The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Higgins, Sophia File (1804–1887)

Amanda Watkins Biography Entry

Sophia File Higgins was born in North Carolina on April 15, 1804. She married Abner Higgins (Hagans) on November 22, 1826, in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. They had two children, Joseph and Margaret, before moving to Weakley County, Tennessee, between 1832 and 1834. In Tennessee they had six more children—Henry, John, Elizabeth, Caroline, James and Thomas. According to the 1850 census, Sophia and Abner were illiterate, however, all of their children attended school.

By 1860 Sophia Higgins maintained the home as head of household (presumably her husband Abner passed away). She continued to live in Weakley County, Tennessee, and the 1860 census recorded her real estate value at $500 and her personal real estate value at $300. In December 1861 she moved to Red River County, Texas, with several of her children.

The family maintained a farm north of Bogata, Texas, in central Red River County. The closest post office was in Maple Springs. Sophia Higgins was granted land by the General Land Office, and, as a resident of the property for at least three years, she received 160 acres through the Red River Scrip. She passed away in Bogata, Texas, on January 4, 1887. She is interred in Bogata Cemetery, and her tombstone identifies her as “wife of Abner.” She is buried close to her son Joseph and a daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

Land Grant Records, Sophia Higgins Papers, File No. 394, Original Land Grant Collection, Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin. “Sophia Higgins,” Find A Grave Memorial (, accessed June 6, 2018


  • Agriculture
  • Women
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers

Time Periods:

  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Amanda Watkins, “Higgins, Sophia File,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 06, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: