Forgotten History

By Cory Higgs



Sarah Sheppard came across a photo of her great-great-great-grandparents, James Tawell and Sarepta Frances Hill Sheppard. According to Sheppard, the pair homesteaded the farm that her family has lived on for more than six generations. Also pictured is the beloved family dog whose name has been forgotten to history. “Everything they built is gone. It burned down and was rebuilt long after they passed,” she said. The Sheppard family raised livestock like cows and pigs, as well as grew tobacco and other crops. Sheppard said she had traced her family back to 16th century England. Sheppard’s daughter, Hazel, just celebrated her 1st birthday on the farm, carrying on the family legacy. (Circa 1900s)
Connie Sue Nester rediscovered a photo of her mother, Della Bolt Belcher, and her trusty steed Charlie. Belcher loved animals, and Nester reports that she even had a dog by the name of Lindbergh – so named afterCharles Lindbergh, the famous pilot. Nester said that Charlie was a pleasure riding horse, though he did a little work from time to time. Nester said the picture was taken on Conner’s Grove Road, in Belcher’s garden. The site now is home to a catfish pond. Belcher was one of nine siblings raised by a single mother after a shooting at a pie supper social at the old Conner’s Grove School. The incident left the family without a father. Belcher went on to raise seven children and mother one of the largest clans in the Buffalo Mountain Community. (Circa 1920s)
My father, Darrell Higgs, was telling me about his misadventure as a young boy in the infamous Indian Valley, a wild place perfect for a kid with a sense of adventure. He told me about a trusty sidekick and companion, Duke, a loyal red-bone coonhound. Duke was a furiously loyal and kind dog that would accompany him on his travels. I found this interesting because growing up, I had a red hound of my own, and you’ll never guess his name? My Duke was just as kind, loyal ,and adventurous. It seems red hound dogs are a Higgs family tradition. My grandfather, Roy, raised hounds and always had a soft spot for the red ones, I hear. Years ago, my Duke passed away from cancer, but the legacy lives on in Goose, my new companion. Goose is my 130-pound floppy eared bloodhound. He is unaware of his size and identifies as a ‘lapdog.’ (Circa 2019)



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