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About The Briggs Family

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John and Sue's tree with children


John Adoniram Briggs


Susan L Broad 

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Susan L. Broad Briggs (1875-1976)

  By Gail Hoadley Schonger (her grand-daughter)






Susan L. Broad was the youngest of 10 children of William Henry Roos Broad and Hannah Harris. Her mother came from Plymouth, England. Their first eight children were also born in England. They then came to America from Cornwall in 1872 to Lee Center, New York where Lillian was born in 1873 and then Susan in 1875. Grandma Sue (as she became known by her great grandchildren) grew up in Morrisville, NY where her father worked for Mr. Dexter in a dry goods store


After Susan finished high school she went to work and set type for the Madison County Leader which her brother published. She met John A Briggs through her older sister Emma. They were married in 1896.  They bought the Earlville Standard and Susan continued to set type until her first daughter, Marion, was born in 1898. Elizabeth was born in 1902, Frank was born in 1904, and Louise was born in 1906, all in Earlville.


Susan was a beautiful seamstress and particularly liked to trim hats. She made occasions very festive with special touches- May baskets, sugar cube corsages for 16th birthdays, Christmas trimmings, and handmade Valentine's. She was an innovator in patio and backyard picnics and outdoor meals long before they became popular. She was very proud of her English ancestry and invariably served tea and cookies to anyone who dropped in. She also laid out a formal English garden which she kept over the years and loved to cut bouquets of fresh flowers for the house.


From the 1930s through the 1960s her children, 5 grandchildren and later, 18 great grandchildren gathered at her homestead for all a part of the summer. She was kept very busy in the kitchen making strawberry shortcake, chicken and dumplings, and preparing all the fresh fruits (from grandpa’s berrying) and vegetables (from grandpa's garden) of the season. She also found time to make original uses of ordinary items to amuse her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Because she was a saver, she could provide dress up clothes,  and and discarded items  such as old phones, baby carriages, boxes and cartons and the perfect setting the old large barn for hours of make-believe.


In her 80s and 90s she would make snowmen and leaf houses and continued to serve tea and make her famous apple pie while she thrived on a diet mainly of grapefruit juice, shredded wheat, and week old rye bread. She lived with her daughter Marion in New Paltz, New York after her husband died in 1952. They would both return to Earlville in the summer to preside over the many grandchildren who came to visit, organizing band concerts, trips to feed the ducks at Colgate University and picking wildflowers by the roadside in Madison County. In her last years, she was cared for by daughters Marion and Louise in Louise’s Guilford, Connecticut home.  She lived to be 101 and died in 1976.

John Admonium Briggs (1873-1952)








By Gail Hoadley Schonger (his granddaughter-edited by Holly Hazard, his great-granddaughter)

 John Adroniram Briggs was born in Earlville, NY in 1873, the son of Rufus and Laura Morgan Briggs. He was a graduate of Colgate Academy with the class of 1894. He resided in Earlville most of his life, except for a few years spent in Binghamton and Cooperstown. He married Susan L Broad of Morrisville on October 17th, 1896. Mr. Briggs and his brother-in-law, Clayton Burch, bought the Earlville standard in 1905. Mr. Briggs was a representative of the Osborne Art Calendar Company for 45 years. He was an excellent salesman and won many awards. He was also vice president of the Earlville National Bank. In the early 1900’s he bought an interest in a coal and grain company in Cooperstown N.Y. because he was tired of life on the road and wanted to be at home with his family. However, this didn’t work out and he soon returned to The Osborne Company. He also owned a stock and cattle farm south of Earlville for many years and his dream was to be a farmer.

He and Susan Briggs had four children. They were a warm and nurturing family. All of the children attended college. The three girls attended Syracuse University and Frank, the only son, attended Dartmouth College. The family was close and, as adults, wrote many letters to each month to each other.

John was a deacon of the First Baptist Church and served for 16 years on the Board of Education in Earlville, NY. He was a member of the Blue Lodge in Norwich, Tigris Temple. Syracuse and Earleville, 100 F.

