Colusa County










WALTER COBB BRADFORD.  The descendant of an honored pioneer family of California, and a worthy representative of its native-born citizens, Walter C. Bradford, of Arbuckle, is especially deserving of more than passing mention in a work of this kind.  Endowed with great mechanical ingenuity and ability, he has developed this natural talent by constant practice, becoming one of the most skillful carriage manufacturers of Colusa county, and as a member of the well-known firm of Bradford Brothers has built up a large and lucrative business.  A son of John H. Bradford, he was born near Oroville, Butte county, May 15, 1856.  His grandfather, William Bradford, a native of England, immigrated to the United States, settling first as a merchant tailor in New York city, but later removing to New Jersey, where he spent the closing years of his life.


Although born and educated in New York city, John H. Bradford went with his parents to New Jersey when young, and there learned the carpenter’s trade, which he followed for a while in that state, and also in Virginia.  In 1852 he migrated across the continent, coming by ox-teams to California, and locating in Butte county, where he was employed in mining for a number of years.  Locating in Solano county in 1866, he took up land, and was there engaged in agricultural pursuits for six years.  Removing from there to that part of Colusa county now included within the limits of Glenn county in 1872, he settled near Jacinto, where he followed farming, making a specialty of grain raising, until his retirement from active pursuits.  Now, a venerable man of eighty-five years, he is living in Orange county, free from business cares, and enjoying to the utmost the reward of his earlier years of toil.  He married Caroline Ward, who was born in New Jersey in 1822, and together they have trod life’s pathway for more than half a century, sharing alike the joys and the sorrows that have fallen to their lot.  Both are most highly esteemed, and are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Seven children blessed their union namely:  George, a farmer in Lake county; Mrs. Caroline High of Siskiyou county; Lewis, also engaged in farming in Lake county; Mrs. Josephine Mackin, who died in Tehama county; Walter Cobb, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Jessie Bashore of Orange county; and William David of the firm of Bradford Brothers.


Moving with his parents to Solano county when ten years old, Walter C. Bradford there completed his early education.  In 1872 he began working on a farm in Colusa county, and at the same time took up wagon repairing, for which he had a natural aptitude, doing various kinds of mechanical work on the large ranches.  Starting in business for himself in 1886, Mr. Bradford opened a wagon shop in Germantown, Glenn county, and was there four years.  Coming to Arbuckle in 1890, he and his brother William both entered the employ of Mr. Johnson, the leading blacksmith of this vicinity, remaining with him fourteen years.  March 7, 1904, Messrs. Walter C. and William D. Bradford bought out their employer, and under their present firm name of Bradford Brothers have since carried on a large business, having the most complete and up-to-date smithy and wagon shop in Colusa county.  Their machinery is of the most modern and approved manufacture, operated by an eight-horse-power gasoline engine, and they manufacture and repair everything in their line, including large machines and agricultural implements, and also do sheet metal work and plumbing.  They are noted for their artistic and durable work, and are carrying on a large business, extending from Maxwell to Woodland.


Walter C. Bradford is also interested to some extent in agriculture and horticulture, having a twenty-acre ranch, which adjoins Arbuckle on the north.  There he has a fine orchard of almonds, and raises good crops of alfalfa each season, making his home on his ranch, and greatly enjoying its management.  He is interested in all local matters, and in national politics supports the Democratic ticket.


William David Bradford was born near Oroville, Butte county, October 8, 1864.  He married Emma Wohlfrom, and they have one child, Wilmer Bradford.  Mr. Bradford is an Odd Fellow, belonging to the lodge and encampment, and is a member of the Independent Order of Foresters.









[Inserted by D. Toole.]



Walter Cobb Bradford


1926 Jul 21, San Diego Union, P5, San Diego, California

Bradford – In this city, July 19, 1926, Walter C. Bradford, brother of Lewis R. Bradford and Mrs. W. Bashore of San Diego, George W. Bradford, Modesto, Calif., Wm. D. Bradford, Arbuckle, Calif., and Mrs. Charles High, Siskiow[sic]; aged 70 years.  Remains will be in state at Bradley & Woolman’s chapel, C street, corner of Seventh, Wednesday, July 21, 1926, at 10 o’clock a.m.  Interment Glen Abbey Memorial park.







Transcribed by Donna Toole.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 502-503. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2017  Donna Toole.








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