Family Stories

Theodore Bradford and Catherine Curtis Bullock Lived in Pendleton County

Theodore Bradford, the son of Hugh Atwell Bradford and Margaret Ann Chalfant, was born October 10, 1844, in Pendleton County, Kentucky.  Theodore was 16 in the 1860 census, in the same county, with his parents.  Hugh Bradford was 43, Margaret Bradford was 40.  Siblings included Francis P, 18, Mary, 14, William A., 12, Caroline, 6, Johnson C., 4, and Anabelle, 3.

Catherine Curtis Bullock, the daughter of William Henry Bullock and Mary Frances Mullins, was born May 25, 1852, in Pendleton County.  In the 1860 census of Pendleton County, Henry Bullock is 35, Mary Bullock, 30.  Their children were Missouri Ann, 12, Rebecca M., 11, Catherine C., 10, Rachel, 8, and Frances M., 2 – all daughters!  Two sons were born in the family but died within one or two years.  Children born after this census were Alice M., Cora Lee, Virginia Belle and Lillian Lucille.

In the 1870 census Catherine is an 18-year-old in her father’s household.  In the next couple of years, she married Theodore Bradford.

Theodore and Catherine appear in the 1880 census, living in Falmouth.  Theodore, 36, is listed as a dry goods merchant, Catherine, 30, as housekeeper.

Theodore and Catherine had three children.  Homer Theodore Bradford was born January 17, 1880.  Besse Lee Bradford was born January 1, 1882.  George Chalfant Bradford was born in August 1884.

From the Richmond Climax of August 1887 in the Premium List for the County Fair, Mrs. Theodore Bradford received honors for silk Kensington embroidery, worsted Kensington embroidery, Arrassine embroidery (a type of French embroidery), wool hose, cotton hose and cotton one-half hose.  Catherine Bullock Bradford must have been very handy with a needle.

A carriage house was built by Theodore Bradford as a playhouse for daughter Besse about 1891.  It is still standing today!

Oct 1, 1898, Col. Henry Bullock died at his home of paralysis.  He had been an invalid for two years.  He was mourned by all members of the family.

In 1900, Theodore and Catherine have been married 28 years, had 3 children, all living.  Theodore still has a dry goods store.  Catherine has employment as a milliner.  With the embroidery skills which won her acclaim at the county fairs, she put that to good use.  The three children, Homer, 19, Bessie, and George, 15, attended school.

In the 1910 Pendleton County Theodore, 65, was a retail merchant.  Catherine, 58, owned her own millinery shop.  Besse, 28, lived with her parents.  Homer Bradford lived in Butte City, Montana, with Catherine Quinn who ran a boarding house.  Homer is listed as a teacher at a public school.  George Bradford lived in neighboring Bracken County, Kentucky, in the home of John Askin.  George was a cashier at a local bank – he started at the bottom, but as the years went by, he climbed the ladder to executive vice president. 

February 15, 1913, Mrs. Frances M. Bullock, died, at the age of 84 years.  Her husband, the late Col. Henry Bullock, was for years a prominent merchant and large landowner and tobacco trader.  She was a sister of the late Col. Matthew Mullins, of the Seventh Kentucky Cavalry.  Frances Bullock was survived by nine daughters!  She was laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery in Falmouth, beside her husband.  Frances was a descendant of Gabriel Mullins who was a Private in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War.  He lived in Albemarle County.

According to the 1920 Census George C. Bradford, 35, lived in Robertson County, Kentucky, Mount Olivet.  He was a cashier at a bank.  Sister Besse, 37, lived with him.  Homer Bradford was living in Butte City, Montana, his occupation a high school teacher.  Theodore and Catherine lived in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, as lodgers with George A. Hines.  They both worked at a millinery shop.    

Theodore Bradford, October 10, 1844 – May 20, 1925. Catherine C. Bullock, May 25, 1852 – July 13, 1935. Riverside Cemetery, Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky.

Theodore Bradford died May 20, 1925, in St. Petersburg, Florida.  His body was brought to Falmouth, Kentucky, for burial in Riverside Cemetery.  He lived for the most part at St. Petersburg but had purchased the old family home at this city for a summer residence.

