December 15: David Higgins (1873)

David Higgins was a politician, lawyer and judge. He was Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. Higgins was the eldest son of the Rev. David and Eunice (Gelbert) Higgins. He was born in Lynn, Connecticut, August 2, 1789. His father moved the family to Aranelius (now Auburn), New York in 1801. During their residence there, the younger David, studied for two years at Yale College. In 1812 his father was called to the Presbyterian Church at Bath, New York. Before this, David went to Cambridge, Maryland, as tutor in a private family. While there he made the acquaintance of and married Miss Cecilia Davis, of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now WV). They soon removed to Angelica, New York, where he practiced law for a few years. Their eldest son, Robert, was born there. Before 1816 they moved to Hamilton, Ohio, performing the journey on horseback with Mrs. Higgins carrying the infant son most of the time.

While living in southern Ohio, Higgins represented Butler County in the state legislature and was elected Speaker of the House. In 1828 the family moved to Norwalk, Ohio, where Higgins practiced law for many years, until his election by the state legislature as president judge of the Third Judicial Circuit of Ohio. During his residence in Norwalk, an accident shattered one of his feet to the degree that amputation was necessary between the knee and ankle. Afterwards he used an artificial limb. With the presidency of James K. Polk, Higgins went to Washington, D.C., having received an appointment to a clerkship in the Treasury Department. Higgins and his family soon became associated with Epiphany. Higgins served on the vestry and was senior warden during the time of the Civil War. Higgins first wife died in 1846 and was buried from Epiphany. Within a year, Higgins married Letitia King. There are 18 entries in the parish register listing baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials of Higgins family members over a 30-year period. After his death on December 15, 1873, Higgins’ funeral took place at the church. The vestry memorialized his “long, zealous, and faithful attention” to his duties as senior warden.

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