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James A. Bracha
Born 18 September 1870

James A. Bracha, who for twelve years has been proprietor of a general mercantile store at Oxford Junction, while his activity in public affairs supplemented by a zealous desire for the general good, has made him a valued and representative citizen, was born in Bohemia, September 18, 1870. His parents, John and Mary (Cerny) Bracha, were also natives of that country. The latter died in 1884, but the father now resides on a farm near Parkston, South Dakota. Since losing his first wife he has married again.
James A. Bracha is the eldest of the seven children of the first marriage and was a lad of ten summers when, in 1880, he accompanied his parents across the Atlantic and on to Chicago, where they established their home. A year and a half later, however, they removed to Bonhomme county, South Dakota, and since that time or from the age of eleven years, James A. Bracha has been dependent upon his own labor for whatever success be has enjoyed. He worked on a ranch as a herder of sheep for three years and was afterward employed at general labor on a farm until seventeen years of age, when he became connected with mercantile interests, securing a clerkship in the general store at Armour, South Dakota. Fourteen years ago he went upon the road as traveling salesman for a grocery house, spending two years in that way and in the fall of 1896 he came to Oxford Junction, where he assumed the management of the general store of Johnson Brothers, remaining in charge for about eight months. He was then married and entered his present business in the fall of 1897, since which time he has been proprietor of a general mercantile establishment at this place. He has the largest store in town and he owns as well the building which he occupies and which he erected. In the spring of 1898, his store was swept away in a disastrous fire which occurred in the town and his was the first building erected after the conflagration. He has a one-story brick structure, forty-four by seventy feet with a basement under the entire building. His establishment is conducted on the department store plan under the firm style of Bracha & Company. Mrs. Bracha has been an able assistant to her husband since the business was established.
Mr. Bracha's mercantile interests, however, by no means limit the extent of his activities. He has been very prominent in community affairs and was twice elected mayor on the democratic ticket but resigned in the winter of 1908-9. In the spring of 1909 he became president of the board of education and is doing effective work in the interests of the schools. He cooperates in every movement for the material, intellectual and social progress of the city and has served as a committeeman from his township on the democratic central committee.
In August, 1897, Mr. Bracha was united in marriage to Miss Frances B. Wosoba, a native of Oxford township and a daughter of Michael B. and Anna (Dusanek) Wosoba, who were natives of Bohemia and now reside at Oxford Junction. Mr. and Mrs. Bracha have two children, Adaline and Amelia. Mr. Bracha belongs to New Era Lodge, No. 88, K.P., and Zealous Lodge, No. 245, A.F.&A.M., and of the Commercial Club is vice-president. He is a prominent factor in the business life of the town, contributing to its commercial prosperity through his efforts, while his labors in behalf of general improvement are far-reaching and beneficial.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 131.


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