Pueblo County, Colorado
Allen Alexander BRADFORD

Contributed by Karen Mitchell

Allen Alexander BRADFORD, a Delegate from the Territory of Colorado; born in Friendship, Maine, July 23, 1815; moved to Missouri in 1841; studied law; was admitted to the bar and practiced; clerk of the circuit court of Atchison County, Mo., 1845-1851; moved to Iowa and was judge of the sixth judicial district 1852-1855; moved to the Territory of Nebraska; served as a member of the Territorial house of representatives in 1856, 1857, and 1858; moved to the Territory of Colorado in 1860; appointed judge of the supreme court of the Territory by President Lincoln on June 6, 1862; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1867); resumed the practice of law; elected to the Forty-first Congress (March 4, 1869-March 3, 1871); engaged in the practice of law in Pueblo, Colo., until his death there March 12, 1888; interment in the City Cemetery.

We have rarely ever noted the career of a man so peculiarly his own, not only in originality of mind and general characteristics, but in point of history and varied experience as Judge A. A. Bradford. Being originally from Maine, he has lived respectively in four other States—Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado—in each of which he has held office and been more or less connected with public affairs. He was born in Friendship, Me., July 23, 1815, at which place he was reared, and received an academical education. In 1841, he emigrated to Missouri, locating at Atchison County, where he afterward studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1843. He was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court at Atchison, in 1845, which position he held five years. He was married at St. Joseph, Mo., November 1, 1849, to Miss Emiline Cowles. In 1851, he removed to Iowa, and the following year was appointed Judge of the Sixth Judicial District of that State. In 1855, resigning his Judgeship, he removed to the Territory of Nebraska. He was a member of the Legislative Council of Nebraska in 1856-57-58. Leaving that Territory in 1860, he settled in Colorado, locating at Central City. He removed from Central to Pueblo, in 1862, at which place he has since made his home. He was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of Colorado Territory in 1862, which office he filled with ability and with honor until his election to the Thirty-ninth Congress of the United States in 1864. He represented Colorado in Congress two terms, being elected the second time in 1868. In Congress he stood up well among his peers and feared not to assert the rights of his constituents. During his first term, and while at Washington, the assassination of President Lincoln occurring, he was placed upon the National Committee appointed to accompany the remains of Lincoln to Illinois. Upon returning from his last session in Congress, in 1871, Judge Bradford resumed his practice at Pueblo. Since then he has preferred the more private walks of life and has devoted his exclusive and untiring energies to the duties of his profession. He is the present County Attorney of the county of Pueblo. Many interesting incidents are related of Judge Bradford, especially `when referring to his pioneer life, but space will not here admit them. His remarkably retentive memory has secured for him an almost inexhaustible store of reminiscences, historical data and general information, so that his mind is a perfect encyclopedia—a reference book, so to speak—for all those who know him. Few men are better posted in the law than he, and his opinions upon legal questions are very highly regarded. Although the silver tints of life's winter are plainly visible about the Judge's head, yet he is active and vigorous and seems to have lost none of his native vivacity. Long may he yet live.  History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado O L Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1881

Contributed by Karen Mitchell and Jean Griesan. Photo by Floyd Kelling.

Allen Bradford 1815 – 1888
Allen A. Bradford, native of Maine, was a seventh-generation descendant of Governor Bradford who came to the Colonies on the Mayflower. He held public office in Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska before moving to Colorado in 1860. He came to Pueblo in 1861. Bradford was appointed as judge on the Supreme Court of Colorado in 1863. He was elected delegate to the Congress in 1864 and 1868, resigning in 1871 because of ill health. A government land office was located in Pueblo in 1871 through his efforts. Later he was a Pueblo County attorney. His son, Thomas A. Bradford, was admitted to the bar in 1875, the first young man reared in Colorado to achieve this distinction. For a time father and son were in legal practice in the San Luis Valley and Pueblo.

