Frederick Carroll Higgins (1872 - 1937)

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Birthplace: Iberia, MO, USA
Death: Died in Douglas, WY, USA
Occupation: Homesteader, Ranch hand, Farmer, Rounder, Highwayman
Managed by: Sandra Hayes
Last Updated:

About Frederick Carroll Higgins

My grandfather was dead fifteen years when I was born, so none of this is personal experience. I was told that I looked like him; you be the judge, our profile pictures were taken at about the same age.

Frederick was born In Iberia, Missouri the son of a first generation Irish-American and a Lee of Tennessee. His mother used to tell him that Robert E. Lee was her uncle. Maybe he was, but I have found no proof yet. Still her father was William C. Lee http://www.geni.com/people/William-Lee/6000000012592315816?through=6000000012592235444 from a large family that we know little about... what do you think the chances are that he had a brother named Robert E.? I don't know if she put General in front of the name.

Frederick was a colorful man and a lot of stories are told about him. One that is documented in a Natrona County, Wyoming newspaper is the story of how he bet a man he could beat his horse in a foot race. The man took the bet with the proviso that granddad was to pick the track and the lanes. He had already scouted the fairgrounds and new that the wind had drifted the snow into the shade of the grandstand awning where it was 4-5 feet deep and soft. The inside lanes were clear so the horse got the deep snow, and Frederick Higgins beat it handily in a clear lane.

Due to the source(s) another story I'm quite sure about is when granddad tried to drive his friend's car. He was talked into it by the friend but was quite reluctant and very nervous. Still he tried and was driving down the road when he came to a closed gate. He pulled on the steering wheel with all his might and hollered "Whoa," but the car drove right through the gate and his friend had to borrow a horse to chase him down. I like to add (fiction) that when they came back the cattle were waiting at the gate as if it were still up, and that's how the cattle guard was invented. My sources for this story are his oldest daughter and my aunt, Emily Ginet http://www.geni.com/people/Emily-Ginet/6000000010860141036?through=6000000010866821818 , who was an eye witness, and my mother, Martha Drollinger http://www.geni.com/people/Martha-Drollinger/6000000010866821818, who may not have been old enough yet to be remembering this first hand.

My mother's age is certainly a factor where my Aunt Emily recounts the foreman of the Goose Egg Ranch coming to their house. The Virginian was a real person, though he and his accounts were fictionalized and made popular by Owen Wister http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Wister , and he was my granddad's boss. My Aunt remembers him riding up on more than one occasion to deliver work instructions to her father. She said she thought my mother was a toddler then.

There was some known association between Frederick Higgins and the famous bounty hunter and rogue, Tom Horn, but it may have been as simple as my grandfather being present for his hanging.

The last story that I know was relayed to me by my leg-pulling Uncle Fred, http://www.geni.com/people/Frederick-Higgins/6000000010859944927 Granddad's namesake. First no one I ever knew was around when this supposedly took place, so it was hearsay at best to Uncle Fred; and second Uncle Fred had quite an imagination when he wanted to use it. So is it true? Don't know, and don't care - it's a great story worth remembering. Seems Frederick Higgins was prone to getting liquored up in his younger days, but he needed money to do so. On Friday or Saturday he would rob an outgoing stagecoach, taking only what cash he "needed," never jewelry or for that matter he never robbed a woman, only men. Then he'd head back to town and start partying. Eventually he would end up in jail, where he would stay until the following Friday or Saturday, and he'd do it all over again. According to the story he never got caught for the robberies; his jail time was for Drunk and Disorderly.

Frederick Carroll Higgins died on May 18, 1937 from injuries sustained in a fall, in Douglas, Converse County, Wyoming, USA.

by Danny F. Drollinger

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Frederick Higgins's Timeline

1872
December 1, 1872
Iberia, MO, USA
1906
April 25, 1906
Age 33
Lebanon, MI, USA
1907
June 7, 1907
Age 34
MO, USA
1910
1910
Age 37
1914
March 31, 1914
Age 41
Douglas, WY, USA
1915
May 27, 1915
Age 42
Douglas, WY, USA
1917
July 4, 1917
Age 44
Converse, Wyoming, USA
1919
January 15, 1919
Age 46
Glenrock, WY, USA
1923
February 4, 1923
Age 50
Midwest, WY, USA