Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Frederick Thomas Bradley (1845-1884)

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Frederick Thomas Bradley
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Customs official.

Born at Ottawa, Ontario in 1845, son of Captain Clements Bradley, he resided at Ottawa until 1871 when he moved to West Lynne where he took up an appointment as the first customs collector. He later took charge of the customs office at Emerson and it was said that he and W. H. Nash were the founders of Emerson. He acquired property there and elsewhere in Manitoba. He was also a Justice of the Peace.

On 28 September 1871, he married Caroline Maria Jenkins (?-1879), eldest daughter of federal civil servant Charles W. Jenkins. They had seven children: Francis Spencer “Frank” Bradley (1874-1944), Clement Coulter Bradley (1875-1945), Frederick William Bradley (1875-1876), Ernest Norman Bradley (1877-1877), Alfred Overton Bradley (1878-1880), George Edwin Bradley (1879-1879), and John Taber Bradley (1879-1879), only two of whom lived to adulthood. After his first wife’s childbirth death in 1879, he remarried to Charlotte Tweddell, widow of Charles Henry Poston. Active in the Masons, he was the first member of Emerson Lodge No. 6 on its formation in 1876 and served as its Worshipful Master (1877, 1879, 1881). He was a participant in the December 1878 ceremony to mark the opening of the first railway to Winnipeg. He was also Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba (1878).

In February 1884, Bradley was arrested on a charge of fraud and embezzlement of over $4,000, relating to a shipment of coal by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and was transported to Winnipeg for trial. He soon became too ill to appear in court, and died on 27 February 1884 without regaining consciousness at the Winnipeg home of his brother-in-law and physician Alfred Codd. His body was returned to Emerson for burial, but not in the local cemetery, instead in a 20- by 20-foot plot northeast of town.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bradley Gravesite (Emerson, Municipality of Emerson-Franklin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Emerson Customs Building / Pembina-Emerson Area Plaque (Emerson, Municipality of Emerson-Franklin)


“Arrest of Mr. Bradley, the collector at Emerson,” Manitoba Free Press, 25 February 1884, page 4.

Death notice, Manitoba Free Press, 28 February 1884, page 1.

“Demise of Mr. Bradley,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 February 1884, page 4.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“In memorium,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 March 1884, page 3.

Probate Will [Frederick Thomas Bradley], Winnipeg Estate File 327, ATG0025A, GR0170, Archives of Manitoba.

Death registration [Clement C. Bradley], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

We thank Marilyn Stewart, Karen Prytula, Wayne Arseny, and Stan Barclay for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 February 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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