
joiner, which he successfully practiced till he was near forty. He 
then retired to a farm. 

He always took an active part in politics, and was elected con- 
stable of the township; and afterward, in 1842, filled the office 
of justice of the peace, giving general satisfaction. Later on he 
turned his attention to the study of law, of which he acquired con- 
siderable knowledge, though his ambition never led him to apply 
for admission to the bar. He, however, successfully handled 
legal cases during the last years of his life, frequently being 
retained by the sturdy and honest farmers against able opponents. 
He made a good collector, and established a fair legal business. 
He served for some years as captain of the militia, and was still 
an officer when military drill was set aside. He lived an honor- 
able, upright, and useful life, and died May, 1869, in the sixty- 
fourth year of his age. 

His wife was Eliza, daughter of Nathaniel Pratt, whom he 
married in West Granby in 1835. They were the parents of 
three children, viz. : 

Brewster Asa, Perry, and Eliza Annan. 

BREWSTER ASA HIGLEY, their eldest child, was born at West Granby, Conn., 
January 21, 1836. There he grew to manhood. He received his education at the 



344 THE H 1C LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

district school and worked upon the farm until he reached his majority. He then 
for two successive years taught the winter terms of a country school. 

In September, 1860, he removed to Gustavus, Trumbull County, O., and was 
engaged for several years in a mercantile business with an uncle. Here he mar- 
ried, in 1865, loa Stephenson. Five years after his marriage it was decided to re- 
move to Kansas for a change of climate, hoping to benefit the health of his wife. 
The adventure met financially with ill success, and their hopes not being realized, 
they returned eastward, and settled at Mercer, Pa., in 1880, where Mr. Higley 
was engaged for ten years with the Mercer Woolen Mills. In 1891 he removed 
to Toledo, O., where he held a position with the Armada Mills in that city. 

They have one child, a son, named Henry Clay Higley, born January 31, 1871. 

PERRY HIGLEY, the second child of Asa Higley, 3d, and Eliza Pratt, was born 
November 25, 1837. He attended the town school, working upon the farm during 
summers. 

In the year 1862 he took a journey to California, and being delighted with the 
fair country, found employment on a fruit farm near San Jose, where he remained 
a year. He then returned to his home in Granby, Conn. On the death of his 
father he was engaged for some time as superintendent of a department in the 
Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine manufactory at Bridgeport, Conn., and sub- 
sequently was engaged with the Monumental Zinc Works in the same city. He 
resided in Bridgeport for several years. 

He is a man of powerful strength, and fearless in exercising it when occasion 
requires. Holding the office of constable while a resident of Granby, he some- 
times made daring arrests of wild or vicious persons who were holding at bay a 
crowd of townspeople. His great physical vigor has sometimes led him into odd 
experiences, as well as caused him to be a terror to evil-doers. 

Perry Higley married Kate, daughter of Martin Kelly, of Ansonia, Conn. They 
have no children. He resides in Brooklyn, N. Y. 

ELIZA, the third child of Asa Higley, 3d, and Eliza Pratt, was born March 8, 
1839. Her early education was received at the academy in West Granby, and 
finished at Wilbraham, Mass. Possessing a bright intellect, she had a taste for 
study and ranked one of the first in her class. After her schooldays were passed, 
she proved a successful teacher. She possessed a passion for music. Under its 
inspiration she performed well on the piano when but twelve years old, and at 
fourteen she played the organ at the church services. 

She married the Rev. Charles E. Paige, who was graduated at the Middlebury, 
Vt., College, and had just entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Her gentle disposition and kindly ways brought her many loving friends, who 
mourned her untimely death, April, 1871, at the age of thirty-two. Mrs. Paige 
left three young motherless children. 

*' In secret love the Master 
To each one whispers low, 
' I am at hand ; work faster ; 
Behold the sunset-glow ! ' 
And each one smileth sweet 
Who hears the Master's feet." 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 345 

Continued front page 343. 

EUNICE HIGLEY, the second child of Captain Asa, 2d, and Ruth (Kendall) Higley, 
married Hiram Case and resided at West Granby, Conn. Their children were : 

Adune, George, Anna, Charles, Asa, and John, who died in childhood. She 
became a member of the church at North Granby in 1832, July I. She died . 

HAROLD, the third child of Captain Asa, 2d, and Ruth (Kendall) Higley, lived un- 
married upon the old homestead which his grandfather had settled in West Granby. 
When he had passed his fortieth year he married Rachel Austin of Suffield, 
Conn., to which town, after selling his property, he removed. Here he followed 
farming. He united with the North Granby Congregational Church May 4, 1828. 
His wife died April 2, 1864, aged fifty-six. 

In the year 1882, as he was one day returning from the field during a severe 
thunder storm, he was killed by lightning. He lived the honorable life of a good 
man. They had no children. 

GUNILDA, the fourth child of Captain Asa, 2d, and Ruth (Kendall) Higley, married 
Myron W. Graham of Canton, Conn. They had five children, whose names are 
not given. 

ADUNE, the fifth child, died aged ten. 

THEODOCIA, their sixth child, married Waldo Reed of Granby, Conn. She had 
one daughter, Kathleen, who possessed unusual talents, and became a successful 
teacher. She married a physician and removed to Illinois. She died at the age 
of thirty-four. 

RUTH, the seventh child of Captain Asa, 2d, and Ruth (Kendall) Higley, married 
Samuel White. She became a member of the North Granby Congregational 
Church, July i, 1832, on profession of her faith. They resided at Suffield, Conn., 
and had one child, a daughter. 

MIRANDA, the youngest child-of Captain Asa, 2d, and Ruth (Kendall) Higley, mar- 
ried Emerson Case of Barkhamstead, Conn., and was the mother of four children. 

FAMILY OF LIEUTENANT ASA HIGLEY, 1ST. 
Continued front page 342. 

We now return to the direct line of Lieutenant Asa Higley and 
Eunice Colton. 

EUNICE, their eldest daughter, married Deacon Thaddeus Hays, 
of an old and very respectable family of Simsbury and Granby. 
They had one child a son, named Flavel Hays. 

THEODOSIA, the third child of Lieutenant Asa and Eunice (Col- 
ton) Higley, was born 1781, and married Nathan Strong, a farmer 
of Granby. They had no children. She died October 9, 1853. 

PLINY HIGLEY, the fourth child of Lieutenant Asa and Eunice 
(Colton) Higley, was born 1784. He followed farming, living 
upon the old farm in West Granby upon the mountain side, which 
his father purchased in 1771; but he was not successful. He 
was easy-going, good-natured, and lacking in energy, but withal 



346 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

agreeable and most kind. He was distinguished by a feature 
which has marked the Higley race through all its history his 
fine physique and Sampson-like strength. It was said of him that 
rather than harness his horses he would take the tongue of his 
loaded wagon and pull it to any part of his farm. 

Another marked quality in his make-up was his excellent 
memory. By simply reading through an article or essay once or 
twice, he could repeat it correctly weeks afterward almost verba- 
tim. Being fond of books, and having a taste for historical 
research, he made himself very familiar with the history of other 
lands as well as with that of his native country. 

On the 4th of May, 1828, he was admitted, on profession of 
faith, to membership in the First Congregational Church in North 
Granby. But for some reason which is not stated, his association 
with the church appears to have been unfortunate. It is upon 
record that he was "expelled November 3, 1837." 

He married Martha Beman, the date of marriage not given. 
After they were both well advanced in years, his wife was 
rendered almost helpless from inflammatory rheumatism. This 
called forth Pliny Higley's kindness and patience to a remarkable 
degree, his devotion to her needs proving a striking illustration 
of the best qualities which exalt human nature. His faithful 
attentions were brought to a close by a sudden attack of typhoid 
pneumonia, which proving fatal, closed his life on the morning of 
the 3d of February, 1861. When his wife was informed that he 
had passed away, she had no more spirit in her, and exclaimed : 
"I can live no longer ! " In a few hours she was attacked with 
apoplexy, and on the evening of the same day departed. 

One wide grave in the North Granby cemetery was opened to 
receive their remains, in which, two days later, they were laid side 
by side. The inscription on a double tombstone reads as follows: 

t>t0leg flfcartba 

2>leJ> Dis TMife 

fc 1861, DieO 

BE 77. ffebruarBSO 1861 

BE 81. 

In death they were not divided. 

Pliny and Martha (Beman) Higley were the parents of three 
children, viz.: 

Elvira, Almira, and Gilbert. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, \ST. 347 

ELVIRA married John Cosset and removed to Michigan. 

ALMIRA married Charles Alderman and became the mother of three daughters. 

GILBERT HIGLEY, the only son of Pliny and Martha Beman Higley, was born in 
West Granby, September 3, 1823. He lived at home with his parents till he was 
sixteen, when, having acquired the elements of a plain English education, he was 
apprenticed to his cousin, Asa Higley, 3d, to learn the trade of carpenter and 
joiner, in which his excellent natural ability in due time caused him to excel as a 
workman. 

When his term of apprenticeship expired, in 1844, he went to North Carolina. 
Here he engaged in trading in dry goods, and two years later did an extensive 
business in the purchase and sale of carriages. He then became a contractor and 
builder, in which he met with profitable and satisfactory success. In 1850 he 
took the contract for building the court-house at Lumberton, N. C., and finding a 
wife in the person of Ann Eliza, daughter of Thomas A. Norment, he married in 
1851, and settled in the town, where he has since resided. He grew prosperous, and 
entered fully into sympathy with Southern interests. 

The beginning of the War in 1861 found Gilbert Higley engaged in building a 
large Presbyterian Church, with three Northern men among his workmen. One of 
these left immediately and returned to his New York home ; another ventured to 
remain longer, and ran the blockade ; the third, an elderly man from Connecticut, 
remained. 

The Confederate States were mustering their forces. In April, 1862, a company 
was formed in Lumberton of which Mr. Higley was commissioned second lieutenant, 
and went into camp a little south of Wilmington, N. C. His regiment did service on 
the coasts of the Carolinas and on the islands near Charleston till the autumn of 
1863, engaging in but one sharp encounter, which was at Neuse River bridge on the 
railroad south of Goldsboro. The regiment was then ordered to Petersburg, where 
it went into winter quarters. 

In the spring of 1864 Lieutenant Higley was with his regiment at New Berne, 
N. C., when the Federal forces were driven in. They took a goodly number of 
prisoners, but failed to carry the town by assault. Afterward the troops did lively 
service in preventing the advance of General Butler upon Petersburg. He was in 
the engagement at Dairy's Bluff on May 16, 1864, and behind the " almost impreg- 
nable line of earthworks " from which the Confederate forces charged and drove 
Butler back to Bermuda Hundred. 

His division was afterward ordered across the James River, to fall in on the 
flank of Lee's army. The Confederate troops lay in line of battle behind breast- 
works all one night, but before the evening of the next day, June I, 1864, at the 
battle of Cold Harbor, Lieutenant Higley with all his men were taken prisoners. 
He was the only officer of his company in command at the time, the first lieutenant 
being with the ambulance corps, and his captain ill in hospital in Richmond. 

In August these prisoners were sent by the Federal Government to Charleston, 
S. C., and placed under the guns of the fort on Morris Island, to prevent the 
Confederates from firing upon the fort. They were kept here three weeks in a 
stockade, and were then conveyed to Fort Pulaski, Ga. Here their rations per 
day were five hard-tack biscuits and a small piece of meat. After a time they were 
put on ten ounces of corn meal per day, which was issued in quantities to cover ten 
days at a time. On this allowance they lived thirty-three days. 



34 THE H 1C LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

About this time General Sherman with his army came through on his way to 
Savannah, and some of his men coming to visit the Confederate prisoners' quarters 
found how they were subsisting. About forty of these Union soldiers divided their 
rations of meat and threw them over the lines into the prison yard. The Federal 
guard and provost marshal ordered them to stop, but they did not obey. General 
Foster was at the front. After this incident there were added to the prisoners' 
regular rations of meal four ounces of meat and four ounces of potatoes. 

On the 2oth of February, 1865, an order for exchange of captured prisoners was 
received, and from this time full rations were given them. They were finally 
transferred to Fort Delaware, where they were kept till the igth of June, when 
the war being ended, they were discharged and left to get back to their homes as 
best they could. 

Lieutenant Higley reached his home at Lumberton, N. C., on the 2Qth of the 
same month, having worn the " gray " three years from the time of his enlistment 
in the Southern army, and having served in " brave and simple faith" in its cause. 
He now resides in the town and State of his adoption. 

Lieutenant Gilbert and Ann Eliza (Norment) Higley are the parents of six chil- 
dren, all of whom reside in Lumberton, N. C., except the eldest, a daughter, who 
lives at Blacksburg, S. C. Their names are as follows : 

Martha Elizabeth, born October 5, 1852, married James H. Barnes, and has 
six children. Thomas N., born March 7, 1854, married Emma Pope, and has 
two children. Mary Fannie, born March 28, 1857. Gilbert P., born April 8, 
1863. Annie K., born September u, 1867, married Neal A. Brown. Arabella 
Ilderman, born April 28, 1869. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

OZIAS HIGLEY. 

Ozias, ist, Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
Continued from page 286. 

" Still linger in our northern clime 
Some remnants of the good old time." 

OZIAS HIGLEY, ist, the fourth child of Captain Joseph Higley 
and his second wife, Sarah Case, was born at Simsbury, Conn., 
March 20, 1748. 

Together with his brother Asa Higley he purchased, when 
about twenty-three years of age, lands on the mountain side in 
West Granby, after having refused an offer from his father of a 
farm at Becket, Mass., on condition that he would reside upon 
it. For their Granby lands the brothers agreed to pay "two 
bushels of wheat per acre." However, as has been before stated, 
Captain Joseph Higley, on seeing the unyielding courage and 
industry of these two sons, assisted them later on in paying the 
debt on their farms. 

There is circumstantial record that Ozias Higley was one of 
the patriots of the War of the Revolution. And while there is 
every probability that the story is correct, no official record of 
the fact is yet discovered. 

He married, December 3, 1772, Martha Gillette, 1 of whom we 
have no particulars. The Gillettes were one of the oldest and 
best known families in the colony, and of excellent standing. 

Ozias Higley was made freeman September 19, 1775. On the 
ad of January, 1774, he, with his wife, signed the church covenant, 
and two years later, January, 1776, were admitted on profession of 
their faith to the First Congregational Church in North Granby. 
At this time the Rev. Josiah Strong was the pastor. Ozias 
Higley had already been a faithful church-goer since his youth. 
When but twenty we find him assigned by the town committee 

1 Martha Gillette was probably the daughter of Isaac, Jr., or Captain Zaccheus Gillette of the 
Granby Church. 

349 



35 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

to "pew 14" in the old Simsbury Church, where he sat with 
two neighbors "and their wives." 

Among many kinsman and other residents of the parish, he 
was a patron of his uncle Deacon Brewster Higley, 2d's, cider dis- 
tillery, his name being among the "Creditors who brought cider 
to the Still," September, 1775. 

The time had not yet come when the use of strong liquors as a 
beverage was unpopular ; indeed, it was considered necessary to 
health, and it was as much a usage, and as honorable to partake 
of it, as of any other beverage. Total abstinence societies had 
not yet been dreamed of. Only pure liquors which were prepared 
from wholesome materials were then used. 

Ozias Higley was appointed by the town and served as tithing- 
man, 1 December 4, 1784, and served also during the years 1794-95. 

He is described as a man of unremitting energy, prompt and 
quick in endeavor, and highly respected ; and was consequently 
recognized as a useful member of the community. He was fre- 
quently appointed to public service. 

His first wife died October 7, 1817. Previous to 1821 he 

married his second wife, Elizabeth of Simsbury, whose 

name appears in the settlement of his estate. 

He died at his farm in West Granby, June 22, 1827. 

His will was admitted to probate June 29, 1827. His son, 
Judge Silas Higley, and his nephew, Captain Asa Higley, were 
appointed his executors. 

The children of Ozias, ist, and Martha Gillette Higley were as 
follows : 

Theodore -, Ozias, 2d, Betsey, Martha, Silas, Annis, and Abiel. 

THEODORE HTGLEY, the eldest child, born 1773, married Polly 
Ann Gaylord in West Granby, Conn. 

Having been unfortunate in the loss of property, he removed 
with his family to Montgomery County, North Carolina, about 
the year 1828, where he took up the business of retailing goods 
from place to place by peddlers' carts. 

Leaving North Carolina he went to Missouri, establishing him- 
self in Holt County. Here he resided a number of years till his 
decease, 1853. Their children were: 

Mary Ann, who married Jairus Gray of Fabarra County, North 
Carolina, where they reside; Martha, born 1816, married David 

1 For the duties of this peculiar office, see sketch of Nathaniel Higley, page 141. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 351 

Nest, and resides in Holt County, Missouri ; William G., mentioned 
below; Frances, born 1819, married Thomas Evans, and resides in 
Holt County, Missouri; Susan, born 1827, died, unmarried, 1851; 
Algernon, born 1833, resides in Holt County, Missouri. 

William G. Higley, born 1817, married Maria Dayton, February, 
1850, and resides in American Fork, Utah. Their children: 

Theodore, born March, 1853, died in Salt Lake City, 1869; Annie G., born 
September, 1854, married W. A. Pitt, 1873, of Salt Lake City, where they reside. 
Mr. Pitt is the proprietor of the Overland House. Josephine, born February, 1856, 
died in Salt Lake City, 1867 ; William, born October, 1857, died 1860 ; Dolly, born 
1859, died 1860 ; Lulu, born 1861, married, 1883, Henry Roberts, who died the 
following year; Frank, born 1862, died 1865; Leon, born 1865, married Mary 
Stoddard, 1886, and resides in American Fork, Utah ; Willard, born 1869. 

OZIAS HIGLEY, 2d, the second son of Ozias, ist, and Martha 
(Gillette) Higley, was born in Granby, Conn., 1773. 

He married Delight, daughter of Alexander Cossett, born 
December 21, 1769. His father gave him a farm at Becket, 
Mass., to which they removed, and July 28, 1801, Delight was 
received into the Becket Church "by letter" from the church 
at Granby. Here they lived a number of years. 

Ozias Higley, 2d, sold his farm at Becket and removed with 
his family to Herkimer, N. Y., and there through misfortune lost 
his property. Soon after this, unhappy relations existing between 
the husband and wife culminated, and they separated, breaking 
up the family. The helplessness into which the children were 
brought by this state of things aroused the ready and practical 
sympathy of their father's sisters at Granby, who made them 
their wards. 

Their children were as follows : 

Ozias, 3d, born September 24, 1791; Betsey Maria, born August 
3> J 793> an d baptized February 31, 1796; Sally, born November 
21, 1797; Marquis (familiarly called Mark), born June 10, 1799; 
Julia, born 1802, and Nancy. 

Ozias, 3d, the eldest, and his sister Betsey Maria, married and settled in the 
State of New York. Sally lived with her aunt, Mrs. Alpheus Hays, and married 
Ansel Humphrey. Marquis went to his grandfather, Ozias, ist, subsequently 
returning to his father in Western New York. The father and son afterward went 
South and followed peddling. It is not known that they ever returned. Julia 
resided with her aunt, Mrs. Elnathan Strong. She was killed by lightning, April 
20, 1820, aged eighteen. Nancy married Dr. Benjamin Weld of Canton, Conn., 
and removed to Iowa. 



35 2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

BETSEY, the date of whose birth is not given (page 350), daugh- 
ter of Ozias, ist, and Martha Gillette, was admitted to the church 
in North Granby on profession of her faith, June 6, 1828; she 
became the first wife of Alpheus Hays of Granby, who was Repre- 
sentative to the Connecticut Legislature, 1822-26. They had 
one child, a daughter, Emetine, who married Dr. J. D. Wilcox. 

Betsey died , and Mr. Hays married for his second wife, 

her first cousin, Sarah Higley, daughter of Simeon Higley. 

MARTHA, the second daughter of Ozias Higley, ist, and Martha 
Gillette, married Theodore Hays. They had children, viz. : 

Dwight, William, Edwin, Betsey, Martha, and Arthur. The last 
four died early in life. 

Continued from page 350. 

SILAS HIGLEY, the fifth child of Ozias, ist, and Martha (Gillette) 
Higley, was born in Granby, Conn., 1780. He was admitted 
freeman at Granby, September 21, 1801; and is recorded as hav- 
ing, on profession of his faith, become a member of the church 
at North Granby, October 21, 1804. 

He studied law, and was admitted to the bar while yet a young 
man, scarcely thirty. For more than forty years Judge Silas Higley 
practiced his profession in Hartford County, Connecticut, being 
many years on the bench, and " was honorably identified with 
the growth, organization, and management of the leading interests 
of the town." The public records show that few citizens were 
more prominent. Socially and intellectually by bench and bar, 
and from a legal standpoint, he was acknowledged everywhere as 
one of the foremost and distinguished men of the county. 

He married Melissa . 

Judge Silas Higley died June 21, 1853, and was interred in the 
Salmon Brook cemetery (Hartford County), where a handsome 
monumental shaft of granite honors his memory. 

His wife, Mrs. Melissa Higley, died May 16, 1856, aged 
seventy-four years and six months. 

They had four children, as follows : 

MARY THERESA, born February 22, 1808, who married James Case, M. D., 
October 5, 1830. Dr. and Mrs. Case were the parents of one son, William Case, 
a prominent lawyer who resides in Hartford. Mrs. Case died 1887. They resided 
in Salmon Brook, Conn. 

