Lewis R. Bradley

Lewis Rice "Broadhorns" Bradley (February 18, 1805 – March 21, 1879) was an American politician. He was the second Governor of Nevada in the United States from 1871 to 1879. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Lewis R. Bradley
Lewis Rice Bradley.jpg
2nd Governor of Nevada
In office
January 2, 1871 – January 6, 1879
LieutenantFrank Denver
Pressly C. Hyman
Jewett W. Adams
Preceded byHenry G. Blasdel
Succeeded byJohn H. Kinkead
Personal details
Lewis Rice Bradley

(1805-02-18)February 18, 1805
Orange County, Virginia
DiedMarch 21, 1879(1879-03-21) (aged 74)
Elko, Nevada
Resting placeElko City Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Virginia Hode Willis
(m. 1835; died 1852)


Bradley was born on February 18, 1805 in Orange County, Virginia.[1] When he was thirteen years old, his father died and he quit school and became a mule trader to support his mother and his many younger siblings. He married Virginia Hode Willis and the couple had three children.[2] He moved to Missouri, the mule capital of the nation. His wife, Virginia, died May 11, 1852 in Fayette, Howard County, Missouri.


In 1852, Bradley and his son, John R. Bradley,[3] bought a herd of Texas Longhorns and pushed them west, earning the nickname "Old Broadhorns", and arriving in the San Joaquin Valley, California with a 40% loss. He settled in Stockton, California and drove horses, mules, and sheep in from Missouri. The winter and spring floods of 1861 and 1862 ruined their lands, and the Bradleys moved to Nevada where he worked in the cattle business in Elko County, near Jiggs.[4]

Bradley, running for governor, bought a defunct newspaper, "The Daily Inland Empire", used it as a campaigning tool, then let it go under again.[5] He served two terms as governor, but was narrowly defeated for the third time he ran as governor. Since he was a widower, his daughter, Virginia, acted as his official hostess during his term. In 1959, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.[6]


Bradley died on March 21, 1879 in Elko, Nevada, at the age of 74. He is interred at Elko City Cemetery in Elko, Nevada.


  1. ^ "Lewis R. Bradley". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "Lewis R. Bradley". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Lewis R. Bradley". Elko Rose Garden Association. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Glionna, John M. (January 3, 2016). "Oddly named towns hark back to Nevada's colorful past". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Lewis R. Bradley". Howard Hickson's Histories. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "Hall of Great Westerners". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved November 21, 2019.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
John D. Winters
Democratic nominee for Governor of Nevada
1870, 1874, 1878
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Nevada
Succeeded by