History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index




JAMES L. BRANSON, of Langhorne, Bucks county, was born in Belmont county, Ohio, April 3, 1831, but is a descendant of early English settlers in Burlington county, New Jersey, where Thomas BRANSON was a landholder in 1700.  He married Elizabeth DAY, daughter of John DAY, of New Hanover township, Burlington county, and settled in Springfield township in the same county, and reared a family of children who have left numerous descendants.

            William BRANSON, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Burlington county and married there on 4 mo. 11, 1753, Elizabeth OSBORNE, daughter of John and Martha (ANTRIM) OSBORNE.  Soon after their marriage they removed to Stafford county, Virginia, where twelve children were born to them.

            Jacob BRANSON, ninth child of James and Elizabeth, and grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Stafford county, Virginia, 5 mo. 8, 1771, and married there, “according to the good order of the Society of Friends.  Rebecca HOLLOWAY, daughter of Asa and Abigail HOLLOWAY.

            Isaiah BRANSON, father of James L. was born in Stafford county, Virginia, February 25, 1799. In 1805 he removed with his parents to the Belmont county, Ohio.  Isaiah BRANSON was one of nine children, of whom the youngest, Ann BRANSON, born in 1809, was an esteemed minister of the Society of Friends and traveled extensively in that service for a period of over fifty years.  The journal kept by her of her travels and ministrations was published by the Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends after her death in 1892.  In her eightieth year she visited the New England Yearly Meeting at Westerly, Rhode Island, the sessions of which covered a period of nine days and took a prominent part in the proceedings.  At this time she also visited and attended a number of meetings in and around Philadelphia, speaking with much force and fervor.  The last entry was made by her in her journal five days before her death, at the age of eighty-three years.

            Isaiah BRANSON, married in 1828, Sarah Gould LAWTON, who was born at Marietta, Ohio. November 14, 1802, and was a daughter of James and Susanna  (GOULD) LAWTON, who were married at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1 mo. 1, 1789, and removed to Ohio in 1793.  The GOULDS and LAWTONS were among the earliest settlers at Newport, Rhode Island.  Jeremiah and Pricilla LAWTON coming from England and settling there in 1637.   Their son Daniel became an earnest and eloquent minister of the Society of Friends, and in the year 1659, as recorded in his diary, along with two other men and three women received “thirty stripes on the bare back for no other reason than being Quakers.”  James, and Susanna LAWTON settled in 1793, at Barlow, Washington county, Ohio, near Marietta, where members of the family still reside on the old homestead.  James lived to the age of ninety-two years and Susanna, his wife, to the age of ninety-four years.  Isaiah BRANSON, father of the subject of this sketch, lived to the age of eighty-six years and ten months, and Sarah his wife, to the age of ninety-eight yeas and nine months, a most remarkable record of longevity in one family.

            James Lawton BRANSON, the subject of this sketch, was born and reared in Belmont county, Ohio, and received his education in the Friends schools of that county.  At the age of nineteen years he accepted the position of district school teacher, in which position he served for seven years in his native county, and in Richmond, Indiana, where the family removed in 1852.  Having inherited a mechanical turn of mind from his ancestors, several of whom were more or less skilled in mechanical work, he turned his attention to the improvement of mechanical appliances, and in 1838 was granted a patent for an improvement in knitting machines.  In 1869 he obtained a patent on improved hand looms which were manufactured at Cincinnati, Ohio, and were used extensively during the civil war, in the weaving of cloth out of which clothing was manufactured for the use of the Union soldiers.  The sales of these machines, during a period of three months amounted to over $60,000.  James L. BRANSON entered the army in the spring of 1864 in Company G, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, and in General SCHOFIELD’s corps of General SHERMAN’s army went to Atlanta.  He was with the army of SHERMAN from the time it entered Smoke Creek Gap, near Chattanooga, until SCHOFIELD’s corps returned north and fought the battle of Franklin, Tennessee.  He was then invalided and returned home.  He is a member of the Ohio Society of Philadelphia.

            Mr. BRANSON, though always a busy, industrious and energetic man, has in the midst of his duties always found time to keep himself well informed on all the main topics of the times, and has always manifested a deep interest in all that pertained to the welfare of the community in which he lived.  In 1872, while a resident of Chicago, during the administration of Joseph E. MEDILL as mayor of the city.  Mr. BRANSON was the agent of the Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and in that capacity caused the arrest and prosecution of about 1,200 persons for cruelty to dumb animals, in most of the cases acting as both prosecutor and lawyer.  His zealous and efficient work in the prosecution of human brutes, made him a reputation in the Humane Society, not only in Chicago, but all over the United States.

In 1887 Mr. BRANSON located in Langhorne, Bucks county, where he has since resided.  He has been three times married.  His first wife, whom he married November 18, 1855, was Martha Evaline RUBY, and they were the parents of three children; Isadora C., born September 22, 1856; Edwin Ruby BRANSON, born January 5 1858; and Sarah Eliza, born April 14, 1860.  His second wife was Ida Mary CLARK who bore him no children.  He married (third) on October 29, 1904, Jessie GORDON, widow of the late Samuel CHAPMAN of London, England.  She was born in Scotland, a daughter of John GORDON, of Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, and granddaughter of the late Laird Mortimer, of Morayshire.

            Isadora C. BRANSON, eldest daughter of the subject of this sketch, married November 3, 1878, Thomas HIBBERT of Chicago, and their seven children are: 1. Eva May HIBBERT, married October 24, 1899, Oscar Milne PARSONS, of Philadelphia, and has two children: Oscar Milne Jr., and Lawton Hibbert PARSONS.  2.  Lawton Edwin HIBBERT.  3. Ida May HIBBERT.  4. Thomas HIBBERT, Jr., 5. Emily Grace HIBBERT.  6. James HIBBERT. 7 Branson James HIBBERT.

            Edwin Ruby BRANSON, only son of James L. and Martha Evaline BRANSON, married March 4, 1890.  Marion Watson DUNHAM and they are the parents of two children.  Edwina Ruby and Marion Adele. 

            Sarah Eliza BRANSON married June 3, 1875, William S. TWITTY, of Chicago, and they were the parents of two children:  Alice Marietta, married November 30, 1897. George S. ERISMAN, and has the following children:  Dorothy Edna, Natalie Madeline, George Branson, and James Lawton ERISMAN.  Edna Ruby TWITTY, the other child of Sarah Eliza and William S. TWITTY, married October 11, 1900. Samuel C. RANDALL, of Langhorne.  Sarah Eliza TWITTY married (second) September 4, 1882, Samuel F. ROBBINS of Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, and they are the parents of three children:  Mabel G., Edith R., and James B. ROBBINS.  


Text taken from page 692 to 693 of: 


Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed May 2007 by Joan Lollis as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published May 2007 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/



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