BRIANT, Alfred

Alfred Briant, farmer and old resident of Huntingdon, was born in Spartanburg District, South Carolina, 1809, and is the son of Reuben and Nancy (Tolerson) Briant. The father was of Irish descent; he was born in Virginia, and followed farming. In his youth he went to South Carolina, where he married and remained until his career ended. He died at the advanced age of one hundred and three years, about 1870. His wife, Nancy Tolerson, was born in South Carolina; she died in 1813, at the age of about thirty-five. By this union they had ten children. Mr. Briant was married three times, and was the father of fourteen children.

Alfred is the youngest child by his first wife; he was reared at home, receiving a common school education, and made his home with his father until he was nineteen years of age. January 18, 1831, he married Miss Polly Stone, daughter of Aaron and Susanah Stone. Mrs. Briant was born in 1810, in the same district and State as her husband. By this union they had these children: Gardner M., who lives in California; Thomas J. (who in died May 15, 1886, at the age of forty-one; he was town marshal of Huntingdon for twelve years and occupied that position at the time of his death); Sarah A., widow of R. J. Johnson; Aaron R., Reuben A., Albert D., David B.; William H., who was killed by a falling tree near Huntingdon, at the age of sixteen years, and an infant (deceased).

In 1838 Mr. Briant left his native State and immigrated to Carroll County, W. Tenn. He bought 400 acres in the Second District, and lived there until 1858 when he came to Huntingdon, bought 152 acres on the outskirts of the city, where he located and now resides. Mr. Briant is one of the substantial and influential citizens of Carroll County. Previous to his coming to Tennessee he was constable for several years. In 1841 he was elected magistrate and served for six years; was deputy sheriff several years previous to the year 1852. In 1852 he was elected tax collector of Carroll County, and served two years; in 1858 was elected sheriff of Carroll County, and 1860 was re-elected and served until the breaking out of the war, when he became one of the “boys in gray.” He organized Company H, Fifty-fifth Regiment, Tennessee Infantry and Mr. Briant was elected captain of the company. He led his men at Island No. 10, and numerous severe skirmishes. At Island No. 10 he was captured and made prisoner of war. He was taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, thence to Johnson’s Island where he was retained until September 1862, when he was taken to Vicksburg, exchanged, and being honorably discharged returned home. In 1870 he was again elected as sheriff and held the position two years. Capt. Briant is highly esteemed for his sterling qualities and honesty of purpose. During the many years he has been a resident of the county he has always proved to be a man above reproach, and his character without blemish. He is well to do financially, owning 360 acres in the county, and several houses and lots in Huntingdon. In politics he is a Democrat, casting his first vote for H. Clay in 1832. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and lie and wife are members of the U. O. of G. C. and Methodist Episcopal Church South.


Transcribed by David Donahue

Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.