Biography - William Bradshaw

WILLIAM M. BRADSHAW, JR., a practical and energetic farmer of White Hall township, was born on the old Bradshaw homestead in this county, February 12, 1875. At an early period in the settlement of the new world his ancestors located in South Carolina and later generations of the family removed westward. Joel Bradshaw, the great-grandfather, was a native of Tennessee. Charles Bradshaw, the grandfather, was born March 26, 1785, in Tennessee and came to Illinois in 1818. He spent one season here in Greene county and raised a crop but later returned to Tennessee. He married Mary Ann Baker, a native of North Carolina.
William M. Bradshaw, Sr., the father of our subject, was born in Tennessee, July 28, 1826, and was only two years old when his parents came to Illinois, settling in Morgan county, about a mile and half east of Jacksonville, where they remained until 1831, when they came to Greene county, and here William M. Bradshaw, Sr., was reared and educated. The first farm of the family was a tract of eight acres of land, on which was located Bradshaw's Mound, one of the notable features of the district. Mr. Bradshaw kept adding to his property until he became the owner of five hundred acres of land. Reared to the occupation of farming, the father has always carried on agricultural pursuits and is the owner, today, of a valuable and well improved tract of land of four hundred acres. He is yet classed among Greene county's prosperous and prominent agriculturists, although he does not engage actively in the cultivation of his farm. He is seventy-eight years of age - a jovial, genial man, hale and hearty, who appears much younger than he is. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and his life has ever been upright and honorable. His early political views were in accord with the principles of Democracy, but later he became a stanch Republican and for many years has supported the latter party. His residence in the county has been continuous save that in 1853 he removed to Texas, where he spent the winter and then returned to Greene county. His first home here was a primitive log cabin, in which he lived until 1861, when he erected his present substantial two-story frame residence.
On the 30th of December, 1847, Mr. Bradshaw was married to Miss Susan P. Looton, a daughter of Thomas Looton, who was one of Greene county's best and most prominent farmers. He was born in 1784 and died in 1863. Mrs. Susan P. Bradshaw died December 10, 1848, and on the 30th of December, 1850. Mr. Bradshaw was married to Elizabeth Chipman, a daughter of Seth and Sarah (Looton) Chipman, the latter a sister of Thomas Looton. There were three children of this marriage, of whom two are living: Mary Ella, who married John B. Hutton, a resident of Kansas, by whom she has five living children; and Orville, who married Leonora Hart Henry and resides in White Hall township, about two and a half miles east of our subject. For his third wife William Bradshaw, Sr., wedded Mary Baker, a daughter of John Baker, who died in Kansas. Her mother, Mary (Code) Baker, belonged to one of the old families of Virginia. A son of the third marriage, Albert Bradshaw, was born January 24, 1857, and married Ella B. Whitehead, a daughter of Henry and Ellen (Wyatt) Whitehead, her parents being among the earliest settlers of the county. For his fourth wife Mr. Bradshaw married Elizabeth Stewart, a daughter of William Stewart, a native of North Carolina, who died in California. His wife was Nancy Sabrie Williams, also a native of North Carolina. There have been eight children by this marriage: Joel C., who was born November 26, 1862, is married and lives in Kit Carson county, Colorado, and has four living children: Ida Bell, born November 25, 1864, was married to Samuel Elliott, now deceased, lives in Roodhouse and has four children: Nancy Lucy, who was born in August, 1867, is the wife of Charles Helm, of Greene county and has three children: Charles, who was born March 25, 1870, and lives in this county, is married and has three children: Clara Ann, who was born in June, 1872, is the wife of John Ballard, of Greene county: William M., Jr. is the next of the family: and Edgar, born February 27, 1877, is the youngest. William Bradshaw has forty-nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He and his wife now live alone in the old home, their children having all gone to homes of their own. They are among the most highly respected people of the community and as one of the honored pioneers and worthy citizens of this county Mr. Bradshaw well deserves mention in this volume.
William Bradshaw, Jr., was born upon the old family homestead and there spent the days of his boyhood and youth, working in the usual manner of lads of the period and acquiring his education in the public schools. He was married on the 12th of March, 1901, to Miss Ella R. Pinkerton, who was born near Virden, Illinois, and is a daughter of Willis R. and Mary (King) Pinkerton, of that place. Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw now have one child, Harold Stewart, who was born September 17, 1903.
Mr. Bradshaw has purchased and operates a farm of his own and also rents his father's land. He is a young man of marked thrift, industry and unfaltering determination and in the management of his affairs has displayed marked business ability. He has provided a good home for his little family and is also watchful of the interests of his parents, who reside not far distant.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 613-614..

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