Submitted by Deborah Sinsel Kaess.
Men of West Virginia, Volume II.
Biographical Publishing Company
George Richmond, Pres., C.R. Arnold, Sec'y and Treas.
Chicago, Illinois 1903
JAMES BRADLEY, the only undertaker located at New Cumberland, Hancock County, West Virginia, at the present time, has also served in the capacity of justice of the peace for a period of six years. He is a man of high standing in the community, where he has a host of friends.
Mr. Bradley was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, April 23, 1843 and is a son of Joshua and Mary A. (Harsha) Bradley, both natives of Beaver County. Joshua Bradley moved to Hancock County when past middle age, and when our subject was about 15 years of age. He was not actively engaged in business during his late years, and died in 1875, at the age of 75 years. Mary A. Harsha, mother of our subject, died when the latter was quite young. She was a daughter of John Harsha, who spent his entire life in Beaver County, dying in 1857 at an advanced age. John Harsha was a Whig and prominent in political affairs. He served six years in the State Legislature of Pennsylvania, walking from his home in Beaver County to the State capital, Harrisburg. He was the only member of that body who was at that time the possessor of a watch. The Hashas were of Scottish descent, and were early settlers in this country. Joshua Bradley and his worthy wife were parents of 12 children, as follows: Rachel, who died in girlhood; John, who removed to Hancock County, West Virginia, where he died; Esther, who married Thomas Tare, and resides in Washington County, Pennsylvania; Margaret, who died in girldooh; William, who lived the latter years of his life in New Cumberland; Thomas W., 2nd lieutenant of Company I, 12th Reg., West Virginia Vol. Inf., who was killed in the battle of WInchester, June 13, 1863; Mary, wife of William Branden, who resides in Cleveland, Ohio; James, subject of this biography; Jennie, who married James G. Wey, they reside in Kokomo, Indiana, but spend much of their time in Florida; Elizabeth, who resides in Washington, Pennsylvania; Lorina, who resides in Tiffin, Ohio; and Isabel, deceased, whose husband, David Jenkins, is also deceased.
James Bradley was educated in the public schools of Pennsylvania, and was 19 years old when he took up arms for the cause of the Union. He enlisted in Company F, 1st Reg., West Virginia Vol. Inf., October 10, 1862, and with his regiment participated in all the West Virginia campaigns, and was with General Sheridan in his numerous skirmishes with General Early in the Shenandoah Valley. He was in Hunter's Raid and went through to Lynchburg. His regiment took part in the following engagements : Winchester, New Market, Piedmount, Opaquan Creek, and was present at the surrender of Early's army at Cedar Creek, where the colonel of the regiment was killed. Mr. Bradley was never injured nor taken prisoner, and his comrades were wont to jokingly remark that he hid behind his ramrod, in explaintation of his freedom from injury, as most members of his company were wounded at one time or another. He was mustered out at Clarksburg, July 12, 1865, and discharged at Wheeling about 10 days later. He then returned to private life and for a time engaged in contracting as a carpenter. In 1872 he first engaged in the undertaking business and that has been his vocation since that time. He gained the confidence of the people to a marked degree, and although he has had numerous competitors they did not remain in New Cumberland long. His son now is in partnership with him. He has been justice of the peace for six years, and was postmaster under President Harrison, bringing the office up to its present grade. He is a Republican.
In 1868, Mr. Bradley married Hennie Thayer, a daughter of William Thayer, who died when she was small. and there after she lived with an uncle Nathan Thayer. They have the following children: Mary, wife of H.C. Stewart, of New Cumberland; Nora, wife of George W. Neal; Nettie, widow of John C. Fischer, who died in 1902; Fred, who is in partnership with his father; Carrie, wife of E.A. Hart, an attorney-at-law of New Cumberland; Mabel, who died in December 1897, at the age of 17 years; and Olive who is living at home. Mr. Bradley is a member of W.A. Atkinson Post, No.18, G.A.R. Religiously, he is a member of the M.P. Church.