Bradley, Philo

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY


Philo Bradley was born March 23, 1795, the son of Joseph Bradley, 3rd, (April 10, 1771 - ) and Mary Wheeler, daughter of Calvin Wheeler and Mary Thorp, of the township of Fairfield. His siblings were:[1]

  • Olive, born December 30, 1 797 : married John Fisher.
  • Elam, born January 9, 1801.



In person my (Joseph P Bardley's) father (Philo Bradley) was below the middle size, though compact and strong of build. His eyes were blue, his cheeks ruddy, and his hair nearly black. I have heard the old people say, that he took more after his mother's family, the Wheelers, personal appearance, than after that of his father.

My father spent the greatest part of his life at farming; first, on a portion of his father's farm, then on an adjoining farm, in 1818, and again from 1822 to 1824 inclusive; next on a farm on Irish Hill, about five or 6 miles from my grand-father's, in 1825 and 1826; finally on another farm on Irish Hill, about 4 miles from my grandfather's, which he purhased, and on which and a farm adjoining, he continued to reside from 1827 till his death in 1861. For about a year (1818-19), he resided at Catskill, engaged in mercantile business, which, I believe, was not a success. During several succeeding years, he taught school part of the time, and part of the time assisted my grandfather on his farm. This was from 1819 to 1821 inclusive. In 1817 he, with his father-in-law, Daniel Gardiner, took a journey, by horse and sleigh, to the ends of the earth, namely, to Ohio, in the vicinity of Columbus. My grandfather Gardiner had some lands, derived from a brother, Col. James Gardiner, a Revolutionary officer, who had received them as a portion of his bounty. They found the lands, but the surrounding wilderness looked so forbidding, they concluded to sell them. Columbus had recently been laid out as a city, but it had no houses, or very few, and the stumps of the forest trees occupied the places of the streets and lots. The adventures of this journey furnished entertainment on winter evenings for a number of years afterwards.

My father, though always doomed to hard toil, was very fond of books, particularly books of history and travel. I think he must have read nearly the whole Ancient Universal History through in course, consisting of twenty thick octavo volumes. Whenever he came to a passage that pleased him, and which he thought might interest us, he would read aloud ; and I remember to have attained quite a minute knowledge of the exploits of Alexander the Great and of Julius Caesar in that way. My father's taste for reading was inherited by most of his children, and we always had books of interest at our command. We never needed outside excitements to make us happy ; and, perhaps, on that account were sometimes thought a little exclusive by our neighbors. If we were poor, we were proud of our poverty, and endeavored to be content with our lot— except that, for myself, I always from my early youth, had a burning thirst for a more complete education. I shall never forget my poor father's sad and despairing look when, after a long struggle with myself, one bleak day in November, 183T, I proposed to him to let me go out into the world to see if I could not better my fortunes, and manage in some way to get a college training. He finally assented ; but I saw that it was with a heavy heart ; and I hope that the assistance which I rendered him in his more advanced years, in some measure repaid him for the sorrow that I then caused. And well do I remember, also, my mother's longing look after me, as her figure stood in the door, when a year or two later I started for the distant Jerseys to enter college. I never returned to that mountain home to live; but the pilgrimages I made there once ever year as long as my father or mother lived, are bright episodes in my life. They were laid side by side in the country burying yard near by.

Marriage & Children

Philo Bradley married Mercy Gardiner (18 SEP 1794, Town of Westerlo, Albany, NY - 30 JUL 1866 Town of Berne, Albany, NY) the daughter of Daniel Gardner and Mercy Burtch. Their children were:[1]

  • Phebe Catherine Bradley - Phebe Catherine, born July 3, 1827; married John Wilshaw and resides in Albany.
  • Daniel Gardiner Bradley - Daniel Gardiner, born June 8, 1817; resides in Albany.
  • Mary Bradley - Mary, born July 12, 1819; married Ambrose W. Palmer; and resides in Decatur, Illinois.
  • Assoc. Joseph Philo Bradley-Joseph P. Bradley, born March 14, 1813; married Mary Hornblower, dau. of Ch. Justice Hornblower, of New Jersey, and resides in Washington.
  • Charles Downing Bradley - Charles Downing, born Feb. 11, 1839; resides in Canon City, Colorado ; is a lawyer.
  • Elias Bates Bradley - Elias Bates and Darius Bates, twins, born March 7, 1822 ; Elias resides at Gallupville, Schoharie County, N. Y. ;
  • Theodore F. Bradley - Theodore, born March 19, 1836; Nebraska; studied law.
  • Darius Bates Bradley - Elias Bates and Darius Bates, twins, born March 7, 1822 ; Darius died when only a few days old.
  • Mercy Jane Bradley - Mercy Jane, born April 11, 1833; married Roswell O. Hutchins, and resides near Rose Hill, Mahaska Co., Iowa.
  • Olive Bradley - Olive, born July 21, 1824; died Nov. 3, 1838. (Her name was in compliment to my great-grandfather — his mother's name — the centenary of her marriage.)
  • Emma Bradley - Emma, born May 7, 1815, married Elias Willsey ; and died July 2, 1867, in Schenectady, N. Y.
  • Elam Isaac Bradley - Elam Isaac, born April 7, 1830; resides in Albany.


Philo Bradley died Dec. 4th, 1861 :


Additional Media

Bradley, Franklin G., is a grandson of

Philo Bradley, an early settler of Berne, Albany county, and a son of

Daniel G. Bradley, for many years deputy sheriff, and was born in Berne, December 28, 1849. Daniel G. came to Albany in 1857 and was long a prosperous merchant. He married Arvilla Nelson, and of their nine children seven sons are living.

With the exception of six years spent on a farm in Guilderland, Franklin G. Bradley has been engaged in the mercantile business since he reached the age of twenty. He established his present grocery and provision store on Beaver street in 1878 and in 1893 moved to No. 99 Hudson avenue. He is a member of Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F. & A. M., Fort Orange Council. R. A., and American Lodge No. 32, L O. O. F. In 1868 he married Alice M., daughter of Hiram Gardner of Franklin, Va , who died in 1891, leaving three children: Daniel G., Jennie E. and Franklin G., jr. He married, second, in 1892, Mrs. Celia (Reed) Weidman of Summit, Schoharie county.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York


  1. 1.0 1.1 Family notes respecting the Bradley family of Fairfield, and our descent therefrom : with notices of collateral ancestors on the female side for the use of my children (1894), Bradley, Joseph P., 1813-1892. cn; Bradley, Charles, 1857- ed, Newark, N.J., A. Pierson & Co., printers and book-binders