John loved to play croquet on Sunday afternoon in his large backyard on North Main Street. He died at the age of 78 and was buried in Earlville Cemetery.

John Briggs was a true Yankee. Many of the ancestors can be traced back to Connecticut and Massachusetts in the early 1600s, and from England and Wales. The Briggs can be traced back to George Briggs, who was born in Warwick, RI, in 1756 and moved to Smyrna, NY, in 1796. The Stowells can be traced back to Samuel Stowell, who was born in England and died in Hingham, MA, in 1863. There were physicians and deacons among the Stowells. The pages can be traced back to Nicholas Page, who was born in the early 1400s in Essex, England. John Page sailed to America from England in 1630. The Morgans can be traced back to Charles Morgan, who came from Newport, Wales to New Amsterdam, NY, and died in 1668. James and Joseph Morgan lived in Wilton, Redding, Bethel and Danbury, CT in the 1700s. The Hartshornes can be traced back to Thomas Hartshorn, born in 1628 in Geading, Berkshire, England, and died in 1683 in Lynn, Wakefield Township. The Billingtons can be traced back to the Mayflower where John Billington was one of the 18 signatories to the Mayflower Compact and was the first murderer executed in the New World.

John Broad (Susan's Brother) 1871-1934

John Broad (Susan’s brother) was an “outstanding figure in political and civic affairs” according to the Madison County Leader. His parents arrived in Lee Center, N.Y. from Golantin,England a few years before he was born in 1871. When he was eight , he took a job lighting lamps for the village. At twelve he became a printing apprentice and spent his life as a journalist and publisher of the Madison County Observer. He was also the Postmaster of Morrisville for several years, served on the Board of Trustees of the Morrisville Agricultural School, which he helped found, and was a successful farmer.

Marion Briggs Dolan

Marion Briggs Dolan 1898- 1999


Marion Briggs was born in 1898, the eldest child of John and Susan Briggs. As a child she lived in Binghamton, Cooperstown and Earlville N.Y. She attended Syracuse University. In the early 1920s she began a career as a high school teacher in Millville N.J. In 1923 she married “Red Dolan” an investigative journalist for the New York Post. They had one child, Elisabeth Ann Dolan, born in 1925. Red Dolan quit his job with the New York Post in 1933 moved to Los Angeles to become a screen writer. Marion and Betty-Ann followed but the marriage didn’t survive and Marion and Betty Ann returned to Earlville. They resided in Earlville through Betty Ann’s childhood and lived with John and Susan in their beautiful Victorian home on North Main Street. Marion loved to garden and spent most of the growing season in their large backyard tending to the different flower beds. She loved to take photographs travel and in later years travelled to England Nova Scotia and Mexico. Marion taught nursery school at SUNY New Paltz for many years and, when her grandchildren were little, invited each to spend a week with her at her schoolroom. She was devoted to her grandchildren. Each summer she, and her mother Sue, would care for two of her five grandchildren, a week at a time, giving her daughter Betty Ann, a break from caring for five children. She and her mother provided wood workshops, paint and easels, dozens of books, dress up clothes, tools and toys to delight and inspire the children.


She loved to take the children up on a hill above the town of Earlville to watch the sunrise, with hard boiled eggs, bread and an old green Thermos filled with hot chocolate. Late in her life, she negotiates with the farmer who owned this land to purchase one acre, right at the top, so the view would be hers forever. She told her family, when she showed them the deed, at sunrise on the hill one summer morning, it was the first piece of property she’d ever owned.


Marion died in 1999 at the age of 101.

Elizabeth Briggs Hoadley

By Gail Hoadley Schonger

Elizabeth Briggs was born in 1902 at home in Earlville, NY. She was the second of four children of John and Susan Broad Briggs. Her father was publisher of the Earlville Standard and then sold the paper and began working as a salesman for the Osborne Company, selling art calendars. In 1911, the family moved to Cooperstown, where her father bought a partnership in a grain feed store. The partner was found to be dishonest, and so her father went back to the Osborne Company and they moved to Binghamton.

