Biography - John S. Bridges

John S Bridges, Postmaster at Vienna and a well-known citizen of Johnson County of which he is a native is a worthy representative of the brave veterans of the late war who did such noble service in preserving the integrity and honor of the Union.  He was born 30 November 1843 on his father's homestead in Cache Precinct, and is a son of William J Bridges who was a native of either Virginia or Georgia.  The father early in life took up his residence in Kentucky and was there married to Mary McNabb who is thought to have been a native of that State.  In 1843 they came to Illinois and cast in their lot with the pioneers of Johnson County.  Mr. Bridges bought a squatter's claim to a tract of Government land in Cache Twp, moved into the log cabin that stood on the place, and entered actively into the labors of developing a farm.  In the busy years that followed he placed the land under good tillage, made excellent improvements and made it his home until his death in February 1890 in his eightieth year.  His wife had preceded him in death many years before, dying in 1857.
 The subject of this sketch passed his boyhood on the farm that was his birthplace and was educated in the district school.  When he was but eighteen years old he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Twentieth Illinois Infantry, and went forth with the ardent patriotism of youth to help fight his country's battles.  He served faithfully until the close of the rebellion taking an active part with his regiment in every campaign with which it was so creditably connected and was honorably discharged with his comrades in September 1865.
 After his long experience as a soldier Mr. Bridges returned home and turned his attention to farming on rented land for the ensuing four years.  At the end of that time he bought a farm in his native township and continued to carry it on very successfully until 1878.  In that year he came to Vienna and has since made this village his home.  At the time of his removal here he had been appointed Deputy Sheriff in which capacity he acted four years.  He proved a popular official and when he retired from that position was elected County Treasurer, which office he held a like length of time.  His appointment as Postmaster dates from 1889.  In this, as in the other responsible pubic offices entrusted to his care, he discharges his duties with intelligence and fidelity and is found to be the right man in the right place.  Besides having charge of the post-office, he conducts a good business as a furniture dealer.
Our subject was first married 10 November 1864 to Miss Josephine Richardson a native of Kentucky.  Her death occurred in January of 1866.  Mr. Bridges married second in 11 October 1866 to Elizabeth Harrell who was born in Kentucky.  Our subject has seven children living: Izora (R. F. Hood), Julia (Dr. H. Burris), Maggie, Oscar, Nettie, Guy and Phebe.  Three of the children born to our subject and his wife are dead.  Josephine, their first child, who died at the age of nine months; Mary their second child, who died at the age of Twelve Years; and Willie the fifth child who died at the age of nine months.
Mr. Bridges cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and has always stood staunchly by the Republican Party.  He is prominent in social circles and is a member of the following organizations: Vienna Post No. 221, G.A.R.; Vienna Lodge No. 150, A. F. & A. M. ; Vienna Chapter No. 67, R. A. M. ; Vienna Lodge No. 340 I.O.O.F.; Vienna Encampment, I. O. O. F.; and Egyptian Lodge, K. H.

Extracted from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, page 139.

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