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Biographical Sketch of Charles R. Briggs

Charles R. Briggs, portrait-painter, Charleston; was born in Washington Co. N. Y., Jan. 5, 1816; his father was a farmer and carriage-manufacturer in Easton; at the age of 17 years, he left home, and going to Troy, apprenticed himself to the trade of a coach-painter; he remained there four years and helped to paint the first passenger-coaches on the Albany & Schenectady Railroad; thence he went to Buffalo, N. Y., and entered the employ of Benjamin Rathbone, the great contractor of that city; about a year later, he went to New York City, and thence, shortly afterward, came West; this was in 1839; after spending a few months in St. Louis, he located in Coles Co., and, after farming one year, engaged in carriage, house and sign painting in Charleston. He early turned his attention to portrait painting, for which he had a decided talent, and for the past few years has made a specialty of the painting of fine stock, a branch of the art in which he is excelled by none in the State; he started the first livery-stable in Charleston about 1843, with one horse, and continued it about a dozen years, running it up to forty-two horses; in 1848, he opened a farm of 363 acres in the timber adjoining the city, fencing it in eastern style, mostly in ten-acre lots, and followed farming for several years. He was married in September, 1842, to Miss Harriet Stoddert, of Charleston; they have five children living – Lyzink (wife of Charles Cleary, of Charleston), Helen, Walter M., Charles S. and May; their oldest daughter, Loretta, died in 1859; Mary died at about 2 years of age and one son, Jerome, died in 1873.

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