Initially, Samuel Elliott Higginbottom was a business partner in the hat manufacturing firm of Cooke, Ashworth & Co of Hooley Hill, the other partners being George Cooke, Joseph Ashworth, William Wilde and Stanley Ogden but this company was dissolved on the 15th January 1866. A new company was then formed under the style of Ashworths and Higginbottom with Joseph Ashworth, Robert Ashworth and Samuel Elliott Higginbottom as the partners. This company was dissolved on the 31 January 1875 when Joseph Ashworth stepped down and the company was restyled as Ashworth and Higginbottom with Robert Ashworth and Samuel Elliott Ashworth as the partners. This company was dissolved on the 7 January 1884 when Robert Ashworth stepped down and Samuel Elliott Higginbottom continued the business on his own account, the company being restyled as Samuel Higginbottom.
The hat works was situated on the east side of Denton Road about 170 yards south of its junction with Guide Lane and Stamford Road, as the junction was originally configured.
Samuel Elliott Higginbottom was born at Audenshaw in 1828/29 to Thomas Elliott Higginbottom and Jane Stopford. In 1891 he was resident on Denton Road, Audenshaw, with his second wife, Hannah Bowker, and three of his children, Sarah Jane (21), Amariah (19) and George (11). His first wife, Olive Hooley, died in 1886, aged 55 years, and he then married Hannah Bowker at Ashton-under-Lyne. He died at Audenshaw on the 20 April 1908, aged 79 years. Following his death his son, Alfred Higginbottom (1853-1926), became the proprietor of the company.