Margaret Leah Graham Bradford
This is from an article that my Grandmother Margaret Leah Graham Bradford carried in her suitcase. After my Granddad David Crockett Bradford died she would spend time with each of her children. I took the letter and copied it word for word many years ago. I have no idea who wrote it. But the family touches a lot of families in Van Buren County.
She descends from the Webb family with family history dating back to the time of the Virginia Colony.
During the time when the Indians had absolute control of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, the Webb family came from England and settled in Virginia. As hundreds of others had done, they left England because of religious persecutions and sought the wilds of America where "they could cut their own vine and fig trees without being molested and daring to make anyone afraid," and worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.
This family took a prominent part in the struggle for independence and after the adoption of the Constitution and the Indians had made treaties with the whites, the tide of immigration was westward.
In the year of 1826, James Webb, great-grandfather of Mama Maggie, emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky and settled on Dry Fork where Webbville now stands. His family consisted of seven boys and three girls of whom John M. Webb, grandfather of Mama Maggie, was the second son. He was nine years old when he came to the wilds of Kentucky and at age of 22 he returned to the Cumberland Mountains where he married Elizabeth Sturgill. They returned to Lawrence County and settled on Bellstrace. To this union was born eight boys and five girls. Rachel, mother of Mama Maggie, was the third child born and on January 29, 1874 she married Richard Graham and emigrated to Arkansas. To this union was born six children, the forth being Margaret Leah Graham on July 13, 1874.
In 1894 Mama Maggie married David Crockett Bradford and the spent most of their married life at Eglantine in Van Buren County, Arkansas. She was prominent in the Church of Christ there keeping it going when there were only a handful to attend and no men leaders. To this union of marriage 11 children were born, Keith,of Eglantine, Eunice of Quitman, Carrie of Shirley, Everett of Clinton, Dee her only child who has passed on, Edra Hodges of Arizona, Sherman and Herman of Shirley, Woodrow of Higden, Ocie McKuin of Missouri and John Aday of Damascus.
She has 32 grandchildren living, and four dead, 62 great grandchildren living and one dead, 30 great great grandchildren and one greatgreatgreat grandchild.
A reception was held for family and friends on Sunday, July 10 at the home of Carrie and Bryson Bradford at Shirley with approximately 70 signing the register.
A beautiful four-layered cake baked by Beverly Bradford Weaver a great granddaughter was served with orange punch.
Note from Granddaughter JoAnn Bradford:
Grandma Maggie live to be 107 years old, She died August 17, 1981. She had wanted to have 12 children like her Grandmother had but she only gave birth to 11 but she help raise a step-daughter Bertha Bradford whose Mother had died. She and husband David Crockett Bradford are buried in the Clinton, Arkansas cemetery.