Sometime between his 75th and 80th birthdays, his birthday - September 14 - had developed into a big annual celebration at his home (near Ellijay Creek) in Higdonville, Macon County NC. Many people attended, and I have been told that, on some occasions, the local school did not have classes on September 14 in order that all the children and their teacher could attend.
In a Macon County NC newspaper published in September 1899, there was a write-up about
Major William H. Higdon's 83rd birthday. W. A. Curtis, the newspaper editor, wrote:
"On the 14th instant, the 83rd year of Major Higdon was celebrated at his home on Ellijay by
relatives and friends. The Major, who is a handsome, hale old gentleman, would pass for
less than 65. A part of his children and grandchildren were absent, yet there were
60 descendents present to join with the 50 invited guests in expressing good will
and wishing him many more years of life."
The birthday celebrations continued, and he celebrated his 86th birthday on 14 September 1902. He died 5 May 1903.
After Major Higdon's death, the homeplace passed to his son Sam, and the Higdon family continued to hold a family reunion at the homeplace every September. After Sam died in 1916, Sam's widow Harriet and children continued to have the reunion at the old family homeplace. After Harriet died, the annual Higdon Family Reunion was held at a nearby church or school for several years. Later, E. G. Crawford (Sam and Harriet Higdon's grandson) inherited the property, and again the homesite became the place where the annual Higdon Family Reunion was held. There may have been a few times (if it rained) that it was held in a nearby church or school, but most reunions in recent years have been held at the location where the old home once stood.
Note: Is it Hoffman or Huffman?
The middle name of William H. Higdon sometimes is listed as Hoffman and sometimes as Huffman. The reason for this is that his mother's German family line originally was spelled "Hoffman", but because it was pronounced "Huffman" many of the records found in NC for this family used "Huffman". The father of William H. Higdon's wife Eve was Samuel (Sammy) Hoffman/Huffman? of Burke County NC, and most records refer to him as Samuel Huffman. Thus, there has been some confusion about this name. When I first began my research on the Higdons, I was told that the name was "Hoffman" but then I began to find the name "Huffman". If anyone has more information about this name, perhaps it could be shared with the readers of the website.
Jo Ann Smith