Bradford, James (Greenville, IL)

Born: 1808-XX-XX North Carolina

Died: 1889-01-29 Greenville, Illinois

Flourished: Greenville, Illinois

James Bradford was a farmer, town official, circuit court clerk and recorder, county clerk, master in chancery, state legislator, county commissioner, county judge, banker, and mayor. He arrived in Bond County, Illinois in 1824, settling in Greenville. From 1831 to 1836, Bradford was treasurer for Bond County. Upon commencement of the Black Hawk War, he enlisted in the militia, serving as a private in Captain Benjamin James' company of the Second Regiment of Illinois Mounted Volunteers. From 1836 to 1846, he was clerk of Bond County, and from 1836 to 1848, he was clerk of the Bond County Circuit Court. In January 1838, Bradford married Mary Briggs, daughter of Richard, Sr., and Huldah R. Briggs. James and Mary Bradford would have at least two children together. In 1850, Bradford was farming and owned real property valued at $2,000. By 1860, the value of his real property had increased to $3,000, and he had a personal estate of $6,500. In 1854, Bradford won election, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving in that body from January to February 1855. In 1859, he won election to the board of trustees of the town of Greenville, and Greenville voters returned him to the board in 1860, 1864, and 1865. In 1860, Bradford served as clerk of the board, and was treasurer in 1864 and 1865. Following the Civil War, Bradford entered into the banking business with his son Samuel, opening the banking firm of Bradford & Son, which Bradford continued to operate until his death. In 1872, Greenville voters elected him the first mayor of the city of Greenville. After leaving office, he became a county judge.

Historical Souvenir of Greenville, Illinois (Effingham, IL: LeCrone, 1905), 24, 31, 32, 35, 154 ; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 91; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Bond County, 18 January 1838, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Bond County, IL, 407; U. S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Greenville, Bond County IL, 322; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; List of Members of the Illinois Legislature in 1855; Illinois Statewide Death Index, Bond County, 29 January 1889, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; An Act to Incorporate the Illinois Central Rail Road Company.