Biography of Hosea Bridgman

Hosea Bridgman was born in Cook County, Illinois, and spent his early years in Wisconsin. He ventured into photography and later operated a successful meat market before relocating to South Dakota in 1874. In Springfield, he built a thriving freighting business and eventually turned his focus to farming and livestock. With hard work and strategic investments, he expanded his land holdings to nearly 480 acres of productive farmland. Highly respected in his community, Bridgman was known for his integrity and dedication. He also raised a family, providing his children with quality education and leaving a commendable military legacy from his service in the Civil War.

Hosea Bridgman.— The subject of this sketch is a native of Cook county, Illinois, and the son of Chauncy and Betsy Jane (Miller) Bridgman, the father born May 1, 1814, in Tioga county, New York, and the mother on October 2, 1817, in the same state. These parents were married November 1, 1835, and two years later moved to Cook county, Illinois, settling near Elgin, where Mr. Bridgman engaged in farming, in connection with which he also did considerable building in that city and the country surrounding. He died November 8, 1846, while on a visit to New York, after which his wife and children moved to Wisconsin, where the latter were reared and educated. Mrs. Bridgman, who was a daughter of Alvah and Sarah Jane Miller, survived her husband a number of years, departing this life at Springfield, South Dakota, on April 3, 1883. She was the mother of four children, namely: Alvah T., born July 25, 1836, present postmaster of Springfield, South Dakota; Mary L. was born June 24, 1840, and died on July 4th of the same year; Hosea, of this review, is the third in order of birth, and Helen, who was born March 21, 1844, lives with the subject and owns valuable real estate in Bon Homme which she entered a number of years ago when she first came west.

Hosea Bridgman spent the greater part of his childhood and youth in Wisconsin, and when a young man traveled quite extensively over the counties of Rock and Green, as a photographer, devoting several years to this kind of work. Subsequently, he opened a meat market and continued to operate the same until 1873, when he disposed of his business interests in Wisconsin and came to South Dakota, locating at Springfield, Bon Homme county, in the spring of 1874. During his residence in Springfield, which covered a period of twelve years, Mr. Bridgman devoted his attention to freighting and built up a lucrative business, running a number of teams and handling a vast amount of merchandise and other goods and heavy articles. Discontinuing this line of work in 1885, he took up a quarter section of land in section 61, township 93, to which he moved his family in 1885, and from that time to the present, he has given his attention to agriculture and livestock, meeting with encouraging success as a tiller of the soil and breeder and raiser of blooded and high-grade domestic animals.

Mr. Bridgman has added to his realty until his farm now contains four hundred and eighty acres of fine, productive land, nearly all of which is under cultivation and highly improved. He has good, substantial buildings, including a comfortable and commodious dwelling, supplied with many of the conveniences and not a few of the luxuries of life. All things considered, he is well situated to enjoy the liberal fruits of his labors, being in independent circumstances, with a sufficient competence laid up for future years. Mr. Bridgman has many warm friends in the community where he resides, and his popularity is bounded only by the limits beyond which his name is unknown. He stands high in the esteem of his neighbors and fellow citizens, and by a course of conduct above the suspicion of wrongdoing, demonstrates his right to the confidence reposed in him. Politically, he is a Republican but not a zealous partisan.

Mr. Bridgman was married in Green County, Wisconsin, to Miss Hannah H. Van Curan, of Edinburg, Erie County, Pennsylvania, the union resulting in the birth of three children, viz: Arthur, a manufacturer and dealer in harness, Perkins, South Dakota; Edith, one of the county’s efficient and popular teachers, and Nettie, who, in addition to teaching, is skillful in the art of photography. Mr. Bridgman spared no expense in educating his children, all three having taken courses at the State Normal School in Springfield. They are intelligent, more than ordinarily cultured, and greatly respected in the social circles in which they move. In addition to his long and successful career as a farmer, Mr. Bridgman can also boast of a creditable military record, having served during the latter part of the late Civil War as a member of Company I, Forty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He spent the greater part of his period of enlistment in Alabama, and later did guard duty principally until the downfall of the rebellion.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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