John Briscoe, son of Perry and Ursula (Huff) Briscoe, was born in the county in which he now resides on the 28th of June, 1837. He is the eldest of a family of twelve children, all of whom are living except one. His ancestors were Kentuckians, his grandparents on both sides having moved from that State to Missouri when his parents were children. His grandfather, Andrew Briscoe, was an officer in the War of 1812, and afterward a prominent citizen and Whig politician of Cooper County. Mr. Briscoe's education was such as the common schools of the country afforded. At the age of nineteen he commenced clerking in a country store. After a time he became clerk in the branch house of a merchant tailoring and clothing establishment. Soon he became a partner in this branch house, and did a thriving business for a little more than a year, when he sold out his interest to his partners, on credit, as was the custom in ante-bellum days. Shortly after this the firm failed, the goods being seized for debts of the main house, contracted before he was in any way connected with the firm, and of which he had no knowledge until the seizure. The war came on. He calmly surveyed the situation -- the South, without the munitions of war, struggling against the powerful and well-equipped North—and believing in the helpless condition of the South, devoted himself to farming and stock-raising until the spring of 1864, when, hoping to get another start in life, he went to the mining regions of Montana, where he remained until the close of the war, making hard but fruitless efforts to gain an independence. In 1868 he was a candidate for Democratic nomination for sheriff and collector, and was defeated. At the same general election he was put on the ticket for public administrator, and was defeated, with the rest of the Democratic ticket. In the fall of 1870 he was elected sheriff and collector by the Democrats; was re-elected in 1872. In 1874 he was elected county clerk by the same party; was re-elected in 1878; in 1882 was a candidate for renomination, but was defeated in convention, by fraud. Since retiring from official life he has given his attention to farming, and now has 640 acres of fine land, of which 447 are under cultivation, the rest being mineral and timber lands. His buildings and orchard are in excellent condition. He has on hand about 180 head of cattle and horses. Mr. Briscoe was married February 5, 1861, to Miss Jennie E. Hickerson, daughter of Nathaniel L. and Lucy A. (Monroney) Hickerson, natives of Virginia, both of whom are deceased. She was reared in Morgan County, near her husband, receiving a collegiate education, and graduating with the highest honors of her class, in 1860, from the Baptist Female College (now Stephen's Female College), Columbia, Mo. During her husband's term of office, twelve years, she was his constant assistant, doing any and all kinds of office work with efficiency and dispatch. To Mr. Briscoe and wife were born eleven children: Arthur, born July 27, 1862; John, born August 27, 1864; Annie, born July 24, 1866; Nathaniel, born August 31, 1868; Oliver, born November 16, 1869; infant son, born and died August 28, 1871; William M., born March 7, 1873; Jennie, born January 24, 1875; Philip E., born May 5, 1877; Rosie, born November 1O, 1878, died in her fifth year, and a little baby girl, born February 1, 1880, who died when six months old. Arthur, John, Jr., and Annie are married, Arthur being now a widower. The rest of the children are attending school, and bid fair to become useful and intelligent citizens. Mr. Briscoe is a Mason. He and his wife, and all of his children except two, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His father is yet living, but his mother died in 1888.
History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.