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Charles Henry Bradley. (1853-?)
Born in Sparta, Morrows Co., OH, in lumber business in Bay city, afterward in Duluth, MN.

1900 biography. - Added Nov., 2010.

Cyclopedia of Michigan - Biographical sketches - 1900


Formerly of Bay City, now of Duluth, Minnesota. “Great” and “eminent” men, in the common acceptation of these terms, are not the only men whose biographies are worth recording, and the history of whose lives teaches many a lesson to the youth of our wonderful country, still rich with opportunities and great possibilities. The gentleman whose name head this sketch is one of those successful and prominent business men with just enough self-esteem to regard himself, as his fellow citizens do, as a clever, painstaking business man, who would not give a “thank you” to be called “great” or “eminent.” Nevertheless he is more deserving of praise, better entitled to distinction, and holds a higher place, socially and in the affection of his family and relatives, than many whose public position or love of notoriety is there only claim to eminence.

Charles H. Bradley, of Bay City, was born at Sparta, Morrow County, Ohio, November 4, 1853. He is a son of Henry M. and Mary E. (Cook) Bradley for many years prominent residents of Bay City. Henry M. Bradley, prominently identified with the early development of Bay City, is now a leading citizen of Duluth, Minnesota, where and his two sons, Alva W. and Edward L., are interested in mining and engaged in the lumber business.

Our subject was educated in the public schools of his native town, and when only nineteen years of age he opened an office and embarked in business for himself as “lumber inspector.” This appellation is understood in the trade to mean one who acts as broker between seller and buyer, inspects measures, and arranges with transportation companies for the shipment of lumber on the most favorable terms obtainable. As a youth Mr. Bradley often acted as “tally-boy” to an inspector thus early acquiring a practical knowledge of the important business he had set his heart upon. Having once again gained the confidence of his customers, and established a reputable connection. Mr. Bradley has had the good sense to give his undivided attention to a steadily increasing business instead of casting about for something new, and to make it the most extensive business of its particular nature in the United States. There is little room do doubt that he attained the enviable position of being known as the largest shipper of lumber in his line on this continent. Here is what is said by a leading trade journal, bearing date of April 1, 1893, under the heading of “Vice-President of the Inland Lloyds:”

“Mr. C. H. Bradley, of Bay City, who was elected vice-president of the Inland Lloyds at a meeting of the vessel owners held in Cleveland, holds the record for having shipped more lumber in a single year than any firm in the United States. He shipped one hundred and sixty million feet in a single season, and over four hundred million feet in three years. The election of Mr. Bradley as vice-president of Inland Lloyds seems, however, to have been a surprise to him, as he did not know anything about it till the 23d of March, on his return from Bermuda with his family. It is a clear case of 'the office seeking the man.' As he is a prominent shipper and the owner of considerable vessel property, his election was undoubtedly for the protection and in the best interests of floating property from an owner's stand point.”

For many years Mr. Bradley traveled extensively in connection with the business of covering a distance of about thirty thousand miles per annum. He was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, having been perhaps the largest donator to the building fund of the handsome and commodious edifice erected on Madison Avenue, Bay City. He has been a liberal friend to the Methodist body in Bay City. He held the position of librarian for some time, and later on was secretary-treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Church.

Mr. Bradley married, December 1, 1875, Miss Maggie G. Ten Eyck, formerly of Albany, New York, the descendent of a very old Dutch-American family, prominently known along the banks of the famous Hudson River long before the Revolutionary War. Of this marriage five children have been born, and all except one, a bright boy of about two and a half years when he died (September, 1892), are living.

Engaged in the lumber traffic and other trades on the great lakes. Mr. Bradley is also interested in mining, with his father and brothers, of Duluth. Realizing that the scope in his particular lines could be extended, and that the requirements of the trade would become too heavy for the Saginaw Valley alone. Mr. Bradley was the first to locate in the Green Bay District, opening a branch office at Menominee, Michigan, in the spring of 1886. He predicted that this place would develop into an important shipping point, and it has beyond question turned out so. He was also one of the first to look farther north and west, to secure stock that would suit his Eastern customers, and with commendable enterprise he opened office both in Duluth and Ashland. Mr. Bradley's political views are decidedly Republican. Mrs. Bradley is exemplary and kind as a mother, devoted as a wife, and, in a word, the family is one of the happiest and most highly regarded, socially.

Additional Notes

    1900 – Census: Duluth, St. Louis, Minn.

  • Bradley, Charles H. - b. Nov. 1853 Ohio – lumber inspector
  • Mageline, wife – b. Sept 1855 N. Y.
  • Leonard, son – b. Jul. 1880 Ohio
  • Wilson, son – b. Jul. 1883 Ohio

Viewers Comments/Contributions:

April, 2012: Stuart V. Bradley, Jr. has contributed extensive family genealogy and history of the Bradley family, which are in pdf format:

Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
Bradley, Henry M. father
Bradley, Nathan B. uncle
People Referenced
Bradley, Alva (son)
Bradley, Charles H. (subject)
Bradley, Edward (bro)
Bradley, Henry M. (father)
Bradley, Leonard (son)
Bradley, Wilson (son)
Cook, Mary E. (mother)
TenEck, Maggie G.
Subjects Referenced
Albany, NY
Ashland, MN
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Cleveland, OH
Duluth, MN
Green Bay, WI
Hudson River, NY
Inland Lloys Co.
Methodist Episcopal
Morrow Co., OH
Revolutionary War
Saginaw Valley, MI
Sparta, OH
St. Louis Co., MN
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.