Asa Clark Briggs and Mary Ann Noyes

Mary Ann Noyes, the daughter of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell, b. 1813 Jan 16 in Ontario, Wayne, New York, married Asa Clark Briggs. They appear, from the census, to have had 5 children: James F., Jane F., Asa, John and Abbie.

For some reason we’ve no photos of Mary Ann, but we do have this one of Asa. Judging from his appearance and style of clothing, I am wondering if this was taken when he was in his early to mid 50s, which would have been the early to mid part of the 1860s. It’s regrettable that we don’t have one of Mary Ann as well.

Removed some of the yellow cast

Courtesy of Nancy Benton

Following is the census information for them. In 1900, Mary Ann was said to be living with her daughter’s family in Tabor, Iowa. I located them on the census but Mary Ann wasn’t with them.

In 1840 there is an extra female in the household, age 15 to 20. I believe this is likely Mary’s younger sister, Eliza Ann, their father, James Noyes, having died in 1835. John Wesley Noyes, Mary’s older brother, is living beside them. The older woman in the household is likely Rebecca Russell Noyes, their widowed mother.

1840 Michigan, Kalamazoo County, Brady
Page 224, Image 204, Roll M704_206
Phlo C. MCCOMBER – – – – 1 / – – – – 1
Daniel T. PIERCE – – – – 1 1
Benjamin TAYLOR – – 1 1 1 – – – 1/ – – – 2 – – – 1
Asa C. BRIGGS 1 – – – 1/ 1 – – 1 1
John W. NOYS – 1 1 – 1 1 / 1 1 – – – 1 – – 1
Benjamin TRIBBLE or TUTTLE 1 1 – – 1/ 1 1 – – 1

1850 Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo, Michigan
1366/1380 A. C. BRIGGS 37 b. VT
Mary A. 37 b. NY
James F. 13 (?) b. MI
Jane F. 10 b. MI
Asa 7 b. MI
John 5 b. MI
Alben ? (male) 2 b. MI

1860 Silvercreek, Mills, Iowa
668/610 A C BRIGGS 47 farmer 5000 1000 VT
Mary A. 47 NY
James F. 19 MI
Asa 16
John 14
Abbie 12

Below, Asa and Mary Ann are living next to their eldest son, James, given here as J. H.

1870 Logan, Dodge, Nebraska
197/185 BRIGGS Asa C. 57 Grocer 11,200 2000 VT
Mary Ann 57 NH
A farm laborer is with them, illegible name
198/180 BRIGGS J. H. 33 grocer 1060 2000 MI
Marthey 33 NY
Russell 9 IA
Olesen Margrett 16 domestic servant Sweden
Martin Christ 22 works in mill Prussia

In 1880, Clark (A. C.) Briggs, in the census as A. W. Briggs, and Mary Ann are living beside Mary Ann’s sister, Eliza, and her husband Phillip Rowe.

1880 IA, MILLS CO. CENTER
A. W. BRIGGS 51 VT farmer parents b. VT
M. A. 49 b. NY parents b. NY
Alta CRANE daughter 24 b. IA teaching school
Kate BRIGGS 17 b. IA
Charlie 15 b. IA farming
Winnie 12 b. IA
P. ROWE 65 NJ farmer parents b. NJ
Eliza 55 b. NY parents b. NY
Harry 18 b. IA farming (adopted son) b. IA parents b. NY
Alice 15 b. IA (adopted daughter) b. IA parents b. NY
William DUNAGAN household
D. C. BRIGGS 60 b. VT farming parents b. VT
Catherine 52 b. NY parents b. NY
Ida 20 b. IA
Carr BEEVE 26 b. MI farmhand
Salem CURTIS 26 b. OH farmhand
Adison COLWELL 18 b. IA farmhand

Pen sketches of Nebraskans By Edmunds, A. C. of Lincoln, Neb, provides the following bio on Asa.

ASA CLARK BRIGGS is not an aspirant for political place or power. He prefers the uninterrupted secular pursuits, which afford him not only a living but a comfortable home. He is a native of Vermont, where he was born September 12, 1812. His grandfather, on his father’s side, was a native of Rhode Island, but emigrated to Vermont in an early day, when the Green Mountains formed the western borders of civilization. Here, among the hills and mountain crags, he raised a family of five children, of whom the father of the subject of this sketch was the oldest. During his twentieth year, Asa accompanied his parents to Michigan. They settled in Kalamazoo county and engaged in farming and stock raising, in which the father continued up to the time of his death. Young Briggs, in casting about for himself, finally determined on the trade of a carpenter and engaged earnestly in that branch of labor, but he soon found an opportunity of exercising his gifts in a different channel by entering the list of traders. He became a merchant, and followed that line, with moderate success, until 1856, when he closed his accumulative business and removed to Mills county, Iowa, purchased a farm and became a tiller of the soil. In 1861 he purchased a mill in Dodge county, Nebraska, of which he took personal charge and where he now resides. He has added to his milling interests blacksmithing and merchandizing, in which he is winning equal success.

