BRIGGS Family History


BRIGGS, James Albert, attorney; P. O. Eureka. One of the best known and highly regarded attorneys of Woodford County, Illinois; James Albert  Briggs was born February 12, 1839 in Willet, Cortland County, New York; is the son of John and Margaret (Jones) Briggs. James’ father, John Briggs, was a farmer and speculator. James Albert Briggs is the youngest of a family of eight children.

James Albert Briggs 1878At 17 years of age, James Albert Briggs started for Illinois with $3 in his pocket; he first stopped at Naperville, Illinois, and entered the law office of Vallett & Cody as an office clerk; here he devoted his attention to the study of law. In 1859, James Albert was admitted to practice law at the Illinois bar; here he saved $600, and with this amount he entered the Commercial College of Bell, Bryant & Stratton, of Chicago, also purchased a law library; he went to Paxton, Ford County, Illinois, and opened the first law office in Ford County, in company with Daniel S. Morse. James Albert remained there but a short time; from there he came to Eureka, Woodford County, Illinois in 1860 and commenced the practice of law. In 1867, James Albert Briggs entered into a partnership with Col. Bazel D. Meek, and today Messrs. Briggs & Meek rank high at the Illinois bar. Mr. Briggs’ ambition is to distinguish himself in his chosen profession, and particularly as an advocate. To this object he bends all his energies. He understands well the importance of thoroughness of preparation, and he never enters a court room with a case without being thoroughly equipped for its presentation. He studies it from both standpoints, and is as ready to meet and repel the arguments of opposing counsel as to press his own.  It is this thoroughness that makes him ready for the most unexpected emergency that may arise in the course of a trial. Mr. Briggs in his political opinions is Democratic; is a member of the Christian Church.  Socially he has a pleasing address and genial manners that win the respect of all. James Albert Briggs was married to Miss Mary E. Meek, daughter of Henry and Theny Meek, March 6, 1861. Two children have been born of this union, James P. and Zua Irene.

1880 US Census, Olio Township, Woodford County, Illinois.

1880 US Census, James Albert Briggs


1900 US Census, Olio Township, Eureka City, Woodford County, Illinois

1900 Federal Census, James Albert Briggs


The death of Mary E (Meek) Briggs occurred February 9, 1932 in Eureka, Woodford County, Illinois.

Illinois Death Index, Mary Ellen Briggs 1932

Her obituary appeared February 12, 1932 on Pg 1, Column 3 of the Metamora Herald.

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