JOHN JAY, the second child of Judge Silas and Melissa Higley, born 1809, 
died April 6, 1826, aged 17. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 353 

WILLIAM WILTSHIRE, their third child, was born 1819, and died September 
14, 1820, aged eighteen months. 

JULIA MINERVA, their fourth child, born January, 1821, died September 29, 
1822, aged one year and eight months. 

ANNIS HIGLEY, the sixth child of Ozias, ist, and Martha 
(Gillette) Higley (page 350), was born^ November 8, 1781. She 
became a member of the Granby church in 1802. January 6, 
1806, she married Elnathan, son of Deacon Elnathan Strong, of 
Granby, Conn., who was sergeant in the i8th Militia Regiment in 
the Revolutionary War, Captain Samuel Hays' company. They 
settled on a farm in Granby, lived in good circumstances, and 
bore an excellent reputation in the community, being highly 
respected. 

They lost a number of children by death in infancy, only one 
living to mature years, who was named Annis Elizabeth, born 
November 19, 1816. She married John Burwell, and resided in 
Granby. 

Annis (Higley) Strong died November 17, 1842. Her husband 
survived her less than one month. He died of pneumonia, 
December 4, 1842. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

ABIEL HIGLEY. 

Abiel, Ozias, ist, Captain Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
Continued from page 350. 

My advice is to consult the lives of other men as he would a looking-glass, and from them fetch 
examples for his own imitations. TERENCE. 

ABIEL HIGLEY, the seventh and youngest child of Ozias, ist, 
and Martha (Gillette) Higley, was born in West Granby, Hartford 
County, Conn., in the year 1789. His early life was spent in 
occupations incident to a Connecticut farm. It was no doubt 
during these years that he gained his ardent love for horses, 
which brought him in time to be an exceptionally fine horseman. 

In the year 1814 he married Prudence Crane of East Windsor, 
Conn., and took his young wife to his farm at West Granby. 

For a number of years he turned his attention somewhat away 
from farming, entering into a considerable business in the pur- 
chase of clocks and notions, which he shipped by coast vessels 
to North and South Carolina. During the winter months he 
traveled over these States selling his goods to the planters. He 
was one of the original " Yankee Clock Peddlers." 

There is no question but that these journeys led to the expan- 
sion of his mind, and enlarged his ideas of life beyond the narrow 
boundaries of the Connecticut farm that had been his foster-land 
from his birth, and may have been the indirect stimulus to an 
undertaking a few years later, to leave its hard soil and reach a 
country more fertile and favored. 

The successive births of six children brought his home- in a few 
years to be the abode of an interesting family. 

On the 4th of January, 1829, Abiel Higley and his wife together 
united, on profession of their faith, with the First Congregational 
Church of North Granby, and on the i2th of the July following 
they had a public baptism of their four children, " Henry 
Edwards, Sarah Cornelia, Harvey Grant, and Maria Louisa," who 
was then the youngest. 

Their eldest son, at the age of twenty-two, who had assisted 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 355 

his father on his business tours in the Carolinas, craving a field 
of adventure in the then "far West," determined to satisfy it. 
Leaving the family home in Granby in the autumn of 1840, he 
made his way to the great prairie State of Illinois, of whose rich 
surface covered with deep black soil, ready to support its civilized 
millions, his forefathers, whose lives we have been tracing, never 
had dreamt. 

The enthusiastic letters of the son telling of the wonders of 
these broad unplowed prairies, together with business reverses, 
were the immediate cause of Abiel Higley undertaking removal 
westward. 

In the spring of 1841 he disposed of the farm at Granby, 
fitted up several teams, loaded into wagons a meager supply of 
the bare necessities for living, for this was before the days of 
Western railroads, and with his wife and six children, among 
whom was a married darghter and her husband, they set out on 
that old time two months' overland journey of privation and peril, 
from Hartford County, Connecticut, to the Mississippi River. 

The strict watchfulness which the church exercised over its 
members in those days is strikingly shown in its record concern- 
ing Mr. and Mrs. Higley. The minister was evidently not in 
sympathy with their movements, and taking occasion to adminis- 
tet reproof, he enters on his church book under date, "March 
i3th 1841 Abiel Higley, Admonished, W. W.," 1 and on the 
opposite page, " Abiel's wife admonished, W 7 . W." 

But onward they went; and there was no disappointment in 
their favor in the weariness and perils of the long trudging road. 
The journey was fraught with all the hardships incident to a 
journey of the magnitude accomplished in that way at that day. 

Arriving at Bloomington, 111., in July, they stopped there the 
remainder of the summer and the following winter. In the mean- 
while it was decided that their son, Henry E., should go to Marion, 
Linn County, la., and on the ist of April, 1842, Abiel and his 
family again set their faces westward and followed on. A two 
weeks' further travel brought them to their destination. The 
journey from Bloomington, 111., to Marion, la., in the early 
return of spring, was a difficult one, being just after the spring 
rains. The streams were overflowing their banks, the roads, 
which were but Indian trails over the broad unbroken prairies 
waving with tall grass, were at times almost impassable. No one 

1 The interpretation of " W. W.," is watch withdrawn. 



35 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

but a brave and resolute man would have attempted such a 
journey with a family. 

On the i5th of April, 1842, they arrived at the end of their long 
and weary march, Marion, the county-seat of Linn County, Iowa, 
which was at that time but a hamlet of twenty dwellings, includ- 
ing the rude log cabins. 

Here Abiel Higley decided to permanently settle, and pur- 
chased a farm just east of the town, which he at once began 
improving. 

Says his son, Major Mortimer A. Higley : " The country was very 
new. It was four years before Iowa was admitted into the Union 
as a State. Marion was but a few miles from the Indian line, and 
the Indians for many years were our friends and associates more 
than the white people. The tribe nearest was the Sacs and Fox 
tribe; in many respects a noble people. 

"The hardships and privations of this pioneer life can only be 
known and appreciated by those who experienced it. Luxuries 
we had none, and but few of the bare, rough necessities of life. 

" All the pioneers were moneyless. There was no money in the 
community. Whenever a settler had a wagon load of produce to 
sell, he was forced to haul it to Dubuque, seventy-five miles dis- 
tant, sleeping under his wagon at night and cooking his own food, 
then dispose of his whole wagon load for a few dollars. Dressed 
pork at that time sold for one dollar per hundred pounds, and it 
required eight hundred pounds of pork to buy a barrel of salt. 

" In our neighborhood it was impossible to sell any produce for 
cash. All business was done on the "dicker," or bartering, 
principle. There was not a sufficient amount of money to pay 
the taxes, though they were light. Warrants were issued by the 
county to pay its expenses, and the inhabitants, getting hold of 
these warrants, would trade or "dicker" them at the stores of 
general merchandise for the necessaries of life. And to pay their 
taxes they took their butter, eggs, wheat, oats, and corn to these 
stores and dickered them for goods, county warrants, etc., paying 
the amount due without using a dollar of currency. 

" I remember that letters often lay for weeks in the post office 
before we could afford twenty-five cents in cash to pay the 
postage. Postage was not prepaid in those days. And the mails, 
being slow and very irregular, and money so scarce, we seldom 
received letters, though we enjoyed hearing from our friends. 
We were far more pleased at receiving a newspaper than a letter, 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, \ST. 357 

the postage being much less on papers, and they often brought us 
more news than the letters contained, the margins being covered 
with writing. An ink was used which was legible only after it 
was exposed to the heat. 

" While there was a great proportion of the settlers honest, in- 
dustrious, enterprising men, there were a great many daring, 
dishonest adventurers who spent their lives stealing horses and 
manufacturing and passing counterfeit money. Lynch law was 
frequently practiced, and many a wretch was hurried into eternity 
without judge or jury. This was the only way that the honest 
settler could protect his family and his property." 

It was but five months after Abiel Higley's family was settled 
in this new country and new surroundings, that its members were 
called, under strange and sorrowful circumstances, to suffer a sore 
affliction in the death of the husband and father. Abiel Higley 
was stricken down with a serious illness in the month of Septem- 
ber, and died October 5, 1842; leaving his wife a stranger, far 
from the home of her childhood and kindred, with six children, 
and but a small allowance of this world's goods, the means which 
he had brought with him having been largely consumed by the 
purchase of the farm and its improvements. After his decease the 
balance was required to pay the bills consequent upon his illness 
and death. But Prudence Higley was brave and courageous. 
She met the emergency of the situation with firm resolution, 
keeping her young family together. Henry and Harvey, her two 
oldest sons, aided her to the best of their abilities. 

Major Higley states that "a contractor, who was supplying a 
distant United States fort Fort Atkinson with rations, engaged 
these two young men to haul these supplies across the wild 
prairies to the fort. This was a great undertaking, when it is 
taken into consideration that there were no roads, and no means 
for crossing the swollen streams except by swimming the 'horses 
and conveying the wagons and provisions over on rafts, which 
was not only laborious work, but at times was attended with ex- 
treme danger. 

"On one of these journeys they were overtaken by a violent 
storm in the midst of the wide prairie, many miles from their 
only protection, the timber that belted the banks of the streams. 
It was late in the day and darkness overtook them. The rain 
fell in torrents, and the only way they could keep to the dim 
trail was by the flashes of lightning, which was so vivid that the 



35 8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

young teamsters thought they could see a stream of electric light 
pass around the tires of the wagon wheels. At last they reached 
their camping-ground in safety, and as the party of teamsters 
sat around their camp-fire that night, even the profanest and 
most hardened of them acknowledged in his own rough way the 
terror of God's thunder-bolts." 

Mrs. Prudence Higley lived to fulfil her sacred life-trust in 
bringing up her family, receiving much compensation in her old 
age for her noble heroism, and finding herself surrounded by 
every comfort, coupled with the luxuries, of life which she desired. 

She died at Cedar Rapids, la., in the eightieth year of her age, 
January 4, 1878. 

It was of such as she that Judge Warren Higley spoke in his 
speech at the Higley Family reunion at Windham, O. : 

"Our mothers God bless them ! What do we not owe to them ! They gave 
us the best of their lives ; trained us to virtues that are brightest in our manhood ; 
inspired us .to noblest endeavor, and even encouraged us to walk in the pathway that 
leads to honorable achievement in our chosen avocations. In our weakness they 
tenderly cared for us. In our ignorance they taught us. In our discouragement 
they cheered us. In our successes and victories over difficulties they rejoiced with 
us. In our unbelief they lead us lovingly to the fountain of eternal life the 
source of all power, the Good. They taught us love of country, inspired us with 
hope and faith. When a noble son works his way up into the blaze of popular 
recognition, and commands distinguished honors from his countrymen, how gener- 
ally do we trace his virtues back to his mother's teachings to her who wisely 
sowed the precious seed in the garden of his youth. 

" The grandest virtues and noblest heroism of the mothers and sisters and wives 
and daughters, though exercised without ostentation, or the thought of public 
recognition, would, if known and faithfully recorded, make the brightest pages of 
history and do most honor to womanhood and manhood." 

Children of Abiel and Prudence (Crane) Higley : 
Henry Edward, Sarah Cornelia, Harvey Grant, Louisa Maria, 
Wellington Wesley, Mortimer Abiel. 

HENRY EDWARD HIGLEY, the eldest child of Abiel and Pru- 
dence (Crane) Higley, was born at West Granby, Conn., July 15, 
1818. When quite a lad he made journeys with his father when 
engaged in the sale of clocks in Virginia and the Carolinas. In 
1840 he went to Bloomington, 111., and in 1842 he removed with 
his father and the family, who had come from Connecticut, to 
Marion, la., where for a number of years he was engaged with 
his brother Harvey in the manufacture of fanning mills. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 359 

He married Mary N. Morgan of West Granby, July 29, 1845, 
the affection for each other having been cherished since their 
schooldays, when but children. He brought his young wife to 
his Western home at Marion ; but in less than one year, April 22, 
1846, she died in childbirth. Her baby son survived her but a 
few months. 

Soon after the decease of his wife he removed to Cedar Rapids, 
engaging there in selling merchandise. In 1849, gld having 
been discovered in immense quantities in California, he was led 
in feverish excitement to join in company with a party of reso- 
lute and brave men, and cross the plains to the Pacific Coast, a 
three months' journey full of peril in those days. Arriving at 
Sacramento in the autumn, he was soon busily employed in min- 
ing, and in conveying goods and mining supplies by pack-load 
upon the backs of mules up into the mountainous regions. This 
he continued till 1851, when he returned by the way of Panama 
to Cedar Rapids, la., and again entered into a partnership with 
his brother, Harvey Grant Higley, in merchandising, at which he 
remained till the close of his life. 

In 1853 he married for his second wife, Hannah E. Emery of 
Dingman's Ferry, Pa. They had two children, a son, Edward 
., and a daughter, Mary ., born 1855; the latter died in child- 
hood, February 6, 1863. 

Henry Edward Higley died August 6, 1868. His wife is still 
living. 

EDWARD EMERY HIGLEY, their son, born September, 1853, married in Chicago, 
111., December 29, 1885, Georgia A Brogdin of Toronto, Canada. He resides at 
the town of Higley, Orange County, Fla., which he founded, and where he has 
large interests. He is engaged in mercantile pursuits, and holds the appointment 
of postmaster. 

Continued front fage 358. 

SARAH CORNELIA HIGLEY KENDALL, the second child of Abiel 
and Prudence (Crane) Higley, was born at West Granby, Conn. 
May 21, 1822, and married Albert Kendall of Granby, November 
9, 1840. They removed to Bloomington, 111., the spring follow- 
ing their marriage 1841 going westward in company with her 
father's family. Here they resided a few years, and then re- 
moved to Marion, la. 

Mr. Kendall was by trade a wagon-maker, carrying on the 
business while a resident at Bloomington, and for many years at 



360 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Marion. He did a profitable business making sales throughout 
the State in its early history. Later in life he engaged in the 
hardware business. 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Kendall was specially noted for its 
warm hospitality. There was a never-failing cordiality offered 
their guests, which will ever linger in the memory of those who 
were privileged to be entertained beneath their roof. In this 
respect it was an ideal home. 

Albert Kendall died January, 1876. His wife, Sarah C. (Higley) 
Kendall, died December 8, 1888, at Marion, la. 

Their children : 

WILLIAM ALBERT KENDALL, the eldest, was born at Marion, la., April 4, 1847. 
He married, November 18, 1875, Jennie E. Frantz of Burlington, a native of Penn- 
sylvania. They reside at Burlington, la., Mr. Kendall holding a responsible 
position as General Agent for the B. C. R. & N. Railroad Company, an office which 
he has faithfully and honorably rilled for more than twenty years. They have 
two children, both born at Burlington, viz.: 

Leslie, a daughter, born July 21, 1879, and Reginald IV., born September 3, 
1884. 

WELLINGTON JEROME KENDALL, the second son of Albert and Sarah (Higley) 
Kendall, was born May 19, 1851. He married December 25, 1873, Emma E. 
Brancht at Findley, O. They reside at Marion, la. At the time of his father's 
death he was his partner in the hardware firm, and was his successor in business. 
He was well known as an active, keen-sighted, and successful business man. Hav- 
ing prospered and acquired a competency, he retired in recent years from active 
business life. They are the parents of two children, viz. : 

Carl W., born April 5, 1881, and Alberta, born July 25, 1877. 

HARVEY GRANT HIGLEY, the third child of Abiel and Prudence 
(Crane) Higley, was born at West Granby, Conn., September i, 
1824. In figure and features he bore close resemblance to the 
maternal side of the family, but inherited strong characteristics 
of his father; among which was the great fondness he early 
betrayed for horses. This continued a part and parcel of his 
nature throughout his whole life. When but a boy of seventeen 
he drove a four-horse team from Granby, Conn., to Marion, la., 
no small undertaking. Though he never entered the turf, he 
was a practical horseman, and always fond of driving. His good 
judgment and excellent handling of horses, in which few have 
excelled, was well-known in all circles. At one time, in addition 
to his regular business, he was the owner of a large stable of 
horses, of which he never permitted one to be overdone or jaded. 

Until the year 1847 he was engaged in a partnership with his 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, \ST. 361 

elder brother, Henry, in the manufacture of fanning mills. He 
then removed to Cedar Rapids, engaging in mercantile pursuits, 
in which he continued till within a few years of his death. The 
last years of his life were given to the care of his real estate, and 
improving the same. Some of the finest blocks in that city are 
monuments testifying to his enterprise and public spirit. Harvey 
Grant Higley married, November 7, 1849, Anna Bishop of Bristol, 
Conn. 

He died June 23, 1878. His wife survives him. They were 
the parents of five children, viz.: 

Henry Grant, Elmer Abiel, Mortimer John, Louis Karl, and 
Albert Harvey. 

HENRY GRANT HIGLEY, the eldest, was born in Cedar Rapids, la., February 16, 
1851. He married, October 28, 1875, Ella M. Nye, who was born in Boston, Mass. 
His business is that of florist, owing a fine business house, also extensive gardens, 
which are pleasantly situated on the bluffs commanding the southern suburbs of the 
city of Cedar Rapids. Both he and his wife gained considerable note for original 
and highly artistic designs in floral decorations. They have three children living, 
viz.: 

Henry G., Jr,, born February 4, 1880; Louis Karl, born June n, 1886 ; and 
Ella ; all of whom were born in Cedar Rapids. Three children died in infancy. 

ELMER ABIEL HIGLEY, the second son of Harvey Grant and Anna (Bishop) 
Higley, was born at Cedar Rapids, la., November 19, 1856. He married, Decem- 
ber 29, 1880, Helen L. Olds, who was from Vermont. Mr. Higley is the senior 
member of the firm of Elmer A. Higley & Co., wholesale dealers in eggs, 
butter, poultry, beef, and veal. They are the owners of large cold storage 
warehouses in Cedar Rapids, in which they store these products in great quantities, 
holding them till the market is ready for their sale, and doing an extensive busi- 
ness. During the year 1891 Elmer A. Higley 'and his brother, Mortimer John 
Higley, who are managers of the estate of their father, Harvey G. Higley, erected 
a fine business block, corner of Third Avenue and Second Street, Cedar Rapids, 
at a cost, including the lot, of eighty-seven thousand dollars, which, in honor of 
their old Connecticut ancestral town, they call " The Granby." It stands as a 
handsome monument to Harvey Grant Higley, who for many years contributed 
to the progress and improvement of this enterprising city. 

Elmer A. and Helen (Olds) Higley are the parents of three children, all born in 
Cedar Rapids, viz.: 

Harvey Douglas, born July 16, 1882 ; Donald Sturges, born October 14, 1884, 
who died December 6, 1886 ; and Fred Mitchel, born April 16, 1888. 

MORTIMER JOHN HIGLEY, the third son of Harvey Grant and Anna (Bishop) 
Higley, was born at Cedar Rapids, la., October 25, 1861. He is the junior partner 
of the firm of E. A. Higley & Co., and assumes the charge of the office and 
financial interests of the firm. He married at Burlington, la., October 10, 1883, 
Ida Nelson of that city. They have one child 

Hazel Higley, born July 20, 1885. 



362 THE II IG LEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ALBERT HARVEY HIGLEY, the fifth son of Harvey Grant and Anna (Bishop) 
Hlgley, was born in Cedar Rapids, la. , September 29, 1872. He received his 
education in the city schools of his native town, and afterward attended Kempter 
Hall, Davenport, la. He married, February 23, 1892, Mary, daughter of H. B. 
and Susan Stibbs of Cedar Rapids. They reside in Lexington, Ky. 



Continued from page 358. 

LOUISA MARIA HIGLEY, the second daughter and fourth child 
of Abiel and Prudence (Crane) Higley, was born at West Granby, 
Conn., April 10, 1827. She was a girl of fourteen at the time 
her parents turned their faces westward. 

On the 2 ;th of November, 1844, she married, at Marion, la., 
William Greene of Burlington, in that State, to which place she 
went to reside with her husband. 

Mr. Greene was at the time engaged in book-binding, being 
the first man who engaged in this business in Iowa. He met 
with success, and did the binding for the Territory, Iowa not hav- 
ing yet become a State when he began the business. In 1846 he 
removed with his family to Cedar Rapids, being among the very 
first comers to the place, and was one of the first to open a mer- 
cantile business, his brothers, Judge George Greene and Joseph, 
being partners in the firm. 

Possessed of enterprise and great natural ability, and seeing 
avenues then opening in the new State for money-making, as well 
as the possibilities for its development and improvement, he was 
one of the leading and foremost men in bringing the State of 
Iowa up to her present advanced and remarkable condition of 
prosperity, and for many years was widely known in business 
circles. 

In the year 1857 Mr. Greene, associated with his brother, 
Judge Greene, entered into the banking business, having branch 
houses in several of the prominent centers of the State Des 
Moines, Council Bluffs, Cedar Falls, Vinton, and Sioux City. 

In 1863 they turned their attention to constructing and operat- 
ing railroads, Mr. Greene personally superintending the building 
of the McGregor Western Railroad. They built the Rockford, 
Rock Island and St. Louis, the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and 
North Railroad, having the management of the latter until 1873. 

No undertaking seemed too great for William Greene, and no 
public enterprise was started in Cedar Rapids during many years 
of its history about which he was not consulted. His life was 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, \ST. 363 

identified with the whole life of the young city. He was a man 
of exceeding liberality and great kindness of heart: the poor were 
never turned away empty-handed. He never entered politics. 

