BRADFORD, WILLIAM AUSTIN, Attorney-at-Law, - A man versed in the laws of the country, as differentiated from the business man or politician, has always been a recognized power. He can always be depended upon to conserve the best and most permanent interests of the whole people, and without the practical judgment of such men, the efforts of the statesman and the industry of the business man and mechanic, would be futile. The reason for this is not far to seek. The professional lawyer is never the creature of circumstances. The profession is open to talent and no definite prestige or success can be attained save by indomitable energy, perseverance, patience and strong mentality. All of these attributes are possessed by the successful attorneys of Sangamon County, and of them one who has attained an enviable preeminence is William Austin Bradford, of Springfield.
Mr. Bradford was born in Sangamon County, nine miles west of Springfield, August 16, 1875, a son of William Talbot and Grizella Ann (Parkinson) Bradford. The father was born in Sangamon County, near Bradford Station, on the farm he now owns, while his wife was born on the Parkinson farm in Curran Township, Sangamon County. For years William T. Bradford was a farmer, but now resides at No. 131 Walnut Street, Springfield. Both the Bradford and Parkinson families were among the very earliest pioneers of the county and are associated with its early history, as reference to that part of this work devoted to the general records of the county will show. Bradford Station was named for James Bradford, grandfather of William Austin Bradford.
After a course at the district schools, William A. Bradford attended the Springfield High School, from which he was graduated, in the Class of 1894. Following this, he spent two years in the literary department of the Illinois Wesleyan University, at Bloomington. For the next three years he was engaged in taking a law course in the Northern Illinois College of Law, at Dixon, Ill., and when he was graduated from it in 1900, it was with the degree of LL.D. In August of the same year Mr. Bradford came to Springfield, where he opened a law office, continuing alone until December, when he formed a partnership with Henry A. converse, now assistant District Attorney, and this association lasted until Mr. Bradford was appointed Master-in-Chancery in September, 1905. He was reappointed two years later, in 1907, and held that office until May 1, 1910, at which time he formed a partnership with Albert D. Stevens, under the firm name of Stevens & Bradford. This firm was dissolved in November, 1910, and Mr. Bradford is now practicing his profession alone. He is a strong Democrat in his political views, and is a power in his party.
On June 22, 1905, occurred the marriage, in Chicago, of Mr. Bradford and Clemence Crews, born at Mt. Vernon, Ill., a daughter of Hon. Seth F. Crews, an attorney of Chicago, and his wife, Helen Ridgway (Slocum) Crews, both of whom are now residing at Oak Park, Ill. Mrs. Bradford was one of five children born to her parents. Mr. Crews served in the General Assembly and has been very active in politics as a Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Bradford have two children, Helena Crews and Virginia Crews. Mr. Bradford belongs to the K. of P. NO. 262, having passed all the chairs and served as Representative to the Imperial Palace from Medinah Temple No. 99, at San Francisco, in 1902. In religious faith he is a Methodist and not only active in the church to which he belongs but has served two years as Superintendent of the Sunday School. The law has in Mr. Bradford a stern, inflexible exponent, although personally he is a man of deep sympathies and wide interests. Although in the very prime of life Mr. Bradford can look back upon much that he has successfully accomplished, and his progress is the result of his painstaking efforts, coupled with native ability.