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Lewis Rice Bradley

Gov. Lewis Rice Bradley

  • January 2, 1871 - January 6, 1879
  • Democratic
  • February 18, 1805
  • March 21, 1879
  • Virginia
  • Married Virginia Hode Willis; three children


LEWIS R. BRADLEY, the second governor of Nevada, was born in Orange County, Virginia on February 18, 1805. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. Bradley worked in the cattle industry as a mule trader, where he earned the nickname “Old Broadhorns.” He traveled from Missouri to California, and eventually settled in Nevada around 1862. Bradley first entered politics as a one-term member of the California State Assembly, a position he held from 1861 to 1862. He next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1870. He was reelected to a second term in 1874. During his tenure, the state prison system was restructured; and the University of Nevada was organized. After running unsuccessfully for a third term, Bradley retired from political life. Governor Lewis R. Bradley passed away on March 21, 1879, and was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Elko, Nevada.


Elko Rose Garden Association

Nevada State Archives: Lewis Rice Bradley 1871-1878

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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