When, in the early history of the city, it was determined to 
organize the parish of Grace Church, he was made a member of 
the vestry, although a very young man, and filled the office of 
senior warden for thirty-seven years, only laying down the office 
when he left this life. For many years he was a faithful com- 
municant of the church. 

Mr. Greene was born in Staffordshire, England, January 25, 
1819, but, from two years of age, was reared and educated at 
Buffalo, N. Y. He died March 28, 1887. 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Greene was conspicuous for its 
elegance and its unbounded hospitality. Louisa M. Higley, the 
wife, mother, and hostess, for more than forty years was her hus- 
band's confidante and the sharer of his inner life, bearing with 
him the "heat and burden" of his successful activities in the 
business world. 

They were the parents of ten children, as follows : 

The eldest, George Higley, was born at Burlington, la., October 29, 1845. He 
married Charlotte Backus at Independence, la., and had three children : William, 
Henry, and Nellie. He was a railroad man and lived at Denison, Tex. He died 
at St. Paul, Minn., February, 1892. 

The second child, Sefer Prudence, was born at Cedar Rapids, May 16, 1848, and 
married Peter Martel, a native of Syracuse, N. Y. They have three children, all 
born at Cedar Rapids : Mary, Barbara, and Sefer. Mrs. Martel died at Cedar 
Rapids, May 5, 1889. 

The third child, William Wellington, was born at Cedar Rapids, April 13, 1850. 
His wife was Fannie Patterson. They have one child, Nellie. He is a farmer 
and lives near his native place. 

The fourth child, Frank Higley, was born at Cedar Rapids, October 29, 1854. 
He married Rosa James, and lives on a farm near that city. They have four 
children, namely : Maud, Louise, Everilt, Nellie. 

The fifth child, Mary Boardman, was born at Cedar Rapids, October 2O, 1856 ; 
she married Willis P. McCreary, an attorney-at-law. They reside at Hastings, 
Neb., and have three children: Mary and Willis, born at Cedar Rapids, and 
Dorethea, born at Hastings, Neb. 

The sixth child, Charles Mortimer, was born at Cedar Rapids, October 29, 1858. 
He married Emma Troxel of Burlington, la. They have two children, both born 
at Burlington : William Troxel and Fannie. Charles M. Greene died at Cedar 
Rapids, December 25, 1889. 

The seventh child, Sarah L., was born in Cedar Rapids, November I, 1860, and 
married J. Fred. Kimbal of Council Bluffs, la., where they now reside. They 
have no children. Mr. Kimbal is a banker and real estate operator. 



364 THE H1GLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The eighth child, Robert Abiel, was born in Cedar Rapids, January 18, 1862. 
He married Edna Smith at Douglas, Wyo., where they now reside. They have 
no children. He was graduated at the Iowa University in civil engineering. 

The ninth child, Fannie Jane, was born in Cedar Rapids, September 3, 1867, 
and married, October 30, 1890, Chas. T. West. They now reside in Cedar Rapids. 

The tenth and last child, Albert Joseph, was born in Cedar Rapids, August 27, 
1868, and married Florence Burr, March, 1890. His wife died the following April. 
He resides with his mother in Cedar Rapids, la. 

Continued from page 358. 

WELLINGTON WESLEY HIGLEY, the third son and fifth child of 
Abiel and Prudence (Crane) Higley, was born in West Granby, 
Conn., July 14, 1831. 

He was about eleven years of age when his father removed, 
with his family, to the fine and fertile Territory of Iowa, this 
country being at the time of their coming yet the scene of border 
life. From his youth he has participated in the successive 
stages of advancement through which the prosperous State, with 
its growing cities and towns, has passed. The progress of this 
new realm of civilization, which lay in the heart of the great 
rolling prairies of the central United States, has been one of 
remarkable advance. The only laborers in those times were the 
settlers and their sons, and every man and boy had his share in 
extending his helping hand toward the proud results of honest 
labor. 

Personally, in general bearing, facially, and in leading charac- 
teristics, he is the most pronounced Higley of his branch of the 
family. He is a man of decided opinions, and possesses the 
courage to maintain them; of fine business ability and rare 
judgment, and has achieved an exceptional reputation, winning 
his way in life with marked success as an honorable business 
man. Elastic in temperament, quick-witted, and with a ready 
answer to any question, linked to a delightful sense of humor, 
Mr. Higley is popular at all social gatherings. 

He gained some knowledge of business life in Burlington, la., 
in 1844, and came finally to Cedar Rapids, where in 1846 he 
entered the mercantile house of his brother-in-law, William 
Greene, as a clerk, remaining till the year 1856. He soon rose to 
be the manager of the establishment. The trade of the house 
was in its early days largely with the Sac and Fox Indians, and to 
this day the descendants of those Indians come to his place of 
business to inquire for him. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY,\ST. 365 

The year 1856 found him engaged in the lumber trade, under 
the firm name of Higley & Carroll, and about the year 1858 
he, with J. C. McClelland as partner, was the owner of large 
stables. 

In the autumn of 1859, in company with his two older brothers, 
Henry and Harvey Higley, he entered the dry goods trade, in 
which he continued till the year 1866, when he became the pur- 
chaser of a partnership with his younger brother, Mortimer A. 
Higley, in a hardware and stove house. This house is still doing 
an active and successful business. 

Wellington W. Higley was largely instrumental in organizing 
and founding the Merchants' National Bank of Cedar Rapids, 
and was one of the original directors. He also lent his aid in 
organizing the Security Savings Bank, and has been one of its 
directors since its organization. 

Oak Hill Cemetery, lying southeast of the city, where the 
citizens lay their dead, 

" Who hath awakened from this dream of life," 

is a spot triumphant in rural beauty, of which they are justly 
proud. To its improvements and adornments Mr. Higley has 
given much careful attention, having been for many years a lead- 
ing director, the treasurer, and superintendent of the grounds. 

He married, April 8, 1858, in Cedar Rapids, Jane E. Farnum, 
who was born in Millbury, Mass. 

They are the parents of three children, viz.: Jessie ., Charles 
Wellington, and William Mortimer. 

JESSIE E., the eldest, was born September 17, 1861, in Cedar Rapids, la., and 
married, November 23, 1887, Eugene A. Regley, M. D. Dr. Regley was gradu- 
ated at the Chicago Medical College, and attended colleges in New York City and 
Europe in the line of his specialty the eye, ear, and throat. He ranks as one of 
the most skillful practitioners in the State. 

They have one child, a son, born December 9, 1888, who bears the given name 
of his grandfather, Wellington Higley Regley. 

CHARLES WELLINGTON, the second child of Wellington W. and Jennie E. 
(Farnum) Higley, was born March 18, 1 866. He received his education at Coe 
College, in his native town, after which he traveled abroad. 

He is now engaged as special agent and adjuster for the Underwriters' Insur- 
ance Company of New York, his territory embracing Iowa, Minnesota, and Wis- 
consin. He resides in Minneapolis, Minn. 

WILLIAM MORTIMER, the third and youngest child of Wellington W. and Jennie 
(Farnum) Higley, was born July 24, 1874. He is pursuing his studies in the high 
school in Cedar Rapids. 



366 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

MORTIMER ABIEL HIGLEY, the sixth child and fourth son of 
Abiel and Prudence (Crane) Higley, was born at West Granby, 
Conn., April 12, 1838. His memory scarcely reaches back to the 
time of the removal of his parents to Iowa in 1842, when he was 
but four years of age. 

He received his education at the common schools at Marion 
and Cedar Rapids, which he attended till the age of fourteen. 
From this time till he was seventeen, he was gaining experience 
in the elements of a business life in the mercantile house of his 
older brothers in Cedar Rapids, the family having removed to 
this place in the year 1849. 

At Waverly, la., in 1855, he obtained a situation as clerk in a 
store of general merchandise, continuing here till the year 1857, 
when he went to Neosho Falls, Woodson County, Kan., and re- 
mained one year, seeing much of rough border life. In July, 
1857, he returned to Cedar Rapids, and entered the employ 
of W. B. Mack, a wholesale grocer, serving his superior well, 
and remaining in this position till the beginning of the Civil 
War. 

During this period he held the office of city recorder, which 
he resigned when going into the army. 

The Civil War gave Mortimer A. Higley an opportunity to show 
the mettle of which he was constituted. Determined to enter the 
contest, he made a record for himself by securing a commission 
to raise a company of infantry on the call for troops. He at 
once recruited about forty men and took them to Lyons, la., 
there consolidating them with a company but partly recruited, 
which was then assigned as Company A, i5th Iowa Volunteer 
Infantry, and which became the first company of the regiment. 
In this he enlisted September 17, 1861, and was promoted to the 
first lieutenancy the 28th of the following October. 

The i5th Iowa left camp, taking a boat down the Mississippi 
River, March 19, 1862. It was a stormy, gloomy day. "Many 
sad hearts were left behind," says the historian of the regiment, 
" but everyone felt that if the i5th should find the opportunity, 
it would give a good account of itself, and inscribe its name high 
on the roll of fame." And so it came to pass. None who follow 
the history of its conspicuous record, taking its place in the 
oldest brigade in the Army of the Tennessee, can fail to do hom- 
age to its pre-eminent usefulness and noble service to our country 
in her time of danger. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 3&7 

Of Lieutenant Mortimer Higley, says General Belknap: "He 
was a very efficient officer up by daylight or before, and watch- 
ful of the interests and necessities of the men. He was a soldier 
and a real hero." 

February 20, 1862, Lieutenant Higley was promoted to the 
position of quartermaster of his regiment, and in August, 1862, 
was assigned to the staff of General E. O. C. Ord, commanding 
the district of Corinth, as acting commissary of subsistence. 
He was assigned to the staff of General McKean, as quarter- 
master of the 6th Division of the Army of the Tennessee, Octo- 
ber 4, 1862, and to the staff of General James B. McPherson, as 
acting commissary of subsistence of the left wing of the Army 
of the Tennessee, November i, 1862. 

His ability was so promptly recognized in the department that 
he was recommended for promotion as commissary of subsistence 
with the rank of captain, to which position President Lincoln 
appointed him, November 28, 1862, and he was assigned to the 
staff of General J. B. McPherson, as chief commissary of sub- 
sistance, i;th Corps, Army of the Tennessee. 

In January, 1864, an officer of the subsistence department of 
higher rank was assigned to the lyth Corps, and Captain Higley 
was assigned to the staff of General J. M. Tuttle, as depot com- 
missary of subsistence at Cairo, 111., until the following April, 
when he was ordered to report to General C. C. Washburn at 
Memphis, Tenn., with whom he was to have made the march with 
Sherman's army through the Confederacy. Serious illness, how- 
ever, prevented General Washburn from going upon this invasion, 
and Captain Higley was assigned as depot commissary of sub- 
sistence at Memphis, supplying all troops with commissary stores 
from Memphis to Corinth, Miss. 

Captain Higley was in the heat of active service at the battle 
of Shiloh, Miss., when his regiment "went through its bloody 
baptism," on April 6 and 7, 1862. For three hours the 15th 
Iowa maintained its position, "the men fighting like veterans," 
though they were but two weeks in the field, and 'twas the first 
time they had been under fire. After the battle only 407 an- 
swered at roll-call, out of 1045 noble men. Seventeen officers 
were among the killed and wounded. 

General Belknap again remarks of Captain Higley: "Though 
his position did not call for it, he was found in the midst of 
danger, rallying the scattered men, and regardless of peril." 



368 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

And in his official report of the battle of Corinth, October 3 and 
4, 1862, General Thos. J. McKean, commanding 6th Division, 
i3th Army Corps, uses these words: 

" Acting Division Quartermaster M. A. Higley performed his 
arduous duties in a very intelligent manner; has always shown 
himself reliable, and was fearless and indefatigable." The official 
report of the colonel commanding, Colonel Hugh T. Reid, in 
his report of the battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862, gives him no less 
praise and credit for "the masterly manner in which he per- 
formed his arduous duties on the field and elsewhere during the 
fight." 

At the battle of Corinth Lieutenant Colonel Belknap, then the 
colonel commanding, registers "Quartermaster Higley" in his 
official returns as among "the officers whose gallant conduct 
came under my especial observation." 

When Belknap came to fill the office of United States Secretary 
of War, he ever after honored Higley by the title of " major," by 
which he has since been known. 

On returning from the army, July, 1863, Major Higley again 
settled into active business life in Cedar Rapids, la., and became 
prominent in mercantile and financial circles. 

The year of 1864 found him in partnership with P. W. Zigler, 
engaged in the hardware business. In 1866 his partner sold his 
interest in the firm to Wellington W. Higley, a brother of the 
subject of this sketch, and the firm, which speedily built up a 
large and successful business, has since been known as Higley & 
Brother. 

On the i8th of April, 1883, he was elected president of the Mer- 
chants' National Bank of Cedar Rapids, which holds a supremacy 
of capital over all other banks in the county. This position he is 
holding at the present time (1892). 

Major Higley is public-spirited. In connection with his brother 
he has been a man of no ordinary importance in the current affairs 
of their city. 

Since the year 1875 he has been a member of the Board of 
Education, having from that time served continuously, and more 
than once has held the position of its president. To him is given 
much of the credit for the new and finely constructed high-school 
building which has been recently erected (1891) in Cedar Rapids, 
a thoroughly equipped educational center, which, states a cor- 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, 1ST. 369 

respondent, "stands as a monument to the energy and persist- 
ence of Major M. A. Higley, who, as chairman of the building 
committee, has voluntarily devoted months of unremitting atten- 
tion to this labor of love." 

Major Higley is also vice president and treasurer of the Cedar 
Rapids Gas Works. 

Social life he enjoys in many of its aspects. Being possessed 
of fine intelligence, a genial good nature, he is endeared to a very 
wide circle; his highest and finest qualities shining most con- 
spicuously in his devotion to his home. 

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has 
attained the 32d degree, and is also a member of the Grand Army 
of the Republic. 

Perhaps the most distinguished honor that has been conferred 
upon Major Higley, was being elected Commander of the military 
order of the Loyal Legion ' of the United States, Commandery 
of the State of Iowa. This high position he held two years, 
1888-89, after already having filled a term of service as junior 
and senior vice commander. 

Major Mortimer A. Higley's first marriage took place February 
19, 1863, with Lucy L. Sheet, who was born in Wattsburg, Erie 
County, Pa., August 20, 1844. Her father, David F. Sheet, be- 
came one of the early settlers of Kane County, Illinois, while she 
was yet a child, and near Aurora she grew to womanhood. The 
marriage took place on the farm where the family resided. It came 
about after a romantic fashion, during the Civil War, while Major 
Higley was on duty, stationed at Cairo, 111., chief commissary 
of subsistence, Army of the Tennessee. Having a lower Mis- 
sissippi boat for his commissary depot, well furnished and equipped 
for comfortable living, he suddenly conceived the idea of bring- 
ing his fiancee ', from Northern Illinois, to his headquarters as his 
wife. The unexpected proposition for an immediate marriage 
was accepted. With General Tuttle's permission, a brief leave 
of absence was taken, Major Higley returning in a few days 
with his bride. They took up their temporary abode on the 

1 The military order of the Loyal Legion of the United States was instituted at the time of the 
death of President Lincoln ; patterned after, and with similar purposes, as the honorable Order of 
the Society of Cincinnati organized by General Washington and officers of the Revolutionary War. 
It bears at the head of its roll of members, all of whom have died since its organization, Gen- 
erals Grant, Sheridan, who was commander-in-chief of the order, Hancock, McClellan, Logan, 
and a long list of others, whose acts and lives are an important part of the history of our common 
country." 



37 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

steamer deck, where the young wife remained three months, 
until Major Higley was ordered to report to General Washburn 
at Memphis. 

From the beginning of their life together, Mortimer A. and 
Lucy Higley found great happiness in each other, the union prov- 
ing singularly congenial and fraught with reciprocal sympathy. 
Mrs. Higley was endowed with many gifts for making all those 
about her happy; animated, full of kindly hospitality, generously 
forgetful of self, hopeful and strong, her presence was always a 
cheer. Yet she was by no means a neutral character. She had 
quick intelligence, and thoughts of her own, but these were never 
obtruded to excite friction. 

In the year 1868 she united with the Second Presbyterian 
Church of Cedar Rapids, and became one of its most willing and 
faithful supporters, " seeming," says her pastor, " to make its 
work and progress a constituent part of her being." Possess- 
ing a fine contralto voice, she for many years devoted much 
time to the choir of the church, and was its first organist. Later 
on she was chairman of the music committee. 

Her wide acquaintance in society, her cordiality as hostess, her 
activities in church and benevolent circles, her winning and love- 
able ways toward all classes of people, caused the whole city to 
be strangely moved with an indiscribable feeling of general 
sorrow, when she suddenly " went to her heavenly home," March 
30, 1892. 

" She allured to heaven 
And led the way." 

Her last illness, which was brief, seized her while she was 
absent from her pleasant home and accustomed paths in life, 
visiting an invalid sister in the city of Chicago. It was in that 
city that Heaven's home-call came and she was not; for the 
angel of the Eternal took her. 

To the lonely home-hearts it was left only to dwell upon 
the thought of the added graces that are hers in the realms of 
light. 

Her earthly remains were brought to her bereaved home at 
Cedar Rapids, from which the funeral obsequies took place, Sun- 
day the 3d of April, amid her grief-stricken family and a large 
concourse of sorrowing friends and citizens. The interment 
was in the beautiful grounds at Oak Hill. The funeral ceremo- 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH H1GLEY, \ST. 37 1 

nies were conducted by her friend and pastor, the Rev. J. R. 
Fowler, D. D. 

" Have we not caught that smiling 
On some beloved face, 
As if some heavenly sound were wiling 
The soul from our earthly place, 
The distant sound and sweet 
Of the Master's coming feet ? " 

The following Sabbath the auditorium of the Second Presby- 
terian Church was filled to overflowing on the occasion of a mem- 
orial service held specially in commemoration of Mrs. Higley's 
valuable services in noble Christian philanthropy and the influence 
she exerted by her warm-hearted Christian zeal in every good 
word and work. It was an impressive occasion; the holy joy of 
a great grief was upon all hearts that day. 

The choir, for the interests of which she had loved and 
labored, and with which the power of her melodious voice had so 
often revealed her own inner self, rendered in solemn tenderness, 
" Come Unto Me," " Sometime We Shall Understand," and other 
choice selections; the Rev. Dr. Fowler delivered an earnest 
address from Acts ix. 40: " Tabitha, arise," not alone setting 
forth Mrs. Higley's many virtues, but laying it upon his hearers 
to see to it that the work which she had left as a sacred trust 
should not be allowed to die; that " the seed she had sown and 
the things she had lived for," were the true ministry of life which 
build an enduring monument. 

On the 4th of February, 1895, Major Higley married, in Phila- 
delphia, Mrs. Jennette Robertson Nicholas. 

Major Mortimer and Lucy L. (Sheet) Higley were the parents 
of four children, viz.: 

Mary Louisa, Carrie J., Flora Blanche, and Mortimer Albert. 

MARY LOUISA HIGLEY, the eldest, was born in Cedar Rapids, la., April 24, 1866. 
She was graduated from Coe College in her native city, June 16, 1887, receiving a 
diploma. She married A. F. Matschke, October 27, 1887. 

Mr. Matschke was born in Brooklyn, N. Y. At the time of his marriage he had 
charge of the business of the United States Express Company in eastern Iowa. His 
health becoming impaired, they went to Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, in 1888, where 
they resided two years. They now live in Minneapolis, Minn. They have one 
child, a son, named Mortimer Higley Matschke, born June 18, 1890. 

CARRIE J. HIGI.EY, the second child of Major Mortimer A. and Lucy (Sheet) 
Higley, was born in Cedar Rapids, la., May 5, 1869. She married William Water- 



37 2 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY, 

house Dimond, November 8, 1886. Mr. Dimond was born in Honolulu, Sandwich 
Islands, and is the son of General W. H. Dimond of San Francisco, Cal., director 
of the United States Mint, and grandson of John Thomas Waterhouse, an English 
subject and extensive merchant and landowner, who went to Honolulu in 1848. 
They reside at Honolulu. 

FLORENCE BLANCHE HIGLEY, the third child of Major M. A. and Lucy (Sheet) 
Higley, was born in Cedar Rapids, la., July 17, 1875. She was graduated from 
the high school of Cedar Rapids, and is at present (1895) a student at Dana 
Hall, Boston, intending to pass the entire course of Wellesley College. 

MORTIMER ALBERT HIGLEY, the youngest child and only son of Major M. A. 
and Lucy (Sheet) Higley, was born in Cedar Rapids, February 23, 1881, and died 
of German measels, followed by peritonitis, May I, 1888, aged seven years and two 
months. 

He was a bright, hopeful, kindly child, full of good cheer and noble impulses, 
with the promise of a useful life foreshadowed in his unusual intelligence. His 
departure brought a deep shadow into the stricken home, leaving a lasting furrow 
in the heart of his fond father. 

" And he asked, Who gathered this flower? 
And the gardener answered, The Master ! 
And his fellow-servant held his peace." ' 

1 From a tombstone, Burdock churchyard, England. 



CHAPTER XLVIII. 

SIMEON HIGLEY. 

Continued from page 286. 

Simeon, ist, Captain Joseph, ist, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

SIMEON HIGLEY, the fifth child and youngest son of Captain 
Joseph Higley and his second wife, Sarah Case, was born in the 
year 1751. Of his childhood and youth we find no mention. 

