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William Milne Bradley (son of Samuel and Jane Bradley)

The following connection was found with the help of a researcher.  I had been intrigued for some time to know the reason for the additional name ‘Milne’ in William Milne Bradley, son of first cousins Samuel and Jane.  Jane`s sister Catherine married Robert Milne, brother of William Charles Milne, missionary to China and both sons of William Milne, colleague of Dr Morrison, also missionaries in China.  The mystery still isn`t really resolved as Catherine married Robert in 1845 and William Milne Bradley was born in 1842.  Perhaps I`ll never know!  I had found mention that William Milne Bradley had travelled to Wyoming in the United States and the researcher mentioned above managed to trace a direct descendant, a granddaughter Kathleen.  Kathleen furnished me with wonderful information regarding her grandfather and also a narrative relating to the lives of her grandparents written by her mother Elizabeth.  Also a biography by William`s son Russell. Sadly Kathleen has now died but I copy below some of the information she gave relating to her Grandfather William Milne Bradley.  I have been touch with Art Hunter, Kathleen`s son, who is happy for me to share this.

William married a widow Elizabeth Reynolds (Massey) 24th November 1870.  Elizabeth already had children but she and William went on and had a further 3 children, Elizabeth, Russell and Eliza.

William Milne and his brother David continued to be close after their emigration.

This is a Biography of William Milne Bradley by his son Russell Bradley

“William Milne Bradley was born in Manchester, England on October 24 1842.  He went to a boarding school.  He and his older brother, David, who was born in Manchester on September 22 1840.  They went to Canada on a sailing vessel in 1860 (Cari`s note – they both appear on the 1861 census in Manchester).  They were one of the first settlers on Miscola Lake, Canada.  William trapped some and worked in the lumber woods for two years.

 During the Civil War, men that had money and were drafted and didn`t want to serve were willing to give a good price for an alien to take his place.  If he could get an alien he would be free from the draft all during the war.  But if he got a native, he was subject to the next draft.  Dad thought he would go to the States and get that bounty and enlist.  He went to Wisconsin and worked in a saw mill.  The Bounty had dropped on aliens so he never enlisted.  He went from there to Chicago and worked in a railroad shop as a machinist.  He knew something of that trade as his father owned a foundry in Manchester.  He worked as an apprentice for some time in his father`s shop.  He didn`t stay very long in Chicago.  (The pasture always looked greener on the other side of the fence.).

 He went from there to New Orleans where he worked in a shop for a while.  Next he went to Galveston where he worked in a machine shop.  From there he started drifting northwest.  During the summer of 1864 he made ties for the railroad.  During the winter of `64 and `65 he cut cord wood at Long Island, Nebraska.  It was all dead cedar.  I think it was for the railroad.

 He was in Levenworth, Kansas in the spring of `65.  A man named Iliff had a contract to deliver cattle to Fort Union, New Mexico and he hired on as one of the cowboys.  Iliff hired his men with the understanding that he would furnish transportation back to Kansas if they wanted to go back.  If they took their discharge at Ft. Union they would get more money.  Dad was a good walker and he didn`t know how he could make money any easier that walking back to Kansas.  He had one single blanket and a little grub and started out.  The country was very thinly settled at that time.  About the first place he stopped was at Trinidad, Colorado.  He worked awhile there for a Spaniard named Sapies.

 He drifted in to Kansas.  He and two other men built a boat and started down the Smokey Hill River.  Their aim was to go down that river to where it joined the Republican River and formed the Kaw and go down to the Missouri and then down the Mississippi to somewhere in the south.  They didn`t know just where but they were on their way, going down the Smokey, when they came close to Junction City, Kansas.  They stopped at a woodcutter`s camp and had dinner with them.  The dinner was mostly navy beans of which he ate a lot.  After dinner they all got sick.  Bradley was much sicker that the other men.  He was so sick he gave up the trip to the south.  The other two men took the boat and went on.

 When the cook was cleaning things up after dinner, he found a pound plug of tobacco had fallen off the shelf over the fireplace into the kettle of beans and had boiled with them.  The other men all chewed tobacco and it didn`t make them so sick, but Bradley didn`t use tobacco in any form so it made him very sick.

