Higdon, Americus Alexander "Mack," Biography & Photo Album

Mack Higdon

Americus Alexander "Mack" Higdon, the sixth child of Joseph Huffman Higdon and Margaret Matilda (Berry) Higdon, was born November 30, 1877, at Higdonville, North Carolina.

"At age nineteen he left home with Floyd and Alva Allen Houston and went to Oregon. (Alva was Mack's cousin on his mother's side, being the daughter of Kate Berry Allen.) In Oregon Mack worked on a ranch for seven years before going to Canada in 1903 to break some horses that had been taken from Oregon to a ranch in Canada. The ranch on the Milk River, known as the Spenser Ranch, was owned by Texas people.

Mack's work at Spenser ended a year later (1904) with an accident that put him in the hospital for a time. While he was trailing a herd of cattle to market, the bronco he was riding bucked him into a telephone pole that had been splintered by lightning, tearing muscles and ligaments in his leg. He was hospitalized for several months that fall and winter.” 

In the following years, Mack successfully operated livery stables. He visited his home near Franklin, North Carolina several times and married Mattie Elmira Franks in 1908. By late 1908 he became the prime contractor for a large irrigation project near Vulcan, Alberta.

"The declaration of war in 1913 brought Mack's contracting work to a slow stop, but having mules, horses, and equipment, he then entered a different kind of career. He leased a large ranch with farm land and went into ranching. The ranch, which was thirty miles out of Medicine Hat had been started in the late 1800's by Medicine Hat business men and was known as the MHR (Medicine Hat Ranch)."

"Ready for ranching expansion, in 1918 Mack bought into a partnership with another rancher about forty miles away. This venture was the Yeast and Higdon -N- Ranch near Manyberries, Alberta. Mattie and Ethel (their daughter) moved with Mack to the new holdings, leaving Mattie's sister, Jessie, and her husband to manage the MHR. (Jessie had come from Franklin to visit and stayed to marry George Murray.)

Evidently Mack had decided to spend the rest of his days in his adopted country, for he became a naturalized Canadian sometime during the 1920's. For business reasons he had the nickname "Mack" made a part of his legal name, Americus Alexander.

In 1927 Mack realized a dream that may have been in the back of his mind for may years. After selling the Manyberries and MHR holdings, he purchased his first love - Spenser Ranch, where he worked in 1903. By that time, with other leased lands under his control, he was able to run approximately six thousand head of Hereford cattle on eighty-five thousand acres of land.” 

From Jessie Higdon Wilkie, Descendants of Joseph Huffman Higdon and Margaret Matilda Berry Higdon, 1983, p. 95-96.

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