Grayson County TXGenWeb 


John Lorimer Higginson Sr.
 

Born in Ireland about November 1868, John Lorimer Higginson Sr. immigrated to the United States in 1888 and by 1893 was an MKT brakeman in Denison, Texas, rooming at 327 West Gandy Street. That same year, he married Sarah Dorothy "Sadie" Maurer (1868–1951). They had two sons, William Crawford Higginson (1894–1955) and John Lorimer Higginson Jr. (1896–1950). Around 1897, the Higginsons built a fine home at 1002 West Morton Street, where the family lived for many years.


1002 W. Morton St.
Source : Industrial Denison, p. 33
Higginson owned a fine livery and boarding stable in downtown Denison.  
For many years,this was the home of "Aunt Mattie" Prather.
Note the fine wire fence.  This house is believed to have been build around 1893.

Before automobiles became popular, horses and mules were key for transporting people and goods. Stables and horse lots were important businesses. Jeremiah H. "Jerry" Nolan operated the White Elephant Livery Stables. He had operated the Nolan Opera House on Main Street in 1875–1881. The 1888 City Directory carried this advertisement: "White Elephant Livery, Sale and Feed Stables, J. H. Nolan, Proprietor. Fine Carriages, Single Rigs and Saddle Horses for Hire at All Times. Horses boarded by the day, week, or month. Charges as reasonable as any livery in the city. Satisfactory prices and good treatment assured all. Everything first-class. Horses bought and sold. Stables—121 N. Rusk Street, Corner Woodard."

By 1898, Higginson had become Nolan's partner in the business.

Dallas (TX) Morning News
Tueday, July 13, 1897
p. 7
DEATH OF JEREMIAH NOLAN
Denison, Tex., July 12 - Jeremiah H. Nolan died Sunday morning at his home on North Burnett avenue, aged 62 years and 11 months.  The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock from St. Patrick's church on Sears street.  Interment in Calvary cemetery.
Jerre Nolan, as he was familiarly known, was one of the first settlers in Denison.  He came with the advance guard of enterprising people who built the town and has been one of the moving spirits in its growth and prosperity.  He was one of the contractors who built the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad into the city.  In 1882 he gave up the business of contracting and engaged in the livery business with his son, James D. Nolan.  In the last few years, his health has failed steadily a nd he decided to get out of the active business life and retired in December 1895.  In the summer of 1896 Mr. Noland visited his old home and birthplace in Ireland and spent several weeks in the country, returning to Denison much improved in health.  Soon after his return, however, he began to decline and most of the times since he has spent under treatment for the trouble that finally carried him off.
He came to America when a lad and settled in Linn county, Missour, where he was married to Miss Jane Brown in 1881.
Hee leaves a wife and two sons, James D. and John Nolan.  He was a member of the ancient Order of Hibernians and a life-long member of the Catholic church.
The funeral will be under the auspices of the Hibernian Society.


1898-1899 Denison TX City Directory, p. 230 (bottom): "Nolan & Higginson, Fine Turnouts a Specialty. Our special attention give to boarding horses. Gentle horses for ladies. Carriages for Balls, Wedding Parties, Operas and Funeral Calls."

1901 Denison TX City Directory: "Carriages, Buggies, Phaetons (Dealers in.) Higginson, John L., agent, Columbus Buggy Co., 115–121 North Rusk Avenue."


"Jno. L. Higginson, Livery and Boarding Stables"
Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison. [N.p.}: Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 66.
131 N. Rusk Ave.
300 W. Woodard St.
Later called "Mathes Livery Stable"

1903 Denison TX City Directory: "Higginson, John L. (wife Sadie). Councilman 2nd Ward, and proprietor of White Elephant Livery Barn and agent, Columbus Buggy Co., 113-121 North Rusk Avenue. Residence at 1002 West Morton Street."


1002 W. Morton St.
photograph taken ca 2010 by Dr. Mavis Anne Bryant

Early in the twentieth century, automobiles began to eclipse horses for transportation. Though the 1910 Census still listed Higginson as "salesman of carriages," by that time he had sold the White Elephant stables to M. T. Mathes.

Thereafter, through 1934, Higginson was a traveling salesman, agent, or representative. In 1934, he was selling machinery. The family continued to live at 1002 West Morton in Denison, however. John died on January 16, 1936, and was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Denison.

At least through 1946, John's widow Sarah continued to live in their house on Morton Street. She passed away on October 9, 1951, and was buried beside her husband in Fairview Cemetery.

FAIRVIEW CEMETERY, Denison

HIGGINSON JOHN L 1868–JAN 18, 1936

HIGGINSON SARAH D 1870–1951

HIGGINSON JR JOHN L 1896–1950
WED FRANCES MOSEMORE, APRIL 20, 1930, DENISON, GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS.

HIGGINSON FRANCES MOSEMORE MAY 08,1899–OCT 1972
BORN MISSOURI. 
WED JOHN L HIGGINSON JR, APRIL 20, 1930 DENISON, GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS.




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Elaine Nall Bay
2010