Biography - Henry T. Bridges

HENRY T. BRIDGES, Justice of the Peace at Vienna, is prosperously engaged in the grocery business in that village, and is one of its leading citizens. He was born February 25, 1831, in Marshall County, Tenn., one mile from Lewisburgh. His father was James D. Bridges, who was a native of North Carolina and a son of Francis Bridges, who was also a native of that State. The latter was a son of William Bridges, who was an Englishman by birth and came to this country in Colonial times, settling in North Carolina, where he died. The grandfather of our subject was reared and married in his native State, Sarah Cadle, a native of the State and a daughter of Jesse Cadle, becoming his wife. In 1815, he emigrated to Tennessee and settled in that part of Maury County now included in Marshall County, where he bought land, which he farmed some years. His next move was to Mississippi, but he only remained two years, and then took up his abode in Carroll County, Tenn., where his earthly pilgrimage was brought to a close by his death at a ripe old age.
The father of our subject was seven years old when the family located in the wilds of Tennessee. Here he grew to man's estate and was married in Maury County to Elizabeth Thompson, who was a daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Schefner) Thompson, and also a native of North Carolina. In 1833 Mr. Bridges went to Mississippi and took up his residence on a farm that he purchased, situated seven miles east of Holly Springs. Here he divided his time between farming and mercantile pursuits, trading chiefly with the Chickasaw Indians. Six years after his removal to Mississippi he sold his property there and took up his residence at Dyersburgh, Tenn., where he engaged in farming and teaming. Two years later he made another removal, going to Ballard County, Ky., where he bought a farm and established a smithy and wagon shop, which he managed in addition to farming. In 1844 he wound up his affairs there and came to this State and county, accompanied by his wife and eight children, the removal being made with teams. He settled in Vienna, entering a tract of Government land near the village, and while he superintended the improvement of his land he operated a smithy and wagon manufactory. In 1852 he again disposed of his property, and buying land in Laclede County, Mo., he engaged in farming and stock-raising there until his death, in February, 1863. His wife died in this county in 1882. They reared six children to honorable and useful lives, namely, Jesse C., Henry T., Sarah, Charlotte, William and Benjamin.
He of whom we write was but two and one-half years old when the family entered upon its various migrations, and he was thirteen years old when he was brought to Illinois. When he was twelve years old, the active, industrious lad began to learn the trade of a blacksmith under the instruction of his father, with whom he remained until he was twenty years old. He became an expert at his trade, and at that age opened a shop for himself at Vienna. In 1880 he abandoned that business to engage in the grocery business, which he has carried on with good financial success ever since, having a well-conducted store, which is amply stocked with first-class groceries.
December 31, 1852, the marriage of our subject with Miss Mary E. Carter, a native of Giles County, Tenn., and a daughter of Vincent and Elizabeth (Rose) Carter, was solemnized. They have five children living, namely: Amanda Belle Cowsert, James H., Vesta Hogg, Harry T. and Willie.
Mr. Bridges is a man of sterling sense and sound judgement, and he has been selected by his fellow citizens to administer the law in the capacity of Justice of the Peace. He is now serving his second term in that capacity at Vienna, having formerly held the office for the township. He was also Police Magistrate for six years, and his decisions, as in his present position, were always marked by a clear knowledge of the legal bearings of each case, and were always impartial. In politics, he is a straightforward Republican and stands faithfully by his party whate'er betides. He is a man of prominence in various social organizations, belonging to the following-orders: Vienna Lodge No. 150, A.F.& A.M.; Vienna Chapter No. 57, R. A. M.; Council No. 67, R. & S. M.; and he was a charter member of Vesta Lodge No. 340, I. O. O. F., with which he is still connected. He is also a member of Vienna Encampment No. 53.

Extracted 08 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, page 126.

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