RICHARD J. HIGGINS. - Another of the able younger representatives of the legal profession who is contributing a due quota to upholding the high prestige of the bar of Wyandotte county is Richard J. Higgins, who is engaged in successful general practice in Kansas City, and further interest attaches to his career by reason of the fact that from his boyhood days he has resided in the city that is now his home, - a community in which his personal popularity is of the most unequivocal type.
Mr. Higgins was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on the 14th of May, 1883, and is a son of James and Mary (Hanrahan) Higgins, both of whom were born and reared in Ireland where their marriage was solemnized. In 1881 they severed the ties that bound them to the fair old Emerald Isle and came to America. Soon after their arrival they came to the west and located in Kansas City, Missouri, where they maintained their home until 1892, when they came to Kansas City, Kansas, where they have resided since that time. The father has long been identified with railroad affairs and is now in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad. He is a Democrat in his political allegiance and both he and his wife are communicants of the Catholic church.
Richard J. Higgins, the immediate subject of this review, gained his rudimentary education in the parochial and public schools of Kansas City, Missouri, and was eleven years of age at the time of the family removal to the city that is now his home. Here he continued his school work with much of zeal, and in 1900 he was graduated in the Kansas City high school. For one year thereafter, in 1902-3, he was a student in the academic or literary department of the University of Kansas, at Lawrence, and he was then matriculated in the Kansas City School of Law, in Kansas City, Missouri. He completed the prescribed course in this excellent institution, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1906 and from which he received his degree of Bachelor of Laws, with incidental admission to the Missouri bar. In the same year he was admitted to practice in the Kansas courts and he forthwith initiated the practice of his profession in the metropolis of Wyandotte county, where he so proved his powers that his novitiate was of brief duration. He is now a member of the well known and essentially representative law firm of Hale & Higgins, in which his coadjutor is John A. Hale, and they control a large and substantial practice, in connection with which he himself has appeared in many important litigations in the courts of this section of the state.
From the autumn of 1906 until that of 1908 Mr. Higgins held the position of assistant county attorney, and the experience thus gained in the initial stages of his professional work proved of great value to him, besides furthering his reputation as a resourceful trial lawyer. In November, 1908, there came further and gratifying recognition of his sterling character and his professional ability, since he was then chosen to fill the vacancy upon the bench of the court of common pleas of Wyandotte county, upon the resignation of the regular incumbent, Judge William G. Holt. He held this important judicial office until January, 1909, and handled its affairs with marked ability and discrimination. He is now serving as city counselor of Kansas City. In politics Mr. Higgins is aligned as a stanch and effective advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and he and his wife are earnest communicants of the Catholic church. He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and also with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
In the year 1909 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Higgins to Miss Anna Watters, who was born and reared in Kansas City. One son, James Richard Higgins, was born to them on March 3, 1911.
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