Hannah Pettite was born in 1813 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, before her father re-settled in Meigs County, Ohio. She married Alexander Wallahan on 21 March 1833 in Meigs County, and bore six children before Wallahan died in May of 1847.
During 1848, Hannah married Edward Biggs, an English-born grocer in Salsbury. In 1850, Edward and Hannah lived here with the six Wallahan children and Edward’s new son, Edward William Biggs. Within the next few years, Edward moved his store to West Columbia, Mason County, Virginia, on the south side of the Ohio River.
In West Columbia, Edward succeeded as a merchant and invited other Kidderminster family members to join him, to immigrate from England and live nearby. His brother Richard is believed to have immigrated to the area in 1854, and his sister, Emma, married Richard Allen in 1855 and immediately came to West Columbia.
Edward and Hannah had the following children:
1. Edward William Biggs was born on 11 March 1849 in Meigs County, Ohio, and married Hellen Marr in Kansas around 1882. He moved with his father to Kansas City, Missouri, where he started a successful fur trading business, E. W. Biggs and Company, during the 1880s. He retired from the business, leaving it to his son, Edward Arthur Biggs, around 1915, and died in Kansas City on 21 November 1924.
2. Ann Emma Biggs was born in 1855 in Ohio, probably Meigs County. Around 1878 she married James C. Smith, born 1848 in Iowa. Smith was a merchant and fur trader like Emma’s brother, Edward. James and Emma moved around Kansas and Missouri, and appear to have retired to Wichita, Kansas. Their deaths are not yet known.
According to Allen family members, a prisoner named Cox escaped a jail in Point Pleasant, Virginia, in 1959, and was chased to West Columbia. Edward assisted the officers in handcuffing Cox who threatened to burn down Edward’s store when he escaped again. “Biggs,” he said, “You’ll see me on yonder hill watching your store burn to the ground.” Within months, the grocery burned down and witnesses claimed they saw a man sitting on the hilltop watching the fire.
Edward packed up his family and moved west to Kansas, where he was farming in Jackson County’s Ottowa township in 1860. The 1865 Kansas state census stated that the family came to Kansas by way of Illinois. His second child, Ann, was five years old. By 1870, Edward, now 62, operated a hotel in Junction City in Davis County, located near the center of Kansas.
During the next ten years, Edward’s daughter Ann married fur dealer James Smith. During that time Edward’s son, Edward William Biggs, married Hellen Marr Wallahan and also joined the fur trade. Edward’s wife, Hannah Pettite Wallahan Biggs, died of a tumor in 1879. In 1880, Edward William Biggs, his wife, and his widowed father Edward lived with James and Ann Smith in Kansas City, Missouri. By 1882, Edward William Biggs was operating E. W. Biggs and Company, a successful buyer and seller of hides, pelts and furs.
In 1900 the widower Edward was 86 and lived with his son’s family in Kansas City, Missouri. On 9 February 1909 at the age of 94, Edward married Mary A. Adams. At 72, she was 22 years younger than Edward, but they only had five more years together. Edward died in Kansas City in 1913 at the age of 99.
The Kansas City Journal:
February 10, 1909
GROOM 95 YEARS OLD; BRIDE CLOSE SECOND.
NEARING CENTURY MARK, OLD MAN TAKES A WIFE.
Wife Is 72 Years Old, but She Doesn't Look It,
While Biggs Is as Young as He Feels.
Age hasn't a thing to do with it when Dan Cupid gets busy with his up-to-date noiseless gun. Carefully he trained his love-dealing instrument upon the hearts of Edward Biggs, 95 years old, and Mrs. Mary Adams, 72. Cupid's work began three years ago. Last night they were married at the home of the bride's son, William Adams, 2633 College avenue. Earlier in the day they had appeared at the county courthouse for a marriage license, both cold and happy. The son, William Adams, had talked with Recorder Frank Ross over the telephone and broke the news thus:
"There is an old man who wants to marry my mother and she seems to want to marry him. Can you let them have a license?"
And now the knot is tied and for the third time Biggs has "taken unto himself a wife." The ceremony was a peculiar one, performed in the presence of many close friends and relatives by Rev. J. L. Thompson, pastor of the Forest Avenue Christian church, where the romance began.
There were no groomsmen, no bridesmaids, no ring bearer, no music, just the minister and the smiling old couple. The ceremony was short, but it was a sweet one," as Mrs. J. C. Smith, the old man's daughter, expressed it after the wedding.
After the ceremony, groups of visitors gathered about the piano in the parlor and sang such songs as "God Be With You," "I Need Thee Every Hour," and "Nearer My God to Thee." Biggs and his wife sat silently in a far corner of the parlor and listened.
Both Mr. Biggs and his new wife are devoted members of the Christian church.
"I think they will be happy," said Mr. Biggs's daughter. "They are going to housekeeping right away, though the location has not been selected as yet."
Biggs was born in London, December 16, 1813. He remembers well when Queen Victoria was but a slip of a girl, and he can tell of the day on which the present King Edward was born. He came to Kansas City about thirty years ago and engaged in the hotel business. He has acquired a competence by many years of work and intends to remain out of active business life.
He is one of the oldest continuous subscribers to The Journal. He began taking the paper in 1847. [Edward was living in Ohio at the time, and didn’t come to Missouri until much later]
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