THOMAS BRADLEY is one of the early settlers
of Christian County, and during the late war saw much active service in the Union army. His birth occurred in Hardin County,
Ky., September 23, 1823. His parents were William
and Elizabeth (Crowder) Bradley, who were natives of Virginia
Carolina, respectively. They were the parents
of fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters.
Thomas Bradley is the seventh child in his
father's family, and with his parents removed from Kentucky
County, Ill., in 1832. He received his education
in this State, remaining under the parental roof until reaching his majority. For one year he engaged in driving
a stage from Springfield to Vandalia. In 1850
he embarked in his life occupation of farming and stock-raising, but in 1859 worked for a short time at the furniture
On the 20th of May, 1845, our subject was
united in marriage with Miss Martha Morris. She is a daughter of Achilles Morris, and was born and reared to womanhood
County. By this marriage three children have
been born: G. W., a resident of Pana, Ill., and an engineer by
occupation; Mary Ann, wife of J. W. Handel, of Owaneco, Ill.; and Lunetta Lora, wife of M. Danford, of Locust Township,
who has retired from active business.
In 1844 Mr. Bradley located in Christian
County, and two years later purchased seventy acres of land, for which he paid $1 per acre, and on which he made
a settlement. He continued running a stage from Decatur to Springfield
for two years. He enlisted in Company A, Tenth Illinois Cavalry, in September, 1861, and was sent to St. Louis
and from there proceeded to Springfield, Mo., where he was stationed for a time. He was next sent on an expedition
with Gen. Curtis, after which he remained in Helena, Ark.,
until the spring of 1863. He served in the bodyguard of Gen. Fisk at the time he was at the head of the Yazoo siege,
near Vicksburg. After taking Ft. Pemberton
he returned to Yazoo, thence went to Helena and from there to Vicksburg and Millikin's Bend, remaining on duty
until June 6, 1863, when twenty-three of the number were captured by the enemy.
He was held as a prisoner until October
1 of that year, when he was paroled and sent to St. Louis. He rejoined his regiment at Little Rock, Ark., and acted
as a scout in Mississippi and Louisiana.
He was sent to New Orleans just before the assassination of President Lincoln. A gunboat undertook to run the blockade,
and Mr. Bradley assisted in its capture. During the engagement large quantities of cotton were set on fire, and
eight men were taken prisoners. Our subject was next sent to Mobile on the ship "Tilla" and landed a
few days before Taylor surrendered.
After ten days spent at that place he went
to Baton Rouge under Gen. Bailey. He took part in the Red River expedition, and finally arrived in San Antonio,
Tex., where he staid until September, 1865. He was mustered out at San Antonio, and, returning to Springfield, received an honorable discharge January 8, 1866.
On his return from his valiant service in
the South, Mr. Bradley again engaged in farming, and has since given his attention to the cultivation of his place.
His wife died in 1876 and was buried in Doner Cemetery, two miles west of the old homestead. In June, 1878, Mr.
Bradley married Mrs. Mary E. Phelps, of Bear Grove, Guthrie County, Iowa. She was born and grew to womanhood in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and is of English descent.
Our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics Mr. Bradley is a champion of the Republican