JOHN RICHARDSON BRONSON, M. D., who for over half a century was one of the best known practitioners of medicine in southern Massachusetts and part of Rhode Island, and who for upward of fifty years was a resident of Attleboro, was a native of Connecticut, born in the town of Middlebury, New Haven county, June 5, 1829, son of Garry and Maria (Richardson) Bronson.
The Bronson family was early planted in the New World. John Bronson (early of record as Brownson and Brunson) was early at Hartford. He is believed, though not certainly known, to have been one of the company who came in 1636 with Mr. Hooker, of whose church he was a member. He was a soldier in the Pequot battle of 1637. He is not named among the proprietors of Hartford in the land division of 1639; but is mentioned in the same year in the list of settlers, who by the “towne’s courtesie” had liberty “to fetch woods and keepe swine or cowes on the common.” His house lot was in the “soldiers’ field,” so called, in the north part of the old village of Hartford, on the “Neck Road” (supposed to have been given for service in the Pequot war), where he lived in 1640. He moved, about 1641 to Tunxis (Farmington) He was deputy from Farmington in May, 1651, and at several subsequent sessions, and the “constable of Farmington” in 1652. He was one of the seven pillars at the organization of the Farmington Church in 1652. His name is on the list of freemen of Farmington in 1669. He died Nov. 28, 1680.
The Stetson family of Bridgewater is one of the oldest and most prominent in that section of the State, and it has for upward of two centuries been identified with the manufacturing interests of the town, its representatives being the founders of the iron industry of Bridgewater. Especial reference is made to Capt. Abisha Stetson, who was one of the first to engage in the iron business; his son, Nahum Stetson, whose name was a household word in his native town, and who by his great foresight, enterprise and progressive ideas built up the great Bridgewater Iron Works; and the latter’s sons and grandsons, all men of substance and good citizenship.
Lawrence Wilkinson, the first of the race here in New England, was born in Lanchester, County of Durham, England, a son of William Wilkinson by his wife Mary, sister of Sir John Conyers, Bart., and the grandson of Lawrence Wilkinson, of Harpley House, Durham. He was a loyalist, and at the surrender of Newcastle, 1644, was taken prisoner by the Parliamentary and Scotch troops. At this time he held a lieutenant’s commission. He was deprived of his property, and his estates sequestered by order of Parliament. After having obtained special permission from Lord Fairfax, chief commander of the Parliamentary army, he embarked with his wife and child for New England, leaving, according to Somerby, in 1652. Arriving at Providence he signed the civil compact and received a gift of twenty-five acres of land and commenced his pioneer life. He was admitted as one of the original “Proprietors of Providence.” He soon acquired a large real estate, and held a prominent position among his fellow citizens. He was frequently chosen to fill offices of trust in the infant colony; was elected a member of the Legislature in 1659 and subsequently. He was an active business man. He participated in the Indian wars. He lived in his adopted country nearly half a century. His death occurred in 1692.
The Fall River family of Lindseys here considered is a branch of the earlier Bristol, R. I., family. Beyond the marriage at that point of John Lindsey, the first of the name of record there, 1694, nothing definite seems known. It is a tradition in the Bristol family, however, that their ancestor came from Scotland long prior to the American Revolution. Reference is made here to the genealogy and family history of the Fall River branch of the Bristol family, the head of which was the late William Lindsey, who was through a long life a prominent business man and substantial citizen, followed by his son, the late Hon. Crawford Easterbrooks Lindsey, for many years prominently identified with the manufacturing interests of Fall River and of Pawtucket, R. I., a member of both branches of the city government of Fall River and twice its chief executive officer.