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Higby, Luther E.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 0, credited to Halifax, VT
Unit(s): 14th CT INF
Service: Co. I, 14th CT INF

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VITALS

Birth: 03/05/1838, Middletown, CT
Death: 04/13/1886

Burial: Bell Cemetery, Halifax, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Bob Edwards
Findagrave Memorial #: 98138489

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 6/14/1880; widow Sarah E., 4/21/1886, VT
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

DESCENDANTS

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BURIAL:

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Tombstone

Tombstone

Bell Cemetery, Halifax, VT

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Obituary

Luther E. Higby

Luther E. Higby, one of our best known and most respected residents, died Tuesday morning after a painful illness of about 16 months. Mr. Higby was born at Middletown, Conn., March 5, 1838, and was 48 years of age at the time of his death. Quite early in life he developed decided mechanical ability with inventive genius of an exceptional character. His early training was in machine shops, in connection with the manufacture of boilers, in plumbing, piping, etc. In 1861-62 he worked in New Haven, Conn., and during that time superintended the laying of public gas or water pipes. In 1862 he enlisted in the 14th regiment of Connecticut volunteers as a musician. In September, 1862, occurred that terrible series of battles culminating at Antietam on the 17th of the month. Mr. Higby was very active during that battle and afterwards, in caring for the wounded on the field, and at that time received a very severe injury in the back, from which he never recovered. He was taken to the hospital, and after remaining several months received an honorable discharge and came home. For a year after his return from the army his injuries prevented his taking up any active employment, and in 1864, we believe, he first came to Brattleboro. He entered the service of J. Katey & co., and was with them more or less for several years. The condition of his health necessitated changes from time to time in his employment. At times he was utterly unable to work at his trade. During one of these periods he was engaged quite successfully in the insurance business in Brattleboro. At another time he was in the employ of Col. Fuller in the sewing machine manufacture. At still another time he was with Dr. Gale and others in the sewing machine business in Hinsdale, N. H. In 1870, or thereabouts, he was engaged for a time with S. M. Spencer in making his stencil dies. In 872 he received a flattering offer and moved to Newark, N. J., to take charge of a manufactory of sewing machines. He remained there for a time, and then having invented a very valuable machine in connection with the manufacture of wire netting, he removed to Belleville, N. J., where he resided for three years or more as a partner and superintendent of the Dewitt wire works of that place.

The health of his family, however, necessitated an abandonment of the New Jersey climate, and he returned to Brattleboro in 1880, or thereabouts, and entered the employ of the Brattleboro sewing machine company. While in their employ he invented some improvements in sewing machines and constructed a new machine. After obtaining his patents therefore a company was organized under the name of the Higby sewing machine company, and operations were begun and for some time carried on in Mr. Crowell's building on Flat street. Mr. Higby's health failed in the winter of 1884-5, and he resigned his position in the company, never, as it proved, to return to active business life again.

At the age of 16 Mr. Higby was converted at Shelburne Falls and united with the Baptist church there under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. E. H. Gray. Wherever Mr. Higby resided he took an active part in all church work, and up to within a very short time has been clerk and treasurer of the Baptist church here. Mr. Higby was married in June, 1861, to Miss Sarah E. Fish, daughter of Rev. Samuel Fish, familiarly known as “Father Fish,” who was so long a Baptist preacher in this county, and who spent his declining years in Brattleboro, beloved by all who knew him. During Mr. Higby's long sickness he had been the recipient of many kind expressions and sympathetic acts from appreciative friends and townspeople, and the universal expression since his lamented death is, “a good man gone home.” During a period of nearly half his life he has suffered more than any one knew, or could know, from physical debility, but during all this time he ash carried the same cheerful exterior and his life has been full of helpful words and deeds wherever he has been. To the wife and son who survive him are left the precious memories of his tender care and love, and the inheritance of his sterling Christian character. The physicians pronounced his disease consumption of the bowels. The funeral services were held at the house today at 3 p.m.

Source: Vermont Phoenix, April 16, 1886.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.