John was born in Perth, Scotland and came to New York in 1808. He married
to Elizabeth Mary Rice from Nova Scotia and
had nine children. John was a baker by trade, carrying on in the tradition of his father In 1832, John and his son, Charles,
invented a Machine that produced a Biscuit, know as Ship's Biscuit or Hard Tack. The machine was sold all over the Atlantic
Seaboard, including Europe and America. In 1836, John and his brother, William, inherited large land holding in New Orleans
and New York form their older brother, Drummond. John and William employed an attorney to help organize their properties, but the land was lost to taxes due to the wrongful dealings of the attorney.
In the 1850's, John and his son's had a manufacturing business in Puerto
Principe, Island of Cuba. John retired from the
company in 1855. John's wife, Elizabeth, died November 8th 1858 in Williamsburg, New York
In 1862, John Bruce left for Mariposa, California with his son, daughters,
their husbands and grandchildren. John was
preceded here by his three sons, Charles, William, and Albert.
In a January 1863 issue of the Mariposa Gazette, It is mentioned how
John Bruce Sr. had sung a few old "Irish" tunes at the
Mud-Sills New Years Ball, put on by the Odd Fellows. Also in attendance at the ball was J.B. Bruce, Charles Bruce, and Ed
Washburn. John was a Union Supporter and wrote articles in the Mariposa Gazette to that effect.
John J. Bruce died in June 17, 1874 at the age of 82. He was buried
in the San Francisco in the Bruce plot at the Odd Fellows
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November 23, 2002