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    HIGGINS, TEXAS

    Lipscomb County, Texas Panhandle
    Highway 60, FM 1453 and FM 213
    2 Miles from the Oklahoma State Line
    20 Miles SE of Lipscomb
    66 Miles NE of Pampa
    Population: 425 (2000)

    Higgins, Texas Area Hotels > Pampa Hotels
    Higgins Tx - Historical Marker

    Higgins Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    History in a Pecan Shell

    The area has a history of Franciscan monk Juan de Padilla operating a mission for the Indians here in the mid 1500s, although a site has not been found. More recent history begins in 1886, when the Santa Fe Railroad started surveying the site for an extension of the line coming out of Wichita, Kansas.

    B. H. Eldridge and E. B. Purcell are credited with platting the town which they named after Santa Fe stockholder G. H. Higgins of Massachusetts. A post office and school opened in 1888 and most essential businesses soon followed, making Higgins a cattle shipping point.

    Prior to becoming famous, Oklahoman Will Rogers worked on the Ewing family's Little Robe Ranch in the 1890s. Without a doubt, the young cowboy practiced and perfected his fancy rope tricks here before he joined the famous Ziegfeld Follies.

    The town had its first newspaper published in 1888 which sold out in 1897 to the "now defunct" Higgins News.

    On April 9, 1947, the event that was to become forever linked to Higgins occurred. A tornado or tornadoes approached Higgins from the south, after first hitting Glazier, Texas. Forty-five people lost their lives as the storm continued up into Oklahoma and even into Kansas.

    Early records aren't available, but the town had a population of just over 700 in the mid 1980s. By 1990 it was down to 464 and has declined further to 425.

    Will Rogers Day, introduced in 1962 continues to be an annual event.

    See
    Higgins Historical Marker
    Higgins 1947 Tornado Vintage Photos
    > next page
    More Higgins Vintage Photos > next page
    Higgins was Stage Station by Delbert Trew > next page

    Higgins Landmarks & Images

    Higgins Tx Corner Store

    Weis Dry Goods Building today
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Weis Dry Goods after Higgins Texas 1947 tornado
    Higgins 1947 Tornado
    A car sits destroyed in front of Weis Dry Goods
    Photo courtesy Rob McLain
    Higgins Tx - Bright & Early Ghost Sign

    Bright & Early Ghost Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    More Texas Ghost Signs

    Higgins Tx -  Cowboy Mural

    Cowboy Mural
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    More Texas Murals

    Higgins Tx - Closed Gas Station

    Closed Gas Station
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    More Texas Gas Stations

    Higgins Tx Mill Skyline

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Higgins Tx - Mill

    Mill
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Higgins Tx - Tin Man Water Tower

    Higgins Tin Man Water Tower
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    More Texas Water Towers

    Higgins Tx Mill House

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Higgins Tx - Will Rogers  Historical Marker

    Will Rogers Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Texas - Higgins Cemetery

    Higgins Cemetery
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    More Texas Cemeteries

    Higgins main street after 1947 tornado, Higgins Texas
    Higgins 1947 Tornado Vintage Photos
    Courtesy Raymond Akers Family
    Submitted by Great Grandson Rob McLain
    Higgins Texas old photo, Extended Akers Family
    More Higgins Vintage Photos
    Courtesy Raymond Akers Family
    Submitted by Great Grandson Rob McLain
    Cotton Gin, Higgins, Texas
    Cotton Gin, Higgins, Texas
    Postcard from Will Beauchamp Collection

    Higgins was Stage Station By Delbert Trew

    The progression from The Commission Creek Stage Station in 1874 to the modern-day town of Higgins is an extremely interesting saga of Panhandle of Texas history. See

    Higgins, Texas Forum

  • Glazier and Higgins Tornado of April, 1947
    Dear TE, The recent pictures of the Greenburg, Kansas tornado brought back memories of the tornado that hit Hemphill County back in 1947. I was 12 years old on April 9, 1947 when I witnessed the tornado that hit Higgins and Glazier. It was just southwest of the airport at Canadian, Texas, where my father Thomas L. McCurdy was the airport manager. The tornado was so large that there were five or six smaller twisters circling the main column. The tornado was so close that the air seemed to be all sucked up. It was such weird feeling. The main tornado lifted as it crossed the South Canadian River but went back on the ground after reaching the north side. We were so frightened by it, that we talked about it for hours after it had passed. The next morning someone was banging on the door at the airport. The man who ran the paper at Canadian was saying that Glazier was wiped out. My dad flew the photographer over the area and took the original pictures of the devastation. After returning to the airport, my dad flew back to Glazier and landed on the highway to pick up two of the injured and bring them back to the Canadian hospital. He remained in that plane for the next two days flying people from Higgins and Glazier because the highway from Canadian to Higgins was impassable. All the barbed wire and telephone/ telegraph lines were twisted together and wove back and forth on the highway for many miles. Cars couldn't drive over it because of the barbed wire, so Dad's airplane was the main lifeline between Canadian and the other two towns. On the second day the Army flew in with stretcher planes and helped. Dadís plane was a Stinson Voyager with a stretcher in it. He could carry one in the stretcher and one in the back seat. I donít know how many trips he made but I know he was in the airplane for two solid days. The local gasoline dealer brought kerosene smuge pots to the airport and lined both sides of the runaway. They did the same in Glazier and Higgins and he flew all night long to bring the injured to Canadian. The basements of the Baptist and Methodist churches were filled with injured people after the hospital had run out of room. The high school gym was also used. Even though I was only twelve at the time, my memories of that event remain vivid. - Otto W. (Bill) McCurdy, Houston Texas, May 14, 2007


    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic/contemporary photos, please contact us.
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