John Leonard LaBriere was born in Ste
Genevieve county, Missouri, on July 2, 1860.
His parents died when he was a young boy and
at the age of 12 John came to Granbury,
Texas, where he had relatives - the
Henderson family. Not long
afterward, he returned to Missouri and
brought his brother, Henry, to Texas.
walked most of the way and let 8 year old
Henry ride the pony. Next John
returned to Missouri and brought sister
Louisa (Lou) to Granbury where she lived
with the Henderson family and later married
J. K. Millwee in Hood County, Texas.
1880 Census for Haskell county showed John
living at a line camp on California creek in
southeast Haskell county with the Matthews
family. His brother, Henry,
stayed at the ranch headquarters where he
worked as a wrangler. The Matthews and
Reynolds ranch was a very large ranch in
Throckmorton, Shackelford and Haskell
1882, John returned to Missouri and married
Miss Sally Ballard, daughter of Tom and Emma
Ballard. She was born July 11,
1860. Their marriage date was
July 24, 1882, in Ste Genevieve county.
John brought his new bride to Texas where
they lived at Rice Springs (later Haskell)
and built the first house there in 1883.
It was known as the LaBriere House.
Lumber was hauled by wagon from Albany.
There were no roads or bridges at that time.
Their first child, Lucille, was born in
Haskell on March 24, 1884. She
died January 18, 1886, and is buried in the
Tom and Emma Ballard plot in the Haskell
The other children of John and Sally
Zeno LaBriere b. Nov 24 1886 in Haskell.
d. in Colorado Jun 30, 1963
Artie LaBrier b. Jun 19, 1889 in Colorado.
m. W. J. Stehle
Pearl LaBriere b. Sep 30, 1891 in Colorado.
m. Roy Henry
Ashley LaBriere b. Aug 23, 1895, in
Oklahoma. d. May 1970 m. Loree
Philamine LaBriere b. Jun 27, 1898 in
Oklahoma. d. Jan 30, 1950 m. Chas
Ruth LaBriere b. Feb 11, 1902 d. Jun
1967 m. 1 N. J. Porter; 2 Fred
John and Sally lived a life of
Pioneers in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New
Mexico and Arizona. They ranched
most of the time and operated a trading post
in Arizona for several years.
Trailrides were the way cattle were taken to
market and John took the largest number ever
taken as one herd when he took 3300 head
from Haskell to the railroad in Kansas.
An article appeared in the Haskell paper in
1929 telling about it.
1976 another newspaper article (in the
Abilene Reporter-News) told of the
restoration that had begun for the LaBriere
House. It had been purchased by
the City-County Bicentennial Committee as
their project for the Nations 200th
birthday, and moved from its original site
on Avenue C. The Progressive Study
Club began its project of restoring the
little house as near as possible to its
original early Texas style.
After John died on September 16, 1935, Sally
lived with her daughter, Pearl and
son-in-law Roy Henry, in Silver City, New
Mexico. She died on April 7,
1948. The two Haskell pioneers
are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Silver
City, New Mexico, and the house that
Sally and John built in 1883 now stands
restored and cared for by the members of the
Haskell community and the Progressive Study
Club of the town.
From Family Information Furnished by Dr.
David Ballard. © 2008