Biography of Bradford Norbury

BRADFORD NORBURY. Bradford Norbury has made his home in Greene County, Missouri, since 1862, and has become widely and favorably known to its citizens. He owes his nativity to Dane County, Wisconsin, where he was born February 5, 1835, a son of Thomas E. and Anna (Dickson) Norbury, the former of whom was born in Ireland and came to America in 1834. He was married in his native land and after coming to this country located near Lockport, New York, where he engaged extensively in the manufacture of woolen goods, but after a very short residence there moved to Wisconsin and began tilling the soil, but died before his hopes of making a competence for his family were realized. His widow still continued to live on the farm until 1841 when she also died, leaving a family of three sons and two daughters: Elizabeth, who became the wife of a Mr. Charlesworth, died at about the age of forty years; George, who went to California in search of gold in 1849, has never been heard of since, and is undoubtedly dead; William became a resident of New Jersey, and is deceased; Mary, who died in her early girlhood; and Bradford, who is the only surviving member of the family.

After the death of the mother the family separated, after selling the home farm and dividing the proceeds, and, although Bradford was only six years old at this time, he continued to make his home in Dane County with friends and obtained a fair education in the common schools of that section. At the age of twenty-one he went to Milwaukee, and later to New York City, where he remained a few months, then returned to Milwaukee in which place he made his home for about a year. He learned the trade of a blacksmith when a boy and while in Milwaukee followed that occupation. Upon leaving that city he went to St. Louis, where he remained some two years, after which he went to Rolla, Missouri, in which place he made his home from 1859 to 1862, running a blacksmith and wagon shop and manufacturing plows. He has been a resident of Greene County since 1862, and soon after locating in Springfield was appointed master mechanic of the Government shops at Rolla, and in 1861 transferred from Rolla to Springfield, a position he held until the close of the war. After the close of hostilities he was transferred to Fort Reilly and served in the same capacity until October, 1866, when he received his discharge. During the war he was located most of the time at Springfield, the shops being situated where Everett’s planing mill now stands on Phelps Avenue. Since then he has been engaged in general black smithing and farming, following the first occupation two years and the latter the remainder of the time, becoming the owner of his present farm of 143 acres, situated four miles east of Springfield. Since then he has been engaged in general farming and has dealt in stock to some extent. Everything about his place indicates that he is a man of thrift and energy, for his buildings and fences are kept in good repair and his stock is as good as can be found in Greene County. Near his residence is a fine spring of clear and cold running water, and on other portions of his farm are good streams, which make his place an admirable one for the raising of stock. Nearly all the land is under cultivation and in all respects it is one of the most valuable places in the county, due largely to Mr. Norbury’s industry and good judgment in its improvement and cultivation. Mr. Norbury has always been a firm Democrat and takes a deep and active interest in political matters. He is a master Mason and has made a success of his efforts to win a competency for himself and those dear to him. He is a member of the Christian Church, in which he is also a trustee, and of this church his wife, whom he married May 15, 1864, and whose maiden name was Victoria A. Maupin, is also a member.

She is a daughter of A. W. and Margaret (Adams) Maupin, both of whom were from Madison County, Kentucky, members of the first families in the State. He emigrated to Missouri and settled in Boone County in 1820, or about that time, but about 1835 became a resident of Greene County, and until his death, which occurred in 1858, was a resident of Springfield. He was a carriage maker and conducted a large business in his line on Boonville Street. He was a very prominent business man of Springfield in his day, and was an active member of the Christian Church. His wife died in Ozark County while there on a visit to a daughter in 1884, being quite advanced in years and one of the oldest residents of the county. She was born in Kentucky in 1813, and became the mother of nine children, three of whom are living: Phoebe married William Victor and died in 1860; Martha married Mr. Campbell, and after his death Mr. Hightower, and died in 1861; Gorton died in 1866, having been a soldier in the Forty-sixth Regiment, and orderly sergeant of Company A, leaving a wife and two children; Lucy, who died in 1885, was the wife of A. Fisher, of Ozark County; James T. is living in the Choctaw Nation, is a farmer and a man of family (he was a soldier in the Sixth Missouri Cavalry); Victoria (Mrs. Norbury); Mary, who married F. Duffy, died in 1882, in Rich Hill, Missouri; Fannie is the wife of Andrew Myers and lives in Springfield; and Archie, who died when young, Mrs. Norbury was born in Springfield May 14, 1843, on Boonville Street, near the public square, and obtained a good education in the public schools and in Carlton College. She has borne her husband three sons and three daughters: Winnifred, born April 28, 1867, the wife of W. C. McBee, of Marion County, Arkansas, of which place he is a merchant (they have one child, Lucy); Charles F. was born July 12, 1869, married Jennie Shockley and has one child, Mary Victoria (they live at Springfield; Charles is in the employ of the Springfield Grocery Company); Edwin was born March 8, 1873, and is still assisting his father on the farm; Anna E. was born in June, 1876, and is also at home with her parents; two died in infancy. The family attend the Washington Avenue Christian Church and stand high in the estimation of the people of the county. Mr. Norbury carries on black smithing on his farm, but for some years has given it but little attention. He has everything about him that heart could wish, a pleasant and comfortable home, and a fine orchard, grapery, etc.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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