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Below is a family biography included in The History of Pulaski County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William L. Bradford, ex-collector of Pulaski County, Mo., resides about two miles southwest of Waynesville, and was born in 1839 in Pulaski County (now Phelps), and is one of five children born to the marriage of Isaac Neeley Bradford and Martha Duncan, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, the former born in 1804. In 1822 he came to what is now Phelps County, Mo., with his father, Adam Bradford, and located on the farm now owned by R. B. Duncan. They were among the first whites to settle in that region, and there Adam Bradford died in 1850. Isaac N. married and settled in Spring Creek Township, where he passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1882. After his wife’s death, in 1839, he married Frances Mary Vance, who bore him six children and yet survives him. William L. Bradford was reared to manhood on his father’s farm, and received a common-school education. At the age of twenty-two years he became the architect of his own fortunes, and August 4, 1861, enlisted in the Missouri State Guards for six months. After his time had expired he re-enlisted in the First Missouri Cavalry, Gates’ regiment, and was sergeant of Company F. He was at Pea Ridge, Iuka, Corinth, Grand Gulf, Baker’s Creek, Big Black and the siege of Vicksburg, being captured at the latter battle, but was soon paroled and rejoined his command. He was then at Kenesaw Mountain, where he was wounded in the right leg by a bomb, and was disabled for thirty days. After recovering he again entered the field, and was in the battles of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Dalton, Altoona Mountain, Franklin and Fort Blakely, being captured at the latter engagement. After being paroled at Jackson, Miss., he returned home, and in the year 1867 became a citizen of Pulaski County, Mo., and in January of the same year was united in marriage to Missanaiah Sophia Tilley, a daughter of Wilson and Elizabeth (Tippett) Tilley, of Pulaski County. Mrs. Bradford is a native of the county, and was born in 1849. After their marriage they lived upon rented land for six years, and in 1873 bought 175 acres of land where they now make their home. At present Mr. Bradford is the owner of 420 acres of land in the home farm and 120 acres in Liberty Township. He has been a life-long Democrat in politics, and his first presidential vote was cast for Douglas in 1860. In 1882 he was elected sheriff of Pulaski County, and two years later became collector, being re-elected in 1886, and filled the duties of this office faithfully and well. He is a Master Mason, and he and wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for eight years, and for six years he has been recording steward for Waynesville Circuit.

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This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in The History of Pulaski County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Pulaski County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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