genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893, p259.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

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 and North 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 to Sangamon 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 business.

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 in Macon 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 party.




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