Francis B. Higgins

Annals of Newberry, by John A. Chapman, page 587-89


A very high but not undeserved compliment is paid to this gentleman in the first part of this work. As Mr. Higgins has passed away since the publication of that part, it is necessary that something more should be added. As State Senator he represented the county for several terms, always holding an influential place in the councils of the State.

The last several years of his life he spent in retirement, having declined re-election in 1844, after serving as Senator for twelve years. As Senator he was always at his post, and kept himself fully informed as to every measure brought up. He once published a statement giving the population and wealth of the different counties of the State. He was a good and useful man, and from 1831 to the time of his death he was a member of the Newberry Baptist Church.

Francis B. Higgins

On the 20th of December, 1863, he attended the funeral of Judge O'Neall, and occupied on that occasion, and for the last time, his usual seat in the Baptist Church of Newberry. On the following morning, December 30th, 1863, having already expressed a willingness to go whenever the summons came, he was stricken with apoplexy, and died in a few hours. He was born October 22nd, 1794.

Mrs. Higgins was born Jul, 10th, 1803, at the place where her uncle, Major John Caldwell, was killed by Cunningham in 1781. Her father was William Caldwell. Her mother was Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Major John Williams, member of the Provincial Congress which met. In Charlestown on the 11th of January, 1775; who also served in the American army during the Revolution.

Mrs. Higgins' father was also an officer in the army, and was held as a prisoner eighteen months at St. Augustine, in Florida. After the war he was at different times State Senator and Judge of the County Court for Newberry District. Two of her brothers became distinguished men, John Caldwell, member of the Legislature and an eloquent and eminent lawyer, and Patrick Calhoun Caldwell, lawyer, legislator and member of Congress.

She was happily married on the 12th of October, 1820, to Francis Bernard Higgins, of Newberry. In 1835 she joined the Baptist Church at Newberry, having been previous to that time a member of the Associate Reformed Church at Head Spring. It is thonght that none are now living who welcomed her into the Baptist Church at that time. Mrs. Elvira Rutherford, who recently died at Newberry, was the last of these.

Mrs. Higgins gave a son to the Palmetto Regiment in the Mexican War, who was a Leutenant in Captain J.H. Williams' company, and another son to the Confederate army, who was killed during the war. She will long be remembered for the amiable and kindly features of her character. She was a Christian woman. She died on the 2nd of May, 1889, in the eighty­sixth year of her age, in the house at Newberry, now owned by Dr. Jas. McIntosh, in which she had lived continuously for about sixty-five years.