PILGRIM WILLIAM BRAMLET, The father of nine sons -- Benjamin, Joseph, Henry, John, Reuben, Enoch, Abraham, and two names of which we have no trace from search in and out. It is believed at least one died young, and the other fought in the Revolution on the English side, being known as a Tory. As soon as the war was over he disappeared and was not known personally by the Colonist, It was believed he emigrated westward and possibly into the Indian Territory for safety, and no trace or history is to be had of him. He possibly died without issue. In fact, the writer is surprised to get so much history of the family name, outside the Reuben Bramlet family branch which settled in Illinois in 1816, and which later became Saline County, And today, December, 1923, the family is a well known, well respected people of said county, and in numbers are many, and growing. Some undisputed facts are thrift, honesty, moral and religious principles, practiced by many, giving the best in life to build up and make ready for future life. In reading this book, should the reader come to any part repeated, just read it and get its purpose and spirit soaked in, and then re-read with a purpose to be benefited, making prayer in your heart and life. Then you will rejoice with the writer.
JOHN BRAMLET, Third son as mentioned of Reuben, the Kentuckian. John was one of the pioneer settlers of the settlement known as the Bramlet Settlement. His early days as a boy growing up to manhood, were spent in the Kentucky home. Coming to Illinois in an early day, he spent the remainder of his life in this state. His boyhood and school days were in Kentucky, and the advantage for a fair education was very poor to compare with the present, 1923-24. He made fair progress, however, and seemed to have some real enjoyment from his limited book knowledge, and having special home training made him feel that life was worth living. John, like the other boys of his day, looked forward to the gain of worldly things, but his life was cut short of time to lay up earthly treasures. He remained single, and was looked on in his day as one whom we would call a bachelor. His life as a single man was not all a blank life, for he worked and helped others of the community in building houses and clearing the land for cultivation. His last days were spent in the home of his youngest brother, Coleman Bramlet. There he died, and his body was buried in the Mother Earth to return to dust from whence it came, and his spirit returned to God who gave it. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
Our pilgrim, WILLIAM BRAMLET, had five sons to live to manhood - Benjamin, Joseph, Henry, John and Reuben. No history is known directly of the four older brothers and their offspring, except the broken links as given of the different families in different states, outside of the Saline county, Illinois, families, these coming directly through the family branch of Reuben Bramlet, fifth son of Pilgrim William Bramlet. Rueben, the first landowner of Southern Illinois (He came to Illinois in 1816) was born in Virginia and lived in that state for several years after his marriage to one Elizabeth Brown. Three of the Illinois pioneer's sons were Benjamin, born in Virginia in 1785; Henry, known in Illinois as "Uncle Harry," born in 1787, and John. (No date on John's birth.) Their father, Reuben, moved his family to Caldwell county in 1792, where the two younger sons were born, Nathan and Coleman. Then later all came into Illinois. From four of these five sons, known as Kentucky boys, came the Illinois branches of our Bramlet family.
ONE ABRAHAM BRAMLET, A pioneer of an early day and possibly the seventh son of Pilgrim William Bramlet. Not knowing his birthplace, nor the date of his death, or his occupation, I can only give such information as I have been able to collect. I learned of his two sons, Louis and Reuben, but have no history on Reuben. Louis, the first, was born in Illinois in 1812 and moved, from Illinois to Iowa in an early day. Later he left Iowa for Missouri, and settled near Bloomfield. Still later he removed into Green county, Arkansas. He was the father of five boys, J. B., George, Joseph, William, and Henry,. J. B. is the only one of these boys I have any family history on. He has a son Louis, who, with his father, now lives in. Arkansas, Randolph county, near Pocahontas, the county seat. Louis, Sr., is a farmer, and is making good as a tiller of the soil. He has a family of five sons. I only have the names of three of them - Estel, Louis, Jr., and Jack. Louis, first, was born in Illinois in 1812, the first of the name born in the territory- six years before Illinois was a state. He died at the age of 61 years. He must have been of the Randolph county, Illinois, set of Bramlets. Louis, Sr., of Arkansas, like other men, is making a success of farming, but is making a sad mistake in not paying honor to his Creator, and serving him as a Savior. He neglected setting a good example before his children, as he stated to me they had no religious affiliations, although his father was a member of the Christian Church. When a man lives-all his life in the neglect of becoming a Christian, and only gives his time and talent to serving the world and worldly things, what can he expect in return for having lived such a. life, and what can he expect of his children, should they follow the father's example? A wasted life in sin will be the result, and a punishment forever in torment, after death, of the body. Wake up, get out of the rut of sin, while life is yours to claim, and fight for the right as hard as you have fought against the right, and for the wrong. Then your life will pat on a new dress, and will be clean within and without. May the blessings. of Almighty God, and of His mercy get hold of the unbelievers in a way to point out to them righteousness and peace.
