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L. L. Higbee, who since 1912 has been fire chief at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was born in Chase County, Kansas, November 28, 1866. He acquired his education in his native state, attending the public schools of Emporia, Kansas, to the age of twenty years. He then entered the business world as an employee in the printing establishment of Jake Stotter in the capacity of a compositor, working on the Emporia News for some time. He afterward worked for Governor Eskridge on the Emporia Republican, also as a compositor. Mr. Higbee is in possession of the first fifty-cent piece Governor Eskridge gave him in recognition of his services, this silver coin being greatly prized by Mr. Higbee as a lucky piece and he has carried this about him for over thirty-five years, wearing it down almost to the thickness of a wafer. After following the printing business for twelve years he purchased a farm in Kansas, devoting a short period to its cultivation. He then became connected with the fire department of Emporia, driving a fire team for the fire patrol from September, 1896, to March, 1906, when he removed to Bartlesville. Here he also entered the service of the fire patrol. When the fire chief resigned Mr. Higbee succeeded him to the position of fire chief of Bartlesville, holding the office since 1912. That he is an alert and wide-awake official is shown by the fact that he has introduced modern appliances and up-to-date equipment and has also added another station on the west side of the town. When he took charge there were but six men besides himself, now there are eighteen men who work double shift. During his incumbency there has been but one bad fire and that was confined to the building in which it started. Thus through the progressive methods and farsightedness of Mr. Higbee the town of Bartlesville is well safeguarded against any disaster that might arise.
On November 25, 1897, Mr. Higbee was married to Miss Mary Cannon of Emporia, Kansas, and they have become the parents of three children : George I., twenty years of age, is married and in the fire service with his father; Ruth is attending school and was the proud recipient of the history medal given by the Bartlesville high school ; Russell, the youngest, is seven years of age. Mr. Higbee is a member of the Knights and Ladies of Security, the Homesteaders and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.