Biography of Edson D. Briggs

Edson D. Briggs, the big hearted, sociable and popular County surveyor of Nez Perces County and city engineer of Lewiston, is kept constantly in office on account of his excellent work, his fine ability, his comprehensive and thorough knowledge and his efficiency and faithfulness in discharging any duty that is incumbent upon him. These combined qualities, together with his integrity, sound principles, and clean walk have made him one of the leading men of the County and on account of his extensive work in the northwest; he is well known and prominent over a large field.

Edson D. Briggs was born in Franklin, Vermont, on March 8, 1851, being the son of Erasmus D. and Paulina (Truex) Briggs. The father was born in Franklin. Vermont, in 1812 and died in 1882, being from an old and prominent Vermont family. The mother was born in Lower Canada in 1828 and died in 1861.

Our subject was educated in the Vermont University, paying special attention to surveying and civil engineering. When twenty, his stirring spirit led him to the west and he was soon in government work in Washington. He surveyed all of Whitman, Asotin, and Adams Counties, also much other lands. In 1882 he went to Garfield County and was promptly elected County surveyor on the Republican ticket, and he remained there in office until 1889. In that year he came to Lewiston and took a position on the government survey of the reservation, where he was engaged for four years. He also surveyed the battle grounds of the Nez Perces war on the Whitebird and other places. In 1898, he was nominated as County surveyor and was elected on the Republican ticket, although the ticket was turned down in many respects. At the close of that term, he was promptly elected and is still holding that important position as also that of city engineer.

On March 20, 1880, at Lewiston, Mr. Briggs married Mrs. Georgia Carter, widow of Lewis M. Carter; whose father Mr. Benton is a Methodist preacher. Mrs. Briggs was born in Indiana, as were her parents, and she has the following brothers and sisters, Helen Johnson. Mary Johnson, Joel H., Mrs. W. F. Kittenbaugh. Mr. Briggs has one brother and one sister, Sewall, Bertha Anderson. One child has been born to this union, Grace Maurice Briggs, who graduated from the state normal school in Lewiston, Idaho, in June, 1903. Mr. Briggs is a thirty-second degree Mason and the youngest ever made, it being done by special dispensation when he was twenty-two, while the required age is thirty-five. Mrs. Briggs is a member of the Methodist Church.

Mr. Briggs had two uncles and cousins killed in the Civil war. His great-grandfather, Elias Tinexst, was born in 1772 and died one hundred and three years later. He read the declaration of independence on the fourth when he was one hundred years old. It was his desire to live to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of independence but he died a little too soon, but being an aged and stanch patriot.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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