John "Old Wisdom" Bradford

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John "Old Wisdom" Bradford's Geni Profile

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John Bradford

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Fauquier County, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Daniel Bradford and Alice Bradford
Husband of Elizabeth Bradford
Father of Fielding Bradford; Charles Bradford; Rebecca Margaret Barbee; DANIEL Bradford; DINAH Hart and 2 others
Brother of Mary Allen

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John "Old Wisdom" Bradford

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of ENSIGN. DAR Ancestor # A013387

Bradford was born in 1749 near Warrenton, Va. A surveyor like his father, he came to Kentucky to seek his fortune. In the 1780s he and his brother, Fielding, laid claim to 6,000 acres, mostly along Cane Run Creek between Lexington and Georgetown.

Kentucky leaders who wanted to break away from Virginia and form a new state decided they needed a newspaper to publicize their cause, but they were unable to attract a printer from back East. So, on the promise of future state printing work, Bradford and his brother bought a press in Pennsylvania and brought it down the Ohio River on a flatboat and overland from Maysville on pack horses.

During its early years, the Kentucke Gazette was the only newspaper within 500 miles of Lexington. It published weeks-old reports of national and international news and a smattering of local happenings. There was special emphasis on reports of Indian attacks on settlers. Bradford himself participated in attacks on Native American settlements in what is now Ohio.

Like most small-town publishers, Bradford became involved in many aspects of civic and business life. He chaired the town trustees for many years and was a legislator and sheriff. But he was more businessman than politician.

In addition to running newspapers in Lexington and Frankfort, Bradford was the state’s first book publisher and owner of an early bookstore. In 1796, he was a founder of the Lexington Public Library. He started the first mail service between Central Kentucky towns as part of newspaper delivery.

Bradford promoted emigration to Kentucky and helped start the Kentucky Vineyard Society to try to develop a local wine industry. He owned a tavern, a warehouse and a steam-powered flour mill and cotton factory on Vine Street. A mechanic and mathematician, he designed much of the machinery.

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John "Old Wisdom" Bradford's Timeline

Fauquier County, Virginia, United States
Age 18
Scott, KY, USA
February 26, 1770
Age 21
Age 23
Virginia, USA
Age 28
Age 30
Age 30
Age 41
March 1830
Age 81
Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, United States