Biography of Dan F. Bradley
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

DAN FREEMAN BRADLEY, pastor of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, is now in the twentieth year of his service with this church. This is one of the oldest Congregational churches in the city, having been founded seventy years ago. During Mr. Bradley's long pastorate the church has perfected a splendid organization for work and service. The Pilgrim Church has been responsible for much extensive religious work and organization among the foreign born elements of the population of Cleveland in the vicinity of the church home at West Fourteenth Street.

Dan Freeman Bradley was born at Bangkok, Siam, March 17, 1857, son of Dan Beach and Sarah (Blachly) Bradley. His father, Dr. Dan Beach Bradley, a native of Marcellus, New York, went as a missionary of the American Board to Siam in 1833. He died in Bangkok in 1874. He had returned to the United States once after the death of his first wife, Emilie Royce, of Clinton, New York. She left three children. On his return to America in 1848 he married Sarah Blachly. She was one of the first woman graduates of Oberlin College to take the Bachelor of Arts degree. She died in Siam in 1894, never having returned to the United States.

As a boy Dan Freeman Bradley was sent back to the United States to complete his education. He graduated from Oberlin College with the Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1882, and graduated from Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1885. Honorary degrees of Doctor of Divinity have since been bestowed upon him, by Yankton College of South Dakota in 1892, Cornell College in Iowa in 1904 and Oberlin College in 1908.

Ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1885, Mr. Bradley was pastor of the Congregational Church of Steubenville, Ohio, and has been a prominent figure in this denomination for forty years. For some years past he has been active in his efforts to secure a union between the Presbyterian and the Congregational churches in Cleveland and America. He is a member of the Congregational National Council, a trustee of the Cleveland Congregational Union and a director of the Educational Foundation of Congregational churches.

While pastor of the Yankton Congregational Church in South Dakota he became acting president of Yankton College, serving in that capacity from 1890 to 1892. He was pastor of the Park Congregational Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1892 to 1902, resigning to become president of Grinnell College in Iowa and gave capable leadership to that school, still regarded as one of the best in Iowa, until 1905. In 1905 he resigned and came to Cleveland to accept the pastorate of Pilgrim Church.

Mr. Bradley is a descendant of William Bradley, one of the pioneer settlers of New Haven, Connecticut. He has been a republican in politics since 1877. He was made a Master Mason in the Masonic York Lodge at Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1896. He belongs to the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and is a trustee of Oberlin College. Mr. Bradley is a sound scholar with a wide acquaintance with literature, but has a strong tendency for the practical side of the ministry and delights in the material aspects of nature. He is interested in trees and flowers, and he and his sons built a cement house near Lake Michigan, on Traverse Bay, as their summer home. Pilgrim Church sent him and Mrs. Bradley for a tour abroad in 1923, the church paying the expenses of this travel.

He married at Oberlin July 9, 1883, Miss Lillian Josephine Jaques, daughter of the late D. L. Jaques, of Cleveland. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and was a teacher in the conservatory and is president of the Ohio Congregational Woman's Union. Doctor and Mrs. Bradley have three children: Rev. Dwight J. Bradley, of Webster Groves, Missouri, who married Kathryn Culver, of Oakland, California; Robert Gamble Bradley, of Detroit, who married Grace Langdon, of Cleveland; and Dan Theodore Bradley, of Detroit, who married Eloise Smiley,. of Cleveland.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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