J. C. Bridgman, auctioneer. London, can trace back his ancestry to about the time of Oliver Cromwell, in England. He has in his possession a wood-cut, engraved about that time, and bearing the following inscription: "Charlotte Lady Middleton, daughter of the Right Hon. Sir Orlando Bridgman, Knight and Baronet, Lord-Keeper of ye Great Seale of England, and Lady Dowager of Sir Thomas Middleton, Chirkcastle, in Denbighshire, Baronet for ye advancement of this work, contributed this Plate to whose Patronage it is Humbly dedicated by R. Blome." It was in all probability his son, James Bridgman, who came to America in 1640, and is of the "Pilgrim Fathers " stock. He settled at Hartford. Conn., the same year, thence moved to Springfield. Mass., and subsequently to Northampton, N. H. John, his only son, had six sons -- John, born in 1674; James, born in 1677; Isaac, born in 1680; Ebenezer. born in 1686; Thomas, born in 1688; and Orlando, born in 1701. John, the eldest son had a son Jonathan, who was born in Connecticut. He afterward moved to a farm on Moose Mountain, in the Leming neighborhood, and near Hanover. H. H. [sic] He had six sons -- Isaac, John, Asa, Abel, Gideon and Orlando. These sons were all ministers of the Baptist denomination and when one of them, Abel, died, another brother Isaac, preached the funeral sermon, and the four remaining brothers acted as pall-bearers. This son, Abel, previously mentioned, married a Miss Fowler, a cousin of O. S. Fowler, the great phrenologist of New York City. He was a laborious worker, and died at the comparatively early age of forty-four years. His widow subsequently married a Mr. Bass. Abel's son, Erastus, was born at Hanover, N. H., in 1796, and there resided during his life. He was a farmer through life and died in 1874, at the age of seventy-eight years. He married Mary Flagg, a native of Massachusetts, and a daughter of Dr. Bazalele Flagg, a great lover of, and indulger in. practical jokes. They were the parents of seven children, three daughters and four sons, three living -- Mary Frances, John C. (our subject) and Nathan C.   Adeline, Charles, Augusta and Mendal are deceased. Mrs. Bridgman departed this life in the summer of 1868, and both parents are buried near Hanover, N. H., in the old cemetery near the brick church where Abel Bridgman's sermon was preached. Our subject, the fifth child and second son of this family, was born at Hanover,. N. H., March 24, 1831 and was there reared. He obtained a fair common-school education, and part of an academic one. He was married January 19, 1853, to Lucy B. Pelton and on April 1, 1854, Mr. Bridgman and wife arrived at London, this county. Mr. Bridgman secured a position as clerk for W. W. Follows, in the dry goods line, and remained with him six months. He then secured a similar position with Samuel Tenny, and subsequently was with Shaw & Toland one year. He then purchased a half-interest in the grocery trade of William Smith, and the firm put out the following sign over their place of business: "Smith & Bridgman, Genius and Capital Combined" Either the former quality or the latter necessity failed, for the firm carried on the business but a few months. After engaging a short time in other enterprises. Mr. Bridgman commenced at London in his present business. This was in 1856, at the beginning of the stock sales in Madison County. Since that time. Mr. Bridgman has devoted nearly all his time to this occupation, and his success as an auctioneer is beyond doubt, and does not need any word from us. " Jack Bridgman," as he is familiarly called, is well known all over this and adjoining counties, and his jovial manners, free and ready wit, and commonsense qualities have won for him the friendship of all. When his father' estate was being settled up, he generously relinquished his claim to any part of it to a younger brother who had stayed at home and taken care of the old folks. Mr. Bridgman commenced life in Madison County without a dollar in money. and has succeeded in life beyond his anticipation. His sales of every description during the year 1882 amounted to $350,000. He is a Royal and Select Master in Masonry, and connected with all the fraternity organizations at London. He is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Bridgman had seven children given them four living -- Marion Frances. wife of William Chrisman, of London; Franklin Ross, with Jennings, Ford & Paxton, live stock commission merchants, Cincinnati; Mary S. and Ollie. Charles M., Flora and Orlando are deceased. Mr. Bridgman is a director in the Madison National Bank. Mrs. Bridgman is a lady of education and refinement, and as jovial in her manners as her husband. She is a daughter of David M. Pelton, who was born in Lyme, N. H., November 26, 1804. He was a son of David M. Pelton, Sr., also a native of Lyme, N. H. He was a cattle drover, and died in 1818. He married Lucy Stone, and his widow subsequently went to New York State, and married the father of Millard Fillmore. thus becoming step-mother to the President of the United States. David M. Pelton, Jr., the father of Mrs. Bridgman, married Sally Ross, who was born in Hanover, N. H. They were the parents of five children -- Lucy B., born May 2, 1834; Isabel F., born August 3, 1840; David C., born June 26, 1843; Brewster, born August 22, 1848; and Franklin R., born August 20, 1852. Lucy B. Bridgman and David C. are the two living. Mr. Pelton died April 3, 1872, aged sixty-eight years, and his wife February 8, 1871. Mrs. Bridgman's maternal grandfather was Thomas Ross, who enlisted in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary war at eighteen years of age, and subsequently died at Hanover. N. H.

 

From HISTORY OF MADISON COUNTY - W. H. Beers [Chicago, 1883]