An American Family History


Blanch Pauline Bertrand Higgins

Emmons County, North Dakota is in the center of the southern border of North Dakota. Braddock was established in 1898. Extreme seasonal variations in temperature made life difficult for settlers.

Blanch Pauline Bertrand Higgins was born on September 11, 1893 in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. She was the daughter of Gilles Joseph Bertrand and Viola Belle Long.

She married David Andrew Higgins on April 8, 1911 in Wapello, Iowa. Dave was born on December 25, 1889 in Ottumwa, Wapello County, Iowa. His parents were Bernard Lawrence Higgins and Agnes Evelyn Coday.

Blanch and David's children were born in Braddock, Emmons County, North Dakota. Margaret Higgins Brown was born in 1914 and Laurence Gillis Higgins was born in 1918.

The family appeared in the 1920 census in Braddock. The household consisted of Dave A. age 30, Blanch P. age 29, Margaret L. age five and Lawrence G. who was one year and four months old. Dave was working as a pool hall manager.

Postcard postmarked 1914 Braddock, North Dakota
to Emma Smith in Chariton
Hello sis and all.
Will send you a card I suppose you know where it is. Gee weare having nice weather.All the Folks were up for Xmas. And weare all invited to Vie's for New Year dinner. Well Lura went home Saturday with the folks. I sure miss her. I guess she will be in on the 2 o'clock  train.
Thanks for the things. Baby's bib is fine.

In 1930 they lived in Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. Dave worked in a starch factory. 

David died on January 20, 1954 in Cedar Rapids. (See obituary below)

Blanch died on April 16, 1957 in Cedar Rapids. She was buried in Cedar Memorial Cemetery. 


Children of Joseph Bertrand
and Viola Long
  • Marie Louisa Bertrand Shimp
  • Emma Ethel Bertrand Smith
  • Blanch Pauline Bertrand Higgins
  • Frances M. Bertrand Metela Johnson
  • Lura Bertrand Bechtel Jones
  • Franklin Merl Bertrand
  • Izetta Fern Bertrand
  • Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

    David Higgins and Gilbert Knox September 7, 1909


    Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.

    Margaret and Lawrence
    about 1918

    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.




    Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 16, 1957,  p. 6
    Mrs. David Higgins
    Blanch Pauline Higgins, widow of David A. Higgins, 431 Eight Avenue SW, a Cedar Rapids resident 32 years, died at 1 a.m. Tuesday. She was born Sept. 11, 1893, at Chariton. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Clyde A. (Margaret) Brown of Cedar Rapids; a son, Larry Higgins of Cincinnati, Ohio; three sisters, Frances Johnson of Cedar Rapids, Marie Shimp of Independence, Mo., and Lura Jones of Van Nuys, Calif., and a brother, Frank Bertrand of Omaha.

    Mrs. Higgins was a member of the Woodman circle. Services; Turner chapel at 3:30 p.m. Thursday by Dr. Jackson Burns of St. Paul's Methodist church. Burial in Cedar Memorial cemetery. Friends may call at the chapel.


    Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 20, 1954, p. 8
    David A. Higgins
    David Andrew Higgins, 431 Eighth Avenue SW, a Cedar Rapids resident for 28 years and a retired assistant foreman for Penick and Ford, died at his home at 6:55 a.m. Wednesday following a long illness. Born Dec. 25, 1890, at Ottumwa, he was married there to Blanche P. Bertrand on April 8, 1911.

    Surviving, in addition to his wife, are a son, Laurence G. Higgins of Oklahoma City; a daughter, Mrs. Clyde Brown of Cedar Rapids, and four grandchildren.

    Mr. Higgins was a member of the Woodmen of the World and the American Federation of Grain Millers, local 100.

    Services will be conducted in the Turner chapel at 3:30 p.m. Friday by the Rev. Clinton D. Gadbow of the Church of the Nazarene. Burial will be in Cedar Memorial cemetery.  Friends may call at the chapel.


    Cedar Rapids Gazette, February 16, 1967, p. 3
    Mrs. Clyde A. Brown
    Margaret Louise Brown, 52, of 1506 Oakland Road NE, died suddenly Thursday. She was a Cedar Rapids resident 40 years.

    Born July 17, 1914 at Braddock, N. D., she was married to Clyde A. Brown and was a member of St. Paul's Methodist church.

    Surviving besides her husband are one daughter, Mrs. Don Janda of Cedar Rapids, and a brother, Larry Higgins also of Cedar Rapids.

    Services are pending at the Cedar Memorial funeral home where friends may call after noon Friday.


    World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The Allies (United States, British Commonwealth countries, and the Soviet Union) fought against the Axis (Germany, Japan and Italy).

    Cedar Rapids Gazette, 1-31-1992, Friday
    Laurence G. Higgins
    73, of 1001 Center Point Rd. NE, died Wednesday in his home after a long illness. Services: 11 a.m. Saturday, Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories, with military rites by VFW Post 788. Entombment: Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may call from 5 to 9 tonight at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home and after 10 a.m. Saturday at the chapel.

    Laurence is survived by his close companion for 26 years, Betty Slager; a daughter, Vicki Brimmer of Zionsville, Ind. and a grandson, Benjamin.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, David and Blanch Higgins; and two sons, David and Lawrence.

    Laurence was born Aug. 23, 1918, in Braddock, N.D.  He worked in the maintenance department at Armstrong's Department Store for several years, retiring in 1984. He was a member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church and VFW Post 788 and was a World War II Army veteran.

    The Rev. Robert Dotzel will officiate. Instead of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy.

    Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) and Woodmen of the World were fraternal organizations that offered insurance.

    The 1918 influenza pandemic was also called the Spanish flu. It was caused by an unusually deadly strain and most victims were healthy, young adults. The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920. One third of the world's population, became infected.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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