By Jonathan K. T. Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1996

(Page 92)


Portion of an article written by local historian, Major Ezekial B. Mason in 1872.

WHIG-TRIBUNE, Jackson, Sept. 14, 1872:


Messes. Editors:
        I see a call in your last paper inviting all the old pioneers to meet at Jackson on the second day of our annual Fair, which will be the 23rd of October, 1872. The call meets my most hearty approbation. There are a great many pioneers yet living in West Tennessee, who have labored hard to improve out country, and to clear the forest of its heavy timber, and open large farms, build comfortable houses, construct villages and flourishing towns and cities, opne good country roads, as well as railroads leading to every business centre.
        A meeting of these old pioneers would be a very pleasant one indeed, and doubtless would be the last time they would ever meet each other on earth.
        We have in our own county some of the oldest pioneers and citizens in West Tennessee. John Bradbury is now living and is the only man who raised a crop of corn in 1819. He is about 90 years of age.


WHIG-TRIBUNE, Jackson, November 19, 1872:


        At his home near Spring Creek, Madison county, Monday Nov. 11th, Mr. John Bradbury, aged 86 years, 6 months and 15 days.
      His disease was pneumonia. He settled upon the place where he died in 1819.


Portion of D. G. Beers map of 1877 showing location of Joel B. Bradbury's place, J.B.B.

JOHN BRADBUBY (May 6, 1786-Nov 11, 1872) was one of the earliest settlers of Madison County. On Sept. 6, 1821 he bought a tract of land from Jacob Bradbury, Sr., both of Stewart County "and Forked Deer" (Madison County formed from Stewart Co later in 1821), which had been a grant (Aug. 9. 1821) from the state to Jacob Bradbury. (Madison County Deed Book 1, page 15) Over the years John Bradbury acquired several hundred acres thereabout. His homeplace where he settled in 1819 was in the vicinity of the present-day W. W. Woolfolk farm, somewhat northwest of Mt. Carmel Methodist Church. The elder Jacob or a younger Jacob Bradbury of Union Co., Ill. sold 20 acres to John Bradbury, Dec. 7, the sixth tract of land that had been entered in Surveyor's District 9 in the pioneer days. (IBID., Book 11. page 79) In Nov1869 John Brudbury deeded his Son Joel B. Bradbury the 200 acre tract "on which I now live," with the provision that he and his aged wife, Martha would have a life-time support from the land (IBID. Book 27, page 284) At the same time he deeded a son, John M. Bradbury, 247 acres on the north. (IBID.) 'The 1870 US census, Madison County Civil District 12, page 27D, shows John Bradbury and wife sharing a household with J. B. Bradbury and his wife L. (Laura) and their young son. J. A. Bradbury. Joel B. Bradbury and family moved to civil district one, Gibson County. In 1875, J. B. Bradbury deeded his lands in Gibson and Madison County to his wife and children. (Madison County Deed Books 33, page 512; 35, page 481) The Madison County tracts shown on the Beers map, 1877, as J.B.B. were disposed of by the Bradbury family in 1892 and were bought by Flora C. Anderson. (IBID., book 50, page 442; 52, page 418; Trust Deed Book 23, page 438)


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