Bridgford (1822- ), Letters, 1850-1851 (C3793) 2 folders
INTRODUCTION--Letters of Jefferson Bridgford to his wife in Missouri
while on the Oregon Trail and working in California during the gold
rush. DONOR INFORMATION--The Jefferson Bridgford letters were donated
to the State Historical Society of Missouri by Anne B. Forrester on
October 15, 1992
(SHS Accession No. 2929).
SKETCH--The youngest of five sons of Richard and Nancy Bridgford,
Jefferson Bridgford was born November 9, 1822, in Woodford County,
Kentucky. The family settled in Monroe County, Missouri, in 1836, and
relocated to Clay County, Missouri, in 1840. At the age of 22
Jefferson Bridgford started work as a farm laborer and working with
livestock in northern Missouri. In 1848 he married Margaret E.
Waller; the Bridgfords raised eight children. Enticed by gold in
1850, Bridgford left his family behind and traveled cross country via
the Oregon Trail to California. Once there, he quickly abandoned
mining and set up in the steadier business of provisioning the gold
camps around Sacramento. In the fall of 1851 he set out home to
Missouri by ship via Panama. On his return Bridgford settled with his
family on a farm near Paris, Missouri, where he began to raise
short-horn cattle. He eventually became one of the leading breeders
and dealers in the region, shipping large herds to California and
winning numerous prizes. In latter life he developed an interest in
saddle horses, winning the first prize as the best gentleman rider at
the 1894 Chicago World's Fair.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
NOTE--The experience of an overland journey to California and working
in the goldfields of northern California is conveyed in the letters of
Jefferson Bridgford to the wife and child he left behind in Paris,
Missouri. In the letters written on the Oregon Trail, beginning in May
1850, Bridgford describes the daily trials of driving wagons and
cattle cross country, and reveals some of his own anxiety in leaving
his family. The last trail letter is written in mid-summer from
South Pass in Wyoming, near where those California-bound swung south
onto the California Trail. Bridgford's letters from California
describe his work provisioning the gold camps around Sacramento, and
also touch on mining conditions, the economic situation, the state of
other Missourians, and his own desire to return home. The last letter
was written from Nevada City, California in July 1851. Bridgford left
California in the fall of that year.
Conyers, Thomas W. (1795-1879),
Papers, 1817-1903 6 folders; (C 755)
Papers of a Monroe County,
Missouri, landowner, merchant, soldier and politician. Included are
diaries, an account book, genealogical materials and miscella neous
records of the family and their slaves. Particular emphasis is given
to agricul tural practices and home remedies.
- Granville General Store,
Monroe County, Missouri, Records, 1855-1856
- Missouri-Alaska Gold
Company, Paris, Missouri, Letterhead, 1898
Missouri, Monroe County,
Provost Marshal, Records, 1862-1865 (C 3161) 3 folders
Military correspondence, circulars, and other papers of William M.
Houston and William McIlrath, provost marshals of Monroe County,
Missouri, regarding arrests, seizures of property, and other
Ferris, Ruth, "Betty
Ragland at Adelphai College, Boonville, Missouri, 1854-1855", n.d.
(C 995.573) 29 pages
Typescript recounting the two years that Ragland, a Monroe County,
Missouri, native, spent at Adelphai College--one as a student, the
next as a teacher. Includes descriptions of student life and
information about the school.
Catholic Churches, Ralls
and Monroe Counties, Missouri, Records, 1833-1954 5 rolls of
microfilm (C 2973)
Baptismal, confirmation, burial, and marriage records from St.
Peter's, St. Joseph's, St. Paul's, and Immaculate Conception Catholic
Churches in Ralls County and St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Monroe
Mount Horeb Presbyterian
Church, Monroe County, Missouri, Records, 1852-1875 1 volume (C
Records of the church consisting of session meeting minutes,
membership records, and a list of infant baptisms.
Salem Baptist Church, Monroe
County, Missouri, Records, 1857-1916 .2 l.f. (C unprocessed) Church
record book which includes membership lists, bylaws, meeting minutes,
and annual reports.