At the age of twenty, December 17, 1771, he married Margaret 

Phelps, the daughter of Phelps and Martha Loomis. They 

appear to have first settled in that part of Simsbury which is now 
Granby, where they both united with the old Congregational 
Church on profession of their faith, October 10, 1773. Simeon is 
found later on, having a moderate supply of cider brandy distilled 
at his uncle, Deacon Brewster Higley, 2d's, cider still. 

On March 26, 1777, Simeon Higley enlisted in the War of the 
Revolution, Colonel Belden's regiment, Connecticut Militia, 
Captain Abel Pettibone's company. The terms of service of 
these soldiers were generally of short periods, the men re-enlist- 
ing. Phelps in his history states, " Of enlisted men for the army, 
few, if any, of the towns furnished a larger number than did the 
town of Simsbury." 

How long Simeon and Margaret Higley resided in Granby 
cannot be ascertained. His father, Captain Joseph Higley, by his 
will devised him his home farm in Higley-town, and also made 
him one of his executors. The farm came into his possession in 
1790. Here they resided a few years, removing their church- 
letter to Simsbury parish. 

About the year 1798 Simeon sold the old home farm, and pur- 
chased a farm at South Canaan, Litchfield County, Conn., to 
which place he removed with his family, the mother of his wife 
accompanying them. He was now forty-seven years of age and 
was the father of a family. 

It is recorded of Simeon Higley that " he was an exemplary 
Christian, and was chosen deacon of the church when yet a young 
man." 

it 373 



374 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

For more than twenty years the mother of Margaret Phelps 
Higley resided with her son-in-law, receiving tenderest care as 
she neared and passed the one hundredth mile-stone of life. 

Simeon Higley died October 30, 1822. His wife, Margaret 
Phelps, who was born November 16, 1747, survived him twenty- 
eight years. She was of a long-lived race, her mother, as already 
stated, living to the prolonged period of one hundred and one 
years. Margaret Higley lived to the extraordinary age of one- 
hundred and two years and four months, and her daughter 
Margaret's age, at her decease, was ninty-nine years and eight 
months. Her daughter Sarah lived to ninty-one years and six 
months. Margaret Phelps Higley died March n, 1850. 

In 1847 the centennial anniversary of her birth was celebrated 
with interesting observances, by neighbors and friends. "She 
was now as erect as a girl of eighteen," says the Rev. H. Good- 
win of Canaan, <: and exceedingly active in person, walking quite 
a distance to visit a neighbor shortly before. Until ninety years 
of age she walked to church, a distance of more than a mile. 
Her hearing was not greatly impaired, and her second sight had 
come and gone, but with the aid of spectacles she read without 
much difficulty, and sometimes did a little fine needle-work. She 
retained her judgment, and expressed her opinion in reference to 
the concerns of the house and farm and the movements of society. 
She obtained considerable knowledge of current events, in addi- 
tion to remembering those long ago passed; conversed readily 
and intelligently with visitors, enjoying the society of both the 
old and young, and manifested an interest in all that related to 
her church as well as public affairs. She sometimes suffered from 
rheumatism, which, however, did not seem to prey upon the 
vitality of her constitution." 

On this interesting anniversary the venerable woman stood 
quite alone in her generation. All had disappeared. The neigh- 
bors and friends of her youth, her companions and kindred, had 
all gone from the earth, leaving her in the midst of a new genera- 
tion. She had closed the eyes of many valued friends, and con- 
signed to the grave many a loved form. "If now," says Mr. 
Goodwin, "when she knows she must soon be removed, she had 
no prospect of a home and friends and the bliss of love in another 
life, how would her joys all wither ! " 

Mrs. Higley lived after this birthday event, two years and 
three months, a picturesque figure of her time. 



DESCENDANTS OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH HIGLEY, \ST. 375 

Simeon and Margaret Higley had seven children as follows: 
Clarissa, Simeon, born March 31, 1777, died February 17, 1778; 
Margaret, SaraTi, Diadama, Simeon, zd, and Henry. 

Of this family three died within five months of each other, aged 
respectively ninety years and six months, ninety-nine years and 
eight months, and eighty years. The others who lived to matur- 
ity, died at the ages of sixty-nine, eighty-two, and eighty-five 
years. 

CLARISSA HIGLEY, the eldest, born November 30, 1772, married Ezekiel Haskins 
of Simsbury. They removed to Canaan, Conn., where she died March 16, 1854. 
Their children were, viz. : 

ZILPAH, born November 27, 1795, who married Henry Post, May, 1830. She 
died in Canaan, September 17, 1871. 

JULIA, born April 14, 1798 ; married John B. Reed, February 8, 1828. She died 
July 17, 1836. 

EMELINE, born May 22, 1800 ; married Frederic Fenn, December 25, 1823 ; she 
died at Canaan, Conn., December 25, 1875. Their descendants removed to Lan- 
caster, Pa. 

CHARLOTTE, born June II, 1804; married Frederick Lowery, bctober r, 1823; 
died at Lee, Mass., January 29, 1865. But one of her descendants is living: Can- 
field Lowery, who resides in California. 

MELISSA, born June 20, 1806; married Ormil Brinton, February it, 1837; died 
at Canaan, April n, 1886. Had two children : Julia and Frederick. Frederick 
was a soldier and died in the Civil War. 

MARYF.TTE, born June 7, 1808 ; married Nathaniel Brinton, May 22, 1836. 

SEYMOUR, born March 3, 1813 ; married Abia Deming, March 7, 1839 ; died at 
Canaan, August 18, 1883. 

SARAH G., born April ir, 1815 ; married Theodore Prentice, September r, 1841 ; 
died August 17, 1881. 

MARGARET HIGLEY, the third child of Simeon and Margaret Phelps Higley, 
was born January 28, 1779, and died August 15, 1878, aged ninety-nine years and 
eight months. 

SARAH HIGLEY, the fourth child of Simeon and Margaret Higley, was born 
September 25, 1781, and became the second wife of Alpheus Hays of Granby, 
Conn., in 1809 ; his first wife having been her cousin, Betsey Higley, daughter of 
Ozias. As has been heretofore stated, the Hon. Alpheus Hays was Represen- 
tative from Granby to the Connecticut Legislature, 1821-23. He died in 1828. 
His wife lived in widowhood forty-four years. She spent the last years of her life 
at Washington, Pa., removing thither with her youngest daughter, Mrs. McKinley, 
with whom she had her home. 

Mrs. Sarah (Higley) Hays was a member of tbe Presbyterian Church from 1829, 
forty-three years. " She took great delight," says her pastor, the Rev. James I. 
Brownson, D. D., "in the word of God, and in the society of religious people. 
Her faithful words and deeds, her sympathy and prayers, and her Christian ex- 
ample will ever live in the hearts of those who knew her, and of her children." 

The last three years of her life she was mostly confined to her bed, under the 
natural infirmities of age, which brought her slowly and gently down to the end of 
this earth-life. She died March 30, 1872, aged ninety years and six months. 



37 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

The Hon. Alpheus and Sarah (Higley) Hays were the parents of seven children, 
all born in West Granby, Conn. Their sons and daughter Margaret, resided at 
Washington, Pa. The children are as follows : 

GEORGE HAYS, who married Carolina Wilcox of West Granby. 

EDWARD, born August 9, 1815, married Rhoda Kendall, August 5, 1839. She 
was born October 17, 1815 ; had children. 

FREDERICK, born December 25, 1817 ; married Mary E. Redilion, June 5, 1855. 
She was born November 20, 1827 ; had four children. 

CHARLES and MORGAN, twins, born March 13, 1820; Charles married, first, 
Sophia B. Koomby, September 2, 1846, who died October 15, 1854 ; second wife, 
Margaret Fleming, married June 9, 1857, and had eight children. Morgan 
married, December 23, 1845, Sarah J. Wilson. She was born June 3, 1828 ; 
had nine children, three of whom died in infancy. His eldest son, William, 
died January 20, 1872, aged twenty-six. 

SARAH, of whom no further mention is made. 

MARGARET, born May 15, 1829; married Alexander McKinley of Washington, 
Pa., April 27, 1852. He was born January 4, 1817. She died in Christian 
hope, March 5, 1871. They had eight children. 

DIADEMA HIGLEY, the fifth child of Simeon and Margaret Phelps Higley, was 
born April 30, 1784, and died, unmarried, at Canaan, Conn., August 6, 1853. 

SIMEON HIGLEY, 2d, the second child of his parents by this name, and the sixth 
child of Simeon and Margaret Phelps Higley, was born in Simsbury, Conn. 
October 17, 1786 ; married Wealthy Noble, daughter of Matthew Noble, February 
22, 1822. She was born February 7, 1794. He died December i, 1871. Their 
children : 

ELIZABETH, born December 14, 1822, married Charles B. Maltbie, M. D., of 
Norfolk, Conn., May 22, 1848. The children of Dr. and Elizabeth (Higley) 
Maltbie were : 

Seraph Elizabeth, born May 18, 1852 ; married Lee P. Dean of Canaan, Conn. Mary Alice, 
born October 7, 1854 ; married Willard S. Brown ; reside in Falls Village, Conn. Charles^ born 
September 22, 1858 ; died Jannary 4, 1878. C. Belle, born January 27, 1867. 

The children of Lee P. Dean, are Lee Maltbie, born May 16, 1875 ; Willard Parker, born 
October a, 1879 ; Henry Charles, born June 8, 1885 ; Olive Elizabeth, born June 6, 1886. 

MARY, the second daughter of Simeon Higley, Jr. , and Wealthy Noble, was born 
July 20, 1825 ; married Chester Holcombe of Canaan, Conn., May 26, 1847. 
Children : Margaret Higley Holcombe, born March 23, 1856 ; married, 1877, Burritt 
Yale of Cornwall, Conn. 

HENRY HIGLEY, the seventh and youngest child of Simeon and Margaret Phelps 
Higley, was born July 7, 1792 ; married Caroline Phelps, March, 1851. He died 
April 26, 1872. They resided at Canaan, Conn. Their children : 

Henry Irving, born March II, 1852, married Sophia Call ; Eugene Greenville, 
born February, 1855. 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

HANNAH HIGLEY OWEN MILLS. 

Continued from chapter xviii. p. 100. 
Hannah, Brewster Higley, ist, Captain John Higley. 

The roots of humanity are so inextricably intertwined that we must grow together if we grow at 
all. DORA GREHNWELL. 

HANNAH, the eldest daughter of Brewster Higley, ist, was born 
in Simsbury, Conn., December 17, 1717, and named, no doubt, 
for her aunt, Mrs. Hannah Trumbull. 

She was unquestionably a woman of strong character, and had 
the conditions in which she lived been in the present day, she 
would have had a distinct personality. 

She married, first, about 1734, Elijah Owen, the son of Isaac 
and Sarah Holcombe Owen, and grandson of John Owen, a 
Welshman who came to Windsor, Conn., about the year 1634. 
They settled in Turkey Hills (now East Granby). The farm is 
still pointed out. 

Her husband, Elijah Owen, died September, 1741, at forty-one 
years of age, leaving his wife a young widow of but twenty-four. 

After a lapse of seven years, Mrs. Owen married, in 1748, 
Pelatiah Mills of Wintonbury, Conn., grandson of "the ancestor 
of the race of Miles or Mills, who came from Holland," and whose 
Dutch name, tradition says, was changed to " Mills " on his 
arrival in America. 

It is said of Pelatiah Mills that "he was a man held in high 
estimation, both in civil, ecclesiastical, and religious concerns." 

Mr. and Mrs. Mills walked side by side in happy union for 
thirty-eight years. In the repose of their advanced years their 
excellencies and virtues shone so conspicuously that they seemed 
" laying aside their earthly garments one by one, and dressing 
themselves for heaven." It is said that they were commonly 
alluded to as "the good Deacon Mills and his pious wife that 
good woman." 

Pelatiah Mills died in 1786, at an advanced age. Hannah Hig- 

377 



37 8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ley, his wife, survived her husband twenty years and died in 1806, 
at the ripe age of ninety.* 

By her two marriages Hannah Higley was the mother of eleven 
children, several of her descendants becoming marked characters. 

Children by the first marriage : an infant, who died; Elijah 
Owen, Jr., born 1738; Hannah, born 1740; and Rebecca, born 1744. 

Children by second marriage: 

Pelatiah, Jr., Samuel, Roger, "Patsey" or Martha, Eli, Frederick, 
Susannah, and Elihu. 

ELIJAH OWEN, JR., the eldest son of Hannah Higley and Elijah Owen, was of 
pious character, and from early manhood was of great activity and usefulness in the 
affairs of the church at Turkey Hills. He died at Otis, Mass., in 1814, aged 
seventy-six. 

REBECCA, her eldest daughter, married Benedict Alford and settled at Windsor, 
Conn., but removed to Vermont about 1790. She lived to an extreme old age, 
ninety-five. Her husband, Benedict Alford, Sr., was a Revolutionary soldier. 
He was born probably about 1730. It is stated that later in life they removed to 
Geauga County, Ohio, where they both died. 

HANNAH, the third child of Hannah Higley and Elijah Owen, married, in 1757, 
Captain John Brown of Wintonbury (now Bloomfield), Conn., a direct descendant 
from Peter Brown, a Mayflower Puritan. She was the grandmother of John 
Brown, the slave liberator. 4 They settled at West Simsbury. 

Captain John Brown, her husband, was born November 4, 1728. He received 
his commission from Governor Jonathan Trumbull, who was first cousin to his 
wife's mother, May 23, 1776. 

On the nth of June he was directed by order of his colonel, John Pettibone, to 
enlist one third part of his company to serve as minute men, "for the defense of 
their own and the adjoining colonies." Soon after, Captain John Brown with his 
men joined the Revolutionary Army at New York, where, after two months' ser- 
vice, he was taken ill with dysentery, and died in a barn on the 3d of September, 
1776, shortly before the battle of Long Island, in which his regiment took part. 

His wife, Hannah Owen Brown, was left a widow with a hard struggle before her, 
and in a trying situation, with eleven children, four sons and seven daughters ; the 
eldest but seventeen, and the youngest born after the death of his father. These 
children all lived to maturity, and she saw each one comfortably married and all 
except one have families. 

She was a woman of rare courage. Her great-grandson, Heman H. Barbour, 
writes of her : " I well remember my great-grandmother, Hannah (Owen) Brown, 
daughter of Elijah Owen and Hannah Higley, who died in 1831, aged ninety-one. 
She retained her mental faculties in a remarkable degree to the last, and very enter- 
taining stories did she tell us children of her eventful life. 

" The responsibilities and labors of bringing up her family, and managing the 

1 The children of Brewster Higley, ist, particularly his daughters and some of their descendants, 
were noted for their longevity. It is said that the ages of his eight children, when added together, 
make the round number 646 years, averaging a longevity of more than eighty years each. 

a See sketch of John Brown, chapter 1. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 1ST. 379 

farm affairs, were met and discharged with such fortitude, discretion, and patience 
as are seldom exhibited by woman. The suffering and hardships of the hard 
winter of .the Revolution, 1777-78, were peculiarly severe. For a long time she was 
obliged to provide water for her cattle by melting snow ; and repeatedly during this 
winter did she go on horseback several miles to a mill, with a bag of grain for grind- 
ing. Her faith in God, with a naturally energetic, brave, and indomitable spirit, 
sustained her through all her trials, and she kept her family together and reared her 
children to respectable stations in life. She was a noble woman." ' 

Of this numerous family of Captain John and Hannah (Owen) Brown, 

HANNAH, the eldest, born 1758, became the second wife of Solomon Humphrey 
and was the mother of the Rev. Heman Humphrey, president of Amherst College. 

DEACON JOHN BROWN, the eldest son, born 1767, resided in New Hartford, 
Conn., " an honored and faithful man." He married, first, Millicent Gaylord, and 
second, Mrs. Case, a widow. 

Hon. FREDERICK BROWN, the seventh child, born 1769, was a member of the 
State Legislature in 1812, and in 1816 was one of the founders of Wadsworth, O., 
where he was on the bench fourteen years. He married, first, Catherine Case ; 
second, Chloe S. Pettibone. 

OWEN BROWN, the eighth child, born 1771, was known as " Squire Brown." 
He and his first wife Ruth, granddaughter of the Rev. Gideon and Elizabeth 
(Higley) Mills were the parents of John Brown of Harper's Ferry, Va., fame. 
He was twice married after. He died in 1856. 

ABIEL BROWN, the youngest son, born in 1776, after his father's death in the 
army, was the hfstorian of Canton, Conn., a valuable work containing sketches of 
the early settlers of that town. He married Anna Lord of Lyme. He died in the 
year 1856. 

The daughters, besides Hannah mentioned above, were, viz. : Azubah, born 1760 ; 
married Michael Barber. Esther, born 1762 ; married Timothy Case. Margery, 
born 1764 ; married, first, David Giddings ; second, Prince Taylor. Lucinda, 
born 1765 ; married Russel Borden. Thede, born 1773 ; married William Mer- 
rells; and Roxy R., born 1775; married Alexander Humphrey. 

The sons of Hannah Higley, of whom her second husband, 
Pelatiah Mills, was the father, left numerous descendants, whose 
lives are worthy of extended record. 

Her daughter Martha, or Patsey, as she was familiarly called, 
married James Barnard, of a highly respectable family of Bloom- 
field, Conn. 

Susannah, married Hubbard, also of Bloomfield. 

1 " My Wife and Mother," by H. H. Barbour, p. 75. 



CHAPTER L. 

JOHN BROWN. 1 

Owen Brown, Hannah Owen Brown, Hannah Higley Owen, Brewster Higley, ist, 
Captain John Higley. 

The blast that startled camp and town, 
And shook the walls of slavery down 
The spectral march of old John Brown ! 

WHITTIER. 

JOHN BROWN, the son of Owen Brown and Ruth Mills, both of 
whom were the grandchildren of the two sisters, Hannah Higley 
Owen and Elizabeth Higley Mills (daughters of Brewster Higley, 
ist), was born at Torrington, Conn., where his parents then 
resided, May 9, 1800. 

The family moved to Hudson, O., in 1805, and here his youth 
was spent. He was never fond of school. However, on reach- 
ing early manhood and desiring to enter the ministry, he re- 
turned to Connecticut and studied under a private tutor, the 
Rev. Moses Halleck, who, it is said, fitted him for college. The 
impairment of his eyesight compelling him to give up his studies, 
he returned to his Ohio home. He then learned the tanner's 
trade, which he followed twenty years, during which period, 
except for his marriages, no marked events in his life took place. 

His first marriage is found upon record thus : 

" John Brown and Dianthe Lusk were legally joined in competent authority, on 
the 2ist day of June, 1820. REV. WILLIAM HANFORD." 

Dianthe Lusk was of Portage County," Ohio. She died August 
10, 1832, having become the mother of seven children, five of 
whom survived her. His second marriage took place July n, 

1 From The Century Magazine. Woodman's Portrait of John Brown. 

DANVERS, 8mo., 16, 1882. 

MY DEAR FRIEND : Thy portrait of John Brown is by far the best I have ever seen. It is the 
man not only the physical man, but his inner self also. It is he at his best and truest. 
Thanking thee for the picture, I am 

Very truly thy friend, 
ToSeldonJ. Woodman. JOHN G. WHITTIER. 

I have seen Mr. Woodman's portrait of my husband. I think it a very good likeness of him, 
and the more I see it the more I like it. 

MRS. JOHN BROWN. 
TOPEKA, KANSAS, November 15, 1882. 

9 Book a, " Records of Portage County, Ohio." 

380 




By courtesy of THE CENTURY Co. 
Copyright, 1883, by THE CENTURY Co. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 1ST. 381 

1833, with Mary Anne Day, of northern New York, who was then 
but seventeen years of age. She bore thirteen children. Seven 
of these died in childhood. 

Space will not permit in these pages of a lengthened biographi- 
cal sketch, or an acute analysis of John Brown's life and char- 
acter, which developed strong types of a vigorous individuality, 
one which was a singular compound of enlarged capacities and 
admirable virtues, but strangely balanced and difficult to inter- 
pret, a character of marked integrity, of splendid earnestness, 
conscientious to a high degree, strictly free from the use of all 
intoxicants, devotional in habit, adhering with rigid fidelity to 
narrow religious ideas, yet withal laden with many defects. He 
was severe in his utterances of pronounced opinions, might often 
have been called uncharitable in his condemnatory judgments, 
was shrewd and cunning in devising a purpose, a full believer in 
retaliation, in the sword, and in war, and finally proved himself 
equal to deep intrigue. 

And yet the great final act of his life, the seizing, with his force 
of only twenty-two armed men, 1 of the United States Govern- 
ment arsenals at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., October 17, 1859, to 
procure equipments for slaves for insurrectionary purposes, was 
the consummate outcome of a heroic and noble sentiment, a pro- 
found and living sympathy for the human beings whom he be- 
lieved to be unjustly suffering the wrongs of human bondage. 

In his last speech before the court which sentenced him to the 
gallows, his recorded testimony is but one prbof among many 
others that he acted in this event in accordance with his deeply- 
rooted convictions and his utter abhorrence of slavery. 

He said : 

" This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the Law of God. I see 
a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible or, at least, the New Testa- 
ment. That teaches me ' that all things whatsoever I would that men should do 
unto me, I should do even so to them.' It teaches me further, to ' remember them 
that are in bonds as bound with them.' I endeavored to act up to that instruc- 
tion. 1 say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of per- 
sons. I believe that to have iuterfered as I have done as I have always freely 
admitted I have done in behalf of his despised poor, was not wrong, but right." 

