When Harry Schwenker, who served as Texas Press Association president in 1929, taught young Rufus F. Higgs to set type, he little realized he was grooming another TPA president.
Higgs, 56th president, began learning the business before he was 16 in Schwenker’s printing shop at Tolar. Later he worked for newspapers at Stephenville, Hamilton, Fort Worth, Brady, Post and Knoxville, Tenn.
He attended Maryville College at Maryville, Tenn. During World War I he served from 1917-19 with the 36th Division in France where he advanced from private to sergeant major.
In 1934 the University of Oklahoma Department of Journalism named him one of the 12 outstanding weekly publishers in the nation. His own town of Stephenville selected him as outstanding citizen of 1936.
Higgs, who was born Jan. 18, 1895, purchased the Stephenville Tribune in 1920 with J.W. Clements. Ten years later they bought their competitor’s newspaper, the Empire, and in 1946 Higgs secured the partner’s share.
The Daily Empire began in 1947 and the Tribune continued as a weekly.
Higgs married Johnnie M. Sullivan and they had two sons.