This gentleman whose name appears at the head of this biographical review needs no introduction to the people of Johnson county, since his entire active life has been spent here, a life devoted not only to the fostering of his own interests, but also to the welfare of the community at large. An honorable representative of one of the esteemed families of his section and a gentleman of high character and worthy ambitions, he has filled no small place in the public view, as the important official positions he has held bear witness. He is a splendid type of the intelligent, up-to-date, self-made American in the full sense of the term, a man of the people, with their interests at heart. As a citizen he is progressive and abreast of the times in all that concerns the common weal. Although a partisan, with strong convictions and well defined opinions on questions on which men and parties divide, he has the esteem and confidence of the people of the community and his personal friends are in number as his acquaintances, regardless of party ties.
Harry Bridges, the present efficient and popular treasurer of Johnson county, was born on his father's farm near Trafalgar, Hensley township, Johnson county, Indiana, on December 12, 1872. He is the son of William A. and Alice M. (Hunter) Bridges, both of whom were born in the same locality, and both now live in Franklin. The father, who during his active life was an industrious and successful farmer, is now practically retired from active pursuits. For many years he was prominent in the public life of Johnson county, having served two terms as a member of the board of county commissioners during the eighties and, beginning with January 1, 1900, he served two terms as county treasurer, discharging his duties in a manner highly creditable to himself and his fellow citizens. The Bridges family is originally from Kentucky, the subject's grandfather, George Bridges, who was born in 1800, having come to Johnson county in 1827, settling in Hensley township, where he became a successful farmer. His death occurred there on August 22, 1872. He was married three times, first to a Miss Forsythe, by whom he had seven children; then to Martha Clarke, the grandmother of the subject of this sketch, to whom was born one child, the subject's father, and the third marriage was to a Miss Prather, by whom six children were born. To the subject's parents were born three children: Otis, who resides on his father's farm in Hensley township; Dell, the wife of Wiley E. Waggoner, of Franklin, and Harry, the immediate subject of this sketch.
Harry Bridges spent his youthful years on his father's farm, in the cultivation of which he gave his assistance as soon as old enough. He attended the district schools and also the school at Franklin, graduating from the high school, after which he spent three years in Franklin College, thus becoming well prepared for life's duties. Under President Cleveland's last administration he was deputy postmaster of Franklin and then returned to the home farm, to the cultivation of which he gave his attention until 1900, since when he has been identified with the public affairs of the county with the exception of four years when he was an employee of the Big Four railroad as assistant agent at Franklin. He served four years as deputy treasurer of Johnson county under his father, and then after quitting the employ of the railroad he served as deputy treasurer under T. J. Forsythe. He thus became well acquainted with the duties of the office and, his general efficiency and. trustworthiness having been demonstrated to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens, he was, in 1912, elected on the Democratic ticket to the office of county treasurer, the duties of which he assumed on January 1, 1913, receiving the largest majority ever given a candidate for public office in Johnson county, which certainly stands in marked testimony to his popularity among his fellow citizens.
On October 20, 1897, Mr. Bridges was married to Kate Vaught, the daughter of Andrew and Anna Vaught, of Franklin, and to them have been born three sons: William A., Jr., Charles E. and Harold. Religiously, Mr. Bridges is a member of the Baptist church and, fraternally, a Mason, belonging to both the York and Scottish Rites. In Franklin Commandery No. 23, Knights Templar, of Franklin, Mr. Bridges has taken a deep interest and is a past eminent commander of that body. He is widely known throughout the county and is deservedly popular among all classes of people by whom he is known.
Branigin, Elba L. History of Johnson County. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc., 1913. pp 582-584
Transcribed by Lois Johnson