Biography of James H. Riggs

JAMES H. RIGGS. – One of the capable and esteemed gentlemen of Union county is named at the head of this article and is deserving of representation in the history of his county, since he has labored here with assiduity and energy for the development of the county and its resources and has manifested meanwhile both ability, sagacity, and integrity in his endeavors, being one of the leading agriculturists of the county.

Mr. Riggs was born in Roachdale, Lancashire, England, on December 18, 1837, being the son of Levi and Elizabeth (Standring) Riggs, natives also of England. The father was a manufacturer in England and the family came to this country in 1848, going to Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where they remained three years, then removed to Cincinnati, where the father continued until the date of his death. Our subject started for himself in 1859, crossing the plains to Utah and driving a freight team, and remaining in Cache county, Utah, until 1871, engaged in farming. Then he came to Union county, purchased a quarter-section on Pumpkin Ridge near Summerville, where he has engaged in farming since that time. In 1896 he turned this place over to his sons, remaining with them until 1897, when he moved to another place of one hundred and sixty acres two and one-half miles northeast from Elgin. The place where the sons are living contains four hundred acres, and this in addition to the farm where our subject is now residing form a portion of the estate. His present place is well improved, has a fine cottage dwelling, commodious barn and all the accessories to a first-class farm.

On September 1, 1862, Mr. Riggs married Miss Martha, daughter of William and Sarah (Bernaghan) Hill, natives of Surrey, England, the wedding occurring in Salt Lake City, Utah. To this union there have been born the following children: James H., deceased; James Healy: George, deceased: Levi W., deceased: Charles S.: John: Celestia E., deceased: Martha Ann and Frank deceased. The four older children that have died are buried in Millville, Utah, and the other two are buried in the Summerville cemetery. Mrs. Riggs was called away by death on January 15, 1895, and she too, is sleeping in the Summerville cemetery. On March 3, 1897, Mr. Riggs was married a second time, the lady of his choice at this time being Maria (Olson) Aldred, a native of Denmark. Mrs. Riggs is the adopted daughter of Simion and Jane (Neilson) Molin, also natives of Denmark. Her wedding occurred in Cache county, Utah. By a former husband she has two children, William and Elsie A., living at home now. Mr. Riggs is a capable and highly respected citizen of our county and he enjoys the confidence of his fellows.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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