236. Francis Asbury Kirkpatrick was born on 3 June 1815 in Madison Co., Illinois. He died on 22 September 1879 at the age of 64 in Rhodes, Marshall Co., Iowa. He was buried in Eden Cemetery, Rhodes, Marshall Co., Iowa. Francis was born 3 Jun 1815, in Madison Co., Illinois before the family removed to Bond Co., Illinois. On 3 Dec 1835 he married Catherine Bradbury near Naples, Scott Co., Illinois, at her parents' home. Catherine was the daughter of Jacob and Patience (Rounds) Bradbury. She was born 19 Sep 1817 in Brown Co., OH, near Ripley, in a "large hewed log house of two rooms and an ell besides". The Bradbury family came to Illinois via a trip down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers on a flatboat in 1827. There they settled on an 80-acre farm about four miles from the village of Naples. In a memoir dictated to her son Edwin Asbury Kirkpatrick in 1902 or 1903, she tells a great deal about her ancestry, her parents and her family. Both compilers of this record have a copy, which may be consulted by anyone interested.
After their marriage, Francis and Catherine farmed first in Scott County (which was then still a part of Morgan County) and then in Pike County, Illinois. They continued to live on their 120 acre farm in Pike County until 1849. Francis was licensed by the Methodist Episcopal Church to preach in 1848, and in the spring of 1849 the family sold it's holdings and moved to Iowa, crossing the Mississippi on a stream ferry at Montrose. They settled first at Richland, a small village in the southeastern corner of Keokuk County. Francis hauled goods from Burlington for merchants and preached on Sundays, organizing a Methodist Church in Richland. In the fall of 1849 he went to the Methodist Conference at Tipton and accepted the assignment to the Winchester circuit. Winchester was a small town in Van Buren County, Iowa, which no longer exists. He travelled by horseback over a large district covering two circuits, a circuit which took four weeks to complete.
The family lived for two years in Winchester. In 1851 they moved to Bloomfield, in Davis County, Iowa, and then the following spring to Troy, a nearby town. There they bought a small farm of 51 acres, where they lived in a log house. They remained on this farm for five years. In 1858 Francis was appointed to a circuit in Louisa County, Iowa and decided to move his family. In 1859 Francis was appointed to the Peoria circuit, Peoria being a small town in Mahaska County, Iowa. They stayed there for two years until a new assignment in Poweshiek County, Iowa, meant another move, this time to Montezuma.
That spring, shortly after the Civil War began, their oldest son, William Tragen Kirkpatrick who was eighteen years old, enlisted in the 2nd Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry, against his mother's wishes. Many years later Catherine stated that "I told him when he started, that I could only look on him as dead, and he said there would be more room for the rest." Her words were prophetic, for William was killed at the Battle of Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River in Tennessee on 15 Feb 1862. His mother claimed a pension for her son's services based on the fact that he had been responsible for much of the support of the family due to his father's disabilities. The pension was granted.
In 1862, while Francis was attending a rally in Peoria, he was assaulted by a rebel sympathizer. He had made a speech and went across the road when a "copperhead" (southern sympathizer) named Craven came up to him and said, "You called me a Copperhead". Francis said "If you believe (so and so) you are". The southern sympathizer then struck him with a sling shot and ran into his house. The situation began to get ugly. A peddler in the crowd had some revolvers which he began to hand out, telling the men to use them. However Craven's wife came out of her house and begged them not to do anything. Francis was taken to a friend's house where he remained partly unconscious that night. Craven was arrested and fined $2.50, but nothing more serious was done to him.
Francis had had a serious fall from a horse in 1859, and suffered from physical disabilities from that date. After his encounter with Craven he also suffered from headaches whenever he was under stress, and apparently was increasingly incapacitated from functioning either as a circuit rider or as a farmer.
In 1863 the family moved back to Peoria and Francis worked as a butcher. He was elected President of the Methodist Conference that fall. During these and following years, it seems that Catherine increasingly held the family together and made the hard decisions. During this time they had to move frequently because they could not find a house to rent permanently. Catherine comments in her memoir, "When we would have to leave a house and there seemed none to be got, Francis would be taken with the headache and could do nothing. I would have to see to everything and look out for a place to live. Those years were very hard one for me."
