[From a quick records search and from this article: William Huggins was born in October 1790 in New York and died November 14, 1887, at the age of 97. He may have been married to Alice and their children may have been Melinda, Burrell/Burel (B in the story below), Cordelia, Pamelia, Almira, Louisa, and Edward. He was definitely married to Alice while living in Anamosa, Iowa, so she may have been his second wife. His son, Burrell/Burel (B in the story), was married to Elizabeth. There are no family trees for him on either ancestry.com or familysearch.org, so I was not able to attach this story to a tree or send a message to a tree contributor. I have added the story to familysearch.org (and contributed an “idea” about making such isolated stories more searchable without a tree). Please comment below if you create such a tree, and feel free to use this story with your tree.]
An Octogenarian–An occasional local contributor furnishes this brief but interesting personal history of one of our most industrious and exemplary citizens, Mr. William Huggins, who is bearing hard on ninety years of age and yet by choice is an active every-day laborer:
Anamosa can boast of one of the most active men of his age of any city in the state. It is in the person of Mr. William Huggins, father of B. Huggins, of this place; who has been well and favorably known in this county for a number of years, and who for as long a time has been extensively engaged in the manufacture of all kinds of wagons and carriages of every grade–from a five-dollar-wheelbarrow to a six-hundred-dollar barouche. Mr. William Huggins, the subject of this brief sketch, was born in the state of New York, October, 1790, and is consequently eighty-four years of age. At the age of five years he moved to Massachusetts, where he remained until he was twenty-four years at which time he was drafted into the army, it being the war of 1812. He served as a soldier only two months and returned home For his service in the army he drew as bounty a land warrant for one hundred and sixty acres of land.
He remained in Massachusetts until 1839, when he removed to New York, where he lived until he moved to Anamosa in May, 1864, where he has since lived in the enjoyment of almost uninterrupted good health, working in the wagon shop of his son. He has hardly lost a day’s time in ten years, and made himself, with three exceptions, all the running gears of the many wagons sold in that establishment during this time.
Residing at Sheffield, New York, at the age of 50, and having business which called him to Boston, he concluded to take the stage to that city, a distance of 50 miles. He accordingly started in good season and on arriving at the place from which he expected to embark, he found the stage not quite ready to start. Concluding they would overtake him in a short time, he started on at his usual gait, expecting soon to be overtaken. He traveled nearly all day, now and then looking back in expectation of a ride which he did not get until within three miles of his journey’s end! He has walked many a time 50 miles in a day, and one or two occasions has walked that distance two days in succession.
Mr. Huggins is an easy and pleasant talker, being unusually cheerful and possessing more than ordinary memory of past events. He is indeed a very interesting man to converse with. Mr. Huggins is of mediums size, being about five feet ten inches in height and weighing probably 150 pounds. He still works at the bench and is fond of industry as he ever was. Although he is quite gray few would call him over 60 years of age.
November 26, 1874
Anamosa Eureka, 3rd page, 4th column, midway down