Search billions of records on


Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Co.

Page 1149

Among the prominent citizens of this city is Ellis Briggs, the present mayor. He is a native of Litchfield county, Conn., born April 25, 1839, and is the son of Ellis and Clarissa A. (Lawrence) Briggs. His father was a pattern-maker, and died at Joliet in 1864. In 1849 he removed to Cuyhoga county, Ohio, and six years later to Cook county, Ill., where he lived until removing to Joliet. Mrs. Clarissa Briggs died in the same city in 1877. Ellis attended district school in three different states, and, after finishing his education, commenced life as a fireman on the O. & M. R. R. in 1857. he was next employed as a brakeman on the C. & A. R. R., and some time afterward as section foreman on the same road. He next was appointed as conductor of a construction train, from that position to that of freight conductor, and then to that of a passenger conductor. Prior to this, however, Mr. Briggs had, with patriotism, enlisted, April, 1861, in Co. F, 20th Ill. Inf., and served over three years, being mustered out at Atlanta, Ga., in July, 1864. He participated in many engagements and was wounded in the arm by a ball, and the thigh by a piece of a shell, during the battle of Shiloh. At the battle of Thompson's Hill, he was again wounded in the arm, about an inch from the place where hit before. Also received wounds in his lower limbs, and still carries the lead in them. On returning he resumed his place on the C. & A. R. R., remaining until 1867, when he was engaged as contractor on the line of that road, between White Hall and Godfrey, and Alton and St. Louis, and other branches. He then moved to Texas and became roadmaster on the I. & G. N. R. R., remaining about a year, when he took a contract to build the viaduct and iron drawbridge over Buffalo bayou, at Houston, Texas, and afterward, built 50 miles of an extension of the I. & G. N. R. R. to Columbia, on the Brazos river. He returned to Illinois in 1874, and after about a year's residence in Petersburg, came to Roodhouse in the spring of 1876, since being prominently identified with its interests. About this time he built a large mill and elevator, which was burned down in 1877, but he immediately rebuilt the mill, this time of brick, it being known as the Victor mill. He, in 1876, bought a farm of 120 acres, now within the city limits, upon which he erected one of the finest residences in the city. He also owns considerable other property here. He was the first mayor of the city, and has held the office over four years, most efficiently. In 1866, he was married to Mattie DE., daughter of Joel and Charlotte S. (Cory) Terry. They are the parents of two children - George E., born Nov. 20, 1869; and Gertrude M., born April 29, 1876. Mr. Briggs is a member of White Hall lodge, No. 83, A.F. & A.M., of Carrollton chapter, and of Hospitaller commandery, No. 341, of Jacksonville. He is also a member of Roodhouse lodge, No. 681, I.O.O.F., of the K. of P., and A.O.U.W. fraternities, and of the G.A.R., and is one of the Democratic Veterans. He is quite an important factor in the political life in this section of the sate. He was the choice of the people of Greene county for the state senatorship made vacant by the death of F. M. Bridges, and was the delegate from here to the national convention that nominated the present president of the United States. In every position, either public, political or private, he has been governed by motives that makes him a favorite of the people of this county.

Bio Index

All material contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. © ILMAGA