Looscan, Adele Lubbock Briscoe (1848–1935)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: May 10, 2017

Adele Lubbock Briscoe Looscan, Texas clubwoman and writer, the daughter of Andrew and Mary Jane (Harris) Briscoe, was born in Harrisburg, Texas, on February 5, 1848. She graduated from Miss Mary B. Brown's Young Ladies' School at Houston in 1866. On September 13, 1881, she married Maj. Michael Looscan, Confederate officer, lawyer, and county attorney of Harris County. In 1885 Mrs. Looscan organized the Ladies Reading Club of Houston and made it a model for similar study clubs in the state. She was one of the founders and chairman of the executive board of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which was organized in her mother's home, and was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Mrs. Looscan was a charter member of the Houston Pen Women, the Texas Woman's Press Association, and the Texas State Historical Association. She served as president of TSHA from 1915 to 1925 and contributed articles to the Quarterly. She wrote three articles included in Dudley G. Wooten's A Comprehensive History of Texas (1898) and other articles published in various journals, including the Texas Messenger, Ladies' Messenger, and Texas Magazine. She sometimes used the pen name "Texan." Mrs. Looscan moved to her mother's home after her husband's death in 1897 and became an invalid in 1929. She died at Houston on November 23, 1935, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston. Her library of 1,500 works, mostly relating to Texas history, was donated to the Houston Public Library. Her portrait was given to the library in 1936, and a branch library was named in her honor in 1956.

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Houston Chronicle, March 26, 1929. Houston Metropolitan Research Center Files, Houston Public Library. Marguerite Johnston, Houston, The Unknown City, 1836–1946 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991). Sinclair Moreland, The Texas Women's Hall of Fame (Austin: Biographical Press, 1917). San Antonio Express, November 24, 1935. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Women
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Women's Clubs
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Historians
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Claudia Hazlewood, “Looscan, Adele Lubbock Briscoe,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/looscan-adele-lubbock-briscoe.

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May 10, 2017

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