In the 1930 Census Catherine Bradford lived in Pinellas County, Florida, along with daughter Besse, 48, with seven borders.  I suppose she gave up her milliner’s shop after Theodore’s death.  Homer Bradford was living in Butte City, Montana in 1930, a teacher, listed as single. George Bradford lived in Falmouth on Shelby Street, with his wife Mabel and mother-in-law, Sarah Porter.  George was 44 and according to the census married at the age of 37, giving us the year 1923 as his marriage to Mabel Porter.  The couple had no children.

Catherine Bullock Bradford died at Falmouth, July 13, 1935.  Her obituary says son Homer Bradford, lived in Butte Montana.  George lived in Falmouth, and Bessie lived with her mother in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Catherine usually spent winters in Florida and summers in Pendleton County.  From her obituary in the Tampa Bay Times we find she was ‘a pioneer businesswoman in St. Petersburg, having operated a Central Avenue millinery store for many years.’  All time spent with her embroidery in those early years and winning awards at county fairs help her accomplish what many women could not do in the early years of the twentieth century.

After her mother’s death, Bessie was head of household in the 1940 census.  She, was a manager of apartments and had 7 lodgers, living in Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Florida.  Her home was valued at $7,500.  She lived on Fourth Avenue South.  Although I could not find Homer Bradford in the 1940 census, I believe he lived in Butte City, Montana, as he did in 1930 and 1950.  George Bradford lived in Falmouth, Pendleton County, and was a cashier at a local bank.  His wife, Mabel, was a bookkeeper at a local bank.  Sarah Porter, Mabel’s mother, lived with the couple. Three siblings living in three different states.

In the 1950 Census Homer Bradford lived in Silver Bow County, Butte City Montana.  He was 68 years old, a drafting teacher.  George Bradford lived in Falmouth, Pendleton County, 65 years old, Executive Vice President of a bank.  His wife, Mabel, 51, was a cashier at a bank.  With them lived Mabel’s mother, Sarah B. Porter.  Besse Bradford lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, landlord to five lodgers. 

June 1953 – University of Kentucky celebrated the 50th anniversary of the class of 1903, which included Homer T. Bradford of Butte, Montana.

In March of 1956 George Bradford took a trip to Cuba, returning to the port of Miami from Havana on the ship Florida.  Wife Mabel was not listed.  Perhaps a quick trip for a few cigars?

January 1959 – Besse Bradford died January 19, 1959, in St. Petersburg.  Services were held at the residence of her brother, George.  Her obituary mentioned she had been a resident of Florida since 1914.  In her will, Bessie Bradford, gave bequests to Mirror Lake Christian Church in St. Petersburg, the College of the Bible in Lexington and everything else to Mabel C. Bradford, with brother George acting as Executor.  The will was signed August 12, 1958, and was probated February 3, 1959.  Mabel Bradford was her sister-in-law. 

December 1966 – George Bradford lived to the ripe old age of 82.  He died December 19, 1966, in Falmouth.  At the time he was executive vice president of the First National Bank of that city.  He was buried in Riverside Cemetery with his family.

Mabel Porter Bradford lived another 22 years, dying at the age of 90.  In The Cincinnati Post of Thursday, June 16, 1988, she was called ‘a pioneer banker,’ I’m sure since she was a woman!  A friend mentioned they had Sunday dinner together for 50 years unless Mabel was traveling.  ‘Mrs. Bradford retired in 1969 as chief executive officer of the First National Bank, Falmouth.  During her 28 years there, she also was a cashier and executive vice president.

‘The bank had just been formed, in about 1920, and her husband, George C. Bradford, became the cashier.’

‘She was brilliant in mathematics.  When she first married, she kept books for her husband.

‘I think they called her assistant cashier.  She worked her way up and eventually became the chief executive officer.

‘She was a very beautiful woman, gracious, elegant, reserved and dignified.  She was in a class by herself.  She had coal black hair and blue eyes.

‘She had a good head for money.  She knew how to spend money, but she didn’t.  George knew how to spend it, and did.’

Thus ends the story of the Theodore and Catherine Bullock family.  No heirs to continue their names or tell their stories.  But we shall remember them and the good lives they led.

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