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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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IRA T. BRONSON, M. D., came to Sedalia in the fall of 1873, and is one of her most prominent citizens. He is a member of Pettis County Medical Society, of which he was President for one year, and also belongs to the Central Missouri, the District Medical, the Missouri Medical and the American Medical Associations. He has served on the City School Board and is now President of the same.

The paternal grandfather of the Doctor, Jonathan Bronson, was a pioneer in New Hampshire, where he cleared a farm in the woods, and for eight successive years served as a Whig representative in the State Legislature. All of his four sons and four daughters lived beyond the allotted threescore and ten years of man. Our subject’s parents, Jonathan and Lucinda (Countryman) Bronson, were of Scotch-English and Dutch descent, respectively. The latter's grandparents on both sides were natives of Holland. Jonathan Bronson, Jr., was a country physician, his home being on a farm, and there he reared his children to lives of usefulness and high principle.

Ira T. Bronson was born in Watertown, Jefferson County, N. Y., July 21, 1840. He remained with his parents until he was fourteen years of age, the first seven years of his life being spent in his native state, after which, with the family, he became a resident of Coos County, N. H. When in his fifteenth year he began earning wages, and while working on a farm attended school winters until the first year of the war. September 23, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Fifth New Hampshire Infantry, but on account of his small stature was not admitted to the ranks, but was offered the position of bugler, which he accepted, and in the spring of 1862 went with his regiment on the Peninsular campaign. This regiment was the one that built the famous Grapevine Bridge near Yorktown, Va., which saved the army from destruction. Young Bronson, who was in the water all day long helping to float the logs and tying them together with the vines, received slight wounds, one under the right ear. At the second battle of Bull Run his regiment assisted in covering Pope’s retreat, and he was also in the engagements at Fair Oak and Peach Orchard. At Antietam he sustained a severe fracture of the ribs on the left side, his life being saved by his roll of blankets. He was in the battle of South Mountain, was in the race to save Washington from Lee, the siege of Petersburg, and finally took part in the Grand Review at Washington. He had positively refused to continue longer as bugler, and was made successively Corporal, Sergeant, First Lieutenant and acting Regimental Quartermaster. He received an honorable discharge June 28, 1865, and was mustered out in Concord, N. H. The following letter from his first Captain, C. E. Hapgood, is of interest:

“No. 79 Milk St., Boston,
“April 19, 1886.
“Mr. Bronson,
“My Dear Sir: I have been trying for some years to get your address, supposing you were still in Vermont, but being at Littleton, N. H., last week, Capt. Theron A. Farr, of our regiment, told me you had gone and promised to get your address, which came to me this morning. To say that I am glad to be in communication again with my boy-bugler does not express the very kindly feeling I have for you, my dear fellow. I love to think of you as the bugler of Company I, for whatever you may have done in after years as an officer, I shall never forget your gallant conduct at Fair Oaks, where you stood in the front line, loading and firing as coolly as any veteran, and when I directed you to sound the retreat, by Colonel Langley’s order, you held the bugle in one hand and the rifle in the other. God bless you. If you are as good a doctor as you were a soldier, of which I haven’t the slightest doubt, it would be a pleasure to be your patient. With best wishes,
“Yours ever,
“C. E. Hapgood.”

In the spring of 1866 Dr. Bronson entered Newbury Academy in Vermont, and for two years was engaged in preparatory work for college. He was elected Superintendent of the township schools, and also taught some for two winters, while carrying on his academical studies. For one term he attended the medical department of the University of Vermont, and in 1869 graduated from Dartmouth Medical College at Hanover, N. H. On New Year’s Day, 1870, he opened an office at Newbury, Vt., and built up a good
practice during the three years of his stay there, and for two years again served as Superintendent of Schools. For the past twenty-two years he has been one of the able practitioners of Sedalia.

In November, 1869, Dr. Bronson married Orpha, daughter of Samuel and Emily (Heath) Gleason. She was born on what was known as Island Side Farm, near Barnet, Vt. The Doctor’s eldest child, Harl H., who was born at Newbury, Vt., in August, 1871, graduated from the high school of this place; he has two diplomas from the Missouri State University, and is now in the third year of his course at Marion Sims Medical College of St. Louis, and for one year taught as Principal of Schools at Otterville, Mo. Blanch E., also born in Newbury, is a graduate of the local high school and of the Sedalia College of Music, and is now a teacher of music. E. Maud was born in Sedalia, in November, 1879; and Ira T., Jr., the youngest, was born in this city in February, 1884.

The first Presidential ballot of Dr. Bronson was cast for Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and he has always been a stanch Republican. With his wife and four children he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is an active worker in the Sunday-school. In 1863 he became a member of the Masonic fraternity, being initiated in a building put up by the regiment for religious and Masonic services at Point Lookout, on Chesapeake Bay. He has filled nearly all the chairs, and has been Worthy Master for two years of Sedalia Lodge No. 263, A. F. & A. M. He is also connected with Post No. 53, G. A. R., in which he has filled many positions. At the annual National Encampment of the Grand Army he has made it a point to be present each year when possible, and is Medical Director in the Department of Missouri. With the Knights of Pythias he has occupied various posts of honor, also with the Maccabees, the Royal Arcanum and Royal Tribe of Joseph, of the latter being now Supreme Medical Director.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Pettis County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Pettis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Pettis County, Missouri family biographies here: Pettis County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Pettis County, Missouri here: Pettis County, Missouri Map

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