Said a South Carolina gentleman, who was early at the scene 
of the Harper's Ferry raid, a man at that time full of political 
prejudices, in speaking of this would-be liberator : 

1 Brown's force consisted of seventeen white and five black men. 



382 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

" It is impossible not to feel respect for men who offer up their lives in support 
of their convictions." ' 

And Bishop Phillips Brooks remarked : 

"Alas, for the man who will not rush through fire though it burn, through water 
though it drown, to do the work that his soul knows it must do." 

Some of John Brown's more prominent characteristics, showing 
the elements in his nature which, influenced by a fanatical zeal, 
fitted him for the bold and defiant undertaking which cost him 
his life, cannot perhaps better be given than the following per- 
sonal reminiscences narrated to the writer by his old-time friend, 
William H. Ladd, for some years president of the State Board of 
Agriculture of Ohio, a prominent member of the Society of 
Friends, and later a resident of Brooklyn, N. Y. 

"I knew him well," says Mr. Ladd. " He began operating in the wool trade 
about three years before I met him. From the day that he came to my father's 
house, in the year 1843, to the time he began to devise practically his plans and pur- 
poses for the last great event of his life, he was often a guest in our home. 

" We were both interested at that time, and for a few years afterward, in stock 
and fine wool-growing, and our acquaintance thus formed brought us into many 
relations, not only of business but those of a social and friendly nature. We fre- 
quently attended the different State Fairs together, and were often out on long 
journeys. On one of these journeys in New York and New England, we traveled 
for three months together, mostly by private conveyance, frequently occupying the 
same bed-chamber. This was in 1846. 

" During these travels, John Brown would not go about on Sundays, nor could he 
be induced to talk of or make any allusion to business matters from sunset on 
Saturday evening till Monday morning. And wherever we happened to find our- 
selves on the Sabbath, he strictly attended a church service. 

"After I was married, it was the custom in my home on taking our seats at meals 
to bow our heads and ask a silent blessing, but when John Brown was my guest he 
invariably asked a blessing audibly, whether invited to do so or not ; and when our 
breakfast was over he never failed to kneel in vocal prayer, though we did not 
suggest it. 

" Though an agreeable companion, I cannot say that he was genial and social by 
nature. If interested in a subject and aroused, he conversed freely, but easily 
settled again into a mental retreat and introspection. This gave him an air of 
seeming coolness and immovability. His accustomed positive bearing had the 
effect to hold those with whom he was in contact somewhat at a distance and in a 
sort of awe. Being matter-of-fact and practical, he cared little for a joke, yet could 
not be called sanctimonious in manner. 

" My old friend could make a fair speech not fluent, but of few words, very 
terse and directly to the point. He had no respect for, and was impatient with, any 

1 " Life and Letters of John Brown," p. 6ix. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, \ST 383 

speaker who took the time and attention of an audience, " without," as he 
expressed it, "saying something." To receive a long letter was a positive vexa- 
tion to him. He scarcely ever read a letter to the end if it covered more than one 
page. 

" He entertained an abhorrence of shams, hating hypocrites, and greatly enjoyed 
tearing the mask from people and things. While he was entirely respectful in an 
argument, he was thoroughly independent, decided, and fearless, expressing his 
convictions in a downright fashion from which he could not be swerved. 

" I never found him a man to interfere with other people's matters unless he saw 
or knew something going on which his convictions led him to feel was wrong ; 
then he was outspoken, harsh, and rancorous. 

" We were once together at Northampton, Mass., on one of our journeys, and 
were invited to the home of a friend of mine, a wealthy manufacturer, to stay over 
the Sabbath. We, of course, accompanied the family to their church, a large and 
elegant edifice, in which worshiped a refined congregation. We were seated in a 
corner pew to the right of the pulpit. During the service I noticed John Brown 
constantly glancing at the choir, which was made up of twenty-four young persons, 
and was located in the gallery at the back of the audience. They were behaving 
in a frivolous manner, smiling, making signals, etc. This shocked his sense of 
propriety. He was disgusted and restless. Finally he seemed to forget the 
sermon and the service altogether, keeping close watch upon them. The bene- 
diction had scarcely escaped the minister's lips, when he exclaimed in a loud, 
indignant tone, ' What a mockery ! ' and much to my mortification, when my 
host, who was one of the prominent members of the congregation, introduced us to 
his pastor immediately after, John Brown, though he had never before met him, 
without any sort of formal greeting, ungraciously descended upon him with a volume 
of scathing reproof for permitting such conduct in the house of worship. 

" An intense love of investigation was one of his prominent characteristics. He 
liked prying to the bottom of matters and unearthing the foundations. In this 
connection his associations at the college at Bethany, W. Va., of which Alexander 
Campbell, the founder of the sect called Campbellites, or ' Christians,' was then 
the president, were most congenial to him, and afforded a pleasant place, both from 
a business and a religious standpoint, to which he delighted to resort. Mr. Camp- 
bell was at that time an extensive fine wool grower, and engaged as well in dealing 
penetratingly with theological and anti-slavery themes. 

" Brown was a vigorous observer of men, a close, shrewd scrutinizer, and always 
examined a proposition which was laid before him with great care, in business as 
well as other matters. During a period of full thirty years before his death, long 
before I knew him, he gave much of his time and thought and action to the cause 
of the abolition of slavery. 1 He was neither ashamed nor afraid to publicly 
denounce the system at any time or in any place. I have often heard him say that 
he ' would kill any man whom he might see taking a slave back into slavery, rather 
than allow him to do it." He always declared his creed to be, ' He that stealeth a 
man and selleth him, shall be put to death ' ' an eye for an eye, a tooth for a 
tooth.' 

1 He was associated from the beginning with the band of those citizens of our Northern States 
who, in defiance of then existing laws, were conductors of the Underground Railway," whose trains 
ran mostly at night and gave no return tickets." The passengers were ths fleeing slaves. THB 
EDITOR. 



384 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

"All the while I knew him he put his abolition principles severely into practice. 
He rigidly refused to use rice or sugar or any other product from the slave States, 
fearing he might encourage the slave power. He even refused coffee when a guest 
at my home or on our journeys, unless he was quite sure that it was the product of 
free labor. 

"His eldest four sons removed to Kansas in 1854, and Brown himself followed 
them about the year 1855 with his family. During the bloody drama enacted 
there in 1856-57, in which he gained laurels at Ossawattomie in the border warfare, 
his son, Frederick Brown, was murdered before his eyes. This act, no doubt, 
boiled John Brown's opinions on slavery to overflow, and brought to culmination 
his long-cherished and misguided plan for its overthrow [a plot to furnish the slaves 
with arms and incite them to rise in revolt], upon which he had deliberated for full 
twenty years. I think it was soon after the assassination of this son that he began 
maturing his secret scheme. 

" I have been told that a small circle of his intimate and trusted friends among 
the Abolitionists were made acquainted as early as 1858 with the fact that he early 
intended a raid of some sort. But he did. not make his project known to the most of 
us, nor did he even visit us while perfecting it, having fears, no doubt, that we 
would antagonize his purpose, knowing that he would receive our strong dis- 
approval of his proposed method of action." 

Twenty-one years after his execution at Charlestown, Va., 
his old friend, the Hon. Frederick Douglass, claiming in an elo- 
quent address that "John Brown's zeal in the cause of liberty 
resulted in the immediate cause of the war between the Northern 
and Southern States of our Union," used the following expressive 
language : 

"If," said he, "John Brown did not end the war that ended 
slavery, he at least begun the war that ended slavery. If we look 
over the dates, places, and men for which this honor is claimed, 
we shall find that not Carolina, but Virginia; not Fort Sumter, 
but Harper's Ferry and the arsenals; not Major Anderson, but 
John Brown, began the war that ended American slavery and 
made this a republic. Until this blow was struck the prospect 
for freedom was dim, shadowy, and uncertain. The irrepressible 
conflict was one of words, votes, and compromises. When John 
Brown stretched forth his arm, the sky was cleared, the armed 
hosts of freedom stood face to face over the chasm of a broken 
union, and the clash of arms was at hand." 1 

Sixteen days after John Brown's unsuccessful attempt at Har- 
per's Ferry to lead the slaves to liberty, in which several lives 
were sacrificed on both sides, among them his two sons, Watson 
and Oliver Brown, and his son-in-law, Mr. Thompson, the sen- 

l TAe Century, July, 1883. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, \ST. 385 

tence from which he suffered the penalty of death was pronounced 
against him by a Virginia court at Charlestown, where he had 
been taken for trial. He was declared, " Guilty of treason 
against the Commonwealth of Virginia, conspiring and advising 
with negroes and others to produce insurrection, and of murder 
in the first degree." 

In his defense he refused to acknowledge any intention of com- 
mitting murder or treason. From first to last he adhered to the 
statement that he was not in any way guilty at the bar of his own 
conscience. 

Froude once said, " High treason is either the greatest of 
crimes, or the noblest of virtues," and " which it is," says Stearns, 
"depends upon the circumstances of the case." 

The incidents and conditions during the brief interval between 
his capture and his death were touching in the extreme. He was 
shackled at the ankles, and fastened by a large chain to the floor 
of his prison cell, though there was little need of this precaution, 
for during much of the period he was confined to a pallet disabled 
by severe wounds which he received while defending his little 
party in the historic engine-house which was his citadel at Har- 
per's Ferry. With his efforts blasted, and his plot overthrown, 
stricken down and helpless, he appeared entirely resigned to bow 
before his fate ; while affecting nothing heroic, he yielded the pur- 
suit of his long devised purpose with resolute and courageous 
fortitude, steadfastly clinging to a strong and lively faith in the 
ultimate successful issue of the cause he was serving in sincerity 
of heart. 

" I can," he writes to his family, " trust God with both the time 
and the manner of my death, believing as I now do that for me 
at this time to seal my testimony for God and humanity with my 
blood, will do vastly more toward advancing the cause I have 
earnestly endeavored to promote than all I have done in my life 
before. I beg you all meekly and quietly to submit to this, not 
feeling yourselves in the least degraded on that account. 

" May God Almighty comfort all your hearts, and soon wipe 
away all tears from your eyes ! Think of the crushed millions 
who 'have no comforter.' I charge you all never in your trials 
to forget the griefs ' of the poor that cry, and of those that have 
none to help them.' " 

" Tell our children," said he, in the pathetic and only interview 



386 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

he had with his wife in his cell, " that their father died without a 
single regret for the course he has pursued that he is satisfied 
that he is right in the eyes of God and of all just men." ' 

He declared in another letter : " The near approach of my great 
change is not the occasion of any particular dread." 

When he came to the scaffold he walked, never faltering in his 
step, to the platform and waited in silence. To the end he was 
calm and dignified in bearing, gentle and resigned, meeting his 
death with perfect composure. 

At the time of his execution, December 2, 1859, his family was 
residing on a farm at North Elba, Essex County, N. Y., in the 
Adirondack Mountains. To this spot his body was conveyed for 
burial. He had made the request, " When 1 die, bury me by the 
big rock where I loved to sit and read the Word of God," and 
here he was laid in the frozen ground, on Thursday the 8th, a bleak 
December day.* 

" The body was borne by six of his neighbors from his own roof 
to the rock near by, under the shadow of which he had directed it 
laid.' The coffin had been previously placed in front of his door- 
step, where sympathizing neighbors came to take a last look. 
Before leaving the house John Brown's favorite hymn, 'Blow ye 
the Trumpet, Blow,' was sung, and an impressive prayer was offered 
by the Rev. Mr. Young of Burlington, Vt., who with others of 
that city had ridden all night to be present. Remarks were then 
made by J. M. McKim of Philadelphia, followed by an address by 
Wendell Phillips of Boston, amid the strong emotion and deep 
sympathy of the family and friends. It was deeply touching to 
see the three widows, his wife and the wives of his two sons, 
Watson and Oliver, leaning on the arms of strangers and reliev- 
ing their broken hearts by sobs." 

1 " Life and Letters of John Brown," by F. B. Sanford, p. 586. 

4 The " John Brown Farm," at North Elba, was purchased in 1869 by a syndicate, Kate Field, 
Sinclair Tousey, the sons of William Lloyd Garrison, and several other admirers of John Brown, 
and held as a reserve till January, 1896, when it was transferred to the State of New York to be 
used as a public park, the old homestead and his grave to be preserved. A monument is to be 
erected. The place is annually visited by hundreds of tourists. 

3 The epitaphs inscribed on a tombstone near the bowlder are as follows : " In memory of Capn 
John Brown [See Captain John Brown, chapter xlix. p. 378], who died at New- York Sept. ye 3, 
1776, in the 48th of his age." Below this is the following inscription : "John Brown, born May 
9, 1800, was executed at Charlestown, Va., Dec, 2, 1859." Close to the ground is still another 
inscription: "Oliver Brown, born March 9, 1837, killed at Harper's Ferry, Oct. 17, 1859." ^ n 
the other side of the tombstone is the inscription : " In memory of Frederick, son of John and 
Dianthe Brown, born Dec. 21, 1830, and murdered at Ossawattomie, Kansas, Oct. 30, 1856, for 
his adhesion to the cause of freedom." Still another inscription on this side of the stone reads : 
" Watson Brown, born October 7, 1835 ; wounded October 17, and died October 19, 1859." 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, \ST. 3 8 7 

Says the Rev. Dr. Lundy : " His simple gravestone in his old 
favorite resort behind a great bowlder in his beloved North Elba, 
where he came to read his Bible, pray, and meditate, is the noblest 
monument through which to perpetuate the name and the memory 
of human greatness. 

" As a prophet, he foresaw and foretold the great war of the 
Rebellion. . . As a hero he did what he could, almost single- 
handed, both in Kansas and Virginia, to rouse the nation, or at 
least the servile portion of it, to make this Republic in reality 
what it was only in name a land of freemen. 

"His confidence in the negro character being misplaced and 
mistaken, there was no uprising as he had expected, and John 
Brown suffered a capital sentence. 

" It was unquestionably one of the most remarkable executions 
that has ever occurred in history. It produced a profound im- 
pression throughout this country and Europe, and did much to 
make John Brown one of the foremost figures of the Western 
World. His tragic end did as much as anything else to pre- 
cipitate the final and distressing conflict between Slavery and 
Freedom." 

" One of the most dramatic acts of the life of Henry Ward 
Beecher belonged to this epoch. It was in the old Broadway 
Tabernacle, New York City, which was packed from floor to 
ceiling. The chains with which John Brown had been bound had 
been brought into the meeting, and lay upon the table upt>n the 
platform. The orator kindled as he spoke; the chains before 
him became a symbol of the chains that bound the wrists of three 
million slaves, 1 and in an outburst of passion he seized upon 
them, cast them upon the floor, and ground them beneath his 
heel as though he would then and there grind the whole power of 
slavery to dust beneath his feet. The effect was indescribable. 
The whole audience cheered till the roof rang, and all hearts 
took a new vow to march on till every chain should be broken 
and every siave set free. " " 

Let us sit down by his grave at North Elba, and read his last 
touching letter written to his kinsman, the Rev. Luther Hum- 
phrey, twelve days before his execution: 

CHARLESTOWN, JEFFERSON Co., VA., isth November, 1859. 
" MY DEAR FRIEND Your kind letter of the twelfth inst. is now before me. 
So far as my knowledge goes as to our mutual kindred, I suppose I am the first 

1 Three millions and upward. * " Life of Henry Ward Beecher," by Lyman Abbott, D. D.,p. 145. 



388 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

since the landing of Peter Brown from the Mayflower that has either been sen- 
tenced to imprisonment or the gallows. But, my dear old friend, let not that fact 
alone grieve you. You cannot have forgotten how and where our grandfather 
(Captain John Brown) fell in 1776,' and he too might have perished on the scaffold 
had circumstances been but very little different. 

" The fact that a man dies under the hand of an executioner, or otherwise, has but 
little to do with his true character, as I suppose. . . Whether I have any reason to 
be of ' good cheer,' or not, in view of my end, I can assure you that I feel so. . . I 
feel neither mortified, degraded, nor in the least ashamed of my imprisonment, my 
chains, or my near prospect of death by hanging. . . I should be sixty years old 
were I to live till May gth, 1860. I have enjoyed much of life as it is, and have 
been remarkably prosperous, having early learned to regard the welfare and pros- 
perity of others as my own. I have never, since I can remember, required a great 
amount of sleep, so that I conclude that I have already enjoyed full an average 
number of waking hours with those who reach their ' three score years and ten.' 
I have not as yet been driven to the use of glasses, but can still see to read and 
write quite comfortably. But more than that, I have generally enjoyed remark- 
ably good health. I might go on to recount unnumbered and unmerited blessings, 
among which would be some very severe afflictions, and those the most needed 
blessings of all. And now, when I think how easily I might be left to spoil all -I 
have done and suffered in the cause of freedom, I would hardly dare risk another 
voyage, even if I had the opportunity. It is a long time since we met, but we shall 
now soon come together in our Father's house, I trust. Let us hold that fast 
which we already have, remembering that ' we shall reap if we faint not.' 

" Thanks be ever unto God, who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our 
Lord. 

"And now, my old, warm-hearted friend Good-bye. 

"Your affectionate cousin, 

"JOHN BROWN." 2 

"And now, indeed," writes Doctor Lundy, "his 'soul goes 
marching on.' Under the shadow of the grand mountain peak 
old Whiteface 

" ' John Brown's body lies a-moldering in the grave,' 

as the most precious treasure held in the trust and keeping of 
those everlasting hills. His name shall for ages to come connect 
the Adirondacks and human liberty together." 

Thus John Brown laid down his life, giving lofty expression of 
his faithfulness and sincerity to the grand principle of human 
rights and justice. He did not live in this life to see "the sword 
cut the fetter," but from the height of some far away celestial 
hill, out of reach of the clank of chains, the jeers of the hooting 
crowd, and the turmoil and ghastly sights of war, he saw the 

1 See sketch of Captain John Brown, chapter xlix. p. 378. a From the original letter. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, \ST. 3 8 9 

complete fulfillment of his purpose, and the end which his clear, 
far-away vision had traced. Only three years, less one month, 
from the day of his death the shackles of more than three mil- 
lions of slaves in the United States of America were loosened by 
proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. 

NOTE. A marble bust of John Brown, executed by E. A. Brackett, was unveiled 
on Emancipation Day, January i, 1863, in Medford, Mass. It was afterward placed 
on exhibition in the Boston Athenaeum. 

A handsome memorial gold medal in honor of John Brown, modeled by the 
Brussels artist, Wurder, was presented to Mrs. Brown by distinguished French 
citizens in 1874. Among those who did this graceful act were Victor Hugo and 
Louis Blanc. The presentation was accompanied by a highly gratifying address. 
The inscription is as follows : 

" A la memoire de John Brown, assassine juridiquement a Charleston, le 2 
decembre 1859. Et a celle de ses fils et de ses compagnons morts, victimes deleur 
de'vouement a la cause de la liberte des noirs." 

An iron steamer built at London, which plies on the coast of West Africa for the 
use of the colored missionaries at British Sherbro, fitly bears the name of John 
Brown. 



26 



CHAPTER LI. 

HESTER HIGLEY CASE. 

Continued from chapter xviii. p. 100. 
Hester, Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
Love I esteem more strong than age, and truth more permanent than time MRS. JAMESON. 

HESTER, the fifth child of Brewster Higley, ist, was born 
December 3, 1719, and married in 1740 Captain Josiah Case, 
whose father, the Hon. James Case, was a member of the Con- 
necticut General Assembly for a number of years. Captain 
Case was born 1717. 

Of the Case family there were many members in successive 
generations who bore military titles. Its ancestors settled in 
Simsbury as early as 1669, and founded a numerous and highly 
respected family line. There have been numerous intermarriages 
with the Higleys and their relations among the descendants. 

Captain Josiah Case and Hester first settled at Terry's Plain. 
Great difficulties and disagreements in the old parish at Sims- 
bury led to the formation of a new settlement and church society 
in West-Simsbury, now Canton. To this neighborhood Captain 
Case, with his wife, removed about the year 1743, becoming the 
owners of lands which, since that time, have been held by their 
descendants their grandson, General Jarvis Case, having occu- 
pied the old homestead on Chestnut Hill 1 till after the middle of 
the present century. 

During a married life extending through a period of nearly 
half a century, they dignified human existence in their domestic 
relations by the practice of love and sweetness of temper. It is 
recorded of them that they lived together in the full enjoyment 
of uninterrupted happiness, and that they were constantly spoken 
of by their friends and neighbors as a living example of conjugal 
felicity. 

Captain Josiah Case died November 21, 1789. Hester Higley, 
his wife, died September 15, 1807, aged eighty-eight years. Their 
children : 

Lois, born 1741, died March 21, 1759. James, born April 2, 

1 Known also as East Hill school-district. 
390 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY,\ST. 391 

1744; married first, Phebe Tuller, second, Lydia Case. He died 
January 7, 1822. Hester, born May 16, 1745; married first, 
Thomas Case; her second marriage was to Carmi Higley, her 
first cousin, and her third, to Abram Pinney. Hannah was born 
June 23, 1749, and married Amos Wilcox; she died September 
5, 1833, aged eighty-three. Betty, born April 26, 1752, married 
John Barber; she died May 26, 1817. Captain Fithen, born Sep- 
tember 17, 1758, married Amarilla Humphrey; he died 1829. 