In 1861 he was in the midst of the Indian “scare.” His wife, who had not then removed to Nebraska, heard that her husband, with other frontiermen, had been murdered. But the glad-tiding of safety and “false alarm” was received in a few days, and there was joy again in that household.

In the fall of 1862 his son, with his family, removed to the new home of the father and took a half interest in the mill. This partnership still continues.

Not being an aspirant for office, and having no “axe to grind,” he has had but a limited place among the public men of the state. In 1867 he was elected county commissioner, and re-elected in 1869 for three years, illustrating the satisfaction of the people in his first official term. In 1870 he was elected to represent Dodge county in the eighth Legislature, of which he was a punctual, reliable, consistent member and faithful worker.

Politically his affinity was with the old Whig party until it was supplanted by Republicanism, of which he became an ardent supporter.

Mr. Briggs is one of those orderly, retiring, industrious men, who always find some useful employment for mind and muscle. If others are more polished with book knowledge and a fine exterior, none have a more true or loyal heart within. He will be missed from his circle, sadly missed, when his place becomes vacant.

Both Asa and Mary are found buried in the Logan Cemetery in Winslow, Dodge County, Nebraska. Asa died July 7, 1887 in Logan, while Mary Ann died Nov 13 1901 in Tabor, Fremont, Iowa, in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Laird.

Asa Clark Briggs memorial at the Logan Cemetery, Winslow, Dodge, Nebraska at Findagrave.

Findagrave offers the following obituary of Asa:

Fremont Daily Herald
July 8, 1887

Died – At his residence in Logan, on Thursday morning, Asa Clark
Briggs, aged 74 years, 9 months and 21 days. Mr. Briggs was one of
the early settlers of Dodge county, and well and favorably known in
this section. He was for several years county treasurer of Dodge
county, and a man universally respected where he was known. Few
men had more friends than “Uncle Asa” Briggs, and his death will be
sincerely regretted.

There is also the following, which provides an interesting note on the harshness of the winter of 1856:

The Hooper Sentinel
October 2, 1930

From Historical Sketch of Logan Mills Community By R. L. Briggs

A. C. Briggs was born at Plymouth Vermont, Sept. 12, 1812, the
eldest of a family of five. At 20 moved with his father to
Kalamazoo County, Mich. Selecting the occupation of a carpenter.
Worked in Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y. as a pattern maker.

Married Mary Ann Noyes, a daughter of a Methodist circuit rider in
New York and back to Michigan. In the summer of l856 he, with his
family of five children, drove a band of 700 sheep from Michigan to
Glenwood, Iowa. The winter of ’56 having been unusually severe, one
half of this flock were lost by drifting snow. He bought and
improved 320 acres of good Iowa land.

In the year 1861 he came to Logan, Nebraska, and bought half
interest in the Logan Mills.

Mary Ann Noyes Briggs’ memorial at Logan Cemetery, Winslow, Dodge, Nebraska at the Findagrave site.

The Findagrave site provides this obituary of Mary.

Obituary

The Hooper Sentinel
November 20, 1902

Mrs. Mary A. Briggs was born Jan. 16, 1813 in Ontario county, New York, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. R. Laird (note: Jane F. married Hamlin R.), in Tabor, Iowa, where she had made her home for the past 8 years, last Friday morning, of heart failure. Her body was brought to Hooper, Saturday, and funeral services were held from the Methodist church, Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, Rev. Wm. Esplin officiating. The interment was in the Logan cemetery by the side of her husband who died in ’87. When she was quite young her family removed to Kalamazoo county, Michigan, where March 12, 1834, she was married to Asa C. Briggs. To this union were born four sons and one daughter, all of whom are living and were present at the funeral to say the last sad tribute to the memory of their devoted mother. In 1856 with her husband and children she removed to Mills county, Iowa, and in 1866 from there to Dodge county, Nebraska.

As one of the pioneer women of the state, she saw many of the hardships and trials of the early days. Her life during her long residence here was like an open book in which can be read obedience
to her God, devotion to her family, faithfulness to her friends and charity for all mankind.

When but 13 years of age she joined the Methodist Episcopal church and when the church at Hooper was organized she became one of the charter members and remained a consistent member until her death. The very large number at the services Sunday was an eloquent testimonial of the love and esteem in which she was held in the community.

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