James B. Bradley, a pioneer and captain of industry, made significant contributions to the development of Dakota territory and the state. Born in Indiana in 1849, he moved to Iowa with his family before embarking on his own journey to Dakota in 1868. Settling in Lincoln County, Bradley acquired a homestead and established himself as a prominent figure in the community. He ventured into various businesses, including general merchandise and retail drug trade, leaving a lasting impact. Known for his unwavering support for the Republican Party, Bradley also served as the mayor of Hudson, earning widespread respect and recognition.
James B. Bradley, of Hudson, Lincoln County, is numbered among the sterling pioneers and captains of industry who have aided in laying so broad and deep the foundations of our great commonwealth, and he stands today as a representative citizen of the county and state in which he took up his residence as a young man thirty-five years ago, at which time the great undivided territory of Dakota was considered on the very frontier of civilization. It is well that the life records of these members of the “old guard” be perpetuated in connection with this general history of the state.
A son of John and Sarah Bradley, both of whom are now deceased, the subject of this sketch was born in Morgan County, Indiana, on the 12th of January, 1849, and there he passed his early childhood, accompanying his parents on their removal to Iowa in 1854. His father became one of the pioneer farmers of Appanoose County, that state, and thus the early educational opportunities of our subject were limited, owing to the exigencies and conditions then in evidence. He continued to assist in the work of the home farm until 1868, when, at the age of nineteen years, he came as a youthful pioneer to the territory of Dakota, locating in Lincoln County, where he has ever since maintained his home. With the growth and development of the county, his fortunes have kept pace, and he has no reason to regret the choice which led him to cast in his lot with its early settlers. In 1870, he took up a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Marion County, and this figured as the nucleus of his prosperity. He is now the owner of valuable farming lands in addition to his real estate holdings in the town of Hudson. In 1882, he left his farm and took up his residence in Hudson, which then bore the name of Eden, and here he engaged in the general merchandise business. In November of the same year, under the administration of President Garfield, he received the appointment of postmaster in the village, and he continued to serve in this capacity for the long period of twelve years. In 1883, he established himself in the grocery business, having the post office in his store, and in 1886, he associated himself with P. H. P. Clement, under the firm name of Bradley & Clement, in the purchase of the general merchandise business of S. B. Culbertson. The firm continued to conduct the enterprise until 1897, when they disposed of the same. In 1899, Mr. Bradley engaged in the retail drug business, becoming the silent partner in the firm of W. M. Pigott & Company, and with this enterprise, he is still identified. In politics, Mr. Bradley has been a stalwart supporter of the Republican Party from the time of attaining his legal majority, and he served six years as mayor of Hudson, though he has never been ambitious for public office. He holds the esteem of the entire community and is one of the best-known citizens of the same.