James J. Bridges, superintendent of the Orphans’ Home, at Hopewell, was born in Johnson County, near the little town of Trafalgar, June 3, 1833, being the fourth of seven children born to the marriage of George and Matilda (Forsythe) Bridges, natives of Kentucky; the birth of the former occurred about 1800, and he died in Johnson County in 1872; the latter born June 3, 1806, and died in this county March 9, 1848. As early as 1829, the family came to Johnson County. Mr. Bridges was raised on the family farm, and, what schooling he obtained, was received at the country school. At twenty-two years of age, he began life for himself as a farmer, and at that occupation continued until 1873, when he removed to Trafalgar, where he resided until 1884, when he accepted his present position at the Orphans’ Home. He is one of the men who lost thousands of hard-earned dollars by the failure of the Franklin Bank. Mr. Bridges was united in marriage January 16, 1855, to Miss Emaline Voris, a native of Mercer County, Ky., born April 5, 1831, being the eldest in a family of ten children, six of whom are now living. Her father, Peter Vories, was born in Henry County, Ky., in 1808, and died in Johnson County, in 1851. The other of Mrs. Bridges was Martha (List) Bridges, born in 1811, and died in 1879. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bridges, is this one son: George W., born in 1857. For three years Mrs. Bridges has been the matron of the Orphans’ Home, and now has fifty children in her care, and it goes without saying that there is no better woman for the place. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and her husband is a member of the Baptist Church, and in politics a democrat.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 592.