Written by Nina Ruth Higdon Vaughan, 2004
Nina Ruth Higdon Vaughan was born in Jones City, Oklahoma in 1921. Nina is the daughter of Merritt Joseph Higdon and Wilma Morrow, grand-daughter of Lawson Gaines Higdon and Gillie Florence Daniel of Tennessee, great grand-daughter of Miles Cook Higdon and Mildred Eliza Williamson and great, great, grand-daughter of William and Cynthia Bryant of N. Carolina. My early ancestors arrived from England before 1620, and landed in Virginia and Maryland. My other ancestors met the boats.
I had a very interesting 4 years in Oklahoma, and was then hauled to South Texas, where my father developed orchards. Some of our neighbors were also from Oklahoma, and also family members made the move. At that time, South Texas was remote and untamed.
I was active in school sports and academics. I received awards in academics, and was Valedictorian from elementary school and high school. I received the scholarship from The Reader's Digest. That was a big honor in the Depression years of 1939. I also received the Texas 4-H Club Girl Scholarship in 1940. I attended A & I College, which is very close to the King Ranch.
I met Richard Vaughan at college, and married. He worked 10 years as a Hydrologist for the Department of the Interior. In that 10 year span, we moved 22 times across the Western States. We had two daughters who managed to survive the changes. He then worked for the Texas Highway Department for 25 years, with his greatest engineering achievement being the planning and building of Interstate 10 through "The Pass of the North" in El Paso, Texas.
I attended colleges here and there along the way, but upon settling in El Paso, Texas, I completed my BA with a major in Art at The University of Texas in El Paso. At that time, it was named Texas Western University. I taught high school level Art, and became the Art Supervisor for the large Ysleta School System. I received many awards for my own art work, and had many invitations to exhibit in Museums. I was one of 40 art teachers chosen to attend a six week workshop at the National Gallery in Washington, D. C.
In our frequent moves across the West, we discovered the "Rock Hound" hobby. It was a perfect hobby when you are living 50 miles from the nearest town, and no phone or TV back in the days before cable. My husband, Richard, became an expert lapidarist with a demand for his skills. I retired and assisted him in a retirement "job". With a long ancestral line of merchants, I became known for my salesmanship. Give me a few minutes and you will walk away with a bargain!
I have weathered some of life's sorrows, but I move on. There is another sunrise, another song, a smile, a friend, a mystery!
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