THOMAS A. BRADLEY. Ranking high among the active and valued business men of Johnson county is Thomas A. Bradley, who is not only identified with its mercantile and financial interests as one of Goreville's leading merchants and bankers, but is a large landholder and associated with the advancement of the agricultural prosperity of the county. He was born, November 12, 1863, in Williamson county,
Illinois, where his father, Jasper Bradley, also first opened his eyes to the light of this world.
Jasper Bradley was of pioneer stock, his father, Pleasant Bradley, having migrated from North Carolina, his native state, to Illinois when young, becoming an early settler of Williamson county. He became a farmer from choice, and for many years was engaged in his independent occupation in the vicinity of his birthplace. He is now, however, living in Goreville, with his son Thomas. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Nelson, bore him six children, of whom two are living, namely: W. M. Bradley, of Williamson county; and Thomas A., the special subject of this brief biographical sketch.
Growing to manhood beneath the parental roof-tree, Thomas A. Bradley was early initiated into the practical work of general farming, although but little attention was paid to his education, his school life having been limited to a few terms in the district schools. Coming to Johnson county in 1887, he, in company with Major Z. Hudgins, opened a general store in Goreville. The Major sold his interest in the store the following year to H. A. Hudgins, with whom Mr. Bradley continued in partnership until 1910, In the meantime, in 1898, the railroad coming through the town was completed, and the firm of Hudgins & Bradley moved to the new site of Goreville and erected one of the first business buildings in the new town. In 1889 this enterprising firm, with C. H. Dennison and H. M. Parks, of Marion, and M. M. Pickles, opened a private bank in their store, and conducted it successfully many years.
In 1903 the First National Bank of Goreville was organized, and is one of the most flourishing institutions of its size in the county, at the present time, in 1911, having a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars, with a reserve of eighty-eight thousand dollars. Thomas A. Bradley has served as its president from the start, while M. M. Pickles, now principal of the high school in Anna, Illinois, was vice-president until 1910, when he was succeeded by O. S. Cole; the bank's first cashier, W. S. Buckhart, of Marion, was succeeded in 1889 by R. A. Parker, of Marion, who served until 1906, when J. B. Hudgins, its present cashier, was elected to the position.
In October, 1910, Mr. Bradley bought out the interests of Mr. Hudgins in the mercantile firm, and having admitted his son Ray to partnership has since continued the business as head of the firm of T. A. Bradley & Son. He carries a stock of general merchandise valued at six thousand dollars, and has a large annual trade. Mr. Bradley owns a handsome residence in Goreville, and has an interest in a valuable farming estate in Williamson county.
Mr. Bradley married, in 1887, Alice Hudgins, a daughter of Major Z. and Mary (Corksey) Hudgins. Her father was in business in Johnson county for three score years, for a long time having been engaged in mercantile pursuits in Goreville, having been senior member of the firm of Hudgins & Bradley for a year or more. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley have five children, namely: Carrie, who married W. M. Trovillion, has one child, Leon Trovillion; Ray, in partnership with his father; Rolla Lee; Don B.; and Muriel. Fraternally Mr. Bradley is a member of Marion Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of Marion; of Goreville Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Goreville; and of the Modern Woodmen of America.