 The next day he started out on foot.  He left the river and went east to Clarks Creek.  He came to the Tom Reynold`s farm about noon.  He was broke.  He asked Mrs Reynolds for something to eat.  He said he would cut wood or do any work she wanted for a meal.  Mrs Reynolds was a woman who would give anyone a meal.  She would share what she had.  She didn`t ask for any pay or work for it.  He started to cut wood at the wood pile but was soon called in to dinner.  He thought he hadn`t cut enough for his dinner so he went back to the wood pile again.  Reynolds came home that evening and invited him to stay all night.  Reynolds was a stock trader who bought and sold cattle and horses.  He had no education.  He couldn`t read or write and it was quite a handicap in his business.  He was naturally a smart man and he saw Bradley had a good education and could be a great help to him.  So he hired him to work on the farm and keep his financial things in order.  Bradley stayed at Reynolds that winter.  The spring of 1866 he enlisted in the 18th. Kansas Volunteers to fight the Indians who were bad in Kansas.  He served through the summer campaign and was mustered out in the fall.  He went back to Reynolds and was working there when Reynolds was murdered and robbed on August 22 1868.  This left Mrs Reynolds with seven children ranging in age from 1 to 15 years old.  He stayed on and worked the farm and on Thanksgiving, November 24, 1870 he and widow Reynolds were married.  To this union were born three children Laura October 7 1871, Russell July 31 1874 and Zona August 3 1882.

 He always liked to be on the move so in the spring of 1886, he trailed a herd of cattle from Kansas to Wyoming.  At that time, Wyoming was mostly government land.  He took a claim on Rawhide Creek.  He stayed in Wyoming summer and them came back to Kansas the first of November.  His wife sold the farm the summer of `86 but didn`t give possession until April 15 1887.  He left the farm the 12th April with two wagons and some loose horses for Long Island, Kansas where be bought cattle and travelled on to Wyoming.  His wife and two girls went by train to the new town of Lusk, Wyoming.

 In the Spring of `88 he homesteaded on Six Mile Creek and he bought out some other claims there and had the best stock ranch in that part of Wyoming.  He was doing very well and had a good bunch of cattle and horses.  In the fall of `93 he met a young man, Jack Raffen, from Chicago, who was looking for a ranch in the west.  He brought Jack to the ranch and Jack stayed there that winter.  Jack liked the ranch so well that he wanted to buy it. He got his father, who was a wealthy Scotchman in Chicago to come to Wyoming, in the late fall of `94 to look things over.  His dad bought the ranch and cattle and a lot of horses for Jack.

 Bradley stayed on the ranch until the spring of `95 and then went to the Ozark Mountains in south Missouri.  (This was a very bad move financially.)  He shipped two car loads of horses to West Plains, Missouri.  There was no sale for horses there.  No one had any money.  It was a very hard up Hill Billy country.  As there was no free range there for horses, he soon found they were costing more to keep than they were worth.  He began trading them.  He would give a few horses and some cash for land.  The land wasn`t worth much but it didn`t cost so much to keep as the horses did.  He stayed in Missouri until January 1901.  He had traded around until he had gotten rid of most of his real estate in Missouri.  Next he went to Trinidad, Colorado and worked as a carpenter until June.  Then he went across the mountains with a team and wagon to Durango, Colorado.  He stayed there about a month.  He found nothing there worth while.

 His son Russell, was a horse shoer and general blacksmith.  They leased a shop in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  They worked there most of the summer.  He heard there was a blacksmith and wagon shop for sale in Lusk.  He and his son went to Lusk and bought the shop and ran it for about ten years and did very well.  His wife died August 16 1909.  He sold the shop that winter and went on a ranch with his son.  The spring of 1911, they went with wagon and team and some loose horses to the Big Horn Basin near Shell, Wyoming.  They bought an irrigated farm on Beaver Creek.  They sold that the winter of 1917 and bought a cattle ranch twenty miles west of Wheatland, Wyoming.

 In the fall of `18 they had a chance to sell the ranch and stock at a good profit which they did.  They went back to the Big Horn Basin and bought the (M?) Ranch and stock from Colonel Jay L. Torrey.  It was the prettiest and best in the Basin.

 Dad Bradley, as he was called, didn`t go in with his son Russell on that deal.  Russell and his son Bill, who was 18, took that over.  It was a 600 acre ranch with 200 acres under irrigation.  Dad was on the ranch some of the time, but was taking things easy.  He took a trip or two to southern Texas and enjoyed his vacation from work.

