Freeman Braddock was born in Center township, Hancock county, on October 15, 1865, and is the son of Henry F. and Sarah E. (Thomas) Braddock
Henry F. Braddock was a native of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and was born on March 28, 1833, being the son of Moses and Nancy (Ringland) Braddock. Nancy Ringland was a native of England, while Moses Braddock was of Irish descent. Moses Braddock was a farmer in Pennsylvania, where he owned a farm on which the coal cropped out on the surface in many places and all that was needed by the family to get their fuel was to pick it up. The soil was very thin and in order to possess land that was more fertile, he came West and left the Pennsylvania farm as not worth bothering with. But sine that time the city of Braddock has grown to large proportions and covers the old farm, due largely to the coal deposits being developed.
On his arrival in Indiana Moses Braddock bought fifteen hundred acres from the government in Center and Jackson townships. He hired men to build him a cabin while he went back to get his family, and all returned to their Indiana home in 1835. On their arrival they found a three-faced camp, one side of the cabin had not been enclosed. The trees of the forest met overhead. At night the panthers and wolves made the night a terrible one to the women, who had left good homes in the East. It was a hardship many of the early pioneer women found in their new homes. Here in the wilderness the family lived for four years, at which time the father was taken with the milk sickness and died, leaving a family of eight children. It was said that whiskey would cure such sickness, but he would not use it. The children of the family are: John, Mrs. Nancy Alters, Mrs. Hannah Smith, William, Henry, Sarah, Richard and Noah. All of the original fifteen hundred aces of land purchased by Moses Braddock are in the possession of the family with the exception of eighty acres.
Henry F. Braddock was less than one year of age when the family came to the county and here he grew to manhood in pioneer surroundings. He farmed all his life on the farm where the son, Freeman, now lives in the north part of Center township. At the time he came here the farm was one vast woods. Here he made for himself and family a home, but his life was for the most part a pioneer one. He was active in the work on the farm until old age compelled him to quit. He had developed a most beautiful farm and had a woods pasture here it is said that not a weed was allowed to grow for twenty years. The farm consists of two hundred acres and was a model in many respects. In 1890 Mr. Braddock built the present home in which he and the son, Freeman lived. Henry F. Braddock died on January 19, 1916, at the age of eighty-two years, nine months and twenty-one days. His wife was Sarah E. Thomas, a native of Brown township, and was the daughter of Alfred Thomas and wife. To Henry F. Braddock and wife were born four children: Elmer, who died at the age of eight years; John live in Brown township on the old Thomas homestead; Alfred is a dentist at Portland, and Freeman is on the home place.
Freeman Braddock grew to manhood on the farm and attended school in the township and the high school at Greenfield. After completing his education he engaged in farming, which occupation he has followed all his life. He has been most successful at farming and stock raising. He began to raise Shorthorn cattle when he was but sixteen years of age he is one of the pioneers in the cattle business in this locality. His stock is full blooded and much of it is registered. Besides his cattle Mr. Braddock has been interested in heavy draft horses. To his cattle and horses he owes much of his success in life. He now owns nearly seven hundred acres of land in Center and Jackson townships.
In 1887 Freeman Braddock was married to Cora B. Cook, a native of Jackson township, and the daughter of Thomas and Nancy (Wilson) Cook. Thomas Cook now lives in Oklahoma. His first wife, the mother of Mrs. Freeman Braddock, died when Mrs. Braddock was a little girl and she was reared by her grandparents, Peter Wilson and wife, of Jackson township, this county.
Freeman Braddock and wife are the parents of five children: Emma is the wife of Charles Hutchinson, of Sugar Creek township, and they are the parents of two children, Lawrence and Willard F.; Amy, Hazel, Grace and Edwin. Edwin, the only son, was born on May 23, 1909. He is at this time the only male descendant of Moses Braddock in Hancock county.
Mr. Braddock and family attend the Nameless Creek Christian church, the family all belonging to the church except Mr. Braddock.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 845-47.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 12, 2001.
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