Pink Higgens – Texas Gunfighter

John Calhoun Pinckney "Pink" Higgens

John Calhoun Pinckney “Pink” Higgens

John Calhoun Pinckney “Pink” Higgens was a Texas gunfighter in the Horrell-Higgins Feud.

Pink was born in Georgia in 1848 but moved with his family to Texas when he was just a boy. They settled near Austin before establishing a ranch in Lampasas County in 1857. Growing up, he worked in various occupations, including owning a meat market and saloon. During this time, he also honed his shooting skills fighting Indians and was briefly an officer in the Ku Klux Klan. By the early 1870s, he was driving herds of cattle to the Kansas railheads and, on at least one occasion, combined his herd with that of the Horrell brothers, who ranched nearby.

In March 1873, the Horrells were involved in a saloon shootout with Texas State police in Lampasas, where three law officers were killed. Also killed was Pink’s son-in-law, and 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 shootout 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 the turn of the century, Higgins moved his ranch south of Spur, Texas. He continued his gunfighting and was said to have killed between 14-18 men during his lifetime. He died of a heart attack at his ranch on December 18, 1914.

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated October 2023.

Also See:

Feuds & Range Wars

Gunfighters and Lawmen Photo Gallery

Gunfighters of the Old West

Old West Gunfights