Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Nelson Higgins Nelson Higgins

1806 - 1890

  • Born 1806 Milford, New York
  • Baptized 1834
  • Ordained Priest and called as Branch President 1834
  • Zions Camp 1834
  • Ordained Elder 1835
  • Ordained Seventy and called to First Quorum of Seventy 1835
  • Migrated west with saints, arriving in 1847
  • Ordained Bishop 1864
  • Died 1890 Elsinmore, Utah

    The following biographical sketch is adapted from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 3, p.647
    Nelson Higgins, First Quorum of the Seventy, a member of Zion's Camp, captain of Company D Mormon Battalion, Bishop, etc., was born Sept. 1, 1806, at Milford, Oswego county, New York, the son of Daniel Higgins and Mary Dagget. When the boy was ten years old, his father moved to Ohio, leaving the boy with a married sister. In the course of a year the sister died and the boy started out on foot on a journey of about four hundred miles to find his family in Huron county, Ohio.

    At the age of twenty-one he married Sarah Blackman, by whom he had ten children. Becoming a convert to "Mormonism," he was baptized in 1834 and was shortly after ordained a Priest and appointed to preside over a branch of the Church where he resided.

    As a member of Zion's Camp in 1834 he marched to Missouri under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was ordained an Elder at the time of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple and soon afterwards ordained a Seventy, becoming a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

    In 1837 he moved to Missouri and there passed through the mobbings and persecutions endured by the Saints in that State. Subsequently he located in Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, and left there in the general exodus with the Saints in 1846.

    Having arrived on the Missouri river, he enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and was elected captain of Company D. He spent the winter of 18461847 with the sick detachment of the Battalion at Pueblo, and arrived in Salt Lake Valley July 29, 1847.

    In 1849, together with others, he was called to Sanpete Valley to assist in establishing a settlement there and thus he became one of the founders of Manti. Later he moved to Moroni, where he also became one of the first settlers. In 1855 he was called to Carson Valley, now in Nevada, to assist in establishing a colony of Saints there, and remained there until 1857. In 1864 he was called to go to Richfield to preside over that infant settlement, being ordained a Bishop under the hands of President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.

    Richfield was temporarily abandoned in 1867 because of Indian troubles, but in 1871 when the place was resettled, Bro. Higgins again returned to his post in Richfield as Bishop and labored in that capacity until 1873, when he was honorably released and moved to Brooklyn, a small settlement between Elsinore and Monroe. Here he spent the remainer of his life.

    Brother Higgins was successively captain, major and colonel in the Nauvoo Legion and served as general in the absence of Charles C. Rich. He was successively captain, major and colonel during the Walker war while living in Sanpete, and was a major and commanding officer all during the Black Hawk Indian war.

    Amidst these trying frontier conditions he reared a large family. In 1852 he married Margaret Duncan, and in 1856 he married Nancy Meribab Behmin, by whom he raised eight children. His whole life was one of unusual activity, and he exhibited courage, devotion and faithfulness in everything with which he was associated. In the latter part of his life he was very feeble and scarcely able to move about. He died at Elsinore, Sevier county, Utah, Nov. 20, 1890.

   History of the Church, multiple citations; see index
   Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.647 (principle source)
   B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.3, Ch.87, pp.379 - 380

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