John Claver Brightman, doctor and soldier, was born in Floyd County, Indiana, on May 21, 1819, the son of George Claver and Nancy (Moore) Brightman. He received a high school education before the family moved to Galveston, Texas, in March 1843. They then moved in the spring of 1844 to Port Lavaca and subsequently to Seguin, Victoria, and Kemper's Bluff, and finally in 1845 to Goliad. Brightman studied medicine in these various communities. About 1855 he was in Karnes County, where he was elected chief justice (county judge). About 1858 he went to Houston to practice medicine but left there in September 1859 because of an outbreak of yellow fever. In the Confederate Army he took the place of a man named Chambers and participated in fighting around Galveston. He died of yellow fever at Harrisburg in 1867. He had never married.