CLAY COUNTY THROUGH THE YEARS: Dudley W. Brattin, a talented watchmaker
A native of Chillicothe, Ohio, Dudley W. Brattin was born October 26, 1845, to Thomas S. and Sarah Brattin, both born near Staunton, Virginia. The great-grandfather of Dudley came to America from north of Ireland, while this country was still considered a colonial possession of Great Britain. The grandfather served in the American army in the Revolutionary War. Thomas S., the father, served in the War of 1812. Dudley’s maternal great-grandfather was a soldier under Washington during the memorable winter at Valley Forge, where the troops suffered such hardships and were so in need of supplies that the snow was often marked by bloody footprints of the soldiers. The grandfather, John Wiseman, was a Methodist minister for 49 years being ordained by Francis Asbury, the first American bishop in 1785. When the history of the Wiseman family was published in 1887, mention was made of more than 1,000 descendants, not one of whom was addicted to the use of intoxicating liquor, a record of which they have reason to be proud.
D. W. Brattin received his early education in a Ross County, Ohio, country school. At age of 14, he left the farm going to Greencastle, learning the watchmaker’s trade. His country school education was limited to six years, but his reading, experience, and observation greatly broadened his knowledge in later years. He remained in Greencastle until 1870, when he moved to Brazil and embarked on his business as a jeweler. Later, he extended his activities by adding a stock of books, stationery and art goods. For 38 years he figured into the commercial interests of the city having sustained a reputation for business integrity as well as enterprise and progressiveness.
On May 28, 1878, Mr. Brattin married Harriet C. McClelland. Her father, James W. McClelland, was one of the pioneer coal operators in Clay County, and her brother, James H., was president of Brazil Block Coal Company for many years. The couple had four children: Anna, Dudley H., Harry A. and Lucy.
He served in the office of mayor in 1884 and again in 1896, giving a public-spirited, businesslike administration, making progress and improvement. For three years he was a Brazil School Board member and in 1896, the chairman of the Republican organization. In the brief history of Dudley W. Brattin, in whatever stage of life he was in, whether, official service, political services, in business or social life, he always was the same honorable and honored gentleman whose worth well merits the high regard which is his uniformed character.
Mr. Brattin is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Knights of Pythias, Masonic Fraternity, Odd Fellows Society, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights and Ladies of Honor, and the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. He was a prominent member of the First Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder for many years.
Source: History of Clay County by William Travis, 1901
Submitted by Jo Ann Pell, Clay County Genealogy Library