Monday, March 7, 2011

Mystery Monday: Mr Bradley or Mr Monroe

In late February I communicated with "KathyDon217" on the message board for Brookings county, South Dakota regarding a photo.  She found the photo in New York state with a bunch of other photos of the Coon family from Otsego County, NY. 

The photographer's inscription states O. G. Oyloe, Brookings, Dakota.  On the back of the photo it says "James Monroe or Andrew Bradley", with "or Andrew Bradley" crossed out.

Both Kathy and I desire to get this photo in the hands of this man's relatives.  In doing so, we began researching James Monroe and Andrew Bradley.

According to the book titled "They Captured the Moment: Dakotas Photographers 1853-1920", Ole Oyloe was a photographer from 1889-1921 in the towns of Brookings and Elkton.  The final pieces of Dakota Territory split into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota on November 2, 1889. So the inscription indicating "Dakota" means this is likely from 1889, maybe into early 1890 if Oyloe was finishing up his stock of cabinet cards.
In the 1885 Territorial Census and the 1900 Federal Census, it appears there was an Andrew Bradley born about 1834/5 in New York. Looks like his wife Martha had 2 children a William and another child that didn't survive. Martha and William were also born in New York. They appear in the Moody county census, which would be just down the road. Brookings was and is still the major hub city for a large portion of Moody county.

There are several Brookings, South Dakota census records for James Monroe, though they all indicate James was born in a variety of locations including Kansas, Iowa, Canada, Massachussettes and Illinois. Nothing seemed to tie James to New York.

Kathy found Andrew Bradley in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records for Otsego county, New York.  She also located an obituary for Andrew J Bradley who died in 1926 in San Diego, California.  Interestingly, a Mary Coon Thayer and a Tom Coon were both found in San Diego as well.

If the stars are aligning correctly, this looks like it may be a Mr. Andrew Bradley. 

Do you know of anyone researching the Bradley or Monroe families of New York, South Dakota and California? 

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