At right, from left: Leonard Higdon with his wife Mary Ann McClure and Samuel Higdon. Photo reprinted from the document The Samuel Higdon Family by Charles W. Higdon.
Leonard Dean "Len" Higdon, sixth child of Leonard and Eve Huffman (Hoffman) Higdon, was born May 10, 1828, in Macon County, North Carolina. He died September 29, 1918, in Fannin County, Georgia.
He married Mary Ann McClure on November 7, 1853 in Gilmer County, Georgia. Mary Ann was born September 14, 1835; she died November 4, 1913. Both Leonard and Mary are buried at Mount Moriah Baptist Cemetery, Fannin County, Georgia. Her parents Reese J. McClure and Mary Parks McClure are also buried at Mount Moriah.
Around 1915, Linnie Higdon Hodges, daughter of Nimrod Higdon, visited her grandparents Leonard and Mary Ann Higdon in Blue Ridge, Georgia. She writes:
"My (Linnie Higdon Hodges) grandfather was born May 10, 1828, on a Sunday morning he said. He spent his boyhood in Jackson, Co., North Carolina, evidently was born in Jackson County. He grew up on a farm and when he was quite a young boy he walked four miles to school - later on boarded near the school, worked three days a week to pay board. He did this for seven months - about all the schooling he got. Except what he taught himself at home, and he was a brilliant man. He knew more chemistry than I had learned in four years of college. He had worked in the copper mines all his life and knew minerals of all kinds.
...He moved to Georgia in 1850 and did farming and mining. He married Mary Ann McClure in 1853 and to them four children were born before the Civil War broke out.” (1)
"...He was a very serious minded man and was a very dignified fellow. He wore home spun clothes styled after his war uniforms. He had never changed the style for 60 years. He wore a black felt hat pinched all around the hem and sewed with white thread and kept his hat on all during the meal to keep the flies off his head. He never wore false teeth and could eat popcorn bread made in a Dutch oven just like he ate in war times.
The fire never went out in his home from one year to the next. He had a huge fireplace in the kitchen where most of his food was baked, broiled, roasted boiled-as they did in Colonial times. He kept garden seeds hanging all over the rafters, over the dining table. Corn or wheat in the bedrooms. He had at least 75 home spun counterpones made of wool grown on his farm. They made linen towels, of flax, he grew himself.
He was a great walker at 87, he could out walk me and I was only 25 years of age, when I met him. His mines were on the mountaintop and he climbed there daily to supervise the work. He looked after his stock himself and worked too hard for a man of his age. He wore a long beard and long hair…” (2)
"...He was kind-hearted, charitable and was loved by all who knew him. His wife was an invalid for 30 years and he was patient, kind and good to her to the end. She died about 5 years before he did and he was very lonely without her. His faithful servant Mary Long who had been in the family 50 years looked after Grandpa to the end, and is still living on the old homestead. My father gave her his share in the property at Grandfather's death. She is so much a part of the family I am inserting this story to show the younger members of the family what a loyal faithful person she was.” (3)
The children of Leonard Higdon and Mary Ann McClure are:
1. Nimrod Higdon, born July 24, 1854, Fannin County, Georgia; died January 26,1926, Quinlan, Texas; married (1) Eliza Ellison, April 13, 1880, no children (2) Louie Gaston, July 16, 1882.
2. Elvira Harriet Higdon, born June 10, 1856; Fannin County, Georgia; died October 05,1914, Swallows, Colorado; married James Polk Richey, December 12,1875, Fannin, Georgia.
3. Augustine Angus Higdon, born April 27,1858; Fannin County, Georgia, died December 12, 1874. Buried at Mt. Moriah Baptist Cemetery in Fannin County.
