Dr. Nathaniel Macon Bledsoe, physician and druggist of Union Springs, Ala., is a descendant of one of the oldest families in the state of Virginia, although a native of Georgia. He was born in Butts county, the latter state, in 1833, and is a son of Morton and Mary J. (Bailey) Bledsoe, who were respectively natives of Orange County, Va., and Oglethorpe County, Ga. Morton Bledsoe was a young man, when he settled in Butts County, Ga., where he was engaged extensively in planting, and where he died in 1815 at the age of sixty-one years; his widow died in Lee County, Ga., in 1855, aged fifty-four. Morton Bledsoe was of English descent and a man of great force of character, who took great interest in the current events of his day; while an active politician of the Henry Clay school, he never sought nor held office, being content in advocating and working for what his sense and conscience told him was right. He was the father of twelve children, of whom three died in infancy, and in the order of birth Dr. Nathaniel M. was the ninth. Of those who reached maturity, – beside the doctor, Elijah Morton Bledsoe, a planter, was wounded while in the Confederate army and died in Butler County, Ala.; Dr. John W. Bledsoe, was a graduate of the university of Nashville, Tenn., and practiced medicine from 1845 until his death at Midway, Ala., in 1871; Dr. Bushrod W. Bledsoe, was also a graduate of the Nashville university, was assistant surgeon in the Confederate army a short time, and is now in practice in Baker County, Ga.; Caleb B. Bledsoe, is a planter of Texas, who was several times wounded while in the Confederate army: Joseph P. Bledsoe, a planter of Baker County, Ga., was also a soldier of the Confederate army; George P. Bledsoe, was all through the war and had his under jaw shot in two; he is now a planter in Texas. The girls of this family of twelve were Mary A., deceased wife of Rev. Jonathan Davis, an eminent Baptist clergyman of Georgia; Sarah, deceased wife of George C. Hodges, who was a wealthy planter of Barbour County, Ala., and Caroline F., deceased wife of the late Dr. L. G. Bozeman of Bullock County.
Dr. Nathaniel M. Bledsoe received a good academic education preparatory to studying medicine – chiefly at Jackson, Ga. – and at the age of eighteen entered the office of a brother to prepare himself for his life work. After studying for a year under this brother he sought the assistance of a brother-in-law for the same purpose and studied with him until his entrance into the medical department of the university at Nashville, from which he graduated in 1857, and began practice seven miles east of Union Springs, where he met with a success that justified his remaining there until 1884, when he removed to the town, where he opened a drug store, which he conducts in connection with his extensive practice. So valuable have been his services as a physician that, when the war opened, his neighbors strenuously resisted his entering the army, although he was anxious to do so. To oblige them he remained at home and cared for the sick and destitute without compensation, and he has ever since given his professional services gratuitously to the poor families of fallen soldiers. So boundless is his benevolence, that, although he has no children of his own, he has expended thousands of dollars on the education of the offspring of others – in one instance alone having spent $12,000 on the education of two children only, and he has always given liberally, if not munificently of his income toward the erection of schools and churches. In connection with his practice and drug business, the doctor has also done more or less planting, at times raising 100 bales of cotton. He has never held public office but takes a lively interest in politics and performs punctually every public duty as a citizen. He is one of the oldest practitioners in the county of Bullock and is a member of the county medical association. He is also a Free Mason, having taken the royal arch and council degrees, and being a member of St. Johns lodge, F. & A. M., of Union Springs.
The marriage of the doctor was solemnized, in 1857, with Miss Amanda, daughter of James R. Pickett, who was a pioneer of what is now Bullock County, where he died in 1854. Mrs. Bledsoe was born in this county, and with her husband is a member of the Baptist church.