 In 1923 he went to California to visit his daughter Laura who lived in Los Angeles.  He liked California so well that he stayed there most of the time.  He used to come every summer to the ranch for a while.  They sold the (M?) Ranch in the Basin and bought a ranch near Lusk the spring of 1928.  Dad used to spend the summers on the ranch with his son and grandson and the winters in California.  He liked that fine as he always did like to be on the go.  The early part of `32 he was struck by a car – a hit and run driver – and was nearly killed, but he recovered.  He came to the ranch in Wyoming in June, but he didn`t feel so well and the longer he stayed, the worse he got.  He thought he would feel better if he was back in California in a lower altitude.  (Lusk is between five and six thousand feet.)  So his grandson Bill took him back to California.  Bill said it did help him.  Bill stayed with him a few days and he said when he left his granddad was feeling fine and happy.  He wrote weekly letters to the ranch and said he was looking forward to coming to Wyoming the next June.  He always was a great walker and he was able to take long walks even at his age.

William Milne Bradley and son Russell
William Milne Bradley and son Russell
David Bradley
David Bradley

These photos were from Kathleen, William Milne`s granddaughter

 On March 18 1933 on one of his walks, he started across a lawn that had a low wire around it.  He didn`t notice the wire and tripped over it and fell.  He didn`t know he was hurt.  He had had many worse falls than that.  He just got up and went on his way, but in a few hours, he was in great pain and the doctor said he had burst a blood vessel inside and that there was nothing could be done for it.  In a few hours he passed away.   So ended the life of the kindest and best man that ever lived.  They don`t come any finer or better than William M.(Dad) Bradley.”

This photo was from Kathleen, William`s granddaughter

Elizabeth Laura, daughter of William Milne and Elizabeth also wrote a description of the lives of her parents which obviously overlaps with her brother Russell`s account but I copy here some extra information.

“My father was always interested in horses and all the neighbors brought their horses to him to doctor or to train to be ridden or driven to a wagon, plow etc.  He became so interested in this work that about the year 1876 he wrote a book on Horsemanship and decided to travel into Eastern Kansas and take up the business of breaking horses to be ridden or driven.  For a few months he made quite a success of this, but one day he found a very wild horse that bucked extremely hard when he got on him and threw him off.  He fell, hitting his head on a stump, and was knocked unconscious.  He remained in that condition in spite of all the doctors in that vicinity could do.  As it was near Olathe where they asylum fro the insane was located he was taken there and as before the accident —or from his book— his home address was given and word was sent to my mother of his condition.”

“So when word came to Mother about my father`s accident she consulted doctors and even lawyers who were friends and was told to leave my father where he was for a month or so, then she might go to see him and possibly bring him home. Letters were exchanged between Father and Mother even the doctors and lawyers wrote friendly letters to him.  He usually wrote letters.  Sometimes he wrote quite rationally but sometimes he seemed to be losing his ability to think straight.

After a time Mother decided to go to Olathe and visit Father.  Russell and I were too young to be left at home so she decided to leave the other children with Mr Thurman and Frank Johnson and hire a neighbor to drive her, with Russell and me, to Olathe in a covered wagon………….When we arrived at the asylum in Olathe we were met by Dr Knapp, who was in charge.  He greeted us kindly and I remember he said to my mother: “Let me take the little girl in to her father and see if he knows her.”  He picked me up and carried me into my father`s room.  Father knew me at once and rushed happily forward to take me in his arms but I cried and hung on to the doctor, saying, “No, I don`t want to to to him, that`s my Uncle Dave.”  Dave was my father`s brother, a bachelor, who never wore a mustache and did not care for children.  My father wore a mustache but had pulled it all out during the period of his unconsciousness.  There must have been a strong family resemblance, which  no one had ever seemed to notice before.  My father`s kind loving voice quickly made me recognize him and I was so happy to be with him once more. Father was pronounced entirely cured and next day we started for home and there never was a recurrence of his mental trouble.”

Also from Kathleen – letter from David Bradley to his brother William – date to be verified.

