Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 355-356
Among those who have acquired reputations as skillful architects, and who is one of the leading men in this line in Northern IL, as well as the oldest in Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], is George BRADLEY. The firm has been George BRADLEY & Son for 11 years, and is located in the Stewart Building, where they occupy three floors. They have drawn designs for more than 1,000 of the the most substantial and modern residences of the city, besides many public buildings, including schoolhouses, churches, etc.
Mr. BRADLEY has been a resident of Rockford since May 1855, and has since given his entire time to his business. He is a practical man of experience, thoroughly trained, and well qualified for executing all work appertaining to his profession, and has demonstrated all over the city and surrounding sections, by the numerous buildings which have been erected from his designs, that he knows his business thoroughly. Our subject was formerly a resident of Dixon [Lee County], IL, when that place was small, but only remained there one year. He has witnessed the marvelous growth of Rockford, and has ever been forward in advancing any movement that had for its object the prosperity and development of the city.
Born in Dover, Kent County, England, in 1825, Mr. BRADLEY was but seven years of age when his parents, in 1832, crossed the ocean to America. They were 47 days on the water, but finally landed at Boston [Suffolk County], MA, where they remained a short time. From there they went to West Newbury, Essex County, MA, and there the parents and a brother and four sisters received their final summons.
The father, William BRADLEY, was a native of Kent County, England, and came of an old and prominent English family, generally sailors or soldiers. He grew to manhood there and served 14 years in the English navy, the last year as Shipmaster in the East India navy. After coming to this country he withdrew from a seafaring life and engaged in tilling the soil. He was born in 1796, and died when 49 years of age. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary CARLTON, was born in 1800 and died in 1852. They were members of the Episcopal Church.
George BRADLEY is the only surviving member of his immediate family, and his boyhood and youth were spent on the farm in Essex County. This farm is now part of the large tract of land owned by Major Ben Perley POORE, who was a particular friend and crony of our subject. After growing up the later was married in Haverhill, Essex County, to Miss Mary J. BURHAM, who was born in the Quaker setttlement of NH, and who was of old New England stock. Mr. and Mrs. BRADLEY attend the Christian Union Church and are highly esteemed in the community. They became the parents of seven children, two deceased: George W. died when young, and Mary E. died at the age of four years. Those living are: Frances J., wife of Andrew SHERATT, secretary and treasurer of the Forest City Insurance Company; Emily A., wife of William D. DOW, a commercial traveler located at Butte City [Silver Bow County], MT; Ella L., wife of Frank McKINNEY, of the firm of CLARK & McKINNEY, hardware dealers, at Rockford; [p 356] Charles W., a practical architect since the age of 12 years, and who, since 17 years of age has been with his father, and is a promising young man. He married Miss Carrie D. SMITH, of Whitewater [Walworth County], WI, where she was reared and educated, and they now reside on West Mulberry Street, Rockford. Edwin B. resides in Rockford and does business with the Berlin Manufacturing Company, of Beloit [Rock County], WI; he married Miss Emma COTTON, of Rockford. Mr. BRADLEY and sons are independent in their political views.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.