The Higgins Family Photograph Collection

The Higgins Family Photograph Collection consists of over 300 digital images primarily taken in the late 1800s through the first half of the 20th century. The images capture the everyday moments as well as the celebratory occasions of a family living in Portsmouth’s South End neighborhood.

The original photographs come from the collection of Kathryn (Casey) Higgins (b. 1882). She is credited with the photography of much of the collection. The photos were provided to the library by the late J. Robert (Bob) Shouse, son of Elizabeth Higgins and V. Allen Shouse, and grandson of Kathryn.

The Higgins family has lived in Portsmouth since the early 1900s when Dr. Martin Andrew Higgins (1883-1953) moved to Pleasant Street and began work as a physician and surgeon. Dr. Higgins was born in 1883 in Somersworth, New Hampshire to Andrew Higgins and Bridget Hanagan. He received his education at the University of Maryland Medical School. On July 12, 1913, Dr. Higgins married Kathryn Casey in Amesbury, Massachusetts, where Kathryn’s family lived. Her parents were Patrick Casey and Mary Burke, both immigrants from Northern Ireland. Kathryn and Dr. Higgins moved into 249 Pleasant Street in Portsmouth, a house that was built in 1900. It was here that they would raise their two daughters, Margaret “Peggy” (Higgins) Haid (1918-2012) and Elizabeth Martina “Betty” (Higgins) Shouse (1920-1997), and where Elizabeth and her husband Veazey Allen Shouse (1920-2002) would stay and raise their ten children. Both Peggy and Betty are the subjects of many of the photos.

Also prominently featured in the photos is Delia “Dede” (Casey) Hassett (1868-1960), Kathryn’s sister. Delia was married to Joseph Martin Hassett (1869-1925), proprietor of Hassett’s Music and Art Shoppe located at 115 Congress Street. Joseph and Delia had three children – Ruth Hassett DeCourcy, Loretta Hassett Slawson, and John “Jack” Hassett, who can all be seen in several of the images.

The digital images in this collection are for public viewing only. No use or reproduction is allowed.

More images of the South End and the Puddledock neighborhoods can be seen in The Haven School Neighborhood Collection.
Browse 458 items in The Higgins Family Photograph Collection