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Henry Martin Bradley. (1824-1918)
Born in Lee, Berkshire Co., Mass., prominent business man of Bay City & Duluth.

1900 biography. - Added Oct., 2009.

Historical and Biographical, Comprising A Synopsis of
General History of Michigan, 1900


One of Bay City's earliest lumbermen, and now a resident of Duluth, Minnesota, was born at Lee, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, May 7, 1824, of that grand old Puritan stock that has ever made itself felt in the development of the country. His father, William Bradley, was also born at Lee, on February 25, 1796. In 1816, William Bradley was married to Lucy Ball, daughter of Nathan Ball, of the same place, and of which union nine children were born, seven of whom were boys, the subject of this sketch being the third son.

In 1835, William Bradley migrated to Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio, taking his family with him. Young Henry had attended school in Massachusetts before their removal to Ohio; at Wellington he pursued his studies, as opportunity offered, in the district school. Being ambitious and wishing to make a start in business for himself. Henry, when he was only about sixteen years of age, went to Seville, Medina County, Ohio, to learn the trade of carding and cloth-dressing. On January 1, 1846, he married to Mary E. Cook, of Gilford, Ohio, by whom he had eight children. He resided in Litchfield and Sparta, Ohio, for a number of years, during which time he spent three or four years cutting hardwood lumber in his own mill.

In 1855, Mr. Bradley removed with his family to Bay City, Michigan, where he took charge of Frost & Bradley's mill (more recently N. B. Bradley & Sons) until 1858. In 1860 he purchased the Stanton mill of Bay City, which he operated successfully for a good many years. However, during the precarious times of the great financial panic in 1873, and for three or four years afterwards, Mr. Henry M. Bradley met with reverses and heavy losses, and finally abandoned what had grown to be an extensive mill and lumber business in 1877. Were life all sunshine and prosperity, we would not appreciate it; it needs some cloudy and stormy weather to help us to enjoy the brightness when it comes. It is hard to lose the accumulation of years of honest industry, but pitiable as a man's condition where as often is the case, loss of ambition, health and hope follows in the train of many and long-continued business troubles. Henry M. Bradley, however, be it said to his credit which detracts, by example, in any community, from the good which has been accomplished by persevering and energetic men inspired with hope and trust in Providence. He soon turned his attention, after leaving the mill, to dealing in logs, and later on to locating timber and mining lands in Minnesota; in which latter capacity he has been very successful. His income from mining interests alone has enable him to settle down in comfortable security, being the fortunate owner in part of the fee of the famous Chandler iron-mine, in the Vermillion Range of Minnesota.

Henry M. Bradley was trustee for two terms, and was the first street commissioner of Bay City, while it was yet a village, and was chief engineer of the Fire Department for a number of years. He was a consistent member of the Madison Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, formerly the Washington Street Church, during his long residence in Bay City, holding every position in the church except pastor, and was one of the best Sunday-school superintendents the Methodists of that city ever had. He was one of the organizers of the Church, a prominent promoter of its interests, until it became one of the first charges in the Detroit Conference. He was the chief instrument in consummating the erection of the fine edifice referred to, both as a donator and in superintending the building operations.

After leaving Bay City, in 1890, for his new home in Duluth, he also superintended the erection of another ecclesiastical edifice the magnificent new Methodist Episcopal Church of that city, one of the finest churches in the State of Minnesota. Mr. Bradley and his two sons, Alva W. and Edward L., were among the heaviest contributors to the building fund. Mr. Bradley was for many years greatly interested in the welfare of the public schools of Bay City, as he has been in those of Duluth since his residence there, having been a leading member of the board and holding the position of president of the same for two terms in the former city. Although not a politician, he has always been a Republican, holding decided views.

As a citizen, Henry M. Bradley's name stands high in Bay and Saginaw Counties, as also in Duluth. Socially, and among his own family connections, which are numerous, he is spoken of in the best of terms and with the kindliest affection.

Son Alva. - Added March, 2012.

Collections, Vol. 14, by Minnesota Historical Society - 1912

Bradley, Alva. W., lumberman, b. in Medina county, Ohio, April 4, 1849; came to Minnesota in 1882, settling in Deluth, where he carried on a larger lumber business and had banking and other financial interests.

Additional Notes.

    Bradley Family Genealogy:

  • William, father - born Feb. 25, 1796, Lee, Mass.
  • Lucy (Ball), mother - born abt. 1796
  • Emily, daughter - b. Dec. 23, 1816, Lee, Mass.
  • William, jr., son - b. Dec. 28, 1818, Lee, Mass.
  • Charles, son - b. Jun. 23, 1822, Lee, Mass.
  • Henry, son - b. May 17, 1824, Lee, Mass.
  • Nancy, daughter - b. Dec. 9, 1825, Lee, Mass.
  • Nathan B., son - b. May 28, 1831, Lee, Mass.

    1878 Directory, Bay City, Mich.

  • Bradley, H. M. - (James Rice & Co.), res cor 16th.

    1880 Census, Bay City, Mich.:

  • Bradley, Henry M. - b. 1824, Mass.
  • Bradley, Mary W. - wife
  • Children: Frank E., Addie M.

    1887 Directory, Bay City, Mich.:

  • Bradley, Henry M. - (Bradley & Finn), res 259 N Madison.
  • Bradley & Finn (Henry M. Bradley, Frederick C. Finn), Plumbers, Steam and Gas Fitters, Plumbers' Supplies, Mantels and Grates, 716 Washington Ave.
  • Finn, Frederick (Bardley & Finn), res 243 Adams.

    1918 - Minnesota Deaths: Duluth, St. Louis Co.

  • Henry M. Bradley born in 1825, died March 21, 1918. Parents William Bradley & Lucy Ball.

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

Henry M. Bradley

Related Pages:
Bradley, Charles H.. Son
Bradley, Nathan B. Bro
Bradley, Thomas P. G-son
Bay City Fire Dept. 1918
People Referenced
Ball, Lucy (mother)
Ball, Nathan
Bradley, Alva W. (son)
Bradley, Chalres (bro)
Bradley, Edward L. (son)
Bradley, Emily (sis)
Bradley, Frank E. (son)
Bradley, Henry M. (subject)
Bradley, Nancy (sis)
Bradley, Nathan B. (bro)
Bradley, William (father)
Bradley, William Jr. (bro)
Cook, Mary E. (wife)
Finn, Frederick
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Bradley & Finn
Chandler Iron mine
Detroit Conference
Duluth, MN
Frost & Bradley Mill
Gilford, OH
James Rice & Co.
Lee, Berkshire, MA
Litchfield, OH
Methodist Episcopal
N.B. Bradley & Sons
Saginaw Co., MI
Seville, Medina, OH
Sparta, OH
Stanton Mill
Vermillion Range, MN
Washington Street Church
Wellington, Loraine, OH
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.