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
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 1846–1847 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
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.