M. R. BRIERLY, D. D. S.
Dentistry is unique among the professions. The qualities demanded for success are of a. threefold nature. One must
possess mechanical skill and ingenuity added to a knowledge of the scientific principles of the profession and,
moreover, must have business capacity akin to that which is demanded in commercial relations. Dr. Brierly is well
equipped along these different lines and as a practitioner of Independence has made for himself a creditable position
among the practicing dentists of his section of the state. He was born in Spring Prairie, Walworth county, Wisconsin,
in 1864, a son of James and Mary (Hargreaves) Brierly, both of whom were natives of England, the former born in
Lancashire in 1824 and the latter in 1840. The father learned the weaver's trade in England and when eighteen years
of age came to the United States, making his way to Spring Prairie, Walworth county, Wisconsin, where he engaged
in farming, purchasing land in that locality. There he remained up to the time of his death, and he was an active
supporter of the democratic party and frequently the incumbent in public offices. He was also active in the work
of the Congregational church and his well spent life won for him deserved regard. In addition to his farming interests
he engaged successfully in the breeding of Shorthorn cattle.
Dr. Brierly, who was the fifth in order of birth in a family of six children, attended the district schools and
the public schools of East Troy, Wisconsin, in the acquirement of that general education which must constitute
the foundation for all specialized knowledge. At length he determined upon dental practice as a lifework and with
that end in view entered the Chicago College of Dental Surgery, from which he was graduated with the class of 1892.
His dental course, however, did not immediately follow his public school training. When twenty years of age he
began teaching in his home county and followed that profession for three years. He afterward spent two years in
the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad in northern Illinois, doing survey work, and it was subsequent to that time
that he took up the study of dentistry. Following his graduation he returned to East Troy, Wisconsin, where he
practiced for three years and then came to Independence in 1895. Here he has since actively followed his chosen
calling, covering a period of about twenty years, during which time professional services have made heavy demands
upon his attention and his energies. He soon gave demonstration of his ability to do the delicate mechanical work
of the profession and at all times has kept abreast with the latest scientific discoveries. He has no other business
interests save that he is the owner of two hundred and eighty five acres of rich and valuable land in Buchanan
In 1897 Dr. Brierly was united in marriage to Miss Emma Limbert, a daughter of Frank Limbert, who was born in Auerbach,
Bavaria, Germany, in 1818, and is now living retired in Independence at the remarkable old age of ninety six years.
His wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Sheppard, was born in Germany in 1830. In early life Mr. Limbert
was an iron molder, following that business in Dayton, Ohio, for some time and afterward removing to Waterloo,
Iowa, where he worked at the same trade. In 1879 he came to Independence and for a time engaged in farming in Buchanan
county as well as working at the iron molder's trade. He had eight children, of whom Mrs. Brierly is the seventh
in order of birth. To Dr. and Mrs. Brierly have been born three children: Herbert, who was born in 1898; Marian,
in 1899; and Lawrence, in 1903. All are now in school, the first two being high school pupils.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist church, except that Mrs. Briefly is a Presbyterian. Dr.
Brierly's political indorsement is given to the republican party and his fraternal relations are with the Modern
Woodmen of America and the Knights of Pythias. Along strictly professional lines he is connected with the State
Dental Association and thus keeps in touch with modern advancement in his chosen field.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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