BRADFORD, GEORGE D., President of the First National Bank, Waverly, Ill., is so identified with the commercial life of the State of Illinois that it would almost appear as if the man were created for the very position in the mercantile and banking field which he so ably fills. He was born in Bond County, Ill., January 23, 1858, the son of Owen J. and Mary A. (Hunter) Bradford, natives respectively of Maryland and Illinois, and both of whom are now deceased. At the time of his parents' death George D. Bradford was a mere infant, and but for the tender care of an elder brother his frail hold on life would have been lost altogether. But fate had not decreed that this strong personality should be lost to the world, so the youth thrived and grew. His education was secured in the public schools of Bond County, with a term at Blackburn University, Carlinville. It did not take the lad long to discover that a commercial career was best suited to his talents, and when he was barely twenty-one he had acquired a partnership in a large mercantile establishment, of which he was the active manager. For the past twenty-six years his success has been remarkable, his name being now connected with seven large mercantile houses, viz: Bradford & Weise, Waverly, Ill.; Bradford & White, Vandalia, Ill.; Bradford & Murdock, Virden, Ill.; Bradford & Buchanan, Sumner, Ill.; Weise & Bradford, Greenville, Ill.; Weise, Bradford & Co., Pocahontas, Ill., and The Weise-Bradford Co., Tuscola, Ill. The above stores are known as the "Star Stores."
In association with his partner, W. V. Weise, the Waverly Star Store, which was started in 1889 under their management, has grown to be the largest in their line of business of any house in the county, outside of the city of Jacksonville. In 1898 Mr. Bradford assisted in the organization of the First State Bank of Waverly, which, in 1903, was changed to a National Bank whose capital was increased to $50,000, and whose business under his able presidency is steadily increasing in volume. Since 1898 he has also been President of the Waverly Building and Loan Association.
On June 1, 1880, Mr. Bradford was married to Nellie, daughter of William Elliott Wilson, a prominent hotel manager, who conducted the "St. Charles," at New Orleans, La., and who, at the time of his decease, was the efficient chief clerk at the "Southern", St. Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Bradford are the parents of five children: Bessie, who graduated in 1905 from the Chicago College of Music; Nellie, a student at Oberlin College, Ohio; George, Owen, Mildred and Guy Wilson, who remain at home. In his political affiliations Mr. Bradford is a Democrat.