W. J. Higgie, conducting an extensive and profitable business as a dealer in fuel, having a large plant on the river, was born in Racine on the 18th of February, 1856, a son of William M. and Margaret S. (Peel) Higgie, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Ireland. The father was one of the first settlers of Racine and commanded a vessel, sailing on the Lakes as its captain. He continued his residence here until death ended his labors in 1882.
After mastering the common branches of learning taught in the graded schools of Racine, W. J. Higgie spent a winter in the high school and afterward sailed with his father until he reached the age of nineteen years. He then turned his attention to the teaming business and for six years was in the employ of James R., Morris, keeping, however, his own team. At the expiration of that period he engaged in the fuel business on a small scale. The trade, however, gradually increased and after a few years he purchased his present plant. He owns a dock of one hundred and thirty feet frontage on the river and has four fifty-foot lots. In connection with the fuel business he does teaming contracting and in both branches he is accorded a liberal patronage, his energy and enterprise having brought him prominently to the front in his chosen line of work. That he has prospered in his undertakings is indicated not only in the fact that he now controls an extensive business, but also finds tangible evidence in his property holdings, for he has a fine home on North Main street and also a house and four lots on Michigan avenue.
In 1897 Mr. Higgie was married to Miss Ida Hurst, by whom he has five children, namely: Leslie, Margaret, Beatrice, Lincoln and Cynthia. In politics Mr. Higgie follows in the political footsteps of his father, who was an ardent republican. Since reaching adult age he has studied the questions and issues of the day and believes that the platform of the Republican Party con-thins the best elements of good government. While not an office seeker in the usually accepted sense of the term, he has served for two years as alderman from the seventh ward and is city weigh master. He was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian Church and he is fraternally connected with the Foresters and the Royal League. Mr. Higgie is a self-made man and deserves all the praise which that term implies, for since nineteen years of age he has depended solely upon his own labors and has won all that he has achieved or enjoyed. In the conduct of his affairs he has employed progressive methods and the basis of his success is his unremitting industry. He has worked hard day after day and there have been no spectacular chapters in his life history. Such an. example should serve to encourage and inspire others, showing what may be accomplished when honorable purpose points out the way and industry perseveres therein.