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George Bradley (1810-1871)
Born in New York, Indian missionary, leader of first Methodist church in Bay City .

Michigan Biographies
Michigan Historical Commission - 1924 (Page 101)


Member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, 1858-64.

Was born at Hopewell, Ontario County, N. Y., May 31, 1810.

In 1837 he was licensed to preach by the Northern Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the following year, at Tiffin, O., he was appointed "junior preacher" to the Copley circuit, then included in the Michigan Conference.

In 1839 he was appointed to the Saline circuit, which brought him to Michigan. From 1841 to 1847 he was Missionary to the Indians, with headquarters at Flint, Mich.

During the two following years he was presiding elder of the Grand River District, which extended across the State from Saginaw to Lake Michigan.

In 1850 this district was divided, and he was made presiding elder of the eastern half, still residing at Flint.

In 1852 he was placed in charge of the Methodist work in Lower Saginaw, now Bay City, where he built the first Methodist Church.

From 1853 to 1857 he labored at Albion, Marshall, and Jackson and from 1857 to 1859 he was presiding elder of the Indian Mission District and Missionary to the Indians in Isabella County.

For the following two years he was presiding elder of the Lansing District, and in 1862 he was super-annuated.

He died Apr. 15, 1871, being at the time in New York City, whither he had gone on business for the Indian Agency. He was buried at Mt. Pleasant, Mich., his home for some years prior to his death.

He was married in 1832 to Miss Sophia Blakesly.

He was elected Regent of the University in 1857 and took his seat the following January, serving the full term of six years.

Methodist church history. - Added Nov., 2010.

History of Bay County, Michigan - 1883

Page 85.

Methodism in Bay City helds its first organization class in 1837 consisting of Mrs. Belinda Barney, Mr. and Mrs. Raby, and J. Crutchfield. Of these the first named yet retains an honored place in the church. Occasional preaching services were held here before that date, and from some years by ministers from Flint and the Saginaw mission.

First Methodist Epsiscopal Church of Bay City. - IN 1852 at the annual conference held in Niles, Bishop Levi Scott presiding, Geroge Bradley was assigned to Lower Saginaw. He was the first Methodist minister appointed to this charge. During his ministry in 1852-'53 the society was fully organized, and the present church building erected on Washington Street. This has been enlarged and modified from time to time, and with such improvements as were imperatively called for, has faithfully served its purpose as a place of worship for thirty years.

Additional Notes.

Sophia Blakesly was born in Camden, Oneida Co., N.Y., on Feb. 12, 1809. She was the third daugher of David and Lucy Blakesly. Her marriage to George Bradley occurred on April 8, 1832. Sophia died at Camden on February 12, 1876.

    1870 - Census: Union Twp., Isabella, Mich.

  • Bradly, George - b. 1810, New York.
  • Sophia, wife - b. 1808 New York
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
1861 Contested Election
People Referenced
Barney, Belinda Mrs.
Blakesly, David
Blakesly, Lucy Mrs.
Blakesly, Sophia K (wife)
Bradley, George (subject)
Crutchfield, J.
Raby, Mr. & Mrs.
Scott, Levi Bishop
Subjects Referenced
Albion, MI
Bay City, MI
Board of Regent
Camden, NY
Copley circuit
Flint, MI
Grand River District
Hopewell, Ontario Co., NY
Indian missionary
Jackson, MI
Lake Michigan
Lansing District
Lower Saginaw, MI
- now Bay City
Marshall, MI
Methodist Church
Methodist Episcopal Church
Mount Pleasant, MI
Michigan Conference
New York City, NY
Northern Ohio Conference
Oneida Co., NY
Saline circuit
Tiffin, OH
Union, Isabella Co., MI
Univ. of Michigan
Internet References
None at this time.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.