Pueblo ChieftainFebruary 23, 2010
Author: Mary Jean Porter, The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.
Feb. 23--Pueblo owes much to the Bradford brothers.
Allen Alexander and Mark Gay Bradford were local pioneers, but not of the buckskin variety. Their style was more uptown and it's likely that they often dressed in suits. Allen was a lawyer, the first district judge appointed for this area and a territorial delegate to Congress who was known for his "encyclopedic" mind. Mark was town clerk, postmaster, school board member and probate judge.
Descendants of William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony in 17-century Massachusetts, the local Bradfords were born in Friendship, Maine -- Allen in 1815, Mark in 1825. They arrived here in the early 1860s, Allen taking a more circuitous route: Succumbing to the siren song of California gold, he headed west in 1850 but soon returned to Missouri and then settled in Iowa. He came west again in 1860 and set up a private law practice in Central City, then moved to Pueblo in 1862. He and his wife Emmeline Cowles had one son, Thomas, and they lived on East Second Street.
Mark and his wife Harriet Morse settled here in 1861 on the west side of Fountain Creek, but later moved out of the floodplain, up to Tenderfoot Hill or Goat Hill as it's now known. They had four children, though one died at age 5, and lived in an adobe house at 321 Bradford St. when the area was largely open countryside. Within a couple of decades, large houses stood on Bradford and nearby Albany (then Summit) and Chester avenues, but by then Mark had been widowed and had moved to North Greenwood Street.
The Bradford name probably is best known for its association with the street, with the elementary school on Pueblo's lower East Side and with the Pueblo County Courthouse, where a life-size portrait of Allen hangs outside the commissioners' chambers. The school is thought to have been named for Mark because he helped organize Pueblo's School District 1 and was elected school board president in 1870. Built in 1892 at what is now First and LaCrosse, the school originally was named Capitol School because LaCrosse was called Capitol at the time. George Roe was architect for the brick school, which was erected at a cost of $16,500. The school building was razed in 1947 -- it had cracked badly because the foundation had been laid in shale. Children went to other schools for a year and barracks for temporary classrooms were brought in from Pueblo Army Air Base in fall 1948. A new Bradford School was built, and opened in 1954.
Allen Bradford was elected as a territorial delegate to the 39th Congress in 1864 and, when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, he was among the dignitaries appointed to accompany the president's remains back to Illinois. He was elected to a second term in Congress in 1868.
Allen returned to Pueblo in 1871 and resumed his law practice. He was instrumental in getting a U.S. land office for Pueblo, which opened in 1871, and his brother Mark was appointed receiver for the office.
Allen was credited with a new county courthouse being built in 1872 without the county incurring debt. It was the second courthouse and was located where the current (third) Pueblo County Courthouse stands today. (The first was built of logs, with a dirt roof, in 1862 near Third Street and Santa Fe Avenue at a cost of $300.)
Allen's service in Congress had familiarized him with a Congressional act that authorized the setting aside of a quarter-section of government land at the county seat for county purposes. In this tract of land, which became known as the County Addition, one block was set aside for the courthouse and the rest was divided up into lots and sold; proceeds from the sale of the lots paid for the new brick courthouse.
Allen also was appointed county attorney in 1872 and held that position for many years.
Upon his death on March 13, 1888, The Pueblo Chieftain opined, "We have rarely ever noted the career of a man so peculiarly his own, not only in originality of mind and general characteristics, but in point of historical knowledge and varied experience, as Judge Bradford."
Allen Bradford was buried at North Side (now Pueblo Pioneer) Cemetery. His wife and son both died in 1915. Emmeline Bradford also was buried at the North Side Cemetery.
Mark Bradford was an original trustee when the town of Pueblo was incorporated in 1870; there were 666 people living here at the time. He also was town clerk for just one month in 1871. He and his wife were charter members of First Baptist Church in 1872 and Mark served as the church clerk and as a trustee from 1872 until 1891, the year of his death.
"No man in the city of Pueblo enjoyed the entire confidence and respect of his fellow men more than did Mark G. Bradford," stated his obituary in the Aug. 17, 1891, Pueblo Chieftain. "He was a consistent member of the Baptist church and his life was one without blemish or stain of any kind. After a life of quiet and unobtrusive usefulness he has passed to the other shore, regretted and beloved by a large circle of friends and acquaintances."
As probate judge, he issued the deeds for most of the city lots in the original survey of Pueblo, according to the Chieftain.
Mark Bradford's death and that of George M. Chilcott earlier that year further decreased the rapidly thinning ranks of the "hardy pioneers who made the first settlement on the banks of the Arkansas . . . The exposure, trials and privations of frontier life do not appear to be conducive to longevity," the Chieftain concluded.
Mark died at the home of his son, Ambrose, in the Dundee area on the North Side.
Sources: The Pueblo Chieftain; "The Bradford Brothers," by Arla Aschermann, June 1991 Pueblo Lore; "History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado, 1881"; "How It Grew: A History of the Pueblo Public Schools" by James H. Risley; "A Place Set Apart: A History of the East Side Neighborhood" by Adam Thomas and Jeffrey DeHerrera

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