The early settlers of Osborne County came from all walks of life. Although varied in race, religion, and culture, they were all united in the desire for the opportunity to better their lives and those of their descendants. Few had a greater desire than Bosen Bronson and Eliza Jaman.
Bosen, or “Base,” as he was often called, was born a slave in Kentucky in 1825. His master, Thomas Bronson, was a decent man with Northern sympathies. When the Civil War broke out he allowed Bosen to enlist in Company D of the 119th Kentucky Infantry and fight for the Union cause. At war’s end Bosen was a free man. He remained in Kentucky for three more years when he was legally married to his longtime companion, Eliza Jaman, in 1868.
Eliza was born in 1808 in Albemarle County, Virginia. Also a slave, Eliza endured having three husbands and six children sold away from her. Bosen and Eliza did raise four children–Belle, William, Paris, and Thomas. The family lived in Kentucky until 1876, when the Bronsons moved to Blue Rapids, Kansas. By the early 1880s the family had moved to a farm in Delhi Township in Osborne County, Kansas – the first land they could call their own. The Bronsons built a two-story stone house and the farm prospered. In time the children married and the sons bought their own farms and the grandchildren went to college, fulfilling all of Bosen and Eliza’s dreams.
Bosen died May 7, 1898, and was buried in the Delhi Cemetery. Eliza lived out her remaining years with her son Thomas at his home in Valley Township and remained a member of the Baptist Church for ninety-four years. She passed away March 7, 1916, at the advanced age of 108, still the oldest known person ever to live in Osborne County. Eliza was laid to rest beside her husband in the Delhi Cemetery.