"He was a very smart boy and very promising. Never married.” (4)
4. Reese Sebastian Higdon, born February 22,1860; Fannin County, Georgia; married Nora Adeline Fain.
5. John Spencer Higdon, born June 25,1865; Fannin County, Ga.; died 1890.
A McClure web site affirms that John Spencer was born June 25, 1865; it states that he died January 27, 1886 in Quinlan, Hunt County, Texas. He and Margaurette Millsaps had one child, Leonard Newton Higdon, born about 1885. "John Spencer went to his brother's home in Quinlan, Texas and would often drink out of the creek when he was out working in the fields. He became ill with what they thought was cholera and died in his brother's home. He did not reach his 21st birthday."
Linnie Higdon Hodges notes that John Spencer Higdon died in Texas:
"He had a son Link - grandmother reared him. She also reared Douglas Higdon, an off spring of a Higdon...Uncle John died in Quinlan, Texas, of pneumonia and was buried there in the Louhan grave yard. Father marked his grave. My parents are buried in the same grave yard, a very pretty place.” (5)
6. William Thomas Higdon, born May 13,1867; Fannin County, Georgia; died December 12,1918; Fannin County, Georgia; married Mary Elmira Arp. William Thomas and Mary Arp are buried at Mt. Moriah Baptist Cemetery in Fannin County.
7. Julia Adaline Higdon, born August 16,1870; Fannin County, Georgia; died February 12,1944, Granite, Oklahoma; married John Thomas Godfrey on August 26,1886 (Fannin County Marriages, B-359).
8. Unnamed infant born March 29, 1874, Fannin County, Georgia, died April 14, 1874, Fannin County, Georgia. Buried at Mt. Moriah Baptist Cemetery in Fannin County.
9. Samuel Newton Higdon, born June 25,1876; Fannin County, Georgia, died 1955; married Delia Sisson. Samuel and Delia are buried at Mt. Moriah Baptist Cemetery in Fannin County.
Leonard's Civil War Service
In the Higdon Family Newsletter, Number 282, June 1995, Jo Ann Smith states that five of the six sons of Leonard Higdon/Eve Hoffman served in the military during the Civil War. For this son, she writes “Leonard Dean "Len" Higdon, b. 10 May 1828; moved from NC to GA prior to 1850. During the Civil War, he served in the GA State Troops."
Linnie Higdon Hodges provides a lively description of his war years:
"He went to War for six months first time. He was elected sheriff while home on furlough. He stayed out of war for two years. He was made orderly sergeant for the states troops of Georgia 8th Regiment in 18__. He was made 1st Lieutenant and resigned and was made Colonel in A Company 8th Regiment under Chastine and Brigadiere Son. W. Walker. (Opal Willis in Leonard Higdon of Anson County, North Carolina, and His Descendants, 1986, p. 35, writes “The records of Leonard Higdon being a Colonel were not included in the Civil War records that I received from the Georgia Archives, only six months as a 1st Lieutenant.”) He served six months as Colonel. He was not wounded in the war. He was in command when Fort Pulaskia fell he told me. My father never mentioned his being a Colonel; in fact, he told me very little about his family.
Grandpa Higdon told me about this fight. He said we bombarded the fort 11 hours. He had over 300 men. He said the arsenal shot red hot iron balls into the fort . Many men buried themselves in the sand for protection. They surrendered when they saw the hot balls about to explode.
He went home to Georgia after the expiration of his time. It was sometime before the war closed. He said his time went on and he drew a salary. He was made sheriff at home as the country was under martial law. He stayed home until the surrender in 1865. He bought up all the land around near Blue Ridge, Georgia with his war money which he got from the Confederacy, before it died on his hands. He owned some land prior to this he had bought with money made from his mines and farming. He bought out all the small land owners near him.” (6)
(1) Linnie Higdon Hodges, A Brief History of One Branch of the Higdon Family: Leonard Dean Higdon (b.1828) and Mary Ann McClure, written about 1936, as it appears in Higdon-Whitaker and Allied Families. Volume 1, p. 7, compiled by Bettina Higdon.
(2) Hodges, p. 9
(3) Hodges, p. 8
(4) Bettina Higdon, Higdon-Whitaker, Volume I, p. 37.
(5) Hodges, p.13
(6) Hodges, p. 7
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