PATTILLO HIGGINS Biography - Pioneers, Explorers & inventors


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Name: Pattillo Higgins                                                                 
Born: December 5, 1863                                                                 
Died: June 5, 1955                                                                     
Pattillo Higgins (December 5, 1863 - June 5, 1955) was a businessman as well as       
a self-taught geologist. He would eventually earn the nickname the "Prophet of         
Spindletop". His endeavors in the oil business would accrue a fortune for many.       
He would partner to form the Gladys City Oil Gas and Manufacturing Company and         
later, he would establish the Higgins Standard Oil Company.                           
He was born to Robert James and Sarah (Raye) Higgins on December 5, 1863, in           
Sabine Pass, Texas. His family moved to Beaumont when he was at the age of six.       
He attended school until he reached the fourth grade, after which he apprenticed       
as a gunsmith under his father’s direction. In his youth, he was a violent           
troublemaker, pulling pranks and harassing black people. [1] One night when he         
was 17 he pulled a prank on a black Baptist church that got the attention of a         
sheriff deputy. The deputy fired a warning shot over his head, after which             
Pattillo fired back and delivered what would later turn out to be a fatal hit.         
The wounded deputy managed to fire again, striking Higgins lower left arm.             
Pattillo's arm would later become severely infected, requiring amputation from         
the elbow down.                                                                       
Higgins was put on trial for the murder of the deputy, but he would be found not       
guilty by a jury that perceived his act as self defense. After his acquittal,         
he worked as a logger along the Texas-Louisiana border, apparently unhindered by       
his lack of an arm. It was in 1885 that he attended a Baptist revival meeting         
where he made the decision to become a Christian. Realizing that the lumber           
camps were not the ideal place to maintain a good morality, he decided to return       
to Beaumont, Texas to establish himself as a businessman.