Iowa Memorials

ANSEL BRIGGS MEMORIAL DEDICATED

Andrew, Iowa, Sept. 23, 1909

The town of Andrew, the peace of which has never been disturbed by the whistle of a locomotive, and where the monument erected to the memory of Ansel Briggs, the first governor of the state, was unveiled Wednesday, is a place of 300 inhabitants, quaint and interesting, but it played a large part in the early history of eastern, Iowa. Governor Carroll was the chief figure present.

Five thousand persons thronged the cemetery, the largest crowd probably gathered at Andrew. Second in importance from the standpoint of state interest was the presence of Ex-Governor Larrabee, who addressed the audience twenty minutes.

A memorial address reviewing the struggles and accomplishments of the life of Ansel Briggs delivered by W. G. Gregory, curator of the Jackson County Historical Society, Maquoketa. He revealed the efforts made to get appropriations through the legislature which finally culminated in securing one thousand dollars at the last session through the labors of Representative Ellis of Jackson County. This with three hundred dollars added by the society sufficed to move the body of the former governor from Omaha to Andrew and defrayed the expenses of erecting a monument.

As the band played patriotic airs and salutes were fired by the Maquoketa militia, Mrs. Nannie Briggs Robertson, granddaughter of the departed governor drew away the flag that veiled the monument. Governor Carroll then introduced and delivered the dedicatory address. After reviewing the school system inaugurated by Briggs he declared no official act of his own was he more heartily in on than in signing the bill for an appropriation for money for the Briggs monument. He wondered how such a memorial was possible at the price paid. He referred to wonderful growth in population, transportation facilities, educationally and commercially of the state since 1846 and declared Briggs laid the foundation for such growth. He urged the development in Iowa history through instruction of a hall of fame such as is placed in Washington and declared he would be glad to sign another bill of equal import to the Briggs appropriation measure.

Ansel Briggs was governor from 1846 to 1850. He was born in Vermont, but during his youth removed with his parents to Ohio and in that state became interested in the institution of stage lines and removing in 1836 to Jackson County, Iowa, followed the same vocation, holding numerous contracts for carrying United States mails in this section of the new territory. He was elected to the House of Representatives in the Territory in 1842, and on the admission of Iowa to the sisterhood of states was nominated to the governorship, the election being held in October. He took his seat Dec. 3 Governor Briggs continued his residence in Andrew until 1870, when he removed to Council Bluffs. In 1881, while making his home with his son in Omaha, he passed away.

(Waterloo Reporter, Waterloo, Iowa, September 23, 1909)
Submitted by Kenneth E. Wright


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