Walter Quillan Higdon
Born April 27, 1895 at Higdon Store, GA, the eldest son of Mary Elmira Arp Higdon, who operated the post office and store from the early 1880s until October 31, 1914. Walter spent his early life on his family farm in Fannin County, GA. He attended grammar school at Mt. Moriah, then began his higher education at North Georgia Baptist College in Morganton, GA. At the age of 19, he taught in a one-room school at Ritchie Creek, after which he entered Young Harris College, Young Harris, GA. At age 23 he served in the United States Navy during World War I, then returned to Fannin County after the death of his father in 1919. He taught in several Fannin County schools during the five years of this profession, doing his last teaching at Draughon’s Business College, in Columbia, SC.
Walter began his business career in 1925 with Ford Motor Company, Atlanta, Ga, where he started in bookkeeping and became Southeastern Distributor. When Ford presented an opportunity to acquire a dealership in Copperhill, TN, Walter formed a partnership with Leon Howell in 1934 and established the Higdon-Howell Ford Motor Company.
In 1936, he married the former Rachel Moore McKey of Mooresville, NC. They had 3 daughters, Mary Nan, Sarah Helen, and Jane Moore. He resided with his family in Copperhill, TN the remainder of his life in the house where his mother had previously lived and operated a boarding house. He died in the Copper Basin Hospital on May 24, 1967 after an extended illness and complications of emphysema.
He was very active in promoting the betterment of his community, serving in the following capacities: two terms on the Copperhill City council, president of the Copperhill Lions Club, director and officer of the Tennessee Automotive Association, a 32nd degree Mason, a Shriner, president of the Copperhill PTA, board member of the Polk County Schools, director and officer of Tri-State Electric Cooperative, and trustee for Truett-McConnell College, Cleveland, GA. He was state director of the USO in Tennessee during World War II. He was a deacon and trustee of the First Baptist Church in McCaysville, GA, where he taught a men’s Bible class for 18 years and was founder and trustee of Crestlawn Cemetery.
He is fondly remembered by his family and friends for his dry wit, his calm demeanor, his fair dealings with all people, and his love and support of his family.
Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church of McCaysville on May 25, 1967. Burial was in Crestlawn Cemetery in Fannin County, GA.
See also the Jack River Story about Walter Q. Higdon’s early years.
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