Biography of John C. Higby
Steuben County, NY Biographies





Higby, John C., was born in Prattsburg, N. Y., in February, 1839. His greatgrandfather, John Higby, came from Lee, Mass., and settled in Ballston, Saratoga county, prior to the Revolutionary war. He married Mindwell Lewis, by whom he had thirteen children; and he died in Ballston, aged ninety years. Their son Lewis was a sailor in the Revolutionary war, was captured by the Indians and tories, and carried a prisoner to Canada, where he remained for nearly two years. The mother and smaller children were also captured by Indians and rescued. His grandfather, Jeduthun Highy, was born in October, 1775, at Ballston, N. Y., and in January, 1801, he married Salvia Strong, by whom he had five children: Livy S John L., Myron T., Marcus T. C., and Charles G., also one adopted daughter, Sophronia Kelley. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, ranking as lieutenant, and after the burning of Buffalo held a captain's commission. In 1818 he moved to Prattsburg, and settled on a farm two miles west of the village. He was one of the vestrymen upon the organization of the First Episcopal church at Auburn, N. Y. He was killed in the town of Pulteney in 1820 by a tree falling across his wagon. His wife died in 1863. Charles G. Higby, father of John C., was born in Brutus, Cayuga county, in September, 1812, aud was educated in the common schools and Franklin Academy, Beginning at the age of sixteen, he taught school for six consecutive winters, and in the summer worked on the farm he had purchased. At twenty four years of age he married Phoebe Jane, daughter of John and Rhoda C. Bramble, of Prattsburg, by whom he had three children: Jeduthun, who died in infancy, John C., and Lydia L. He at once settled on his farm, to which he added 150 acres of timber land, and in 1841 he engaged in the milling and lumbering business in connection with his farming. He was school superintendent of the town under the old law for many years, and in 1851 was assemblyman from his district in the State Legislature, and advocated the passage of the free school law. He was also trustee of the Franklin Academy for many years. Mr. Higby and wife were members of the Presbyterian church of Prattsburg. For many years, until the time of his death, he was a trustee and elder of the church. He died in 1885. John C. Higby was graduated from Hamilton College in the class of '61, and then spent two years as teacher in Bath, after which he returned to his farm, where he remained most of his time until 1890, when he moved to his father's homestead, where be now resides. After the war he served one term as justice, and from 1871 to 1873 inclusive served as school commissioner, being the first Democrat elected to that office in his district. In 1869 he married Lucy, daughter of Rev. B. C. and Susan J. (Ammerman) Smith, by whom he had three children: Charles G., Celia Jane, and Coleman Smith. Charles G. Spent one year in Hamilton College, later assisted oii the farm, and is now the able manager and secretary of the Prattsburg Creamery Company, of which he is the largest stockholder. Celia J. was teacher in Franklin Academy, and in June, 1895, he was graduated from Olivet College Mich. Coleman is now taking a classical course at the same college. The entire family are now Presbyterians.

From:
Landmarks of Steuben County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Harlo Hakes
Assisted by: L. C. Aldrich and others
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1896


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