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Bradbury Cilley

Joseph Cilley was a member of General Washington’s staff and was a colonel of the N.H. regiment in the Revolution. His son, Jonathan was father of our subject, Bradbury, Jonathan was b. 18 Mar. 1763, came to the wilds of Ohio in Colerain, in 1803, having left his native state in 1802, but spending the winter in Wheeling, (W. Va.?) so did not arrive until 1802. Jonathan was in the service with his father as a servant and after coming to Ohio was associate judge for some years. Of Jonathan’s sons, Benjamin Cilley was a farmer in Whitewater Twp; Joseph, the eldest, was a Lt. In the War of 1812, and Bradbury lived on the old homestead near Colerain. Bradbury was b. in Nottingham, N.H. in May 1798. When he was four years of age his parents, with their family of eight children, emigrated to Ohio. In the spring of 1803, they purchased a section of land on the Big Miami, at what was then called Dunlap’s Sta., about 16 miles from Cincinnati. This station was founded in 1790 by John Dunlap, and was the first settlement in the interior, back away from the Ohio river. Colerain was laid out by Dunlap, who named it after his native place in Ireland. In 1807 Jonathan died of asthma, and left 5 sons and 4 daughters, who were taught the rudiments of an education by the eldest sister. Bradbury went to study mathematics, but soon went ahead of his teacher. Most of his education was acquired in later years by acute observation and rough contact with the world. He early developed a taste for trading, and when 21 years of age, built a flat-boat, loaded it with farm produce and floated it down the Miami, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, where he sold all, and came back on horseback, a distance of eleven hundred miles. He made this trip every year – sometimes twice a year – for fifteen years. If not suited with the New Orleans market, he would go on to Cuba where he was sure to find a ready and profitable sale for his goods. When a bachelor of 36 years, he married a neighbor’s daughter, who was 12 years his junior. His wife was the daughter of Elias and Elizabeth Gasten Hedges, of Norristown, N.J. Listed children were all girls.

“History of Hamilton County, Ohio” as published in the Seeley Genealogical Society Newsletter, # 36, August 1983

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