The last-named were the parents of General Jarvis Case of 
Canton, who distinguished himself by organizing the "Canton 
Cadets " which, it is said, took precedence as being the finest 
military company in Connecticut. General Case was first captain 
of this company, then colonel, and afterward was promoted to 
the rank of general under the old militia law. 



CHAPTER LII. 

JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 

Continued from chapter xviii. p. 100. 

John, Sr., Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

" Sic transit gloria munde." > 

THE sixth child of Brewster Higley, ist, was baptized John. 
His birth, which took place at Simsbury, Conn., is thus 
recorded : 

"John Higley, Ye fourth son of Bruster Higley was born febuary iyth 1722."* 

He was trained in the home circle to the same sound principles 
and example of industry which characterized the heads of that 
well-governed household. 

Of his youth there is little trace. Later on his life is found to 
have been one of stimulated energy. There are many signs of 
him having borne his full part in the responsible public interests 
of the town. 

" At ye Town meeting of the Inhabitants of Simsbury Regularly assembled for the 
Choice of Town Officers on the Third monday, being the Twentieth day of Decem- 
ber A. D. 1756, John Higley was chosen a Collector to Collect ye Town Rates of the 
Inhabitants of Salmon Brook Society for ye year Ensuing ; Alsoe, John Higley was 
chosen Constable for the year ensuing." 

Appointments of minor importance, from the time he was yet 
a young man, fell to his lot, such as fence-viewing, leather- 
sealer, grand juror, etc., and as has been stated in the narrative 
of his sister Elizabeth (Higley) Mills, he was intrusted with the 
collection of the Church society tithes. 

He was well-to-do in the world, receiving lands by deed from 
his father while his father was yet living, and at his decease he 
inherited a legacy of additional lands, and two hundred pounds 
in money. Being one of the heirs to his mother's property, he 
received his portion of her estate at her decease. 

During the war between Great Britain and France, the com- 

1 "So passes away the glory of this world." * " Simsbury Records," book iii. p. 261. 

393 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY, 1ST. 393 

bined forces of the French and Indians, approaching from 
Canada, did savage work. The Colony of Connecticut gave 
noble service. The State militia about this time was very 
numerous, according to the population. It is stated that early in 
1759 Connecticut had more than six thousand men in actual 
service. 

On April 18, 1758, John Higley, together with his half cousin, 
Samuel Higley, 1 joined the Provincial troops, enlisting in Captain 
Nathaniel Holcombe's company of six-months' men. Whether he 
re-enlisted at the expiration of his time, the following November, 
has not been ascertained. 

When the War of the Revolution required men, though he was 
now a man of fifty-four years, lacking only one year of the limit 
in age, he again served his country, enlisting in Company 8, 
i8th Regiment of the Connecticut Militia, under Captain John 
Brown, his cousin by marriage. He arrived in New York and 
joined the army August 19, 1776. 

John Higley married, about 1745, the exact date not appear- 
ing, Apphia, the daughter of Colonel Jonathan and Mercy 
(Ruggles) Humphrey, and great-grandchild of Michael Hum- 
phrey of Windsor, Conn., the ancestor of all the Connecticut 
families by that name. Apphia Humphrey was born May 9, 1726. 

They resided on the line between old Simsbury and what was 
afterward the town of Canton, though the most of his lands lay 
within the Simsbury boundary. 

The parish of Canton was established, and the first Congrega- 
tional church organized, in 1750. It does not appear that John 
and Apphia Higley joined this parish, but continued their con- 
nection with the old church at Simsbury. 

Apphia Higley died August 27, 1762. Her tombstone is still 
standing in the ancient burial ground in Simsbury. 

John Higley's second marriage was with a "Widow" Clark. 
He appears about the time of this marriage to have been baptized 
into the Church of England at St. Andrews, Bloomfield, five miles 
distant. 

He died May, 1802, aged eighty years. 

On the 7th of June, 1802, his son, John Higley, Jr. (or 2d), 
and two men of New Hartford were appointed administrators to 
his estate. They gave bond for two thousand dollars. The 
inventory * amounted to $1740.90. 

1 Son of Nathaniel Higley. * " Simsbury Probate Records," book vi. p. 223. 



394 THE HIGLEY S AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

John and Apphia (Humphrey) Higley had children as follows : 
Apphia, born March 27, 1746; John, Jr. (zd), born February i, 
1748; Carmi, born May 16, 1749; Rosanna, of whom no data is 
found and probably did not survive infancy; Isaac, born June 22, 
1753; Obed, born October 25, 1757; and Eber, baptized July 17, 
1763. By second wife: Roger, baptized January 13, 1765; Martha, 
baptized June 29, 1766; and Job, baptized July 31, 1768. 

APPHIA, the eldest, born March 27, 1746, married, March n, 
1767, Jared Mills of Canton, and became the mother of ten chil- 
dren. She died 1783. Her husband, Elder Jared Mills, was 
afterward twice married. In 1808 he was ordained by the Baptist 
Church to preach. 

JOHN HIGLEY, Jr. (2d), the eldest son of John, Sr., and 
Apphia (Humphrey) Higley, was born February 14, 1748. His- 
torical information concerning him is very meager. He married 

Dibble, 1 probably during the year 1772. The given name 

of his wife cannot be discovered. They resided on the farm 
which had belonged to his father, which lay in the northwest 
part of the Farm's school district in West Simsbury or Canton. 
The " ear-mark " granted him for his cattle, sheep, and swine 
was placed upon the town records February 3, 1784. 

John Higley, Jr., was one of three administrators to his 
father's estate. He died in 1802, a few months after his father's 
decease. 

Five children were born to John Higley, Jr. (2d), and his wife, 
viz. : 

Hannah, born March 25, 1773; John, 3d, born November 12, 
1774; Lois, born October i, 1776, who died in childhood; Timothy, 
born November 30, 1781; Dan, born December 22, 1789. 

HANNAH, the eldest child, born March 25, 1773, married 
Abraham Barber, Jr., the grandson of Sergeant Thomas Barber, 
a leading character of his day. Abraham Barber was born 1767. 
They resided in Canton. 

JOHN HIGLEY, 3d, and eldest son of John Higley, Jr. (or 2d), 
and the third in this line, was born November 12, 1774. He 
married, in 1796, Lodama, the daughter of Simeon Messenger of 
Barkhamstead, one of the old Simsbury families. Simeon Mes- 

1 The Dibbles were descendants of Thomas Dibble, an early settler at Dorcester, Mass., and of 
Windsor, Conn. John Higley, Jr.'s wife probably belonged to one of the families then residing at 
Salmon Brook, a few miles from Simsbury, Conn. 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER IIIGLEY,\ST. 395 

senger was the fourth of the fifteen children of Isaac Messenger, 1 
whose father, Joseph Messenger, removed to West Simsbury in 
1742, being the first by the name who settled there. Lodama 
Messenger was born April i, 1780. John, 3d, and Lodama Higley 
settled upon the farm in Canton that had been occupied by his 
grandfather and father. John Higley, 3d, though he had some 
unfortunate habits, was known as a hardworking man, and bore 
the reputation in the community for being clever and talented, 
and capable of accomplishing almost any sort of handicraft. 

Lodama (Messenger) Higley died March 28, 1830. The Rev. 
Jarius Burt preached her funeral sermon from the text, Hebrews 
xii. 14. John Higley, 3d, died in Canton May i, 1833, on the 
farm upon which he was born. His funeral sermon was preached 
from the text, Ecclesiastes xii. 7, by the same minister : "Then 
shall the dust return to the earth as it was : and the spirit shall 
return unto God who gave it." 

John, 3d, and Lodama (Messenger) Higley had a large family 
eleven children. They were as follows : 

Apphia, Pamelia, Jasper, Dency, William, Alanson, Jfayden, 
Harriet, Coy, Charles, and Julina. 

APPHIA HIGLEY, the eldest, was born at Canton, Conn., August 
23, 1798, and married, 1817, Amos Oviatt of Milford, Conn., 
where they resided. She died November 5, 1820. They had 
one child, viz. : 

ORIN W. OVIATT, who was born May, 1820. He was an infant six months 
old at the time of his mother's decease. He became the ward of his uncles, 
Alanson and Hayden Higley. When he became of age he went to Ohio, and on 
the 1st of December, 1842, married Delia Wadsworth of Monroe Falls, Summit 
County, in that State. They resided in the towns of Edinburg and Wadsworth, O., 
till the spring of 1852, when they removed to Battle Creek, Mich., and lived there 
twelve years. They then removed to St. Joseph, where they remained till 1887, 
when they returned to Mr. Oviatt's native town, Milford, Conn. They finally 
went to Chicago, where Mrs. Delia Oviatt died December n, 1888, aged sixty- 
six years and eleven months. She was buried at St. Joseph, Mich. 

Mr. and Mrs. Oviatt were the parents of two daughters, Marion Annett and Delia 
Irene. 

MARION A., the oldest, married, in 1866, Captain John H. Langley, and resides 
in St. Joseph, Mich. They have three children, viz.: 

John H. Langley, Jr., Marion Bernice, and Ruth. 

DELIA IRENE married, in. 1878, George Crafton, and has one child a son named 
Robert W. They reside, in Chicago, 111. 

1 Isaac Messenger was one of four residents of Canton, living neighbors, who had forty sons 
between them, thirty nine of whom lived to manhood. 



39 6 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

PAMELIA HIGLEY-STURDIVANT, the second child of John Hig- 
ley, 3d, and Lodama Messenger, was born May 25, 1800. She 
married John Sturdivant of Simsbury, Conn., in 1821, and died 
January 26, 1888. They had eight children, all born in Sims- 
bury, viz. : 

EMELINE, born 1822, who died at Chicopee Falls, Mass., 1842. 

DENCY, born 1823, who married Loren Worster of Naugatuck, Conn., 1840. 
They had two sons, Charles Worster, who was accidentally killed by an explosion 
in a powder mill, and Orin, who resides at Naugatuck. 

ELIZA, born 1825, married John Potter 1842. They had one child Antonette, 
who married Luzern Gunn and resides in Union City, Conn. 

JULINA, born 1827 and died 1829. 

HARRIET, born 1828, married Ruggles Baker, 1846. They had two children : 
Ella, who married James Wright, and one son James Baker. Harriet L. Baker 
died, 1885, at Naugatuck. 

HENRY, born 1830, married Augusta Turner, 1859. They had daughters : Ida 

and Carrie, who died , and Clara P., who died August, 1879. Henry 

Sturdivant resides at Miles Grove, Pa. 

CHARLES, born 1832, married Nettie Watson of Columbus, O., 1860. They had 
two sons, Charles Watson and Frank, who reside in Miles Grove, Pa. Nettie 
Watson Sturdivant died August 23, 1875. 

SUSAN, born 1838, married Alonzo H. Turner, and resided at Union City, Conn. 
She died September T2, 1887, leaving no children. 

JASPER HIGLEY, the third child of John, 3d, and Lodama 
(Messenger) Higley, was born at Canton, Conn., March 9, 1802, 
and married Laura Haskins, 1825. She was born September, 
1805. He served an apprenticeship at the trade of blacksmith, 
after which he was for a few years in the employ of the Kelloggs, 
machine builders, of Hartford, Conn. He then went into busi- 
ness for himself in Simsbury. He embraced religion while yet a 
young man, and united with the Methodist Church. Later on, an 
unfortunate internal injury destroyed his health, causing him 
much suffering the remainder of his life. This stopped his busi- 
ness, and brought his family into reduced circumstances. He 
died August 20, 1840. He was known as an honest-hearted 
citizen. His wife died December 16, 1893, aged eighty-eight 
years. She had married a second time. Jasper and Laura 
(Haskins) Higley had two children, viz. : Wilson and Elizabeth P. 

WILSON HIGLEY, born March 27, 1827, married July 8, 1849, Sabra A. Tuller. 
They had five children : 

Franklin P., Eugene, William, Rosa, who died young, and Charles. His wife, 
Sabra A. Higley, died March 9, 1879. 



DESCENDANTS OF BRE WSTER HIGLE Y, 1ST. 397 

ELIZABETH P., born January 9, 1836, married, September II, 1853, Dwight 
Gates, and had four children : 
Juliette, Ida, Emily, and Laura. They reside in Simsbury. 

DENCY HIGLEY, the fourth child of John, 3d, and Lodama 
(Messenger) Higley [page 395], was born December 13, 1803, 
and married Orin Case of Barkhamstead, Conn. They emigrated 
to the State of Ohio in 1822, making the journey of six weeks 
with an ox team. They settled at Ridgeville, O. Later in life 
they removed to Iowa. Their children were Seymour, Alanson, 
and Austin. 

AUSTIN CASE resides in Milford, la. He married [date not given] and has an 
interesting family. He is a highly respected and influential citizen. His son, 
Eugene, who is postmaster of the town, is a clever, enterprising young man of 
excellent standing. Mrs. Dency (Higley) Case died of pneumonia, in Iowa, Janu- 
ary 24, 1879. From the Okoboy paper the following is taken : " Mrs. Dency Case 
was the mother of Austin Case, Esqr., and was highly respected and esteemed by 
all who knew her. She was a consistent member of the Congregational Church, 
and died in the full assurance of life beyond the grave. Few women lived who 
possessed a warmer heart or more lovable nature ; endowed with purest womanly 
virtues, she was ever sympathizing, genial, and a faithful friend. Of her it may 
truly be said, ' The world is better for her having lived.' " 

WILLIAM HIGLEY, the fifth child of John, 3d, and Lodama 
(Messenger) Higley, was born at Canton, Conn., June 25, 1806. 
He married Lydia J. Matson of Granby, Conn., about 1825. 
They resided in Hartford County, Connecticut. He died, 1839. 

They had four children, viz. : 

JULIA ANN, born 1827, who married Truman A. Case, and has two daughters, 
Nellie and Rosie. They reside in Milwaukee, Wis. 

MILES PORTER, born October 7, 1830 ; served in the late Civil War with the 
Federal forces. He died before the close of the war of disease contracted in the 
field. 

WILLIAM EMERSON, born in Hartford County, Connecticut, October 7, 1835 ; 
married, March I, 1870, Clara S. Ingham of Middletown, Conn. They reside in 
Chicago, where the following children were born : 

William Lewis, born February I, 1871 ; died September 10, 1871. Clara 
Julia, born April 15, 1872. Walter, born October 12, 1874 ; died May 4, 1884. 
Arthur Montague, born June 9, 1876, and Clinton Emerson, born July 12, 1879. 

WILBURT J., the youngest child of William and Lydia J. (Matson) Higley, born 

1838 ; married , and has five children. They reside in Sullivan County, 

Pennsylvania. No data furnished. 



39 8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ALANSON HIGLEY, the sixth child of John, 3<3, and Lodama (Mes- 
senger) Higley [page 395], was born in Canton, Conn., July 26, 
1808, and married November i, 1830, Mary Carlton of Derry, 
N. H. She was born June 20, 1811. Alanson Higley was a man 
of 'fine physique, full of animation and hilarity, popular with his 
friends, and counted a "jovial good fellow." The responsibili- 
ties of bringing up a family of nine children fell largely upon the 
excellent wife and mother, a woman of sterling qualities, gifted 
with wise strength, uniting action with much thoughtfulness and 
lovableness of character. Alanson Higley died December 29, 
1869. They resided at Candia, N. H., where their children 
were born, viz. : 

Mary Ann, Harriet, JohnH., Charles W., Harriet W., 2d, Eben 
N. , Albert A. , Sarah J. , and Hannah N. 

MARY ANN, the eldest, born October 4, 1831 ; married William Benson, May 8, 
1851. She died December 29, 1852. They resided at South Berwick, Me. They 
had one child, Sallie, born June I, 1852 ; died an infant. 

HARRIET, the second child, born November 6, 1832 ; died September 25, 1836. 

JOHN H., the third child, born November 21, 1834, at Candia, N. H. ; died 
January 10, 1855. 

CHARLES W., born February, 1837 ; left home at the age of sixteen, and never 
was heard of after. 

HARRIET W., the fifth child of Alanson and Mary (Carlton) Higley, was born 
April 22, 1839, and married June 18, 1859, Ira T. Warren. They reside at Cape 
Elizabeth, Me., where Mr. Warren has accumulated a considerable property, and 
is the owner of a goodly portion of real estate in the town in which they live. He 
is a man of sterling integrity, and a staunch Republican in politics. For near thirty 
years he has been an engineer on the Boston and Maine Railway. His wife, 
Harriet W. Higley, is an amiable Christian woman, a friend true to the core, 
possessing marked stability of character. Their children are : 

Mary Ella, born July 22, 1860, and died January 25, 1875 ; George F., born 
March 9, 1862, and Mamie E., born July n, 1875. 

EBEN N., the sixth child of Alanson and Mary (Carlton) Higley, was born 
in Westford, Mass., May 20, 1843. His parents removed to Candia, N. H., in 
1847, when he was four years old. Here his younger years were spent. At the 
age of twelve he was " bound " to a farmer in the same town, with whom he re- 
mained four years. He then secured a situation in a cotton factory at South Ber- 
wick, Me., remaining with his employer till the year 1861. At the age of eighteen 
he went to sea before the mast, enlisting on June I, 1861, in the United States 
Naval Service for one year, from which he was honorably discharged, July 9, 1862. 

Soon after the last date he entered the Navy Yard at Kittery, Me., but deciding 
upon joining the forces in the Civil War, he enlisted in Company B, 27th Maine 
Volunteers, for nine months' service. The wing of the army to which his regiment 
was assigned served mostly in Virginia. On being mustered out, July 17, 1863, he 



DESCENDANTS OF BREWSTER HIGLEY,\ST. 399 

went to Lake Village, N. H., to learn the trade of machinist. Here he remained 
more than a year. Before the close of '64 he again entered the United States Naval 
Service, and was transferred from the receiving ship to the United States Sloop-of- 
War San Yacinto. While on a voyage she was shipwrecked, January I, 1865, on 
No-name Key, the Bahama Banks, an uninhabited island, where the officers and 
marines were obliged to remain nineteen days before being taken off. 

Mr. Higley was then transferred to the United States Ship Fort Henry, and was 
on board when she was sunk in the St. Marks River, Florida. He received his dis- 
charge July 6, 1865, after the close of the war, having served honorably. 

In March, 1866, he went to Great Falls, N. H., engaging with a large manufac- 
turing company. Here he remained three years. March, 1869, he began the ma- 
chinist business for himself, in which he continued till 1882, when he sold out, and 
being given to practical thinking, he entered with some enthusiasm into inventions, 
in which he succeeded by virtue of his natural genius and perseverance. In the 
course of a few years his experiments had resulted in him taking out above thirty 
patents, which, together with mining interests, brought him a comfortable fortune. 
Some of his enterprises were of a scientific character. 

Mr. Higley is at present the treasurer of the Beaver Dam Mining Company of 
Nova Scotia ; the president of the Golden Gate Mining Company of South Carolina, 
and president of the Deer Creek Gold Mining Company of Idaho. 

On December 28, 1868, he married Hannah B. Morrison of South Parsonfield, 
Me. They have resided much of their married life at Somersworth, N. H., but 
spent a few years in New York City. 

Eben and Hannah (Morrison) Higley are the parents of three children, all born 
in Somersworth, N. H., viz. : 

Winfield C. , born May 12, 1870 ; died August 14, 1871. Maud, bom February 
7, 1875 ; and Florence, born June I, 1879 ; died January 13, 1884. 

ALBERT A., the seventh child of Alanson and Mary (Carlton) Higley, was 
born February 22, 1845. When the emergency of the Civil War demanded 
men, he enlisted in the 8th Maine Regiment, Company F, August 14, 1861. 
He fell ill early in the following autumn, and received an honorable discharge on 
the I5th of December, 1861, at Hilton Head, S. C. After remaining a few months 
on the coast, he returned to his home in Maine. His health having improved, 
he again enlisted September 10, 1862, in the 27th Maine Regiment, Company B, 
and served his time, at the expiration of which he was honorably discharged, 
July 17, 1863. His health, however, became permanently impaired during his 
war service. He now resides in Eliot, Me. 

SARAH J., the eighth child of Alanson and Mary (Carlton) Higley, born 
August 26, 1849^ married David Stewart Worster, July 4, 1878. Mr. Worster 
served his country during the Civil War, enlisting in the 14th Maine Regiment, 
Company E, in 1861, and continuing throughout the conflict, received an honor- 
able discharge at Augusta, Me., September n, 1865. He was promoted to 
the office of sergeant, and took part in six battles. He conducts a business in 
carriage and sign painting in Deering, Me., where the family now resides, and where 
Mr. Worster has attained deserved popularity both in his line of business and as a 
citizen. 

His wife, Sarah J. Higley, is bright, energetic, full of glowing feeling, exempli- 
fying in her tasteful home and love of home interests, to a large degree the strongly 



400 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

marked characteristics of the New England woman. The study of music has been 
her specialty, in which she has made successful progress. 

Not having children of their own, their active sympathies led them to receive 
into their home two motherless boys, upon the training and guidance of whom they 
have spent much faithful endeavor ; and in 1889 they adopted a daughter, eight 
years of age, whom they call Florence M. Worster. 

HANNAH N., the youngest child of Alanson and Mary (Carl ton) Higley, was 
born December 13, 1851. From her childhood she suffered from scrofula, which, 
as she grew in years, foreshadowed an early death. Her life, during which she 
exhibited a lovable, patient nature, closed at twenty-three years of age, February 
8, 1875- 




HAYDEN HIGLEY. 



