BENJAMIN T. BRADLEY, Clerk of the Scott County Court, is a son of Robert Bradley, a native of Tennessee. The father located in Greene County in an early day, where Benjamin T. was born Dec. 8, 1846. He lived in Greene County for over thirty-four years, when he removed to Manchester, where he spent the last years of his life, dying in 1872, at the age of sixty-eight years, having well rounded out a busy and successful life.
Robert Bradley's wife, to whom he was married in Tennessee, was Louranna Ozbun. She journeyed along the pathway of life until the weight of eighty-four years carried her to the grave. This hardy couple, composed as they were of the material of which pioneers should be constructed, reared thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters. Six sons are now (1889) living. Five of them served as soldiers in the War for the Union, two of them for nearly five years each, two for about three years each, and one for one year. Two fo them were members of the 6th Illinois Cavalry, one as Captain, and the other as First Lieutenant. The five old soldiers are all living, and only one of them bears upon his person a scar received in battle, while the others, though on duty and often at the front, never received a scratch. Here is a war record of a single family that is hard to duplicate. The boys each enlisted because they thought the North was right and the South wrong, and with that idea they went to the front, and came back thinking more of the glorious old Stars and Stripes, if such a thing were possible, than they did when they enlisted in its defense. Great and free republics are made of such men as these, and as long as such nations exist their foundation will rest upon the achievements of such worthy sons.
Benjamin T., the one to whom this sketch particularly refers, was the youngest of the family. He was educated at the common schools, and after the war graduated from Bloomington (Ill.) Business College. He entered the army in 1864, and as an honored member of Company A, 59th Illinois Infantry, served with distinction till August, 1865. The conscription laws of those dark days of the Rebellion were rigid, and in them was contained no sentiment. The hard, stubborn fact confronted the Government that men were needed, and that no one who was physically able was exempt from the draft. A brother of Benjamin T. was drafted, and although four of the brothers were in the army as volunteer soldiers, the strong arm of the Government reached out for the fifth, and Benjamin enlisted as a substitute for the brother who had drawn an unlucky number. Leaving the army Mr. Bradley soon afterward located in Scott County, and subsequently taught school for four or five years. He was elected County Clerk on the Republican ticket, in the fall of 1886, for a term of four years. He married the daughter of Samuel Clement, at the town of Manchester, in 1872. Mr. Clement now lives in Manchester, and is the oldest man in Scott County, having been born during the time George Washington was President of the United States. He has four children, namely: Ada, Charles, Walter, and Lela.
Mr. Bradley is one of the foremost citizens of Scott County, and is ever found ready to do his share in the upbuilding of society, or in the works of charity. He is a Republican of the stalwart proclivities, that are born of the conviction that the principles of that party are founded upon the right.