In 1864 or 1865 Francis received an assignment in Warren County, Iowa, and the following year they were transferred to Hopeville. Later still he served the Decatur Circuit in Decatur County, Iowa, and then once again returned to Peoria. After several other assignments Francis and Catherine in 1875 purchased a small farm near Rhodes, in Marshall County, Iowa. This farm was worked and improved by their younger sons while Francis preached in nearby places. Here Francis died on 22 September 1879 and is buried in the Eden Township Cemetery in Rhodes. Catherine remained on the farm for about a dozen years with her younger sons, and then lived with Edwin until her death, although occasionally she visited her other children. It was on one of those visits that she died on 13 August 1904 in Carney, Oklahoma.
Francis Asbury Kirkpatrick and Catherine Bradbury were married on 3 December 1835 in Morgan Co., Illinois.112 Catherine Bradbury, daughter of Jacob Bradbury and Patience Rounds, was born on 19 September 1817 in Brown Co., Ohio. She died on 13 August 1904 at the age of 86 in Carney, Lincoln Co., Oklahoma. She was buried in Eden Cemetery, Rhodes, Marshall Co., Iowa.4 This is from the book, Pike County Illinois History by Jess M. Thompson. This was found at the US GenWeb site for Pike County, Illinois. No date of publication.
Catherine Bradbury, another of this early family, was born near Ripley, Ohio, September 19, 1817 and was nine years old when the family landed at Naples. She married Francis A. Kirkpatrick near Naples on December 3, 1833. She died August 13, 1904 at the home of a son near Carney, Oklahoma. Her story, related in 1905 in the Methodist Recorder, is typical of this hardy pioneer family, and for that reason is here repeated in part:
"The family, already consisting of six children, had to be clothed and fed from a salary of less than $200 and what the mother earned by sewing. The first year she was sick, had to be carried on a bed when the family was moved to the new parsonage from a temporary home. The next year she was sick for a month almost unto death, but thought of Hezikiah and prayed for fifteen years more of life that she might raise her children. Finally, the doctor, after spending the night with her, declared that the crisis was past.
"A few years later, with the assistance of friends, a farm of 40 acres was bought in Davis county for two hundred dollars, upon which the family lived, improving it as best they could, while the husband and father preached on more or less distant circuits or performed his duties as president of the conference.
"The oldest son, William, who was afterwards killed at the battle of Fort Donelson, was just then entering his teens and did much of the work on the farm himself. After five years this farm was left to be sold (though nothing was ever realized from it) and for nearly a score of years, the family, which increased to the number of twelve, moved from place to place, as the father was assigned to one field of work after another.
"During this time the mother not only cared for the large family but often worked to help support it, for the father received from preaching only one to three hundred dollars a year which small sum he added to whenever possible by farming or other manual labor.
"Though not physically strong, her dwelling, however poor it might be, was always neat, clean and homelike. The children went to school in clean clothes free from holes, though sometimes the clothes had to be washed in the evening, dried at night, and ironed in the morning, and carefully patched many times.
"Although sometimes weak from overwork and the lack of sufficient nourishing food, she never failed to have a good meal for her husband when he returned from his weary travels, and also for the numerous brethren who in those days came as a matter of course to the minister's house for meals and lodging.
"At about the hardest part of this period her beloved second-born son, who, though only eighteen, had been a strong support of the family, went to war, and soon was laid in a southern grave.
"In 1875 a small farm was purchased near Rhodes, Iowa, and was cleared and improved by the boys while the father preached only in nearby places. In this year Laura, the youngest and only unmarried daughter, died and three years later the father and husband passed away.
"The mother remained on the little farm with the younger sons about a dozen years, then kept house for her youngest son until she was 78, when he was married. She then made her home with him in Winona, Minnesota, and in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, though occasionally visiting the other children. It was on one of these visits that she peacefully passed away at the home of her son in Oklahoma."
Thus The Methodist Recorder paid tribute to a pioneer Bradbury mother, who left four sons and four daughters scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, each with the memory of a mother whose love and sacrifice for her children never failed and who, in her sphere, had endured and wrought as patiently and heroically as ever did martyr or hero of history.
Francis Asbury Kirkpatrick and Catherine Bradbury had the following children: