Pink Higgins

Like most Texas cattlemen, John Pinckney Calhoun Higgins, was mighty handy with a gun and was not a man to trifle with. He’s not exactly a household name among gunfighters but killed more men than most of the famous shootists. In various shoot outs on both sides of the Mexican border he gunned down more than a dozen men. These were hard men and it took men with the bark still on to survive. To quote Louis L’Amour, men so tough “they wore out their clothes from the inside first.”

Pink Higgins is best remembered for his feud with the Horrell brothers in Lampasas County. The Horrell’s came out second-best in that one. After leaving Lampasas he worked as a range detective in the Texas Panhandle where he was hired to eliminate cattle rustling. His last gunfight was in 1902 when he shot and killed another crafty old gunfighter, Bill Standifer that was like something out of a Sam Peckinpah film.

Pink subscribed to the Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Cattle. A commandment he executed with extreme prejudice. A typical, if possibly apocryphal, story about Pink suggests that in 1874 in Lampasas County he killed a rustler named Zeke Terrell.

Pink gutted the cow, stuffed Zeke inside and rode into town where he informed the sheriff that a miracle had taken place announcing matter-of-factly that “A cow had given birth to a man.”

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