Among the highly respected and influential citizens of Centralia
township, Marion county, Illinois, is the subject of this sketch, whose long
and active life has been one of usefulness and honor, a native of the great
Empire state, which has sent so many of its best sons into the West. He has
kept up the state's reputation for sterling citizenship and loyalty to the
Horace Bronson was born in Oneida county, New York, November 14, 1831, the son of Allen and Triphena (Hudson) Bronson, both natives of Chautauqua county, New York. Allen Bronson devoted his life to farming and in 1859 he came to Illinois, and located in Grundy county. He later went to Dennison, Iowa, and in 1893 went to Odell, Illinois, where he died in 1894, his wife having died in the state of New York. The subject's father married a second time, his last wife being Kate Douglas, of New York state. She died in Grundy county, Illinois. Mr. Bronson was a loyal Republican and an influential man in his community. His wife was a member of the Methodist church. The following children were born to Allen Bronson by his first wife, namely: Horace, our subject; Jay was a soldier in the Civil war in the Seventy sixth New York Volunteer Infantry and located in Detroit after the war, where he engaged in business; Walter, a farmer at Pontiac, Illinois, served in the navy during the Civil war; James Gordon served in the Fourth Illinois Cavalry during the Civil war after which he located on a farm near Pontiac, Illinois, where he later died; William, a farmer at Odell, Illinois; Isaac, also a veteran of the Civil war, is a farmer at Odell, Illinois. The following children were born to the second marriage: Byron is in the United States Signal service, having been stationed in the West for many years; Fred is a conductor on the Burlington Railroad, located at Galesburg, Illinois; Charles is also a conductor on the Burlington at Galesburg.
The subject attended the home schools in his native community and remained a member of the family circle until 1852, when he went to California by water, where he worked at mining for four years, then went back to New York state and first married in 1856, Margaret Wright, of Utica, New York. She died May 14, 1871. His second wife was Ella Fitzgerald, a native of Centralia, Illinois. She died in 1875. He married a third time to Elizabeth Eberts, of Camden, Ohio. The subject had three children by his first wife, namely: George, who is living in the West; Frank, an electrician in Chicago; Ellen is deceased. The subject had no children by his second wife, but four by his third wife, namely; Grant, a carpenter living at Centralia, Illinois, who married Mary Thurston, and they are the parents of one daughter, Mabel; Albert J. is living at home; Walter is also living at home; Horace is deceased.
In 1857 the subject came to Centralia, this state, and took up farming, which he made a success of until 1869 when he moved to Champaign, Illinois, where he farmed and raised broom corn with great success for a period of thirteen years, and in 1882 he came back to Centralia and located where he now lives, just south of the city of Centralia in section 30, where he owns thirty-six acres of valuable land, where he carries on fruit raising and farming. He also raises some stock.
The subject began making brooms in 1858 and has carried on the same, most of the time ever since. He and his sons have carried on this business in connection with other lines with uninterrupted success. They have no trouble in disposing of all the brooms they can make in the home market, for they are known to be a superior grade and are eagerly sought after.
Mr. Bronson has always been a stanch Republican and he takes much interest in all movements looking to the well being of his county. Mrs. Bronson is a member of the Christian church.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 579-580.