The writer wishes to visit this Bramlet family in the near future, and learn more of their lives. Louis, Sr., has three sons, as learned by writer. Estel is a grown man, and rough in deed and action but big-hearted, only needing schooling in better morals. Louis, Jr., is a grown young man, but not with so good a physique as the older brother, but in a natural course of life's pursuit, seeming to follow examples of older ones. Being only a young man, a great change for good may come about in older days, which would be a blessing to home and to individual life. Jack, as we get him, is a younger brother, with possibly more of the world before him, and it is hoped his life may be useful in home, in school and in all undertakings while living on earth. May a light of truth be his to know which will cause him to learn of a Creator, Savior and Redeemer. Many blessings on this Arkansas family.
The writer wishes to mention an incident, occurring in Hart County, Kentucky, in the court house at Munfordsville, in the year of 1869-70, when Thos. E. Bramlet was prosecuting a case, some two years after he was governor of that state. A young man of Munfordsville committed some misdemeanor which caused him to be brought before a court of justice. Col. Bramlet was prosecutor. And a younger lawyer of Munfordsville was defending. After the examination of witnesses, and the pleading of lawyers began, Bramlet was on the floor and made some strong and emphatic statements concerning the guilt of the prisoner. The defending lawyer sprang to his fee, stating to the court that Bramlet had lied. No sooner said than Bramlet grabbed up a chair, stating he would hang said chair over opponent's head. To make good his word, be proceeded to advance, but by the hasty vacation of defendants, and protection, by parties present, no one was hurt. The law-suit continuing, the case was decided in Bramlet's favor. As a prosecutor, he was great. In 1863 he became governor of Kentucky. In the beginning of the war of 1861 he mustered a company of cavalry soldiers, and entered the war, and mastered the squad as captain. He bravely rode into service, leading his men through and coming out with the honor of a colonel. He was known and called Colonel Bramlet, until elected governor. He closed his service as captain in 1863 and held the office of governor until 1867, when he went back to law practice.
Another incident, which occurred in 1921, is reported from Botswick, Georgia. A shooting fray occurred in Morgan county between two guards, Moore and Bramlet. Moore received two wounds in the head ,and Bramlet two in the right arm. Each fired five shots from revolvers. One had a .45 caliber gun, the other a .38 caliber, and the fifth shot was fired from each gun about the same time. The ball from the .38 gun entered the barrel of the 45 gun, with both balls lodging in the .45 gun. No one was killed, but it was a very remarkable incident. Nothing more was learned of the tragedy.
The writer, in his travels over parts of eleven states-Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio-covering a period of fifteen years, gathered information for this write-up. Therefore, these incidents, with others to follow. One Perry Bramlet of Indianapolis, Ind., who has a tourist park near the city, in his earlier life dabbled in filthy lucre. Not knowing of his birthplace or ancestry, I decline writing about him.
Lewis Bramlet is a farmer and stock dealer in East Tennessee. Henry Bramlet, in Western Missouri, retired, was for years a traveling salesman for the International Harvester Company. His son, C. E., was in a bank as cashier at Flat River, Mo., seven years ago. The writer was in the bank and talked to him, but later I think he has moved to Cape Girardeau, Mo., and is in a bank there. One J. M. Bramlet, a Kentucky lad, when a boy about 14 or 15 years old, drifted in to East St. Louis, Ill., and worked in and about the city, until grown, before any notice of him to any degree, was taken, but his development was forthcoming, for he showed special talent along lines of industry, especially the street car industry. It was said of Jack (as he was called) that he rode more passing vehicles and street cars than any other two boys in East St. Louis. In later years he made good in that city. In 1903 or 1904, Jack was superintendent of Belleville and East St. Louis street car lines, at good wages, but soon was called to Chicago, Ill., receiving a like position, at better wages, and then to the East, in Philadelphia, Penn. I have lost track of Jack Bramlet, but no man in East St. Louis had more friends than he.
A Doctor Bramlet of Kentucky took his lecture course in that state in 1869-70, and was a son of Gov. Bramlet. Since that date, the writer has no trace of the Doctor, only to hear of him as a shrewd physician.
