BRADY, Charles P.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, p 800
This pioneer of Winnebago County [IL], on coming hither in 1836, found the country new and the land unimproved, and has witnessed the wonderful transformation which the passing years have brought. His first purchase of land was made from the Government, and consisted of a tract in Burritt Township, on which not a furrow had been turned. Returning to PA, he there resided until 1840, and in July of that year once more came West, and commenced active operations as a tiller of the soil.
Success crowned the arduous exertions of Mr. BRADY, and he improved considerable valuable property, which he still owns. He may justly be termed a self-made man, as what he has and what he is may be attributed to his industry and judicious management. Prior to coming to IL in 1836, he had made his home for a time in NY State, and in journeying Westward had for a traveling companion one James HOFFMAN. The two yong men came via the river and canal to Buffalo [Erie County], NY, thence by boat on Lake Erie to Detroit, and from there on foot over the country to Rockford, working their way and carrying good guns, with which they killed enough game to subsist upon.
Mr. BRADY explains as his reason for coming to Rockford on foot, that there was no other way of reaching the place except by stage, and the one who came in the latter vehicle had to walk and carry a rail, while the one who walked had no rail to carry, hence his deciosn to walk. When he returned East in 1837, he went down the Mississippi in a row boat, thence up the Ohio to Pittsburg, and from there across to Philadelphia. The return trip in 1840 was made in a similar way. The usual pioneer experiences fell to the lot of Mr. BRADY, who was obliged to go to Chicago, the nearest market, while Dixon was the nearest post office. Occasionally he would take pork and grain to the WI pineries and trade them for lumber, which he would raft down the rivers and sell in order to purchase Government land.
Born in Bucks County, PA, 14 Dec 1814, our subject is the only son of Benjamin BRADY, who died when his son was only six years old. The mother of our subject was Miss Betsy PETTETT, who died when her son was only three months old. Thus early orphaned, Charles P. was raised by an uncle, and while quite young gained a practical knowledge of farming. He was married in Rockford to Miss Mercy L. HUNTSMAN, the ceremony being perfomred by the late Rev. John MORRELL. Mrs. BRADY was born in OH, of which State her parents were early settlers, later removing to IL and settling in Rockford. Her the father, George HUNTSMAN, died when quite old; her mother died in IN.
Mrs. BRADY was born in Jul 1815, and died in Rockford in 1883, mourned by all who knew her. She was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a devoted worker in the cause of temperance. She was the mother of four children, one of whom, Roy, is deceased. Annjenett, widow of James ATKINSON, resides in Burritt, this county; Philura I. is the wife of Edgar A. VAN WIE, Secretary, Treasurer and manager of the Rockford Electric Company. Mr. and Mrs. VAN WIE reside at No. 701 North Court Street, and are the parents of three children. Henry H. married Georgia TERRELL, and resides n Chicago. Religiously Mr. BRADY is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in his political affiliations was formerly a Republican, but is now a Prohibitionist.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.