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Bradley Family papers

Identifier: IWA0061

Scope and Contents

The Bradley Family papers measure 2.25 linear feet and date from 1811 to 1992. The papers are arranged in seven series: Genealogical information; Rhoda Ogden/Henry Bradley/Abijah Fitch correspondence, David O. Bradley/ Cornelia Fitch Bradley/ Lué  Bradley correspondence, Lué Bradley diaries, Account books and scrapbook, Emma Bradley Middlebrook family correspondence, and Photographs.

The Genealogical information series includes a family tree and various materials about the family including newspaper clippings, David Bradley's will (1873) and a plat of Dobbs Ferry identifying the Bradleys' property. A copy of an article, "Longfellow's Letters to Cornelia Fitch," by Sargeant Bush, Jr. (Books at Iowa, No. 6, April 1967) completes the series.

Papers of the Prentiss family and the Shrauger family, descendants of David and Cornelia Bradley, are also held by the Iowa Women's Archives. The three collections together include correspondence of seven generations.

A small amount of correspondence of David Bradley's parents from the early nineteenth century is included in the Rhoda Ogden/Henry Bradley/Abijah Fitch correspondence series (1811-1865). Photocopies of letters written between 1839 and 1865 from Abijah Fitch, Cornelia Fitch Bradley's father, to William Henry Seward, Secretary of State, 1861-1869, complete the series. The originals are in the University of Rochester (New York) library.

The bulk of the Bradley family papers is devoted to the Strong>David O. Bradley/Cornelia Bradley/ Lué Bradley correspondence


  • 1811-1992


Conditions Governing Access

Permission to quote from or publish from these papers must be obtained from the donor.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been retained by the donor.

Biographical / Historical

The Bradleys were a wealthy nineteenth century family who resided in the Hudson River Valley of New York, near New York City in Westchester county. David Ogden Bradley (1827-1895), a banker and New York state assemblyman, was born in Penn Yan, New York to Rhoda Ogden Bradley and Henry Bradley. As the president of the Tarrytown Bank, he became a man of considerable wealth, described as a "millionaire"" in a local newspaper in 1894. In 1865 he married Cornelia Fitch (1838-1893), the daughter of Llanah and Abijah Fitch of Auburn, New York. Bradley was then a widower with one child, a daughter, Lizzie. In 1866 the Bradleys purchased a home in Dobbs Ferry and lived there for the remainder of their lives. The home, "Palivista," bought for $22,600, was located on a 30 foot bluff above the Hudson River with a frontage of 700 feet on the river. A newspaper advertisement described it as a "fine residence, containing six acres of good land; abundance of choice fruit, shrubbery and fine old forest trees. House all modern; gas and water throughout; carriage house and stable; over a mile of shaded walks; rustic summer houses, bridge, etc." At "Palivista" the Bradleys raised their four children: Lué (1868-1922), Emma (1872-1971), and twin sons, Jerome (1875-1951) and Nelson (1875-?) The Bradleys maintained their home and grounds with the help of many servants. They travelled extensively in Europe, summered at various Atlantic seaside resorts, visited family frequently in upstate New York and Ohio, and led an active social life. The girls attended Miss Master's School in Dobbs Ferry. Lué Bradley was the school's first graduate. The boys attended preparatory school at Lawrenceville before entering Princeton University. Emma Bradley married Joseph Middlebrook in 1893. They were later divorced. Their children were Cornelia (Tissy) (1899-1990), Joseph (Mouse) (1895-1976), Bradley (1894-1915) and Buddy (1898-1983). In 1895 Lué Bradley married Dr. Henry James Prentiss (1867-1931). The Prentisses moved to Iowa City, Iowa, in 1905 when Dr. Prentiss was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Anatomy at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa). He taught there until his death. Lu? Bradley died in 1922, at the age of 53, after a long illness. She was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Their five children were Cornelia Shrauger (1896-1985), Lilian Schwarz (1897-1935), Lué Childs (1902-1968), Henry, Jr. (1898-1922), and Robert (1908-1972). Lué 's twin brother, David, died at age three. (See the Prentiss Family Papers and Shrauger Family Papers, Iowa Women's Archives.)


2.25 linear feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence and other papers of this nineteenth-century family that resided in the Hudson River Valley of New York.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 112) were donated by Virginia Shrauger Jones in 1987 and succeeding years.

Related Materials

Prentiss Family papers Iowa family descended from the Bradley family.

Shrauger Family papers Iowa family descended from the Prentiss and Bradley families.

Cornelia Shrauger Day papers Descended from The Prentiss and Bradley families.

Longfellow to Fitch letters, Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries (MsL L853 fi)

See also, Dobbs Ferry Historical Society:

Other Descriptive Information
Natalie S. Brody, 1994 and succeeding years.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)