CHAPTER LIII. 

HAYDEN HIGLEY. 

Continued from page 395. 
Hayden, John, 3d, John, Jr., John, Sr., Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

There is an unfading glory in the labors of good men ; and though death is permitted to draw 
a dark shadow over their persons, they will live in the just reputation of their good works. 
R. BARCLAY. 

HAYDEN HIGLEY, the seventh child and fourth son of John, 3d, 
and Lodama (Messenger) Higley, was born at the old farm home 
in Canton, Conn., September 13, 1810, where his father and 
grandfather had spent their lives. The large family which made 
up the household, together with limited means, caused his parents 
to place this son in a situation, at the early age of eight years, 
away from home. He lived in different places doing "chores," 
till he was sixteen, when he went to Ansel Humphrey of Canton 
to learn the clothier's trade, with whom he remained two and a 
half years, receiving the first year twenty-five dollars, and thirty- 
five dollars for the second year. 

From the time that he began earning for himself, a deep 
longing took possession of his heart to do something for the aid 
of his younger sister Harriet, who was a deaf mute. Resolving 
that she should be educated at the asylum for deaf mutes founded 
by the Rev. Thomas Gaudalet at Hartford, Conn., he put forth 
his best efforts to raise the required means, and by untiring zeal 
and earnest labor he met with success. She entered the school 
and was supported by him for three years. 

Under the preaching of the Rev. Jairus Burt, and during the 
time of a great revival in Canton, Hayden became a professor of 
religion, uniting with the Congregational Church in Novem- 
ber, 1827. On the same day 130 persons were received into 
membership. 

The year 1829 he traveled in New Hampshire as a trunk sales- 
man, afterward entering the house of Freeman Parker of Candia 
in the clothing business, with whom he continued two and a half 

401 



402 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

years. Two years later he rented the woolen mill belonging to 
Mr. Parker, and began business for himself. 

On the 3ist of December, 1835, he married Sabrina Fitts, the 
daughter of Abraham and Susanna (Lane) Fitts. She was born 
in Candia, N. H., May n, 1813. 

April i, 1837, he purchased one-half the interest in a woolen 
mill in West Epping, N. H., where he remained, with David 
Bunker as his partner, nine years, in the business of carding wool 
and dressing cloth. While here he attended the Congregational 
Church at Raymond, N. H., his wife uniting with the same 
church on profession of her faith. 

In 1846 he purchased Mr. Bunker's interest in the mill, conduct- 
ing the business himself for two years. He then accepted Jacob E. 
Prescott as partner, enlarging the mill and extending the business. 
For twelve years their affairs. prospered. In 1860 he retired from 
this branch of business. Later on he purchased additional lands to 
property he already owned, fitted up a pkasant home, and opened 
a small grocery business, which proved successful, till August 29, 
1878, when his two business-houses and his dwelling were suddenly 
destroyed by fire. Mr. Higley, now well on in years, and having 
had the burden and care of an active business life for a long 
period, did not re-enter business, but erected a business building on 
one of the lots, which his son-in-law now occupies. As his age ad- 
vanced he enjoyed open air exercise on the farm and in the garden. 

On February 5, 1858, Hayden Higley was unanimously elected 
to the office of deacon of the church at Epping, N. H. For 
twenty years he was superintendent of the Sabbath school. On 
the 28th of December, 1866, he and his wife severed their con- 
nection with the Epping Church, after their removal to Raymond, 
N. H., the town adjoining. 

His pastor, the Rev. Josiah Stearns, says: "Deacon Higley 
was highly respected by the community as a man of enterprise 
and integrity in business, ever acting the part of a man of 
firm Christian principle. This gave him weight of character 
which was felt for good in all his efforts for the welfare of the 
people. Though his home was three miles from the church, he 
was very constant at all the services, both week days and Sun- 
days. In pecuniary matters, whether for the support of religious 
institutions at home or abroad, he aided with such cheerful readi- 
ness as to stir others to well doing. He was, in fact, a pleasant 
friend and valuable helper to every pastor." 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLE Y, SR. 43 

Sherburne P. Blake, clerk of the church at Raymond, N. H., 
of which Deacon Hayden Higley is a member, writes: " He was 
chosen superintendent of our Sabbath school in the spring of 
1864, and held the position with honor for five consecutive years. 
On the lyth of May, 1867, he was elected deacon in this church, 
and is at the present time one of its most worthy officials. He 
was elected treasurer of the society in 1872, holding the position 
five years, and for many years has served on committees in all 
matters pertaining to the welfare of the church and society. His 
life in this connection has been'one of steady labor in the Master's 
vineyard, the church and society having been regularly, almost 
without an exception, honored by his presence at all their 
meetings. 

" His noble heart has at all times beaten in unison with God's 
true followers, and his purse has always been open wide and deep 
to aid in every good word and deed. He is found always stand- 
ing ready with a kind persuasive word to any who are grieved or 
wounded; always charitable in judgment, and in his admonitions 
he evinces a Christian spirit seldom equaled. That he may be 
spared to us for many years to come is the prayer of every mem- 
ber of the Congregational Church in Raymond, N. H." 

The one-hundredth anniversary of the organization of the First 
Congregational Church in Raymond, N. H., was celebrated Octo- 
ber 22, 1891. It was a noteworthy occasion of deep interest to 
Deacon Hayden Higley, as well as to every citizen of the town. 
Deacon Higley was chosen one of the three speakers to represent 
"Personal Reminiscences " at the evening session. For turning 
the leaves of the past he was singularly qualified, as his speech 
gave evidence, having left the burden and heat of many years 
behind him, spent in this and the adjoining town since he was a 
very young man, and lived a life fraught with much experience, a 
life now clothed with the wisdom of years in a green and peaceful 
old age. 

After having spent his long and useful life in the practice of 
"sweet mercy, nobility's true badge," the chord that linked his 
earth-life to heaven was severed and his spirit went to God who 
gave it, December 6, 1894. 

His wife, Sabrina F. Higley, died March 5, 1880, having sus- 
tained a lovely Christian character. 

They were the parents of two children, Elma A. and Harlan P. 
Higley. 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ELMA A. , the eldest child of Deacon Hayden and Sabrina (Fitts) Higley, was 
born in Candia, N. H., January 27, 1837, and baptized the 1 5th of the follow- 
ing October, after the removal of her parents to Raymond. 

In 1860 she learned the milliner's business. After she had gained some experi- 
ence, her father purchased the business house and stock of goods of Charles E. 
Eaton of Raymond, of which she took entire charge on her own responsibility, and 
conducted the business successfully seven years. 

She married Charles A. Shepard, October 23, 1866. They reside in Raymond, 
N. H., where Mr. Shepard is a merchant and the postmaster of the town. 
Charles A. Shepard served three years during the late Civil War, belonging to 
Company A, nth New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment. During the entire period 
of the war he was not absent a single day from his post of duty. 

They had two children, viz.: Charles S., born April 4, 1867, and Abby Ho-we 
Shepard, born May 19, 1874. 

CHARLES S. SHEPARD is in the employ of the Boston and Maine Railroad Co., 
which position he has held since the year 1887. 

ABBY HOWE, the only daughter, died May 29, 1891, aged seventeen years. Her 
young life was clouded by chronic disease. She was a constant invalid ; her last 
years were years of great suffering. She possessed natural excellent abilities, was 
of an affectionate disposition, and especially attached to her " dear grandfather." 

To her it was a joyous release when the day came that she was freed from earth's 
pain and struggle with infirmity, and entered the realities of the heavenly realm. 

HARLAN P., the second child and only son of Hayden and Sabrina (Fitts 
Higley, was born June 27, 1839. When the late civil conflict of war began he 
had just reached the full tide of young manhood, and life before him was bright 
with promise. He espoused the Union cause, and volunteered his services in the 
army, November 14, 1861, joining Company D, the 8th New Hampshire Volun- 
teers, which was mustered into service on the 2Oth of the same month. After a 
year's gallant services he died of fever in an army hospital at Carrolton, near New 
Orleans, November 21, 1862. 

HARRIET, the eighth child of John, 3d, and Lodama (Mes- 
senger) Higley [page 395], was born at Canton, Conn., March 
19, 1813. From her birth she was a deaf mute. As has been 
already narrated, she was educated by her next older brother, 
Hayden Higley, in the asylum for deaf mutes founded by the 
Rev. Thomas Gaudalet in Hartford, Conn. Here she received 
a fair education, which added greatly to her enjoyment of life. 

She married, 1839, when twenty-six years old, Ephraim 
McEwen, who was also a deaf mute. They resided at Bridge- 
port, Conn. 

Harriet Higley McEwen died of pneumonia, February 4, 1890. 
Ephraim McEwen died of cancer, the date not given. 

They had three children, viz. : Mary Ann, David, and Martha. 

MARY ANN, born February 13, 1845, married, first, Theodore Dutton, February 
16, 1862. They had one child, Nellie, born March 12, 1863, and married William 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 405 

Blackburn, September 13, 1886. Theodore Button was a soldier in the late Civil 
War and died in the service October 10, 1864. His wife married, second, Charles 
Frear, December 6, 1865. They had one child, flattie, born May 28, 1866, a 
woman of quick perception and attractive qualities. She married Frederick 
Stickle, June 27, 1887. They reside in Worcester, Mass. 

DAVID McEwEN, the second child of Harriet Higley and Ephraim McEwen, 
was born July 7, 1847, and married, 1870, Lizzie Shay. They had three children: 

Willie, died 1872; Emma, died 1874; and Minne, born 1875. 

MARTHA, the third child of David and Harriet (Higley) McEwen, born April 15, 
1854; married, first, Albert Wiggins, May 2, 1870. He died April 6, 1873. They 
had one son, George H., born August 25, 1871. Martha married, second, Charles 
A. Gould, July 17, 1875. They reside in Bridgeport,, Conn. 



Coy, John, 3d, John, Jr., John, St., Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 
Continued from page 395. 

COY HIGLEY, the ninth child of John, 3d, and Lodama (Mes- 
senger) Higley, was born at Canton, Conn., February 10, 1815. 
When quite a young man, scarcely twenty-one, he went to Merri- 
mac, 1 Mass., and there married Sarah Kendrick, a native of that 
town. She was born April 12, 1817. They settled in a home of 
their own, where they resided in quiet habits in the same house 
and on the same spot, fifty-seven years, respected and beloved 
by the whole community. Mr. Higley, during his active years, 
was engaged in a lucrative business. 

The tranquil married life of Mr. and Mrs. Coy Higley, which 
was a treasure of happiness and sympathetic companionship, was 
celebrated at their fifty-first wedding anniversary, June 9, 1887. 

A golden wedding is always an event which claims genuine 
interest. Thackeray says: "To see a young couple loving each 
other is no wonder; but to see an old couple loving each other is 
the best sight of all." 

The added year in this instance the fifty-first did not dimin- 
ish the lively pleasure taken by their friends and kinspeople from 
far and near, on the occasion of a large reception which they 
gave at their home on the date above named, at which the aged 
couple received notable assurance of the affectionate esteem in 
which they were held. 

Gifts in great variety, in silver, china, and glass, and valuable 
bric-a-brac, together with a purse of gold, were presented. A 
brother, aged seventy-five, of the bridegroom of fifty-one years, 
was present; also a sister of the bride, aged eighty-one. During 

1 This town was formerly known as West Amesbury. 

27 



46 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

the evening the pastor of their church, Rev. Mr. Lunt, and 
guests from Newburyport, Haverhill, and other adjacent towns, 
made congratulatory addresses, wishing the "happy pair" 
many more years of conjugal bliss. The exercises of the evening 
were interspersed with old-time songs, and were closed with 
a fervent prayer by their pastor. 

But they were destined to but few more years of married hap- 
piness in this life; the time of separation finally came Coy 
Higley died March 29, 1893. 

Coy and Sarah (Kendrick) Higley had one child, a son, viz. : 

OILMAN SMITH HIGLEY, born July 9, 1837. He married, March 3, 1861, Ellen, 
daughter of R. Leach, of Hallowell, Me. 

Early in the late Civil War he enlisted for a term of three years in the 23d Regi- 
ment, Company A, Massachusetts Volunteers, called the Salem Zouaves. At the 
expiration of his term he re-enlisted in Washington, D. C., in Company K, 1st 
Regiment, United States Veteran Volunteers, General Hancock commanding, and 
bravely served his entire time in both enlistments, remaining in faithful service till 
the bells of peace rang out their glad chimes over war and carnage ended. 

Oilman S. and Ellen (Leach) Higley had children, viz.: 

Sadie Smith, born July 7, 1862 ; George ., born July 18, 1867 ; LilKe, born 
October 22, 1869, died September 12, 1870 ; and Nabbie, born August 30, 1871. 

Oilman S. Higley met his death by accidental drowning in the Merrimac 
River, August, 1873. 

CHARLES HIGLEY, the tenth child of John, 3d, and Lodama 
(Messenger) Higley, was born April 6, 1817. 

He went to South America, and it is supposed he died in that 
country, no tidings having been received of him for full forty 
years. 

JULINA HIGLEY, the eleventh and youngest child of John and 
Lodama (Messenger) Higley, born August n, 1819, died an 
infant, May 21, 1820. 

Continued from page 394. 

We now return to the direct line of the family of John Higley, 
Jr. (or 2d), in the person of his second son. 

TIMOTHY HIGLEY, the second son of John Higley, Jr. (2d), 

whose wife was Dibble, was born in the farm homestead 

which had descended from father to son in the line of the 
"Johns" Higley, which lay in the "Farm's school district in 
Canton, Conn., November 30, 1781. He married Polly Allen, 
who was born 1787. They resided for a number of years till 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 407 

later than 1822 in West Hartland, Conn. Subsequently they 
removed to Pennsylvania, taking a family of children, and settled 
on a farm in Athens Township, Crawford County. Here they 
and their descendants spent their lives as plain farming folk. 

Timothy Higley died 1868. His wife died many years before 
1845. They lie buried in a private burial plot on a farm that has 
been owned in the family for two or more successive generations, 
five miles from Townville, Crawford County, Pa. 

Timothy and Polly (Allen) Higley had four children, viz. : 

MARIA, who married Solomon Sturdivant, both of whom died many years ago. 
CHESTER, married Bulah Vanzcise. Not living. 
ALVIN, little is known of him. He married and had one child. 
SYLVESTER, born 1814, married Eliza Vanderhoof, who was born the same year. 
They resided at Townville, Pa. , and had five children, viz. : 
Aha, James, Emily, Milo J., Mary. 

ALVA HIGLEY, born August 27, 1838 ; married Martha Lilibridge. Alva 
Higley served in the Civil War, and was killed in battle. They resided in Spring- 
field, 111., and had one child, named James C., born March n, 1862. 

JAMES HIGLEY, son of Sylvester and Eliza Higley, was born August 10, 1840, 
married Julia A. Lilibridge. James Higley served twenty-two months in the Civil 
War. They had two children : Eva J. and Alva E., who was born April 2, 1861, 
and married Mary E. Ralston. She was born October 27, 1858. 

Alva E. and Mary (Ralston) Higley have three children, as follows : Cornelius J. 
born July II, 1882 ; Julia E., born May 6, 1887 ; and Thomas IV., born April 22, 
1889. They reside at Townville, Crawford County, Pa. 

EMILY HIGLEY, born December n, 1842, married Charles Bromley. She died 
February 20, 1883. No children. 

MILO J. HIGLEY, born July 2, 1845, married Ellen Lilibridge. They reside at 
Townville, Pa., and have twelve children (two of whom are not living), viz.: 

Nettie, Timothy, Mary, Henrietta, Teressa, John, Charles, Jennie, Paulina, 
George E., Alva, and Mack. 

MARY HIGLEY, born April 7, 1851, married Hugh Bromley. They reside at 
Riceville, Crawford County, Pa. They have no children. 

DAN HIGLEY, the youngest child of John Higley, Jr. (or ad), 
and his wife Dibble, was born in Canton, Conn., Decem- 
ber 22, 1789. 

He was thirteen years of age at the time of his father's death, 
and being a minor, Ezra Adams, Esq., was appointed his guar- 
dian. Mr. Adams bound the boy as an apprentice to Theopolis 
Humphrey of Canton. In course of time, when scarcely eigh- 
teen, Dan married and soon afterward absconded, on or about 
November 17, 1807; in consequence of which Mr. Humphrey 
brought suit against his guardian for damages to which he 
thought he was subjected. The sum of $163.43 was awarded 
him, and the court authorized the guardians to sell seven acres 
of the land belonging to Dan Higley, a legacy from his father, 



48 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

to satisfy the claim. 1 The town of Canton was also reimbursed 
for expenses attending his young wife. What became of young 
Dan is not known. 



Among the few miscellaneous characters bearing the Higley 
name who appear to have been connected by heredity was : 

JOHN A. HIGLEY, who was born either in Simsbury or Canton, 
Hartford County, Connecticut, in the year 1793. During the 
second war with Great Britain, 1812-14, he served under Com- 
mander Isaac Phelps, enlisting August 18, 1814, and was honor- 
ably discharged with the troops, October 25, 1814. During the 
early wars of our country the terms of enlistment were short; 
many however re-enlisted, and John A. Higley may have been 
among that number. For many years he received a United 
States pension. 

He married at Simsbury, Jerusha Fuller. They resided in 
Simsbury, Conn. John A. Higley died November 17, 1841. His 
wife died March i, 1861, aged seventy-four. They were interred 
in the Simsbury cemetery. Their children : 

George Byron Higley, born October 14, 1823; Sabria, born 
April 2, 1826. Both are living and are unmarried. They reside 
in Simsbury. 

1 Simsbury Probate Records, book vi. p. 183. 



CHAPTER LIV. 

/ 

CARMI HIGLEY. 

Continued from page 394. 
Carmi, John, Sr., Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

" And yet he was not alone. About him stood the mighty spirits of the past, who fought and 
became immortal in the cause of Liberty." 

CARMI HIGLEY, son of John Higley, Sr., and Apphia (Hum- 
phrey) Higley, was born in Canton, Conn., May 16, 1749. He 
married his cousin, Hester, the widow of Thomas Case, and daugh- 
ter of Captain Josiah Case and his wife, Hester Higley. 1 She 
was born May 10, 1745. They resided in Canton. 

Carmi Higley joined the army of the Revolution in 1776, Colo- 
nel Huntington's regiment, Captain E. Fitch Bissell's company. 
After the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, he was reported* 
" missing." a Subsequently it was found that he was taken pris- 
oner of war, and was for some time confined in one of the New 
York churches, which was used as a prison ; but his lot finally fell 
with the large number more than twelve thousand men* who 
were placed in the wretched hulks of British prison-ships moored 
near the site of where the United States Navy Yard at Brooklyn, 
N. Y., now is, and were starved to death. Historical record tells 
that from these " floating dungeons their bodies after death were 
taken on shore." One of the Revolutionary poets thus describes 
the manner in which their remains were disposed of : 

" Each day at least six carcasses we bore, 
And scratched their graves along the sandy shore ; 

1 Page 391. 

2 "Colonel Huntington's regiment was reorganized for the year 1776. After the siege of Bos- 
ton it marched under Washington for New York, via New London, at which point it boarded 
schooners and passed through Long Island Sound. It remained in the vicinity of New York from 
April to the close of the war, assisting in fortifying the city. August 24 it was ordered to the 
Brooklyn front and engaged in the Battle of Long Island, Augusta?, fought near where Greenwood 
Cemetery now is, and being surrounded by the British, lost heavily in prisoners." Record of 
Connecticut Men in War of tke Revolution. 

* " Of this number the ' Society of Old Brooklynites,' Brooklyn, N. Y., have obtained from 
the records of the British War Department eight thousand names." 

409 



410 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

By feeble hands the shallow graves were made, 
No stone memorial o'er the corpses laid ; 
In barren sands and far from home they lie, 
No friend to shed a tear when passing by." 

For thirty-two years these noble dead lay in their unmarked and 
unnoticed graves, the bones of some being washed out of their 
shallow sepulchers by the tides which swept the beach, till a move- 
ment was made in the year 1808 by the "Columbian Order" of 
New York City, which resulted in having them collected and 
buried with imposing ceremonies, " in which the governors of sev- 
eral States, mayors of cities, and civil, military, and ecclesiastical 
dignitaries from all parts of the country took part." Ultimately 
the Park Commissioners of the City of Brooklyn "prepared with 
great care and expense a permanent tomb for the reception of 
these sacred remains, on the historic ground of Fort Green, a 
charming elevation in Washington Park, overlooking the scene of 
their sufferings and death to which they were carefully removed 
and deposited." 

Here our national colors float over them on all national holi- 
days and public days of consequence. The debt of gratitude 
which our country owes to the memory of these gallant heroes, 
who sacrificed their lives in horrible prisons, under circumstances 
which tested their loyalty to the cause of liberty even more than 
that of the soldier who fought in the excitement of the battle-field, 
meeting death as they did under slow and torturing fate, and 
when persistently importuned to choose between the prison-ships 
and enlistment in King George's army, exclaimed : 

" GIVE us THE PRISON-SHIPS AND DEATH, OR WASHINGTON 
AND LIBERTY ! " 

should be forever recorded in the hearts of a grateful country, and 
preserved in imperishable granite. 

