Higginsville, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 04.505 W 093° 43.030
15S E 437964 N 4325353
Originally a railroad town
Waymark Code: WMQZZM
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 04/21/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member MountainWoods
Views: 3

County of city: Lafayette County
Location of city: MO-13, about 1 mile N. of I-70/US40
Location of city hall: 1922 N Main St, Higginsville
Elevation: 817'
Population: 4,721 (2013)

"Founded in 1869 by Harvey Higgins, the City of Higginsville is committed to the growth of its residents as both individuals and as a community. Having a strong farm heritage, its goal of balanced growth between residential and business is based on traditional values and progressive leadership.

"With excellent schools, affordable housing, an outstanding park system, numerous churches, community organizations, and state of the art municipal owned electric, water and sanitary sewer systems, the more than 4600 residents enjoy a quality of life that is second to none. Strategically located approximately 50 miles east of Kansas City on I-70 and U.S. Highway 13 in the heartland of the Midwest, residents are just a short drive from the cultural, recreational and entertainment amenities of an urban area." ~ City of Higginsville

"The train depot long served as a source of travel and news with passengers and postal service using the rail line daily. While no longer an operating rail station, the depot has been restored and is now a museum

"Harvey Higgins, born in 1812 near Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, left home as a young man of twenty-three for Liberty, Illinois where he practiced merchandising until 1840. He then immigrated to Missouri, entered over 400 acres in Lafayette County and dealt extensively in the Boonslick grain and stock trade. He also marketed hemp in Lafayette, Missouri's largest hemp-producing county. By the Civil War Higgins had almost doubled his landholding, owned twenty-one slaves, and had become a member of the local gentry.

"In a position to direct this speculator's vision, Higgins deeded to the branch railroad a strip of land 100' x 1860' with the condition that a railroad depot be built within that strip of land. The Lexington and St. Louis depot was erected at the eastern of Ambrose street. One of the first mercantile houses near the depot was managed by A.E. Asbury, another town promoter, who with Higgins, would become responsible for a cluster of prominent Higginsville sites surrounding the future Chicago and Alton depot.

"From this thriving regional center, local shipments of wheat, corn, livestock, coal (extracted from eighteen shafts active in the county), and locally manufactured brick and tile made their way to outside markets. During period, 1890-1937, the Higginsvilie C & A Depot provided freight service to the Higginsvilie Flour Mill, the International Shoe Co., and three large coal companies. It was also an important passenger terminal with ten passenger trains making daily stops. This heyday saw trains rolling through town twenty-four hours a day, and the hustle never stopped. The depot was manned by a staff of three telegraph operators, a cashier, and a clerk. There were always railroad men around who practically lived in the building." ~ NRHP Nomination form

""This is the second town in size in Lafayette County. In stirring business push and enterprise, it ranks second to none. Located centrally, in one of Missouri's "river counties," which, in the Western part of the State particularly, ranks with any other part of the world in richness of soil, and productiveness of agricultural and fruit crops; it is specially favored as to situation. About it, fruit trees blow into flower, and are weighed down with fruit. Mines furnish coal for the furnaces of the vast manufactories so certainly destined to come here. The prairies bring forth cereals in abundance, and the sound of the reaper is heard in the land—that land whose requirements of tillage form a large sale each year for agricultural implements.

"Higginsville is fifty-five miles East of Kansas City, at the junction of the Chicago & Alton, and Missouri Pacific Railroads.

"It was founded in 1869 and named after Harvey J. Higgins, when the Lexington & Sedalia Railroad, now a link in the main line of the Missouri Pacific, was built.

"It got a postoffice in 1870, with Mr. A.B.E. Lehman as postmaster. The town was incorporated in 1876. The first mayor was Mr. Abram Wade. It was first incorporated as a city, nearly ten years later. The building of the Alton Railroad through Higginsville seemed to give the town a new lease of life, and since then, 1879, its growth has been steady and assured. Since that time the population has been more than tripled, and now numbers 3,000. Higginsville, while surrounded with a fourteen to thirty-five inch vein of splendid coal, is immediately underlaid with sandstone, which obviates any danger of sinking in, that might result from excavation. The abundant pure water supply is but another evidence that, even though unintentionally so, the location of Higginsville is an especially fortunate one. The surrounding landscape is a pleasing picture of broad river bottoms, bold rugged bluffs, wooded mounds and valleys and charming districts of high rolling prairie. With such splendid transportation facilities, such superior educational advantages, not to mention her natural resources, Higginsville has the assurance of a great future. Her past has predicted it, and her present confirms the belief in it. Already manufacturing interests have cast their fortunes in with hers to the number of fourteen or fifteen, the press is ably represented, and the professions have enthusiastic and conscientious votaries. Three banks do a good business, fourteen mining companies have been formed.

"Here is located the State Home for Confederate Soldiers. Lafayette County gave $5,500, leaving the net cost of the home $13,052. The management at present has only sixty acres, 300 more being leased, the home receiving one-third of the crops raised thereon. Seven ex-soldiers are now in the home, which aims to be self-sustaining. Ten cottages are under process of erection, and it is expected each county in the State will erect one. An elegant and attractive boulevard is being built from the town to the grounds.

"Nine churches point their spires heavenward in mute imitation of their teaching. Push and enterprise rule the day. Old fogyism, in what ever form, finds no abiding place, and folding its tent like the Arab, as silently steals away. Last spring the citizens voted bonds for both electric light plant and waterworks, and these will be in operation in the very near future. To capital and labor, investigation and development of her great natural resources, Higginsville has ever extended and still extends the welcoming hand of encouragement and assistance. To this fact is traceable the secret of her success." ~ from: Historical and Descriptive Review of Missouri, Jno. Lethem, 1891, Kansas City

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