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Andrew Buford Bradley

Andrew Buford "Buff" Bradley was the fourth of nine children born to Stephen & Minerva (Davis) Bradley on May 23, 1856. In 1860 Stephen & Minerva had moved from Gilmer to Gordon County where they and their growing family remained until the US Census finds them in Murray County in 1880 in the Doolittle Community. By this time and at the age of 24 Buff was living on the Andrew K. Ramsey farm working as a farm laborer.

On Nov. 13, 1885, Buford married Mary Savannah Kriescher in Whitfield County. Mary was the only daughter of Peter, Jr. and Arminda Bennett Kriescher of Dalton. Peter, Jr. had sailed with his family from Prussia in 1849 to settle in Dalton in the small German settlement there.

Buff and Mary made their home in Murray County. As well as being a farmer, Buff also followed in his father's footsteps and was a carpenter by trade. He worked for hire building barns and other structures. He also had a general merchandise store in Ramhurst for a number of years. He was a very meticulous recordkeeper and a good businessman, according to records found among family collections.

Very little is known about the early years of Buff and Mary's marriage. They had six children: Georgia L. (Mrs. George Ed Owens) b.1886, d.1962; Maggie Beatrice> (Mrs. Ernest Arlan Wells) b. 1889, d.1975; Henry E. O., b.1891, d.1892; Andrew Clifton (never married) b. 1893, d.1983; Martin Van Buren (m. Kemmie Quarles) b.1895, d.1970; and William "Bill" Cornelius (m. Edith Middleton/1; Marjorie Davis Edmondson/2) b.1898, d.1986.

Mary passed away on August 25, 1914, after an extended illness. The family's love for Mary is evident in the inscription on her headstone at Mt. Zion Cemetery: "A light from our household is gone. A voice we loved is stilled. A place is vacant in our heart that never can be filled."

Buff was very lonely in Doolittle after Mary died, and the postcards he received from Maggie and Georgia are begging for "Papa" to ride the short dog from Ramhurst to Chatsworth for a visit. Maggie's daughters would hurry to the train station in town and excitedly stand and watch for the short dog to arrive, bringing their beloved Papa for a visit.

There was a strong family connection in the Bradley family. The daughters married and settled in Spring Place and later Chatsworth. The boys worked at various jobs in different states or wherever their jobs took them, but they never failed to write home. The many postcards and letters that were saved prove the devotion that this family felt toward one another. Later on the boys came back home to Murray County to settle, marry and have families. Clifton never married but he lived his remaining years with sister Maggie just up the street in Chatsworth from brother Bill.

In his last years Buff moved to Chatsworth to live with his youngest son Bill and wife Edith. It was on October 18, 1937, that this family said goodbye to their beloved Papa. Andrew Buford Bradley was laid to rest near his wife Mary in Mt. Zion Cemetery not far from where he lived the majority of his life in the Doolittle Community.


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