Washington County, Missouri

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John S. Brickey house ~ Photographed: 23 Sept. 2002
The following is from: The Miner's Prospect (1990 Souvenir Edition) ~ The land was deeded to John S. Brickey by Moses Austin in 1816.  The house was built about 1818.........The front door & an interior door have the original cast-iron hinges in the arrow shaped style used in the colonial period.  One wall of the house is concrete which leads us to believe that the house was built around part of the old Mine Au Breton Fort mentioned in history.  This John S. Brickey was a justice of the peace & could have been one of the first State Legislators & possibly an early circuit court recorder.


John S. Brickey - From:  Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar of Missouri:

We became acquainted with this venerable lawyer in the fall of 1836.  He was a native of Richmond County, Virginia & was born 2 Nov. 1791.  He was of French Huguenot descent.  His education was obtained in the oldfield schools.  His father being in reduced circumstances, & encumbered with a large family, young Brickey determined to go west & become the architect of his own fortune.  When only 18 years of age he went into the western part of the state, & taught school there the first winter.  In the spring he took up his march for Tennessee, & in the summer opened a school there, & taught until 1810, when he again started for the west, landing at Ste. Genevieve, & after resting there a short time proceeded to Potosi, in Washington County, with the intention of opening a school there;  but changed his mind & proceeded to St. Louis, & entered the office of Edward Hempstead as a student of law.  After completing his studies he was admitted to the bar, & located at Franklin in Howard County.  After practicing there about 2 years he returned to Washington County, & settled at Potosi. 

At the first session of the General Assembly, after the organization of the state government, in 1821, Mr. Brickey was chosen secretary of the Senate.  At the election which resulted in the elevation of Mr. Monroe to the Presidency, Mr. Brickey was chosen elector, & gave his vote for Monroe & Thompkins.  He also represented Washington County several times in the Legislature, & for about 18 years was prosecuting attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Brickey had some experience in military life, having, in 1812, joined the Rangers, a body of men sent out by the government to protect the settlers from the ravages of the Indians, who had been instigated by the British government.


From the Brickey Diary:

When Clark was born in 1834 my wife appeared in better health than usual.  The next spring, probably the last of April, when I wished to go to St. Louis she besought me not to go as there was some report of cholera.  But I went & on my return I found Francis sick but my wife in fine health.  A few nights after Francis wanted a drink of water & would not be satisfied unless gotten out of the barrel, knowing it was cooler than that in the house.  I got up but could not find my shoes.  My wife sprang up, slipped on her shoes & throwing something over her got the water & returned to bed.

I think the second day after became indisposed.  I recalled about her going out unclothed & that her arm that she took out the water with was damp.  She still grew worse.  Dr. Harrison, our family physician, was out in the country & it was uncertain when he would return.  So after consulting we concluded to send for Dr. McGready, who when examining pronounced her very bilious, so prepared  a pill to be taken that night which operated severely.  Next day he still prounounced her bilious, recomending more calomel.  Thus she was induced to take another pill for he only gave one large white pill.  Than night it appeared as if she would not endure the operation.  Next morning he came over & she told him of the severe operation & that he had given her too much strong medicine & that she would take nothing more from him.  I believe from this time her derangement commenced.  That day Dr. Harrison returned & he was called in.  I then discovered her situation might be cirtical.  I told Dr. McGready that I still wished him & Dr. Harrison to consult & prescribe.  Buet he soon mad pretense, as I always thought, to become offended with Dr. Harrison & so broke off.  From the belief of women attending my first wife it was Dr. McGready's ignorance about female complaint that she died.  I believe I saved Eliza's life by discharging him & calling in another Doctor Brown.  I still think it unfortunate we called on the Dr.   Either ignorance or worse, as I believe he did not like my wife was the cause of her death.


From: Wetmore's Gazeteer of Missouri

Moses Austin is not only credited with being the founding father of Potosi but also "The Grandfather of Texas."   In 1821 Moses Austin traveled to San Antonio where he received the first American grant for a colony in Texas.  Upon his return he was exposed to severe hardships & became ill.  He died 10 June 1821 in St. Francois County & was originally buried at Hazel Run.  In 1828 his body was disinterred & reburied in the Potosi City Cemetery.  A very unusual occurrence was discovered at this time as John S. Brickey tells the story:

"There is one other circumstance which may be thought worthy of remark.   A gentleman with whom I was well acquainted died in 1821, & was buried in the usual way at Hazel Run Mines, in St. Genevieve County, on Big River.  In 1828, his friends thought proper to disinter his remains at Hazel Run & bury him at Potosi.   When the coffin was taken up it was found to be rotten, but to the utter astonishment of all present the body of the deceased was in a state of perfect soundness, except the nose & some of the fingers, all the features, except as above, remaining perfect & entire & having every appearance of petrification.  Though not one present did anything more to the body than press it with their hands, several who saw it have affirmed that it was as hard as wood, if not stone.  I simply mention the fact as being out of the ordinary course of nature.  The body was accordingly brought to Potosi & buried.  There are several persons now living here who were eye-witnesses to the fact above related.  The body appeared of a dark or black color.   The gentleman I knew well.  He had lived an abstemious life, & was inclined to corpulence & died suddenly.  I could give you his name necessary.   The gentleman with whom I was well acquainted was Moses Austin. What is more the petrification story got abroad after the reinterment, & the grave .............   was opened by parties who were curious to learn if it was true, & the coffin found open, as if the vandals had been interrupted in their work.  The body, however, was not disturbed, & the grave has not been molested again to this date." 


From:  Goodspeeds Hist. of Wash. Co. Mo. - pg. 534

(Note - In Goodspeed's history it says "BAPTIST" church but this must be a misprint  as other records indicate Presbyterian churhch) - -     On the 21st of August, 1833, William Milan donated & conveyed to James Glenn,
P.P. Brickey & John C. Brickey, trustees of the Baptist Church, a lot on Breton street, in Potosi, for the purpose of having a chuch erected thereon.............


County News: Levy Items
"Dock" Brickey of Shirley passed through here Saturday.
Weekly Independent - 22 March 1900, Pg. 3


From:  WorthPoint: 1852 North Carolina Gold Mining Letter Great Content!  Judge John S. Brickey, Potosi, Mo.


Western Historical Manuscripts Collection:

This is a receipt dated 6 June 1814 from John S. Brickey of Mine Shibboleth in Washington County, Missouri Territory, to Mrs. Banford for $3.00 for “crying the vendue,” or conducting a public sale or auction.  The transaction probably was part of an estate settlement.

On 6 June 1814 John Perry, Jr., of Mine au Burton (Mine á Breton) by this note told Mrs. Banford “you will plan to pay Mr. John S. Brickey three Dollars which is coming to him for Cry­ing the vendue and oblige.”  On the reverse side of the note Brickey acknowledged receiving “the full amount” from Mrs. Banford.  The note is assigned “No. 5,” which indicates that it might have been part of a probate proceeding, perhaps the sale of Mrs. Banford’s husband’s estate.


A History of Cooper County, Missouri

John S. Brickey is buried in Potosi City Cemetery