When a good man dies, the people mourn and his friends are overwhelmed with grief. This was forcibly exemplified as the many
friends and neighbors of John Bradford assembled last Thursday morning at the family residence near Dent to pay their last
sad tribute of respect to him who was in every sense, one of nature’s noblemen. And as they silently followed the remains
of their friend to the family burying ground in Spring Grove Cemetery, many a tear was shed, while few words were spoken;
to use an expressive phrase, their hearts were in their throats, and they became dumb with grief. Occasionally, a friend
would relate some good act, some noble deed, of him now lost to them forever.
Seldom do you see so large a family circle (on such an occasion) as surrounded the casket that contained the remains of
John Bradford. It was a sad and yet a consoling spectacle. Mother Bradford, his four sons, and four daughters, three
sons-in-law, three daughters-in-law, with ten or twelve grandchildren, together with two brothers, and over twenty
near relatives, as they formed a circle round the casket. It was a touching spectacle and brought many a tear to
eyes seldom given to such emotion. Though sad in the extreme, still there was something consoling in it. It reminded
one of the deaths of some of the patriarchs of olden times. There he lay in solemn state surrounded by his family,
relatives, and friends, while a smile of benevolence, generosity, and love lingered over his noble countenance as if
death, in pity to assuage the great grief of his wife and children, permitted a lifelike smile to still linger on his
countenance as a silent farewell at his departure to the better land.
John Bradford was on of the old North of Ireland Presbyterian stock, a class of men who have contributed in a great measure
to build up this Western country. He was born and raised near Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland and came to Cincinnati in
1839, when but twenty three years old, and engaged in the burr millstone business with his brother Thomas Bradford and his
cousin James Bradford. All the old members of the firm have now passed away.
John Bradford was an advocate of early marriages. His sons and daughters profited by his example, for he was married when
scarcely twenty-one. His wife, Mother Bradford, as he always called her, is but one year younger, though hale and hearty,
and the highest encomium that could be paid her, is that she was a worthy companion for such a man. Seldom do we witness
in a long married life such unchangeable love and devotion as existed between John Bradford and his wife. For the last seven
years they have remained at their country residence near Dent, where he was always rejoiced to receive and welcome his friends
with true hospitality. Man or beast never left John Bradford’s house thirsty or hungry.
He was one of those quiet, unassuming men that make very little pretension, but by industry and perseverance, he accumulated
considerable property, which he has willed to his wife and children; but what they value more, he has left a reputation of
Christian virtue and manly worth; he has left them the memory of his great love, goodness, and affection, more prized by them
than all worldly goods.
Source: The Cincinnati Commercial, Dated September 1, 1877
Submitted by a visitor to this site