Saturday, April 25, 2015

Never-before-seen photos of Hiram Bradford family cemetery

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Likely descendants of Hiram Bradford taken at
"The Old Bradford Place," Sept. 1924 

I love it when technology allows complete strangers to work together to solve puzzles relating to individuals who died decades ago.

I recently wrote about the above photo which was likely taken in 1924 at the home of Haywood County's first entrepreneur, Hiram Bradford, long after his death in 1862. I noted in the blog that nothing I could find anywhere online included the exact location of the cemetery in which Bradford and other members of his family were buried.

This week I received a phone call from Jered Olds who had stumbled across what ended up being the Bradford Family Cemetery. Covered in weeds and vines, it has obviously remained well-hidden for many years.

Photo/Jered Olds

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Bradford Family Cemetery

Olds and his cousin, Rodney Reynolds, were turkey hunting about four miles west of Brownsville, off Highway 54, when they came across a heavily wooded area concealing a number of headstones. 

Photo/Jered Olds

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Headstone of Hiram Bradford

They pulled away the weeds and debris and Olds used his phone to snap a few photos so he could look up the names when he returned home.

Photo/Jered Olds

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Headstone of Alsey Bradford

His online search led him to my original blog entry where he learned more about the identity of some of the individuals buried in this long-forgotten family cemetery. 

Photo/Jered Olds

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On a genealogy message board, I found an old post from 2001 that listed the individuals thought to be buried here:
Hiram Bradford, b. 2 Jan 1797 - d. 27 Aug. 1862
Alsey Bradford, b. 1855 - d. 1864, son of H.S. and M.J.
Bascom Bradford, b. 1851 - d. 1852 - son of Alsey H. and Mary E.
Emily Allen Bradford, b. 1854 - d. 1855 - dau. of A.H. and M.E. Wilson Bradford
Mary Tillman Bradford, b. 1850 - d. 1852 - dau. of Alsey H. and Mary E.
Millie Bradford, b. 1797 - d. 1867 - wife of Major H. Bradford
Susan J. Bradford, d. 14 Sept. 1852 - wife of Hiram Scott, age 19 years
Willie Bradford, b. 1857 - d. 1861 - son of H.S. and M.J.
Bradford, inf. son of H.S. & M.J., one day old
Bradford, 1859 - 1859 - 1 day old
Unless there any unmarked graves, it appears these members of the Bradford family all died from 1852 to 1867.

In 1852, the first three Bradfords were laid to rest here. Included were one-year-olds Bascom Bradford and Mary Tillman Bradford, both children of Colonel Alsey High Bradford (1822 - 1906) and his wife Mary E. Wilson Bradford. This couple would bury another child here in 1855 when their one-year-old daughter, Emily Allen Bradford, died.

Colonel Bradford, a young farmer when he buried his three small children, later became well known for his Civil War service. In 1861 he was Captain and then Colonel of Company D, 31st Tennessee Regiment

By 1862 he was Chief of Staff to General John Porter McCown and a Commander of Hilliard’s Tennessee Legion. After the war, he returned to Haywood County where he farmed and held city and county leadership positions until his death in 1906. Bradford is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Brownsville, Tenn. A historic marker on College Street in Brownsville commemorates Colonel Bradford's life.

His younger brother also suffered a great deal of loss reflected here. Hiram Scott Bradford's (1830 - 1873) young wife, Susan J. Bradford, was the third person to die and be buried in the cemetery in 1852. She was only 19 and her headstone is the most ornate.

Bradford then married Mary Jane Stephens (1832 - 1916) and they would bury at least two children here. Sadly, they lost a one-day-old son and then their four-year-old son, Willie, who died in 1861.

Another additional infant buried here was likely the child of either Hiram Scott Bradford or Colonel High Bradford.

The last to be buried in the cemetery was the family matriarch, Emily “Millie” Allen Bradford. The wife of Hiram Bradford, she was born in 1797 in Kentucky and died in 1867 in Brownsville. In addition to the two sons mentioned here, she and Hiram were the parents of Phredonia Bradford Mann (1815 - 1866), Sarah Elizabeth Bradford Young (1831 - 1890) and George Bradford (1836 - 1812).

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Tennessee Historic Marker for Bradford's Landing

As it turns out, there is one other place that commemorates the life of Hiram Bradford. At the intersection of U.S. 70 and River Bend Road in Brownsville is a Tennessee Historic Marker that notes Bradford's contribution to the growth of the town. You can check it out the next time you're headed to Brownsville.

I'm very grateful that Jered Olds shared the photos and allowed me to post them here. I'm sure they'll be especially interesting for those researching the Bradford family line or Civil War buffs.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.


  1. Descendants of Hiram Bradford are top row, left to right: Charles Wesley Anderson Jr, his sister Marion Bradford Anderson Glass (Mrs T Hugh Glass), their mother Iowa (Ivy) Scott Bradford Anderson (Mrs Charles Wesley Anderson Sr) next woman and man I think are Laura are and Alsey, but I am not sure . Children in next row are: Ann Bradford Glass Gaffron (Mrs Winston B Gaffron Sr) and Grace Anderson Rogers (Mrs Edward Rogers) (daughter of Charles Jr). Bottom row are Grace Anderson (Mrs Charles Wesley Anderson Jr and her son Charles Wesley Anderson III. Iowa was the daughter of George Washington Bradford (killed at battle of Fort Pillow) and Marion Emily Bradford

  2. George died in lst battle of Fort Pillow 1862 - not the big one in 1864

  3. Wow - Thanks a ton for identifying those in the photo. Greatly appreciated.