Biography - Henry Bridgman

HENRY BRIDGMAN. Our subject comes of a German family whose characteristics have been modified in some directions and made more intense in others, by a residence in the Southern states. His grandparents were natives of Virginia, although of German ancestry. His grandfather Bridgman, whose given name our subject does not know, died when in middle life. After his death, his wife removed to Tennessee with her family of children and later to Illinois, where she died at about eighty years of age in Morgan County. She had a family of seven or eight children, of which Martin Bridgman, the father of our subject, was one of the younger, his birth State being Virginia.

Our subject's father was quite young when his father died and at an early day, with his mother, went from Virginia to Granger County, Tenn., and there he grew to manhood, occupying himself as a farmer. He was there married to a Tennessee lady whose maiden name was Anna Dyer. She was born and reared in the place where her marriage occurred and was one of an old and highly respected family. After the birth of all the children but one, Martin Bridgman, wife and family, came to Morgan County, this state, in 1851 and afterwards secured a farm devoting themselves to improving it. Our subject's parents are both yet living. His father was eighty-one years old February 18, 1891. His mother will be seventy-eight years old November 10, 1891. On that day the old people will have lived together for sixty-two years; a reminder that in some cases, at least, marriage is not a failure. Our subject is one of ten children, one of whom died in infancy. Of the remaining children there are five sons and four daughters yet living. All of these have married and have families of their own. Henry Bridgman was born in Granger County, Tenn., September 10, 1837. He was fourteen years of age when his parents removed to Morgan County, this State. They came over the prairies with teams and it was after a long journey, varied by many adventures, that they found a home near Jacksonville. Here they located and there our subject became of age.

In March 8, 1866 he of whom we write united himself in marriage to Lavina Angel. She was born in Morgan County, near Arenzville, October 24, 1845, and is a daughter of John and Susan (Smith) Angel, natives of Indiana and Tennessee. When young people, they came with their parents from their respective States to Morgan County, Ill. This was in the early part of the '30s. There John Angel was reared having been only four years of age when his father and mother, George and Elizabeth (Turnam) Angel, settled here, securing a tract of land upon which they lived and died, being well known pioneer settlers. After marriage, John Angel and his wife began life on an almost new farm, which they improved and made their home for many years. They have now retired from the active proprietorship of the farm and live in Jacksonville. They are advanced in life, being respectively sixty-eight and sixty-four years of age. They are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Angel is a man of firm financial standing. He is the owner of more than six hundred acres of land in this township, and of large property in Morgan County and in Jacksonville.

Mrs. Bridgman is the eldest of fourteen children, three of whom died while quite young. Eleven still living, and of these eight are married. After the marriage of our subject and his estimable wife, they adopted agriculture as their calling. They own and improved the greater part of three farms. In the spring of 1880, they sold their places and came to Shelby County, purchasing the farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 13, Flat Branch Township, which they at present occupy. Here they have ever since lived. The whole of this large farm bears the best of improvements and on it is a fine brick, two-story residence that is a picture of comfort and tasteful arrangement. There are also other buildings upon the place in the best condition. Mr. Bridgman has, besides, forty acres of timber land, in section 14, of this township.

The original of our sketch and his capable and amiable wife, have welcomed eight children to their home and hearts. One of these Henry C., is deceased. The living children are John M., R. Guthrie, Ada B., Charles W., William R., L. Edgar, and Nellie L. John took to wife Addie Ponties and resides on a farm in Pickaway Township. The next son resides at home. The other children are all still inmates of the home nest. They are bright and intelligent young men and women, and are a credit to their parents.

He of whom we write, and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church at Locust Grove, in this county. Mr. Bridgman is a rabid Republican, having fought for the principles that that party strive to maintain. In August, 1862, he laid aside his private interests and affairs and enlisted in the War of the Rebellion, joining Company One Hundred and Fifteen of the Indiana Cavalry, Col. John H. Moore and Capt. Newman being in command. The regiment was with the army of the Cumberland and fought in the battles of Resaca, Chickamauga and Franklin. In the second named battle, Mr. Bridgman was shot by an enemy in the right wrist and was then placed in the field hospital at Nashville, after which he came home for a furlough, but later returned to the field of battle and served with his regiment about one year longer. During his war experience he did good service and was finally discharged at Springfield, Ill., after serving two years and ten months. He first enlisted as a private, and was then a Corporal. He had the good fortune to escape being captured. His war experience is an interesting topic as told by Mr. Bridgman, and a comparison of notes with an old comrade is only less than an engagement itself.

Extracted 13 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 440-441.

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