Thomas David Bragunier  1839-1925
A Thumbnail Biography by David C. Procuniar
Copyright 1997-1998-1999-2000-2001
All Rights Reserved Last updated: 31 Aug 2001

Thomas D. Bragunier, (William-Daniel-Peter) son of William and Caroline (Grumbine) Bragunier was born 1839 in Lawrence County, Illinois. Thomas' Civil War record is given under Early Patriots, Stone Genealogy by J. G. Bartlett 1918 page 455.

Thomas married 1st Ann Hazelton Judson (daughter of Rev. Jesse Stone, Dea. Artemas, Hezekiah, Capt. Hezekiah, Nathaniel, Elder John, Dea. Gregory) and Mrs. Cynthia (Bowker) Rollins.  Ann was born in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire May 6, 1848, went to Kansas when she six years old, then married T. D. Bragunier in March of 1866 who was a grocer in Emporia, Peabody, and Newton, Kansas.

On February 18, 1881 Ann secured a divorce from Thomas & was awarded  a monthly sum for alimony by the court after a bitter dispute over how much of the Grocery business belonged to his wife.  Ann died in Topeka, Kansas October 3, 1892. NO CHILDREN from this union, however Thomas and Ann adopted a young girl, Ada, who died at one year of age.  Two months shy of his 43rd birthday Thomas married 2nd Jeanetta Strong on December 6, 1881 aged 22 born in England.  Jeanetta Strong is listed in the June 21, 1880 Kansas Census as living with one child a son named David Strong who was two (2) years old in June 1880. David's father is listed as being born in Indiana (coincidentally Thomas D. Bragunier was born in Indiana and his mother was listed as being born in England which Jeanetta was). It's a probability that Jeanetta became pregnant with Thomas D. Bragunier's son David in 1877 or 1878 three years before Thomas attained a divorce from his first wife Ann in December of 1881.  There is eighteen years between the birth of their first son David and the birth of their daughter Caroline.  Note:  Thomas was 57 years old when his daughter was born.  

The Bragonier Family by Georgiana H. Randall 1969
The Bragunier Family in America by Brittian Bragunier Robinson 1969.
First Reformed Church of Hagerstown Maryland church records on LDS micro-film.

Also Jeanette Bragunier Hutson who contacted this author out of the blue to let us know that Thomas did marry a second time & that she Jeanette was Thomas' granddaughter.  Jeanette did not explain why Thomas' first wife's surname is listed as Judson & not Stone as her father?

Children: (2)
David A. Bragunier born 1878
David A. Bragunier is listed in the 1910 Cripple Creek, Colorado Census as a lodger, male, white, age 28, married and having four children.  In that census David's father is listed as born in Illinois and his mother born in England.  His occupation is listed as being an operator of Moving Pictures!  There is no research available to this author that even hints that David may have corresponded with his sister, Caroline, throughout the years?.

Caroline Mary Bragunier born 1896-1982
There is 18 years between Caroline's birth & her older brother's birth.  The question is ...  why Thomas & Jeanetta waited so long between children? 
More Research is needed here!
David is listed in the June 21st 1880 Kansas Census as David Strong age two years living  with his mother Jeanetta Strong who lists her occupation as Farming. Jeanetta also is shown with a checkmark on that same census where it says widowed or divorced.  Either Jeanetta was married to someone named Strong and had a son named David Strong, or Jeanetta was widowed or divorced as stated in the Census records and then changed her surname back to her maiden name of Strong?
However in 1880 Thomas was still married to Ann Hazelton Judson whom he then divorced in February of 1881.  With the information supplied by Jeanette Hutson we can only speculate either that David was adopted by Thomas David Bragunier after his marriage to Jeanetta in 1881 or that David is actually Thomas David Bragunier's son by Jeanetta and David changed his name from Strong to Bragunier whenever his parents finally married in 1881.  Caroline/Constance Bragunier Lehman's death certificate "does" however show her mothers maiden name as Strong, but this information was submitted by a friend on the death certificate and not a family member and this friend only knew what Caroline/Constance wanted her to know!   See Rosmary Jeanette Bragunier 1922- page for more information.
Short BIO:
Thomas & Ann's adopted a daughter they named Ada A. Bragunier, who died at one year of age on August 1, 1876. Ada Bragunier was buried in the Maplewood/Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Emporia Kansas. I had no idea that Thomas married a second time and had two children from that second marriage until Jeanette Hutson wrote me email in December of 2000.
The 1870 Census of Emporia, Kansas (county Lepon?) shows Thomas as head of house hold with two of his brothers living with him, Charles aged 19, and George W. age 21.  Anna aged 23 is listed as keeping house. Also someone named Edward Welsh was also living in the house. All three Charles, George and Edward are listed as Clerks. Thomas was listed as a Grocer.

