Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
ELJA L. BRADLEY is a prosperous
farmer making his home three miles northeast from Wheatland, Adams county,
Washington. He is a native of Wilson, Niagara county, New York, born
November 19, 1861, the son of Nathan Benjamin and Ovelia (Cardinel) Bradley,
natives, respectively, of Niagara county, New York and Montreal, Canada.
During the Civil War the elder Bradley was a musician in the famous Army
of the Potomac under General McClellan. The grandfather of our subject,
N. B. Bradley, was a merchant sailor on the Atlantic coast and among the
West Indies. Later in life he settled at the Rice Lakes, north of
Hamilton. He died at the age of eighty-four at Wilson, Niagara county,
New York. His wife died at the age of eighty-two. She was of
Welsh and her husband of English descent. The mother of our subject
was of French ancestry. She died at the age of forty-two at Centerpoint,
Linn county, Iowa, leaving a family of children as follows, George F. M.,
Mrs. Adelia Whipple, Mrs. Mary Haskins, our subject, and Mrs. Alice Veeder.
The father was again married, his second wife being in maiden life Clarinda
Carpenter. This union was blessed with one child, Mrs. AIverette
Mr. Bradley accompanied his father to Illinois,
when a boy, from that state to Kansas, thence to Harrison county, Missouri,
where the father died. Following the death of his father, Mr. Bradley
went to the southeastern part of Iowa where he was engaged in stock buying.
Later he travelled through Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and California,
engaged more or less in mining and in various other occupations.
He reached the last named state in the spring of 1883, and the following
fall he went to Puget Sound and settled in Lewis county. Here he
purchased a tract of railroad land, and engaged in working in the woods
on salary and at the same time cleared his own land.
On January 1, 1885, occurred the marriage
of Mr. Bradley to Ella H. Dixon, a native of Yamhill county, Oregon and
daughter of Elijah F. and Elizabeth E. (Goodrich) Dixon, mentioned elsewhere
in this history. Mrs. Bradley departed this life in Spokane on March
14, 1901, leaving two children, Edna M., aged sixteen and Boyd B., aged
six years. One child, Gertrude is dead.
In 1892 Mr. Bradley came to Whitman county,
farmed in that county until 1899, then went to Spokane and engaged in the
employment business until 1902, when he came to Adams county and filed
on his present homestead. He improved his homestead and purchased
the adjoining quarter-section and leased one section of school land, all
of which he has under cultivation. His own land is well improved
and is a very desirable farm in every respect.
Mr. Bradley is a member of the K. O. T. M.
of Ritzville, and of the First M. E. church of Spokane. His departed
wife was also a member of that church. Mr. Bradley is a man of wide
western experience, and has endured his full share of the hardships of
this life in gaining his present home. In 1904 Mr. Bradley was the
regular Republican nominee for assessor of Adams county and was elected
by a handsome majority. He served in the same capacity in Thurston
county in years gone by and is well fitted for the duties incumbent upon
In this connection it is interesting to mention
a trip that Mr. Bradley took in the spring of 1881. It will be remembered
that at that time the fierce Apache Indians were on the war path.
From the foot of the grand canyon of the Colorado river, to Fort Yuma,
on the Southern Pacific railroad, Mr. Bradley took the entire trip in a
canoe. His course lay right through the country infested with the
blood thirsty savages, and he had experiences enough of a thrilling nature
to fill a volume.