Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Scott Casper Bradford

Scott Casper Bradford, the extent and importance of whose business interests have proved a valuable factor in the business development of Storm Lake, was born in Marion, Indiana, June 2, 1862, the only son of Casper and Sarah (Cochlan) Bradford.  The father, a native of Virginia, was horn in 1831 and was of English descent, tracing his ancestry back to Governor Bradford, who was chief executive of Virginia in colonial days.  The family was represented by valiant soldiers in the Revolutionary war.

Casper Bradford became a farmer by occupation and prior to 1840 removed from the Old Dominion to Indiana, settling in Grant county, where he entered land from the government.  The district was then an unbroken wilderness, but he cleared the land of its forest growth and upon the farm which he there developed spent his remaining days.  The old Bradford home is still in possession of the family.  As the father tilled the soil and carried on the work of the fields he became prosperous and in the latter part of his life was enabled to enjoy many of the comforts and some of the luxuries which go to make life worth living.  The Bradford family were [sic] stanch abolitionists and Casper Bradford took an active part in the conduct of the underground railroad prior to the Civil war, assisting many slaves on their way to freedom in the north.  When the republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery he joined its ranks and voted for Abraham Lincoln.  He did not long live to see the country freed from the yoke of slavery, however, for his death occurred in 1865.  His wife, who in her maidenhood was Sarah Cochlan, was born in Guernsey county. Ohio, in 1838, and is now living at Ames, Iowa.  She is of English lineage.  After the death of her first husband she was again married in 1878, becoming the wife of Thomas Hardcastle, an Englishman who follows farming in this state.  The two daughters of her first marriage are Isabel, the wife of Charles Moses, a farmer living at Ames; and Margaret, the wife of William Hardcastle, who also carries on agricultural pursuits in the same locality.

Scott C. Bradford was the son of the family and was reared upon the home farm.  He acquired his education in the country schools of Indiana and Iowa, coming to this state in 1875 with his mother, who located on a farm near Ames.  There he remained until 1883 and supplemented his early education by study in the Ames high school, while in 1885 he entered the Iowa State College at Ames, and was there graduated with the class of 1888.  Mr. Bradford entered upon business life in an educational capacity, becoming principal of the schools at Sioux Rapids, Iowa, in 1888.  At the end of the year, however, he accepted the position of assistant cashier in the Farmer, Thompson & Helsell Bank, a private concern at Sioux Rapids, where he continued for a year.  He was transferred by this firm to a branch house at Marathon, where he acted as assistant cashier until the fall of 1892, the institution in the mean time becoming the First National Bank.  At that date hewas elected clerk of the district court and continued in the office for six years, discharging his duties in a manner so prompt and capable that he won the entire commendation of all concerned nbsp; In 1895 he was appointed receiver for the Buena Vista State Bank and so capably conducted its affairs during his receivership that when the business of the bank was closed up one hundred cents on the dollar and only assessed the stockholders four per cent.  In 1896 he formed a partnership with Judge Lot Thomas in the conduct of a banking, real-estate and loan business, which connection was continued under the firm style of Thomas & Bradford until 1900, when Judge Thomas was elected to congress.  Mr. Bradford then bought out his partner's interest and continued the business alone for one year.

On the expiration of that period he sold out to Schollar & Son, who continued the business under the name of the Citizens Bank.  Since that time Mr. Bradford has confined his attentions to the real-estate business and to other concerns, which have proven of substantial benefit to the community and a source of profitable income to himself.  He has conducted many important realty transfers and in the fall of 1899 he built the Bradford Hotel, the leading hostelry of Storm Lake, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars.  It is one of the ornaments of the city, being a hotel of which a city of much larger size might well be proud.  In 1899 Mr. Bradford established the Storm Lake Butter Tub Tank factory, and has since continued manufacturing interests along these lines.  The first factory was destroyed by fire but a larger one took its place, and the enterprise is now one of the important industrial concerns of the city, capitalized for ten thousand dollars.  It furnishes employment to a large number of workmen and keeps in circulation through its payroll a goodly sum of money.

On the 3d of April 1889, Mr. Bradford was married to Miss Catherine Hannum, who was born in Ohio in 1867, and is of English lineage.  Her parents were Robert and Hannah Hannum, the former a miller by trade.  Removing to Iowa in the '60s they settled near Ames.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bradford have been born four children:  Bernice L., Aura L., Gladys M., and Sarah Catherine.

Mr. Bradford is a member of several fraternal organizations.  He is thus connected with the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, the Woodmen, and the Eastern Star.  He exercises his right of franchise in the support of the men and measures of the republican party, and though he has never sought political office he is one of the most prominent factors in the life of Storm Lake, taking an active and helpful part in all that pertains to its intellectual and social progress.  For four years he was president of the board of trustees of Buena Vista College and is still one of its members.  He was likewise president of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Library when the library building was erected, and is still serving on the board.  He is justly accounted one of the most progressive and enterprising residents of Storm Lake, wielding a wide influence in public affairs and leaving the impress of his individuality for good upon the community.  He stands as a splendid representative of American manhood and chivalry, and his genuine worth, broad mind and public spirit have made him in this community a director of public thought and opinion.