Carmi and Hester Higley had one child a son who bore his 
father's name. Hester Higley settled the estate of her husband, 
exhibiting an inventory in court, March 2, 1779. She died in 
1790. 

CARMI HIGLEY, 2d, son of the above, was born about 1775. He married Sally 
Kelsey, who was born in 1783. He perished at sea in the prime of life, in 1814. 
His wife died January 25, 1850. They had three children, viz. : 

Sally, Carmi, 3d, and Festus. 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLE Y, SR. 411 

SALLY HIGLEY, the eldest child, was born 1809. She married, first, Wadsworth 
Brown, and second, Hiram Webster. No children. She died, 1849. 

CARMI, 3d, the second child of Carmi, 2d, and Sally (Kelsey) Higley, was born 

1810. He married a widow, Coates. They resided in Bloomfield, Conn., 

where Mr. Higley owned a neat property, and followed the trade of builder. They 
had no children. He died October 2, 1859. 

FESTUS HIGLEY, the third child of Carmi Higley, 2d, and Sally (Kelsey) Higley, 
was born 1814. He married Theda Burr, July 25, 1842. She was born April 15, 
1817. They had one child, a daughter named Lura. Festus Higley died May i, 
1869. His wife died April 4, 1884. 

LURA HIGLEY, daughter of Festus, was born August 4, 1846, and married, Decem- 
ber 25, 1884, William J. Pease. He was born May 6, 1837. The only child of 
William J. and Lura Higley Pease is named Carrie Florence, born January 25, 1886. 
They reside in Hartford, Conn. 



Continued from page 394. 

ISAAC HIGLEY, son of John, Sr., and Apphia (Humphrey) Hig- 
ley, was born in Canton Conn., June 22, 1753. Well established 
family tradition states that he was a Revolutionary soldier, join- 
ing Colonel Belden's regiment in company with his brother, Obed, 
in 1777, which is probably correct, as he was then twenty-four 
years of age, but no recorded facts are furnished. 

He married Anna Clark and resided in Simsbury. His name is 
found in the town records 1 as " Fence Viewer," December 1,1800. 

In the year 1808 he purchased a tract of 128 acres of land, at 
two dollars per acre, in the town of Elba, Genesee County, New 
York, to which he removed with his family. Here he died two 
years later 1810. 

Isaac Higley, Sr., and Anna (Clark) Higley had seven children, 
viz. : 

Isaac, Jr., Abby, Ruth, Adah, Anna, Hannah, and Candace, all 
born at Simsbury, Conn. 

ABBY, the eldest daughter, born September 15, 1783, married Elias Pettibone ; 
died October 4, 1806. 

RUTH, born September 12, 1784, married Daniel Mills and lived in Elba, N. Y. 
She died October 10, 1870. 

ADAH, born June 26, 1791, married, first, Zebulon Woodruff; second, Reuben 
Norton. She died July 29, 1824. 

ANNA, born March 17, 1793, married Samuel Lampson, and lived in Onondaga 
County, New York. She died January 8, 1873 ; he died September 6, 1855. 

HANNAH married William Knapp, and lived in Ashtabula County, Ohio. Both 
were buried in Andover, O. 

CANDACE, born October 9, 1793, married John Hawkins and lived at Alexander- 
N. Y. She died May 18, 1864. 

1 Simsbury Town Records. 



412 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

ISAAC HIGLEY, Jr., the only son and eldest child of Isaac, Sr., 
and Anna (Clark) Higley, was born at Simsbury, Conn., July 
21, 1779. 

He married Dorothy, placed upon record "Dolly," 1 daughter 
of Timothy Kilburn of Wethersfield, Conn., afterward of Sims- 
bury. She was born in 1783. She received a bequest from her 
father's estate, August, 13, 1814. 

Isaac, Jr., and Dorothy Higley emigrated to Genesee County, 
western New York, in 1808, with Isaac Higley, Sr., and his 
family. Here they lived and died. After his father's decease it 
fell upon Isaac to assume the remaining debt upon the land 
which they had taken on contract from a land agency, to be 
cleared and paid for in eight years. The fine and beautiful 
Genesee country was at that time an uncultivated forest. But 
despondency had no place in his nature, and with a stout heart 
he proceeded to conquer the difficulties of the task before him. 
A comfortable farm was in due time under cultivation, and the 
price of the land nearly trebled in a very few years. 

When the war of 1812 was declared, the men of his neighbor- 
hood were ordered to the front. Isaac Higley, with his uncle 
and nephew, reported for service at Buffalo, taking blankets and 
three days' provisions. It was, however, found that the Govern- 
ment had not sufficient equipments for all the men, and he, being 
among a number who had left young families behind them, was 
sent back to his home. 

He was one of three commissioners appointed to divide the 
township of Batavia, N. Y., into two townships, and it was he 
who gave the town of Elba its name. 

In 1820, at the first town meeting which was held in Elba, he 
was elected commissioner of schools, and served in this capacity 
for many years. 

His life stood the test of trial and time. He lived to make a 
name and a place respected among the early settlers of Genesee 
County. 

He died July 31, 1832. His wife died November 4, 1852. 

Isaac, Jr., and Dorothy (Kilburn) Higley had seven children, 
viz. : 

Emily, Horace, Maria, Eber, Anson, Isaac Newton, Alvira. 

EMILY, the eldest, born February 28, 1802, married Walter Holbrook, and lived 
in Leon, Ashtabula County, O. They had a family. Names not given. 
1 Simsbury Probate Record, book vi. p. 266. 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 4*3 

HORACE HIGLEY, born September 20, 1803 ; never married. Died December 
28, 1828. 

MARIA, born December 10, 1805, married Isaac Tinkham. They lived and 
died in Ashtabula, O., leaving a family of seven children. 

EBER HIGLEY, born June 18, 1808, married Abigail Lester of Tiffin, O. They 
reside in Prescott, Wis., no data furnished. 

ANSON HIGLEY, the fifth child of Isaac, Jr., and Dorothy (Kil- 
burn) Higley, was born in Elba, N. Y., November 13, 1811. He 
was but eighteen years of age when death deprived him of his 
father's care and counsel. Although young, he was capable of 
rendering valuable assistance to his widowed mother in settling 
the estate. 

His educational advantages were limited, but having a great 
desire for knowledge, he resolved to supply the need he felt, and 
used every opportunity within his reach.' Being a diligent 
reader, his mind became stored with a large amount of general 
information, especially on historical and Biblical subjects. Polit- 
ically Mr. Higley was an old time Whig, and later on a pro- 
nounced Republican, taking an active interest in public affairs. 

He grew up in league with the advancing interests and growth 
of the section of Genesee County in which he lived, faithfully 
serving his town and county in public appointments. He served 
four terms as supervisor, was repeatedly elected assessor, and 
acted as commissioner of highways sixteen years. 

He was always actively engaged in agricultural pursuits, and 
was one of the best known agriculturists in western New York. 
For several years he was the president of the Genesee County 
Agricultural Society. At one time he owned and managed over 
four hundred acres of land. Till the close of his life he held a 
farm of 156 acres in the town of Elba, which was noted for its great 
productiveness and beauty of situation. During the last few years 
he resided in Batavia, the county-seat of Genesee County, New 
York, where he owned a handsome residence with grounds sur- 
rounding. 

In 1885 Anson Higley and his wife united with the First 
Baptist Church of Batavia on profession of his faith. He had 
believed himself a Christain for fifty years, but for certain reasons 
had not entered a denominational communion. He fully identi- 
fied himself with all of the active interests of his church, and was 
a regular attendant. 

Anson Higley was twice married. His first wife was Lydia C. 



THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Newkirk of Byron, N. Y., whom he married January 24, 1838. 
She died October 5, 1867. On the i$th of April, 1875, he mar- 
ried Lizzie Cassidy of Rochester, Vt. 

He died, after a brief illness, February 8, 1894. 

Anson Higley and his first wife, Lydia C. Newkirk, were the 
parents of the following children, viz.: 

Mary Pamelia, Sarah Ellen, Isaac Anson, Elizabeth Wakeman, 
John Osborn, and Emma Gertrude. 

MARY PAMELIA, the eldest, was born February 22, 1840. She was educated 
in the schools of Elba, N. Y., her native town, and at the Genesee and Wyoming 
Seminary. 

On the i6th of March, 1865, she became the wife of Milton M. Browne. Mr. 
Browne was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1861, and is now a prominent 
lawyer. They have resided for thirty years at Osage, Mitchell County, la. 
They are members of the Congregational Church, and residents honored and 
esteemed. They have one child, viz.: 

GALEN HIGLEY BROWNE, who was born March 15, 1872. He was graduated 
from the Cedar Valley Seminary, a flourishing institution of learning located in the 
town in which they reside, June, 1890. 

SARAH ELLEN, the second child of Anson Higley and his first wife, Lydia (New- 
kirk) Higley, was born at Elba, N. Y., April 12, 1842. She married Francis P. 
Terry, March 15, 1860. They resided at Batavia, N. Y., for many years. Their 
home is now in Buffalo. Mrs. Terry is an active member of the Woman's Chris- 
tian Temperance Union. They have five children, viz. : 

George Higley Terry, born November II, 1863, who married Myrta Loomis, 
September 15, 1882; reside in Batavia, N. Y. Fred Raymond, born April 17, 
1866; died October 29, 1876. Earl Gordon, born June 22, 1870. John C., born 
July 6, 1874. And Grace E., born November 12, 1879. 

ISAAC ANSON, the third child of Anson and Lydia (Newkirk) Higley, was 
born at Elba, N. Y., November 18, 1843, and married, March 22, 1870, Louise 
Campbell. They reside near Elba, N. Y., where Mr. Higley owns a fine farm of 
148 acres. He engages in the political questions of the day, belonging to the 
Republican party. Their children : 

Levi C., born March 18, 1871; Frank Chase, born October 6, 1872, died Jan- 
uary 17, 1876; Anson Holbrook, born January 28, 1874; Irving Wilson, born 
May 7, 1879; Leicester Charles, born February 26, 1886. 

ELIZABETH WAKEMAN, the fourth child of Anson and Lydia (Newkirk) Higley, 
was born February 24, 1846, and married Burr Humphrey. She died Sep- 
tember 20, 1879. They had one child, viz.: 

Clarence Anson, born January 23, 1871. 

JOHN OSBORN, the fifth child of Anson and Lydia (Newkirk) Higley, was 
born at Elba, N. Y., February 19, 1849, and married Almedia Churchill, 
March 11, 1875. He owns 97 acres of fine farming land, which lies on the 
town boundary between Batavia and Elba, Genesee County, N. Y. He takes 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 415 

part in political matters, supporting the Republican party. They have one 
child, viz.: 

Homer D., born August 30, 1880. 

EMMA GERTRUDE, the sixth child of Anson and Lydia (Newkirk) Higley, 
was born April i, 1851, and married William F. Robe, December n, 1873. 
They reside at Elba, N. Y. They have three children, viz. : 

Gertrude Abbie, born March 19, 1875; Mary Eva, born August 13, 1878; Guy 
Higley, born January 16, 1891. 



Continued from page 412. 

ISAAC NEWTON HIGLEY, son of Isaac, Jr., and Dorothy (Kilburn) Higley, was 
born May 4, 1814, and died on his twenty-fifth birthday, May 4, 1838; unmarried. 

ALVIRA, the seventh and youngest child of Isaac, Jr., and Dorothy (Kilburn) 
Higley, was born at Elba, N. Y., February 16, 1817. She married Charles 
Ames, March 7, 1837. Charles Ames was born March 20, 1812. They removed 
to Republic, O., May 13, 1843, taking a family of three children with them. 
Here they have since resided, having six more children. Their children : 

Andrew Judson, Henry, Louisa, William Waller, Emily Ann, Maryetta, Joseph, 
Charles, and David Erwin. 

ANDREW JUDSON AMES, the eldest, was born at Elba, N. Y., January 18, 1838, 
and married Theby Burge, a widow, September 21, 1864. 

He entered the War of the Rebellion, and fought with bravery. At the battle 
of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863, he received a severe wound in the leg, which 
caused a lameness for the remainder of his life. 

SERGEANT HENRY AMES, the second child of Charles and Alvira (Higley) Ames, 
was born July 24, 1840, at Elba, N. Y. 

He was an early volunteer soldier in the late Civil War, re-enlisting in the 66th 
Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was one of the veteran victors with 
General Sherman on his march to the sea. For his meritorious service he was ele- 
vated to office of sergeant. Receiving a gun-shot wound, he was sent to Chatta- 
nooga, Tenn. , where he died from its effects, and was interred in the national 
cemetery at that place. 

LOUISA, the third child of Charles and Alvira (Higley) Ames, was born at Elba, 

N. Y., December 27, 1842, and married , November 2, 1865. They live 

near Republic, O. 

WILLIAM WALTER, the fourth child of Charles and Alvira (Higley) Ames, was 
born at Republic, O., August 21, 1844. He resides at Fargo, N. D. 

EMILY ANN, the fifth child, was born at Republic, O., November 20, 1845, 
and married , April 10, 1866. 

MARYETTA, the sixth child, was born at Republic, O., September 25, 1848, and 
married Joseph An way, December 1 6, 1869. They reside in her native town. 

JOSEPH, the seventh child of Charles and Alvira (Higley) Ames, was born at 
Republic, O., July 12, 1850. He lives at Fargo, N. D. 

CHARLES ALBERT, the eighth child of Charle*- and Alvira (Higley) Ames, was 
born at Republic, O., October 8, 1855. He resides at Fargo, N. D. 

DAVID IRWIN, the ninth child of Charles and Alvira (Higley) Ames, was born 
at Republic, O., February 8, 1858. He lives at Fargo, N. D. 



CHAPTER LV. 

" DEACON " OBED HIGLEY, SR. 

Continued front page 394. 
Obed, Sr., John, Sr. (or ist), Brewster, ist, Captain John Higley. 

" There is not a human life that is now potent for good, which is not shaped and swayed in a 
large measure by the influence of lives which have passed from earth." 

OBED HIGLEY, SR., son of John and Apphia (Humphrey) Hig- 
ley, was born at Canton, Conn., October 25, 1757, and always lived 
there. He was a man in his day of much force of character, and 
of considerable prominence, mingling in church and public affairs; 
his life being apparently marked by respectability, thrift, and fore- 
sight. 

He joined the Army of the Revolution, Colonel Belden's regi- 
ment, Captain Abel Pettibone's company, March 26, 1777, and 
received at the end of his service an honorable discharge. His 
name was placed upon the list of United States pensioners, the 
act of 1832, "who served two years or more"; he drew a pension 
till his death, at eighty-four years of age. 

December 14, 1801, he served as grand juror, and in the set- 
tlement of an estate, December, 1813, he is upon record as 
"Attorney." 

The old church in Canton, of which he was deacon, was a part 
and parcel of his special interests. According to the old New 
England custom, he was always known as " Deacon " Obed Higley. 

His first wife, Rebecca Mills, whom he married about 1786, and 
who was the mother of his children, was born August 13, 1766. 
She died October 15, 1827. His second wife was Phebe Hum- 
phrey, for whom he provided in his will, which indicates that he 
had a comfortable property for support in his old age. In his 
declining years he was cared for by his son, Alson Higley. He 
died January 24, 1841. 

His will was produced in court, February 3, 1841, in which he 
mentions, besides his wife, Phebe, his nine children. 

A private letter written to the Higleys of Vermont by the Hon. 
Jeffrey O. Phelps of Simsbury, about the year 1852, contains the 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 4*7 

following remark: "Obed Higley left a large family, many of 
them now living in Simsbury and Canton, and most of them 
wealthy and respectable." 

Deacon Obed, Sr., and Rebecca (Mills) Higley, his first wife, 
were the parents of ten children, viz. : 

Sally, Theda, Obed, Jr. (or 2d), Alson, Luther, Correll, Pomeroy, 
Amelia, Almenia, and Emeline. 

SALLY, their eldest child, was born September 30, 1787 ; married 
Allen Case of Canton. He was born 1785. She died in 1815, 
at thirty years of age. He married the second time. Allen 
Case died 1849. 

THEDA, the second child of Obed and Rebecca (Mills) Higley, 
was born August 10, 1789, and married Benjamin Goff. She 
died 1853. 

Hon. OBED HIGLEY (2d), the eldest son of Deacon Obed, Sr., 
and Rebecca (Mills) Higley, was born in Canton, Conn., January 
5, 1791. He was a brickmaker by trade. He married, December 
n, 1811, Mary Dickinson, who was born August 9, 1793. Their 
married life covered a period of nineteen years, during which they 
had a family of four children. She died August 23, 1830. Feb- 
ruary 4, 1831, he married Anna Hastings. The same year Obed 
Higley was chosen by his townspeople as representative from 
Simsbury in the Connecticut General Assembly, and was again a 
member in 1835. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church in Can- 
ton, and, like his father, he was designated as " Deacon Obed " by 
all who knew him. He always resided in Canton, Conn. He 
died March 21, 1878. His second wife, Anna (Hastings) Hig- 
ley, died December 13, 1870, at the age of seventy-five. Chil- 
dren of Hon. Obed Higley (2d) and Mary Dickinson : 

Mary Ann, born March 16, 1814 ; died April 17, 1817. Lyman 
Owen, born May 26, 1816. Marietta, born April 4, 1818 ; died 
January 17, 1819. Marietta (ad), born January 30, 1822 ; died 
March 9, 1825. 

LYMAN OWEN HIGLEY, the only son of Hon. Obed (2d) and Mary (Dickinson) 
Higley, and the only child who lived to maturity, was born in Canton, Conn., May 
26, 1816. He married Sarah A. Woodford, who was born December 26, 1817. 
The marriage took place November 16, 1837. They resided in Canton. He died 
November 30, 1884. 

They had four children, viz. : 

Lyman Owen Higley, Jr., born July 18, 1839; died October 2, 1839. Burton 
Obed, born September 30, 1842. Anna Maria, born August n, 1845 ; married 



41 8 THE HIGLEYS AND THEIR ANCESTRY. 

Orlando Miner, June 10, 1873. Maiy Gertrude, born October 8, 1847 ; died 
November 4, 1860. 

BURTON OBED HIGLEY, son of Lyman O. and Sarah A. (Woodford) Higley, was 
born at Canton, Conn., September 30, 1842. He married, September 3, 1867, E. 
Josie Woodford. She was born February 27, 1847. Mr. Higley is a man of con- 
siderable prominence in his town, bearing the respect of the entire community. He 
is a farmer and resides in Canton, Conn. No children. 

ALSON HIGLEY, the second son and fourth child of Deacon 
Obed, Sr. (or ist), and Rebecca (Mills) Higley, was born at Can- 
ton, Conn., February 20, 1793. 

When about eighteen years of age he went to Genesee County, 
New York, and was residing with his uncle, Isaac Higley, Sr., 
when the War of 1812 was declared. The men of that part of the 
country were ordered into service. Alson Higley, with his uncle, 
Eber Higley, and his cousin, Isaac, Jr., taking with them blankets 
and three days' rations, reported for duty at Buffalo. Arms and 
ammunition being scarce, the volunteer soldiers could not all be 
supplied, and a number of men who had young families were sent 
back to their homes. Among these was Isaac Higley, Jr. Alson 
entered the ranks and was forwarded with the troops to Queens- 
town Heights. Here he was taken prisoner by the British in the 
severe engagement fought October 13, 1812, and conveyed to 
Halifax, where he was held fourteen months. 

Before leaving his uncle's home at Elba, N. Y., he concealed 
thirty dollars, sewing it up inside of his shirt pocket. With this 
money he procured by stealth, during his imprisonment, sufficient 
necessaries for immediate subsistence, which prevented him shar- 
ing the sad fate that met so large a number of those noble sol- 
diers death by starvation. His family and friends at his home 
in Canton, Conn., obtaining no tidings of him during the long 
months of silence, gave him up for dead and had his memorial 
sermon preached. To their utter astonishment he one day 
appeared at the door. There followed, as a matter of course, 
great rejoicings among kith and kin. 

On the ist of January, 1816, he married Christian Robbins at 
Avon, Conn. She was born at Farmington, Conn., July 27, 1795. 
They settled in Canton, and finally resided in the homestead of 
his father, Deacon Obed Higley, Sr. , administering to his needs 
during the declining years of his old age. Farming was the occu- 
pation of Alson Higley's life. 

The old residents of the town who lived during his time will 



DESCENDANTS OF JOHN HIGLEY, SR. 4*9 

never fail to recall the great contest in the courts which occurred 
at a much later period, about 1844, involving a long and try- 
ing litigation in which he was a party. It was an event that 
produced a powerful influence in the community and great ex- 
citement and feeling. The case called out Mr. Higley's untiring 
and relentless defense, into which he put all the energy of his 
strong nature, giving his opponents a lot of trouble. It was 
probably at this period of his life that his strongest personal 
characteristics were exhibited. He and his friends were in the 
end gratified by the final decision of the courts being in his 
favor. 

He died in Canton, September i, 1863. His wife died at 
Bloomfield, Conn., July 23, 1870. 

They had nine children, all of whom were born at Canton, 
Conn., viz. : 

Sally, Erastus, George, Willard, Oliver, Adelene, Angeline, Eliza 
Ann, and Willard Alson. 

SALLY, the eldest, was born May 30, 1817. She married William A. Curtis, 
September 12, 1838. They resided at Meriden, Conn., where she died March 
24, 1847. 

ERASTUS, the second child, was born July 8, 1822 ; married Mary A. Belding, 
March