“My dear Will

The reason I have not answered your letter is that I have  met with a terrible misfortune.  On the 20th of January in the evening the rotary snow plow came along and I didn`t get over far enough or out of the way and it struck me; after waiting 4 or 5 weeks the Doctor put me under chloroform and took out the broken bone, but after examination he found several other bones broken.  Another Dr was with him.  They saw the only thing to do was to take off the leg below the knee.  The chloroform has left me very debilitated.  I have no appetite.  I have a hiccough which troubles me at intervals. The stump of my poor leg is dressed every day and all the doctors fear is blood poisoning or hemoraging.  Now dear Will don`t let this trouble you anymore than you can help.  And don`t on any account think of coming to see me.  The trains are not running and the RR blocked for five weeks.  Mail is carried by men on snow shoes.  The Dr is a fine man and is also the RR Dr.  he treats me the same as if I was a paying patient.  Now Dear Will do not think of coming to see me til May.  No regular trains will run till then.  Dr B A Arborgast is the Dr`s name should you wish to correspond with him do so.  How I wish for good Mr Thurman so I could talk to him, ask him to read the Psalms beginning “Truly our God is a loving God and also sing “Arise my soul arise””. Tell dear Elizabet6h not fret cheer her up.  I hope this news will not have any bad effect upon her and do not let it interfere with your prospects. Dear Russell and Dear Zona will feel bad about this.  I hope to get well, but there is no knowing how everything will end but my trust is in God.  Religion is a great comfort to me but I feel that God is near to me.  Now Good Bye dear Will write to me.  The Rotary has not run since it struck me.  Excuse mynot answering your letters.

With best love I remain your affectionate Brother David Bradley.  Give my best to all.”

Samuel Robert Bradley (son of Rev. Russell Bradley, nephew of William Milne Bradley).

Samuel Robert b. 7 September 1876 was the nephew of William Milne. The first knowledge of Samuel is by a passenger record from Ellis Island wherein his age on arrival is stated as 21 years and single, he is Irish and his place of residence is Cashel, Ireland. He had sailed on the Majestic leaving Liverpool and arrived Ellis Island on 10 August 1898.  His occupation is Land Agent Assistant and he can read and write. His final destination was New York and he had paid for his own ticket.  Also on this sailing is Margaret E Graham a single governess/teacher from Cashel.  According to a copy newspaper cutting there is a marriage announcement for Samuel and Margaret for the date 10 August 1898 in New York, Margaret being the elder daughter of Robert Graham MA Headmaster of Midleton College Cork. Why didn`t they marry in Ireland I wonder?  They were divorced in 1902.  There is a second Ellis Island entry for  Samuel Robert in 1906, again from Liverpool and this time on the Celtic.  His last residence is London and he states his last time in the United States was from 1898 to 1903.  He is married.  In 1909 he marries Kate Dora Thebaud in Jersey City, New Jersey. Kate was born in England and was an actress having performed in Australia and New York. She gave up her career at the time of her marriage. She died in 1961 having spent the last year with their only daughter Mrs Chave in Wellesley MA.. Before that she and Samuel had spent the whole of their married life in New York City.  Samuel died in 1970, also in Wellesley.  He was described in his death notice as a former sales representative and a sports enthusiast.

I am in possession of a copy letter (deposited with the Soc. of Genealogists) from Russell (of 17 Wesley Road, Rathgan, Dublin but written on headed notepaper for The Lambs, 130 West 44th Street, New York) to his son Samuel at 36 Woodruff Avenue, Flatbush, L.I. New York dated March 24th 1938. Russell addresses the letter ‘My dear Sam’. He goes on to say he has received Sam`s letter of the 14th and is sorry to hear that business is so bad in New York. Samuel has obviously asked for information on his grandparents, Samuel and Jane and Russell proceeds to give details and confirming his parents were first cousins. He also confirms that his (Russell`s) grandfather Benjamin(e) Bradley was agent to the Duke of Bridgewater and that his maternal grandfather was Samuel Bradley, an independent minister. Russell confirms that he was one of 7 children and that only ‘your Uncle Willey, now 88, and myself survive’.  He signs himself  ‘your ever affectionate father’.  In a later letter Russell gives the information that his father Samuel was a partner with Edward Bellhouse in the Eagle Iron Foundry and had mortgaged his house in order to buy in.  He goes on to say that Edward Bellhouse was a very extravagant and reckless man and nearly ruined the business.  He also gives information on his uncle John, from Droitwich with sons John, Samuel, Frederic and Charles.