Lewis R. Bradley, Governor

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Lewis Rice "Broadhorns" Bradley

Birthdate: (74)
Death: March 21, 1879 (74)
Immediate Family:

Son of John Rice Bradley and Sarah / Sally Hancock
Husband of Virginia Willis
Father of John Reuben Bradley and Sarah Watts Bradley

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lewis R. Bradley, Governor


Lewis Rice "Broadhorns" Bradley (February 18, 1805 – March 21, 1879) was an American politician. He was the second Governor of Nevada in the United States from 1871 to 1879. He was a member of the Democratic Party.


Bradley was born on February 18, 1805 in Orange County, Virginia. When he was thirteen years old, his father died and he quit school and became a mule trader to support his mother and his many younger siblings. He married Virginia Hode Willis and the couple had three children. He moved to Missouri, the mule capitol of the nation. His wife, Virginia, died May 11, 1852 in Fayette, Howard County, Missouri USA.


In 1852, Bradley and his son, John R. Bradley, bought a herd of Texas Longhorns and pushed them west, earning the nickname "Old Broadhorns", and arriving in the San Joaquin Valley, California with a 40% loss. He settled in Stockton, California and drove horses, mules, and sheep in from Missouri. The winter and spring floods of 1861 and 1862 ruined their lands, and the Bradleys moved to Nevada where he worked in the cattle business in Elko County.

Bradley, running for governor, bought a defunct newspaper, "The Daily Inland Empire", used it as a campaigning tool, then let it go under again. He served two terms as governor, but was narrowly defeated for the third time he ran as governor. Since he was a widower, his daughter, Virginia, acted as his official hostess during his term.


Bradley died on March 21, 1879 in Elko, Nevada, at the age of 74. He is interred at Elko City Cemetery, Elko, Elko County, Nevada USA.


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Lewis R. Bradley, Governor's Timeline

February 18, 1805
March 17, 1835
Age 30
March 14, 1837
Age 32
March 21, 1879
Age 74