Biography of Wallace M. Higbee
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





WALLACE M. HIGBEE.
For fifteen years Wallace M. Higbee has been one of the prominent and successful merchants of Fairbank and since February, 1914, has served as postmaster of the town. He has also served acceptably as sheriff of the county and as marshal of the city of Independence. He was born in Chautauqua county, New York, on the 17th of August, 1856, a son of Charles and Flora S. (Smith) Higbee, the former born in Onandaga county, New York, and the latter in Cayuga county, that state. The mother is a direct descendant of the English family of Smiths who came to America in the seventeenth century, one branch locating in New York and the other in New England. Charles Higbee died in Fairbanks, Iowa, but his widow survives and resides in Cedar Rapids. Three children were born to their union, namely: Wallace M., of this review; Lawrence C., who was born in January, 1866, and resides in Fairbank; and Mrs. Linnie Kraft, who is a resident of Cedar Rapids, this state. The two younger children were born in Oren township. Fayette county, Iowa, and all were reared there.

Wallace M. Higbee accompanied his mother to Iowa in 1857, as his father had located in Oren township, Fayette county, the year previous. They traveled to Dubuque, Iowa, by rail and thence by team to Oren township, where the son grew to manhood. He spent a great deal of his time in assisting his father with the farm work but during the winters attended the district school. He subsequently completed the course in the Independence high school and was for a time a. student in the Upper Iowa University at Fayette. After completing his education he engaged in the livery business in Fairbank for a number of years, but in 1891 gave that up in order to give his entire attention to his duties as sheriff of Buchanan county. Although the county is strongly republican, he was elected to the office upon the democratic ticket, which was a strong tribute to the esteem in which he was held by the electors. He served as sheriff for one term and was then appointed city marshal of Independence, holding that office for three years. In 1899 he returned to Fairbank and established a store, carrying jewelry, wall paper, paints, oils, cigars, stationery and drugs. On the 14th of February, 1914, he disposed of his drug interests but retains the rest of the business. He has a large and representative patronage and his customers are assured of fair treatment, as he has an enviable reputation for integrity and just dealing. On the 14th of February, 1914, he was appointed postmaster of Fairbank and has proved prompt and accurate in his management of the affairs of that office.

Mr. Higbee was married in Fairbank township, this county, on the 31st of December, 1876, to Miss Harriet L. George, who was born in that township on the 4th of October, 1860. She grew to wemanhood there and was there educated. Her parents, Sampson and Cynthia (Saylor) George, were natives of England and Tompkins county, New York, respectively. Her mother was born on the 29th of December, 1829. They were among the pioneers of Fairbank township, having made the long journey overland from the east when it consumed weeks instead of days as at the present time. Hear father was a farmer in Fairbank township during his active life but passed away at Independence. Her mother is still living and resides in that city. They had eight children, seven of whom survive: William F., a resident of Leadville, Colorado; Mrs. Lela Warburton, of Ames, Iowa; Horace G., who was born August 7, 1857, and resides in Fairbank; Mrs. Higbee; Mrs. C. A. Mills, of Waterloo. Iowa; Ulysses S., deceased; Ernest S., living at Palo Alto county, Iowa; and Clarence, also a resident of that county. All were born in Fairbank township and with the exception of the eldest, in the same house, and attended the common schools of the community. The family was well known and highly esteemed in this county. To Mr. and Mrs. Higbee have been born four children, three of whom survive. Herbert George was born September 13, 1878, and after graduating from the high school at Independence completed the four years' course at the Military Academy.at West Point. He also graduated in pharmacy at a college in Des Moines. At present he is deputy revenue collector of Dubuque, Iowa, and captain of the famous Governor's Grays of Dubuque. Mrs. Alice L. Smith, who was born September 8, 1880, is also a graduate of the Independence high school. She resides at Storm Lake, Iowa, where her husband is a very successful physician. Pearl died in infancy. Mrs. Amy M. Agnew, who was born November 27, 1886, was graduated from the Independence high school and lives in Fairbank. All of the children were born and reared in this county. Mrs. Higbee is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in Fairbank and is active in the work of the various organizations in the church.

Mr. Higbee is a democrat and has served for a number of years as councilman at Fairbank He has also been for several years a member of the school board and takes a keen interest in everything that affects the welfare of the public schools, as he realizes that an excellent system of education is a necessity in a democracy. Fraternally he belongs to Fairbank Lodge, No. 292, A. F. & A. M.; and to Lodge No. 741, B. P. O. E., at Oelwein. Besides his business in Fairbank he owns a commodious and well furnished home here and is recognized as one of the well to do citizens of the town. He is a man of commendable public spirit and has been identified with many movements that have resulted in good to the town.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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