Biography of J. N. Bringham of Colfax Township, Iowa

J. N. Bringham is a self-made man and from the age of thirteen years has been dependent upon his own resources, fighting courageously the battles of life and coming off conqueror in the strife. He dates his residence in Dallas county from 1860 and now makes his home on a farm on section 21, Colfax township, where he has a good tract of land, well improved. He was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, about three miles west of the old battleground where General William Henry Harrison fought the Indians in the war of 1812. Mr. Bringham’s natal year war 1833. His father, Jesse Bringham, was a native of Virginia and established his home in Indiana during the pioneer epoch in its early history. He followed the occupation of farming and after living for some time in the Hoosier state he came to Iowa, spending his last days in Cedar county. He married Miss Rachel Mulholland, who was a native of Ohio and died in Linn county, Iowa, during the early boyhood of her son, J. N. Bringham.

J. N. Bringham was reared on a farm and since the age of thirteen years has been dependent upon his own resources and labors for a living. He early developed a spirit of self-reliance and realizing that success has its basis in untiring industry he has worked persistently and energetically throughout the intervening years. He was first employed at farm labor near Peoria and then came to Iowa, while subsequently he went to California. At a later day he returned to Illinois by the old route, sailing from San Francisco and crossing the isthmus of Panama. Many experiences came to him in his journeyings and during the period of his residence in the far west where conditions of early mining excitement prevailed. In 1860 he made a permanent location in Dallas county, where he purchased forty acres of land. He built a house, improved the land and lived upon that place for a number of years, it being situated near Kennedy station. He they sold that farm and bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 21, Colfax township, where he has since lived. He has made this a good farm property, equipped with all modern conveniences and accessories. He has divided the place into fields of good size by well kept fences and has brought his land under it high state of cultivation, raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate.

Mr. Bringham has been married three times. In 1862 he wedded Miss Lucinda Farlow, from whom he secured a legal separation. After the death of his second wife he married Miss Lucy McGee and they are now pleasantly located on the farm. There were four children by his first marriage. Flora, wife of Whaley Morris, who is living in Colfax township; Mary, wife of Elmer Clark, of Spirit Lake, Iowa.; Willis, a resident farmer of Minnesota; and Olive May, wife of Edward Noland.

For a quarter of a century Mr. Bringham has been a member of the Methodist church, in which he has served as trustee for a number of years. In politics he was a democrat in early manhood and afterward became a greenbacker but takes little interest in politics and for seven years has not voted. In community affairs he is interested to the extent of giving his support and cooperation to many movements for the public good. As architect of his own fortunes he has built wisely and well and his life record clearly illustrates what can be accomplished by determined and earnest purpose. Though he has reached the age of seventy-four years he does not live in reminiscences and his look is still forward. If his work has been less spectacular than in the political field it has been none the less essential and none the less important and he is classed with the valued residents of his community.


Wood, Robert F., Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, Chicago, IL: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907.

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