Most gunfighters in the Old West, either used their own names, or came up with a tough sounding gunfighter name, but somehow, John Calhoun Pinckney Higgins ended up with the rather feminine sounding name of “Pink.” Of course, it came from his second middle name, and may have even started as a childhood nickname. Nevertheless, John Calhoun Pinckney Higgins went by the gunfighter’s name of “Pink.”
Higgins was a Texas gunfighter who was involved in the Horrell-Higgins Feud. The Horrell and Higgins families were friends and neighbors until the 1870s. The ranchers had settled in Lampasas County before the Civil War era. The five Horrell brothers…Mart, Tom, Merritt, Ben, and Sam first got into trouble with the State Police in 1873, when Captain Thomas Williams and seven men went to Lampasas to put a stop to the general lawlessness that was prevalent there. Williams fought with the Horrell boys and their brother-in-law, Bill Bowen, in Jerry Scott’s saloon. Mart Horrell who was badly wounded, was confined in the Georgetown jail, but as soon as he was well enough his brothers helped him to break out.
The relationship between the Horrells and Higgins blew up when, at the same time, because Pink’s son-in-law was also killed in the shootout. Soon, a vicious feud between the two families erupted, referred to as the Horrell-Higgins Feud. Over a several-year period, several shooting scrapes occurred, finally culminating in a shoot-out in the Lampasas town square on June 14, 1877, in which several men were killed. A few more skirmishes occurred before the feud was said and done.
Around 1900, Higgins moved his ranch to the south of Spur, Texas. He continued his gunfighting ways and was said to have killed between 14-18 men during his lifetime. He died at his ranch of a heart attack on December 18, 1914.
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