The Bruffey Family


JOHN BRUFFEY was born 1808 in Pocahontas Co., VA. (now WV) USA, and died 1880 in Clark Co. Iowa. He married ELIZABETH (CAUL) CALL March 21, 1833 in Lewisburg, Greenbrier Co., VA. (now WV). She was born 1811 in Greenbrier Co., VA. (now WV) USA, and died 1891 in Clark Co. Iowa.


George A. Bruffey wrote; "The Bruffey family was one of the earliest in the record of the early settlers in this country, three brothers having come from France soon after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. One married a Scotch lassie, one an Irish woman, and the other a Pawtucket Indian maiden. But the records are not sufficiently clear for me to discover which of the three was my ancestor."

And in this book George wrote; "My parents had six children, of which I was the youngest." He refers to his "sisters" and "brothers", but no mention of names or how many of each.

MARY BRUFFEY, b. Between 1834 - 1841; m. JEFFERSON KILGORE.

She was alive in 1913. She was visited by Geo. A. Bruffey (reference 81 Years in the West)

UNKNOWN BRUFFEY, b. Between 1834 - 1841; d. Before 1913.
UNKNOWN BRUFFEY, b. Between 1834 - 1841; d. Before 1913.
JOHN BRUFFEY, b. Between 1834 - 1841.

Lived in Iowa. He was alive in 1913.

UNKNOWN BRUFFEY, b. Between 1834 - 1841; d. Before 1913.
GEORGE ALEXANDER BRUFFEY, b. September 24, 1842, Pocahontas Co., VA. (now WV) USA; d. October 29, 1928, Livingston, Park Co., MT. USA.


GEORGE ALEXANDER BRUFFEY (JOHN1) was born September 24, 1842 in Pocahontas Co., VA. (now WV) USA, and died October 29, 1928 in Livingston, Park Co., MT. USA. He married MATILDA (Mathilda) JANE RIDLEN February 12, 1871 in Attica, Marion Co., IA. USA, daughter of WILLIAM RIDLEN and MALINDA DEVORE. She was born September 26, 1847 in Attica, Marion Co., IA. USA, and died March 02, 1911 in Livingston, Park Co., MT. USA.

George A. Bruffey is the author of "
Eight-One Years In The West", published in 1925, by Butte Miner Co., Butte, MT. an interesting account of his life, and a historical account of the settling of the Montana Territory.

The following is from the Bancroft Library, researched by Piper Ross Berger, October 1998; taken from a photocopy of Volume II, "A HISTORY OF MONTANA", by Helen Fitzgerald Sanders, published in 1913 by Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago & New York. And a very special thank you to Jessie Beckman Edwards.

"GEORGE A. BRUFFEY. During the past decade various sections of Park county have shown a decided growth and development, both in population and industrial and commercial importance, this increase being commensurate with the activities and progressive spirit of the leading men of the several communities. Not the least of these in point of advancement is the city of Bruffey, named in honor of George A. Bruffey, who came as a pioneer to Montana nearly half a century ago, and who during his long residence in the state has identified himself with business ventures of an extensive nature and rendered his section signal service in high public office. Mr. Bruffey was born in Pocahontas county, Virginia (now West Virginia), September 24, 1842, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Call) Bruffey.

John Bruffey was born in Pocahontas county, Virginia, in 1808, and as a youth learned the trade of wagon maker. In young manhood he migrated to Trenton, Missouri, where he worked at his trade for about two years, then removing to Knoxville, Iowa, where he continued to follow the same vocation until the spring of 1848. Returning to Missouri, he spent two or three years in that state, then going back to Knoxville, Iowa, and being in business for five or six years. Subsequently he secured a farm in Clark county, Iowa, where the remainder of his life was spent, his death occurring in 1880. He was a lifelong Democrat. His wife, who was born in Greenbrier county, Virginia (now West Virginia), in 1811, survived him until 1891, and was the mother of ten children, of whom three survive: George A.; Mary, the wife of Jefferson Kilgore; and John, who makes his home in Iowa.

As was the custom of farmers' boys of his day, George A. Bruffey worked on the homestead place during the summer months, and obtained his education in the district schools during winters, thus spending a boyhood in training his mind, while also building up a robust and hearty physique. He was eighteen years of age when he left the parental roof and started overland with ox-teams for Nebraska, where during 1860 and 1861 he was engaged in putting up hay. In the spring of 1862 he continued overland to Denver, Colorado, where he followed freighting until the fall of 1863, on September first of which year he started for the Salmon mines, in Idaho, with ox-teams. Reaching that point, the members of his party agreed to go on to Alder Gulch, Idaho (now Montana), and for about two years he was engaged in mining there, but subsequently engaged in farming, an occupation which he followed on the banks of the Jefferson river until 1866. That year saw his advent in Butte, where he was engaged in mining until 1869, at which time he embarked in the dairy and merchandise business, and in keeping the Fish Creek station on the overland road, a business with which he was connected for a period covering twenty years.

Since leaving Fish Creek, Mr. Bruffey has resided in Park county, and has been extensively engaged in raising cattle and horses, and in general farming, his alfalfa crop in 1911 aggregating 100 tons. He is a shrewd and capable business man, and the honorable and upright manner in which he has conducted his dealings and the fact that his name has been associated only with legitimate transactions, have combined to give him a wide reputation for business probity, and to firmly establish him in the confidence of his fellow citizens. Mr, Bruffey has been a lifelong Democrat, and stands high in the counsels of his party in Park county. His first public office was that of deputy sheriff in Madison county, Montana, under A. J. Sayder, the first sheriff of that county. In 1872 he was elected to the territorial legislature from Madison county, and in 1876 he was appointed postmaster of Fish Creek by President Grant, and held that office until 1889, also serving as a member of the school board in Madison county. In 1896 he was elected to the state legislature from Park county and served one term, and in 1901, through the efforts of United States Senator W. A. Clark, the Bruffey postoffice was established and named in honor of Mr. Bruffey, and since that time he has held the office of postmaster. In addition he is acting as a member of the board of school directors of district No. 34. As an official he has shown himself at all times to have the best interest of his community at heart, and in the discharge of his duties has shown a conscientious regard for the responsibilities of his offices. He is a valued member of the Montana Pioneers' Society.

On February 12, 1871, Mr. Bruffey was united in marriage with Miss Matilda Jane Ridlen, who was born in Indiana, daughter of William and Malinda (DeVore) Ridlen. Mr. Ridlen, a native of Maine, came west to Iowa among the pioneers of that state, locating in Mahaska County, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits up to his death at the age of seventy five years. His wife, who lived to be eignty-nine years old, was a native of Indiana, and they had ten children, of whom two, Sabra and Mary, are living. Mr. Bruffey's wife died March 2, 1911, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which her parents were lifelong members. She and her husband had the following children: Margaret S., the wife of Montie Cady; Almeda I., wife of S. P. Skillman; Primus A., who married Pearl Baker, Sylvia, the wife of James Gravley; Fatima, the wife of Frank E. Skillman; Memrous, who married Ella Bouche; Elzina, wife of Matthew Gravley; Minot and Emma, residing at home with their father; and Ruth, who lost her life in an accident."

Burial: October 30, 1928, Bruffey Cemetery, Park Co. MT. USA

Burial: Bruffey Cemetery in Park Co. MT. USA


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Last Updated on January 20, 2001 by Ed Gravley

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