BBR page 37, 38 & 39 LDS Batch #8223604 0884872 19

The Peabody (Kansas) Gazette December 20, 1923; the Peabody Gazette Herald January 8, 1931 and the Emporia (Kansas) Gazette April 11, 1940 all had lengthy articles on the four Bragunier brothers engaged in the mercantile business in Kansas after the Civil War. Thomas D. and Jeremiah worked in Indianapolis Indiana after they came out of the Army in 1864. They moved to Kansas in early 1866 and with about $900.00 cash capital, opened a grocery and feed store in Topeka. They enjoyed a good business and in February 1867 sent for their younger brother George W. to drive their grocery delivery wagon at $20.00 a month. Their store was on the northeast corner of Sixth and Kansas Avenue. In 1868 Thomas D. made a trip to Emporia and bought three lots on the south west corner of Fifth and Commercial Streets. In 1869 Thomas D. and Jeremiah sold the Topeka store and built on the lots in Emporia. Customers came for a hundred miles as Emporia was the end of the Santa Fe Railroad line. In February 1871 when the Santa Fe reached Strong City Kansas, Thomas D. and Jeremiah started younger brother George W. up in business in Strong City, but by March 1871 he closed the Strong City store and opened one in Florence, Kansas. This was open until July when the store was then moved to Newton. When the Santa Fe reached Wichita in May 1872 and Hutchinson in June 1872, the business in Newton went dead, so the store was sold in June 1872 and George W. went back to Emporia. At that time the youngest brother Charles William joined the group to make four in all. In the fall of 1872 a branch store was opened at Peabody, and in early 1874 business revived in Newton, so Jeremiah left Charles W. at Peabody and opened a store in Newton, where he ran it successfully until he died on 19 November, 1879. An old employee named C.A. Swendson was then put in charge of the Newton store and after several years Swendson eventually bought the store. The Emporia store acted as a supply depot for the branch store as well as retail store locally. Thomas D. and George W. would go to St. Louis every 60 days to buy a carload of supplies. They made money in Emporia, Newton and Peabody and if Thomas D. had retained his health they might not have sold the Emporia business in 1888. ........... A one cent post card was distributed in 1881, printed as follows:

George W. worked for 20 years on the road for the Poehler Mercantile Company after the sale of the Emporia store. Thomas D. was living in September 1908 at P.O. Box 346 W. Bennet Street, Cripple Creek, Colorado, when he furnished a statement for his older brother Daniel's wife's pension claim. It is understood that this business with stores in Emporia, Newton, Peabody and Florence was considered to have established the CHAIN STORE IDEA in Kansas. ...................... Thomas D. married Ann Hazelton Judson in March of 1866 in Peabody Kansas. In 1882 Ann secured a divorce from Thomas D., she died in Topeka Kansas on October 3, 1892. They did not have any children. ........... Jeremiah married a Shawnee County girl, Sarah Roxana Rice on September 25, 1866 in Topeka Kansas. They had five children, all girls. Jeremiah's grandson is Brittian Bragunier Robinson, who in 1969 compiled 27 years of family research into a book called "Bragunier Family in America". Jeremiah died in 1879 and Sarah died in 1882. ............. George W. married Estell Boxter from New York, in 1874. All of the Bragunier stores were sold by 1888 so George went to work for the Nave-McCord Mercantile Company of St. Joseph, but went to work for the Poehler Mercantile Company when they opened in Emporia in 1900. George traveled almost continuously from 1887 until 1919 when he retired. George died of a stroke in 1940 and his wife Estell died in 1897. George married a second time in 1903 to Eva Xander who was from Olney Illinois at Osage City. George did not have any children. ...............
Charles William married Sarah Ann Mahood on September 23, 1874. Charles was only one week old when his mother Caroline died from complications after his birth. Charles was given to foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Plank. Charles had five children and died in 1923. Sarah died in 1947. [SOURCE] ..... "Bragunier Family in America" by Brittian Bragunier Robinson.

Other Sources:
The Bragonier Family by Georgiana H. Randall 1969.
The Bragunier Family in America by Brittian Bragunier Robinson 1969
First Reformed Church of Hagerstown Maryland church records on LDS micro-film

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© Copyright  2001  David C. Procuniar … Reprinted with permission …

1877 letter from Thomas Bragunier to his cousin Jacob Procuniar