Higgins Milton Ellsworth and Johanna


by Johanna Martha (Neuhausser) Higgins

I was born in New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.A. in 1895. We moved to Farmington, Conn., when I was three, onto a big fifty acre farm. I went to Frog Lake, Alberta, Canada in 1920 to visit my brother Arno George. While there I met Milton Ellsworth Higgins, born in Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.A. and we rode horse-back, watered cattle and had good times at dances. I played my concertina at many a dance and we had good times. The dear ladies brought cakes, coffee was brewed on a big wood-fuelled stove, and we danced from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. It was cold some evenings but we sure had fun. We went to private homes and one- roomed school houses. I played for many dances and weddings; square dances, waltz, one-step, polka, rye waltz, two-step and schottische, a round dance resembling the polka. Fred Hall was our caller and he sure would call those square dances. He would dance as he called. I laughed, he was great! Every time I hear square dance music on television I think of all the fine folk I knew back in Frog Lake, Alberta, Canada. I also remember the dear mailman. He came two times per week in a caboose on a sleigh with two horses, and I could look out of my log cabin and see the smoke curling out of the stovepipe from the stove he had fixed to keep warm inside his caboose. It was sixty degrees below zero many times.


I have travelled many miles in my lifetime, but the times I really lived in the Canadian natural country are still fresh in my memory. I remember the wild geese, the loons, the coyote with its loud howling at night. The wonderful fishing through the ice in winter, and the hook and line with bobber in summer at Ross Lake. Then the most beautiful sight of all, the aurora borealis; what a picture! Dancing colors and hues, intermingled with the most fantastic thoughts racing through one's head. The beauty of all that whole "Great Outdoors" shall never be forgotten by me.


Milton and I were married in 1922. We travelled a lot as he was a bricklayer, foreman for the Custodis Chimney Construction Co., Chicago, Ill. I am the mother of four fine sons and I thank God I still have three sons that love me. Milton Dale born 1924 in Chicago, passed on in October 1937 in Washington, D.C.; Frank Anton, born 1925 in the log cabin at Frog Lake, Alberta, lives in Rochester, New York, an electrician; Floyd Saddler, born by lantern light in log cabin at Frog Lake in 1927, lives in Portland Oregon, does landscape work. He has one girl, two boys. Guy Calvin, born 1929, Niles Michigan, lives in Washington, D.C., is Superintendent for Virginia Electric Power Co., has four girls and two boys. I am now a widow. Milton passed away in October, 1942 in Hampton, Virginia where I live now. All the beautiful memories of living a good clean life all my days pays off each day I live, and I thank God for my Milton.