August 1925: The Briggs Family Drives East

Irwin and Myrtie Briggs and family on the Drew Seminary Campus, 1925.
Model T with steer horns.

In Harrison, Nebraska, the Briggs Family welcomed daughter Mary in July of 1925.

Three weeks later, Irwin and Myrtle Briggs, Laura, Mildred, and little Mary headed east in their Model-T to Drew Seminary in New Jersey.

    The Briggs’ came east in a “rattlety bang” Ford, camping across the continent with two older children and a two-month-old baby. They were caught in a terrific rainstorm and the only thing they were able to keep dry was the baby, Mary Rosamond.
    —News article, The Breezy Westerner.
    Besides the occupants of the car…the Ford contained three extra tires, a wash tub, 57 varieties of kitchen utensils, bedding, three suitcases, a score of bundles, a doll and doll carriage, a pair of cow horns…and a donated tent from friends in Chicago. The pair of cow horns was presented to them as a souvenir of their send off by their Nebraska Church.

    The Ford covered 2,073 miles an average of 172 miles a day. They passed through nine states, two Indian reservations and two mountain ranges. The baby of the party, Mary aged six weeks, gained one pound on the trip.—News article titled, Eastward Ho!

    We packed everything on our Model-T Ford. Mary was three weeks old. We stopped in Nebraska to see our folks (John and Ida Crabtree; Clint and Indy Briggs) first.

    Three weeks later we arrived in the middle of the night. Not knowing where to go, Irwin pitched the tent right in the middle of the campus. Next morning it caused no small stir. In fact it was in all the papers, even over to London, England.—Myrtle Crabtree Briggs.

The Briggs family arrived a day late at Drew Seminary, too late for the church that had been promised to Irwin. Eventually other arrangements were made.

In nine years the Briggs Family would move to Barryville. Irwin would be the pastor of the Pond Eddy, Eldred, and Barryville Methodist Churches.—Farewell to Eldred, pp. 52, 53.

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One Response to August 1925: The Briggs Family Drives East

  1. This is a wonderful story, and it fills in a gap in our records here at Drew University.

    In one of our publications, this photo is linked to a shortage of housing at Drew Theological Seminary. We now know that the Briggs family were outside because they had simply just arrived!

    I’ve taken the liberty to tweet this.
    Thanks again,

    Matthew Beland
    Drew University Archivist

    You are very welcome Matthew. Thank you for your comment. The baby of the family, my mother, will turn 89 this year.—Louise

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