            Betty was intensely social with a group of friends always surrounding her. Her father bought a farm with registered Holstein cattle south of Earlville so they moved back to Earlville, renting homes, and Betty went to high school there. She was a Campfire Girl, loved to cook and gather new recipes, sewed, and was a member of “The Ideal Club” They also camped together on the river. She was an initiator of activities with friends and very popular. She was competitive and serious about her grades. She was salutatorian of her graduating high school class, 1/2 a point behind the valedictorian. She spent summers picnicking and swimming at Earlville Lake. Two summers the family camped in a big circus tent at the back part of their farm. The family told stories of Gladys, the cow, stepping on a teaspoon and cracking it and of her stealing pancakes from the table.

            In 1920, Betty entered Syracuse University. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, assistant women's editor of the Daily Orange newspaper and First Speaker of Women's Congress. She was chosen Junior Beauty, elected to Eta Pi Epsilon, the women's senior honorary for scholarship, leadership, activities, and character. She became engaged to Bob Fischer and they were elected king and queen of the Senior Ball. She graduated with honors in 1924. She taught history in Richfield Springs until her engagement to Bob Fischer was broken. This upset her, so she resigned from the school and went to New York City. In 1925, she got a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, in their Adjustment Bureau. Movie actresses would complain about some flaw, so she would end up with Joan Crawford's gloves. Raymond Hoadley was a friend and classmate from earlier days, and she began to date him since he was a newspaper man in the city.  In 1927, she made a boxes of fudge to sell to her friends and raised funds to go to Europe. In 1928, she left Saks to become a buyer of lingerie at Wanamakers. Shortly after starting the new job, she had a nervous breakdown and went back to Earlville.

 Her parents were now living in the North Main Street home bought in 1922. Betty was sent to a clinic where she got Scarlet Fever, thought to be induced, to achieve a high fever, and cure mental illness. She did improve and was released. She and her mother went to Florida to complete the recovery. She went back to New York City feeling great, became engaged to Raymond Hoadley, and they were married at the Briggs homestead in August, 1930 in front of the living room fireplace.

            They lived in a succession of apartments in Jackson Heights, Long Island. New York from 1930 to 1941. Susan Gail was born in 1932 and Douglas was born in 1935. Betty was a devout Christian who was active in the Episcopal Church to which they belonged. She also worked for the Young Republican Club, gardened and continued to gather friends around her to go antiquing, play bridge, shop, etc. In 1941 Betty and Raymond moved to Fairlawn, New Jersey, 4 Cowley Road, where she plunged into town school and church activities. Her last project was chairman of the Christmas Bazaar at the church in Radburn. She became ill and died of intestinal cancer in October, 1941 at the age of 41.


Elisabeth A. Dolan Hazard

Elisabeth Ann Dolan Hazard was a grand-daughter of John and Susan Briggs. Born November 12, 1925 in Cos Cob, CT, she was a daughter of Frank and Marion Briggs Dolan. She was a graduate of Earlville High School, and Wheaton College in Norton, MA. On December 20, 1948, Betty married Robert Hazard in Holland Patent, NY. Mrs. Hazard had been a substitute teacher in Sherburne-Earlville Central School system, and in schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. For several years, she was the production supervisor of the advertising department at the Crystal Lake Herald in Crystal Lake, IL. Most recently, she was the Earlville correspondent for the Mid York Weekly newspaper in Hamilton, NY for ten years. Betty was a member of the board of the Quincy Square Museum in Earlville, and the Earlville Opera House; and a trustee of the Earlville Free Library. She had also been a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, and was a literacy volunteer for the Frank L. Laubach Foundation in Syracuse. Surviving are her husband Robert of Earlville; three daughters and two sons. 

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john Briggs playing croquet in 1930s

Children and grandchildren of John and Sue

Sue's siblings and children

In the News

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