Bradley, L. D. (1831–1886)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: March 24, 2008

Updated: November 19, 2014

L. D. Bradley, lawyer, judge, state representative, and state senator, was born in Dallas County, Alabama, on April 13, 1831, the son of Francis Meriwether and Zillah Pherabe (Golsby) Bradley. Bradley was raised in Alabama. Prior to 1852 he studied law at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Upon graduation Bradley returned to Alabama where he was admitted to the bar at Cahaba in August 1852. Afterwards he relocated to Selma, Alabama, where he practiced law. During the winter of 1854 Bradley immigrated to Texas, settling in Fairfield, Freestone County, and establishing himself as a lawyer. On September 22, 1859, he married Mary Grayson in Freestone County. This couple had three sons and six daughters. At the outbreak of the Civil War Bradley raised two companies of men for service in the Confederate Army. He was elected captain of the second company, and this unit was mustered into service as part of Waul's Texas Legion. Bradley served with this unit throughout the 1863 Vicksburg campaign and was present at the Confederate surrender on July 4 of that year. He was mentioned in dispatches for his part in a dramatic sortie into the Union lines during the siege. Following his exchange on July 17 Bradley and his unit were assigned to coastal defense forces in and around Galveston. At the conclusion of the war Bradley returned to Fairfield. Here he resumed his law practice and became active in state and local politics. He won election as representative for Freestone County to the Eleventh Texas Legislature in 1866 and later served in the Texas Senate. During the 1870s he served as district judge for Freestone, Limestone, and Navarro counties. From 1880 through 1886 he served as county judge for Navarro County. He remained in this post until his death on October 6, 1886. During his life he was an active member of the Knights Templar of Palestine Commandry.

H. L. Bentley and Thomas Pilgrim, The Texas Legal Directory for 1876–1877 (Austin: Democratic Statesman Office, 1877). Bradley (L. D.) Papers, 1859–1887 (, accessed May 17, 2007. Judges of Navarro County (, accessed May 17, 2007. Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone, and Leon Counties, Texas (Chicago: Lewis, 1893).

  • Eleventh Legislature (1866)
  • Fourteenth Legislature (1874-1875)
  • House
  • Senate
  • Education
  • Lawyers, Civil Rights Activists, and Legislators
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Regimental and Staff Officers
  • Soldiers
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges
Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Reconstruction

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Bradley, L. D.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 24, 2008
November 19, 2014

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