Reuben James Bullard Sr 1818-1891
Reuben James Sr was born in King George County, Virginia, the son of George Harrison and Judith Rollow Bullard. His father died when he was only 10 years old. and R. J., as he was called, and his siblings were raised by their mother, Judith, until her own death only 2 years after their father's. It is unknown with whom these children lived following the death of their parents, and orphan's court has no papers for them..
Nothing is know of R. J's childhood or education, although it appears, from his later business interests, that he was trained in the printing trade. He married, in 1841, Miss Susan Ann Miller, in Helena Arkansas, of whom I know absolutely nothing and her origin remains one of my biggest genealogical mysteries!
State of Arkansas, county of Philips I.E.P. Scantland an acting Justice of the Peace within and for the county and state aforesaid do hereby certify that the rites of matrimony was solemnized by me according to law on the seventh day of February Anno. domini 1842 between Reuben J. Bullard aged 22 and Miss Susan A. Miller aged 14, and the guardian of the said Susan A. Miller being present t the time of the said marriage verbally consenting to the same. E.P.Scantland, J. Peace. (the name of the guardian is, unfortunately, not included). Another source, discussed later, lists Susan A. Miller as having been born in Milledgeville, GA..... how a man from Fredericksburg, VA met and married a girl from Milledgeville, GA in Helena, Arkansas, is one of my greatest genealogical mysteries!
Helena, Arkansas is on the banks of the Mississippi River, and Reuben, according to family lore, was in Commerce, Ms before his marriage - Commerce was also on the Mississippi, and a boom town for the cotton trade. I theorize that he worked for various newspapers or printing concerns up the Mississippi River until finally settling in Wheeling. After R.J. and Susan were married they next appear in Hickman Co, KY, also on the Mississippi River, and they left these records; Deed Book 15 pg 5 November 1842 Va. Wm. Bullard dec'd leaves land to Reuben J. and siblings Deed book 15 pg 510 June 1843 Reuben J. Bullard and Susan his wife of Hickman County, Kentucky, sell to J.B. Howe of Jefferson county, Ky, for $162, all land in King Geo. Co, VA east of land of John Elkins by the land of Philip Robinson south of Gustaris B. Walllace 50 acres of what the said R.J.Bullard inherited from father George H. Bullard the same G.H.Bullard lived during his life and died, the other tract of 8 acres which join the said tract w/50 acres being the same which the sd. R.J Bullard inherited from my brother William Bullard.
By the 1850 census, R.J and family were in Wheeling, with a second child, a son, who was born during their stay in Kentucky. The family's arrival in Wheeling is included in a newspaper article that appeared in the Wheeling Register of Nov. 1932. It was in celebration of Azella Bullard Shriver, that child born in Helena Arkansas 91 years before.. "Mrs. Shriver was born Azella Ann Bullard, on Nov 18, 1841 in Helena, Ark,a daughter of Reuben and Susan Bullard, her father a native of Fredericksburg, Va. Five years after the birth of Azella Ann, Mr. Bullard's health failed and the family started back to Fredericksburg, Va. The trip was made by boat up the Mississippi and then the Ohio, and the boat was damaged by a floating tree and forced to dock at Wheeling for repairs. So it was by accident they became residents of Wheeling, for Mr. Bullard was offered a job by the Wheeling Democratic Newspaper, and he took it." I always get a kick out of this story, for RJ, whose health was "failing" lived to be 73 years, and had many more children after his "poor health" was noted!
After working for the Wheeling Democratic, R.J started his own Printing Company, located on Main Street, in downtown Wheeling, and remained in business there until he retired, turning over the running of things to his sons, Reuben James, Jr, and Edgar Rollow Bullard.
The Wheeling Intelligencer carried R.J Sr's obit; "Mr. R..J. Bullard, Sr, the father of Dr. R.H. Bullard and of the Bullard brothers of the Bullard Printing Company, died night before last at a late hour, at the home of his son, the Doctor, corner of Eoff and 16th Streets, aged 73. Though he has been failing for several years, and lately has been exceedingly feeble, he was able to get about until within a shore time of his death, which was due to the natural failing of old age. His funeral will occur at 3 P. M. today. The family have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their bereavement." According to city cemetery records, both R.J. and Susan were buried in the Peninsula Cemetery, but neither stone is in existence today. The road past the cemetery was widened, and supposedly all graves in it's wake were moved to Greenwood Cemetery, but Reuben and Susan were not listed in the move, nor their children buried there, so it is not know if their stones simply deteriorated or they were destroyed in the road building process.
The children of Reuben James Sr. and Susan A. Miller Bullard to were;
Reuben James Bullard, Sr.
This is the Peninsula Cemetery, where R.J. Sr, Susan Ann, and several of their children are buried.....unfortunately, their headstones are no longer extant.
This is the ad in the 1884 Wheeling Directory, for the Bullard Printing Co, started by Reuben James, Sr.
1850s map of Wheeling
1852 Wheeling flood, looking across the suspension bridge across toward Wheeling Island. Reuben and Susan were living there at this time.
early photo of Wheeling
The background for this page is an early map of Wheeling and surrounding area .