John S. Bradbury - Crawford Co., IL Biography

History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois, Vol. II.

William Henry Perrin, ed.

(Chicago: O.L. Basking & Co. Historical Publishers)


John S. Bradbury, farmer, P. O. West York.  This enterprising pioneer, whose portrait appears in this book, was born August 17, 1822, in North Carolina, is a son of John and Mary (Hines) Bradbury, natives, the former of North Carolina, and the latter of Maryland, and the parents of six children--Anna, married Cornelius Martin; Peter (deceased); Martha, married Bryant Cox, she is deceased; James (deceased); Moreland (dead) and John S.  The father was a farmer and cooper by trade, and at one time possessed a large fortune in North Carolina, but with a child-like confidence he trusted many persons and went security for them, the result of which completely broke him up. In 1828, the family rigged up two two-wheeled carts and came to Orange Count, Ind., where they remained among a number of acquaintances who had located there.  Their stay was prolonged on account of James being sick.  They located, in the year mentioned above, in Crawford County. In 1829, the father died, leaving the family on a rented farm.  The boys, possessing the eternal grit that is characterized in the Carolinians, rolled up their
sleeves and soon had enough means to buy a small home for the family.  The mother died in 1847.  In those days the only chance for obtaining an education, was at the pioneer school cabin, with slab seats, and writing desks, greased paper for window lights, etc.  Mr. B. had only six months' schooling, and in such a structure as the one mentioned above.  John was the
younger son, and upon him devolved the duty of going to mill, as the other boys were stronger and could handle the plows and do the general farm work with more ease then he.   On one occasion, he and a neighbor boy started to mill, some miles away, on horseback, the usual way of going, and after they had journeyed a distance from any settlements, the sacks managed to tip, and
off they went..  The little fellows were not able to get the sacks on their faithful animals, with all the corn in them, so they emptied about one half of it to the disposal of the little wild animals, and went on with the rest. At one time our subject was dropping corn for a man by the name of Williamson, who sent him for the cows one evening, and when he was just entering the timber, he saw a large Indian coming, whereupon he turned for home and fled for safety.  The Indian was very friendly and was only on his way to a neighbor's to trade some skins for corn.  Meetings were often held about Mr. B's home by the red men, and he became well acquainted with some of them.  He was married in February 12, 1844, to Jemima Buckner, a daughter of Henry and Martha (Evans) Buckner.  Her parents emigrated to this county about 1818, settling in Hutsonville Township.  Her parents were blessed with Jesse, Charles, Enos, John, Jemima, Sarah, and William.  Her parents were Methodists while Mr. B's were Quaker. Mrs. Bradbury died in 1851, and he was subsequently married to Nancy Huckaby.  They result of the first union was James, P. G. and Catharine, who married Harper Ingals.  The last union gave him eight children, viz.:  Andrew, John, Rora, George, Alice, Abbie, Willis and Nancy.  It is not too much to say he has reared an excellent family. Not one of them ever used intoxicating drink or tobacco, unless it was to occasionally smoke a cigar.  He settled his present farm in 1850, buying 90 acres and going in debt for it.  He now owns 335 acres of well improved land, the result of his own labors.   He cast his first Presidential vote of James K. Polk, and has always been a stanch Democrat.  He is a member of York Lodge. A. F. & A. M.

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