William B. Bradford, of Sacramento county, is one of the prominent pioneer citizens of the state, a resident for over half a century, and throughout this time he has been extremely active and successful as a man of affairs, in both commercial and industrial lines. Mr. Bradford's arrival in this state was dated as March 9, 1850, on which day he landed at San Francisco. He has not been a passive spectator of the great industrial movements which have since transformed this country into the garden of the world, but in the various avenues of mining, farming, merchandising, viticulture, and with constant endeavors directed to the social and material welfare of his locality and state he has made himself no small factor in the events transpiring about him.

Mr. Bradford, a twin brother of James B. Bradford, whose personal history will likewise be found on other pages, was born in Daviess county, Indiana, February 10, 1826, so that is now a venerable man within the shadow of his eightieth year. He was a son of George and Mary F. (Bruce) Bradford. His father was born at what was once known as Bradford's Mills, now simply Bradford, Connecticut, and his mother was a native of Mason county, Kentucky.

Mr. Bradford was reared to manhood in his native state, receiving his education in the old-time subscription schools. After the age of twenty-four he left home, and, going to New Orleans, took passage on the steamship Falcon for Havana, whence the steamer Ohio carried him to the mouth of the Chagres river on the Isthmus of Panama. He crossed the isthmus with pack mules, and on the Pacific side embarked on the sailing vessel Kingston, of Fairhaven, which landed him at San Francisco on the date already mentioned. For a number of years, until 1869, he and his brother carried on their various operations in partnership, the firm being J. B. and W. B. Bradford. In this time he was engaged for varying periods of time in gold mining, in farming and in mercantile business. In 1874 he settled on his present estate near Bruceville, where he has made his home to the present time. He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land. He is one of the most extensive private vineyardists in the county, having one hundred acres devoted to grape-growing.

Mr. Bradford was married March 4, 1872, to Miss Jennie Smith, a native of England. She died on April 17, 1901. On November 23, 1901, Mr. Bradford married for his present wife Mrs. Amanda Moore, widow of the late Judge John W. Moore, of Franklin, who was a California forty-niner. Mrs. Bradford was a daughter of William B. and Nancy (Jordan) Hall, of Vermilion county. She came to California in 1860, over the plains by the southern route and the overland stage, and after a brief residence in Visalia she and her first husband located at Franklin, Sacramento county, in 1862, where Mr. Moore died in 1880. Judge Moore had served as justice of the peace of Franklin township, and wa widely known as an old-timer and prominent citizen of his locality. By her marriage to Judge Moore Mrs. Bradford has seven children, namely: Addie L., wife of J. K. McHargue, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Cora M., wife of Dr. G. B. Woodbridge, of Oakland; William B., of San Francisco; Margaret, wife of Harry D. Owen, of Sacramento county; John C., of Seattle, Washington; Fred T., present city superintendent of schools in Alameda, and Dr. Charles M., a successful dentist in Tacoma, Washington.

For a number of years Mr. Bradford served as a trustee of Carroll school district. Politically he is a Democrat. He is one of the oldest Masons in the stae, having joined Charity Lodge No. 30, F. & A. M. at Washington, Indiana, in 1849, and in the eighties he became affiliated with Elk Grove Lodge No. 173 F. & A. M., at Elk Grove. He and Mrs. Bradford are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Bruceville.

Source: History of the New California - Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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