When members of the John B. Higdon family came to town, they were able to fill a wagon to capacity.
Higdon, who was called “the head of the Higdon clan” when he died in 1941 in California, was the father of 17, probably one of Clark County’s largest families. A photo shows the family in their best outfits in a decorated wagon, during a lull in a Vancouver celebration.
Higdon’s wife was the former Nettie Wood, who had resided in the Pleasant Valley area of Clark County.
His parents, Joseph B. and Elizabeth Higdon, had somewhat fewer children – 12 or 13. John was the oldest son.
The Joseph B. Higdon family arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1876 from Kansas by boat; they had traveled from San Francisco.
Measles broke out on the ship and two of the daughters died.
The Higdons moved by ox team to the Manor district, which John B. Higdon described as “a veritable jungle of brush and trees.”
At the time Manor and Glenwood areas were known as Big Muddy, but later called Flatwood.
John Higdon farmed 80 acres given to him by his father as a wedding present. He recalled that bears “used to wallow in the water hole” nearby, and a deer path passed close to the farmhouse. Gradually, John Higdon added to his property until he had 360 acres.
“What a happy time Nettie and I had here with the children,” Higdon reminisced in later years.
His father operated what was described as a “large and thriving dairy.” In the 1890s much of the milk was transported to Portland.