Ora Bramlet, of Oklahoma, is one of our people, and the writer had two letters from him. He is in the stock and sales business, as an auctioneer. I know nothing of his parentage, but he belongs to the Alabama family, and is said to be some salesman. Doctor Bramlet, of Central Arkansas, is an Alabama product, from whom the writer received two letters. The doctor is getting up in years, but stays with his profession. One other Bramlet of Bonham, Texas, located there years ago and grew up with the city. Knowing law, he held positions of honor and was placed in the office of county judge by the people. I know nothing of his private life. He is an aged man, if living. The judge was raised in the south, probably Georgia, as one son of the pilgrim, William Bramlet, emigrated into that state and one into Alabama. The Bramlet who had the shooting affray with Moore in Georgia, in 1921, I think was an Alabama product.
Edward Bramlet, born in Kentucky, came to White County, Illinois, in an early day and raised his family in that county, but when the war of 1861 was declared, he enlisted in the 14th Illinois Cavalry, and served as a faithful soldier. This information I got from his soldier friend who was in his company. Edward died several years ago.
Ismon Bramlet and a brother (name unknown) came into Randolph County, Illinois, one hundred or more years ago. The best information given me was that they were from Kentucky. They spent most of their days in Randolph County, and married and raised their families there. Some of the younger sec live there yet. The writer was in Randolph County 15 years ago and learned of them. Since that I had a letter from a daughter who lived in Nashville, Illinois. Personally, the writer has never met one of the Randolph County Bramlets, but met people who knew them personally. On October 23, 1923, I met a man in Missouri, who was raised in the same neighborhood as the Bramlets in Randolph County. He stated to me that he knew them, but as he had been away several years, he could give no particulars or names of the younger set. He stated that he knew Ismon and his brother, but could not give the brother's name. Therefore, I give only a little sketch of this branch of the Bramlet family.
Speaking of our family of Bramlets first settling in Virginia, where our first pilgrim fathers landed, lived and died, raising his family there: To this day there are Bramlets living in Virginia. One man, Fizer, lately from that state, was at my place and related some things to me of the Bramlets who he knew. He first asked me my name, and when I told him, he said that was a familiar name to him, as he had friends and neighbors by that name in Virginia. He spoke of one man, George Bramlet, who was in the army with him, and was a mighty fine man, a man who he thought a great deal of. He had word that George Bramlet had lately died, and he remarked that he was very sorry to hear of his death. From the time Mr. Fizer was telling me of his death, I would place his demise in 1920 or thereabouts. So I am made to believe from Mr. Fizer's talk, that there are some Bramlets in the old state. I failed to get the address, or I would have written some of them. Mr. Fizer was in Siloam on a prospecting tour, and was up at my place only a short time.
Just here I wish to mention the name as it had been spelled in earlier years. The old English way of spelling the name was Bramblette, but in later days the letter "b," being silent, was left out. Then later on the "e" at the last was dropped, because of no sound, spelling it Bramlett. And for convenience in the present age of systematic spelling, the one "t" is used, as only one is given any sound. In shortening the name by leaving out all silent letters, there is no change in the name or the accent, but it gives the real name in its shortest form. Many words are being shortened by leaving out silent letters, yet spelling the word correctly. Hence, the spelling as used by our family today and in this write-up. Governor Thomas E. of Kentucky spelled his name Bramlette, that being more than 40 years ago. In later years of shorter methods of spelling words the name is correctly shortened by spelling it Bramlet.
One brother of Reuben Bramlet, son of Pilgrim William Bramlet, fought in the Revolution on the English side, being known as a Torey. After the war closed he emigrated westward, proposing to land in the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. His given name was not learned, and no trace of him is found.
J. Mims Bramlet resides at 2013 Portner Place, N. W., in Washington, D. C. He has lived in Washington about twenty-five years. His wife died in October, 1919. He is an employee of the Government at the White House. His father was Robert H. Bramlet, whose brothers were Turner, Joe and Nathaniel. Their father was Reuben Bramlet, whose brothers were Elias and Nathaniel. Their father was John Bramlet, who went to Greenville County, South Carolina, from Fauquier County, Virginia, about 1765 or 1770. Most of his relatives live in South Carolina. John was a brother to Reuben Bramlet, who was head of the Illinois branch of the family. John has record, also, as a Revolutionary soldier. He was a son of Pilgrim William Bramlet.
In this family name Bramlet as given in this book of history, the writer wishes to say something along lines of INDUSTRY, HONESTY and SUCCESS. ........................From this point on page 97 to page 150, the last in the book, Meeks talks about religion, family values, etc.
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