When First Cousins Marry: The Story of Kate A. Bradley & Frederick W. Bradley

Kate Arnold Bradley of Chicago (born 1867) married her first cousin Frederick W. Bradley (born 1860) on May 27, 1887 in Bay City, Michigan. Fred W. was the son of Nathan Ball Bradley and Kate was the daughter of Nathan’s brother Frederick E. Bradley. (see pages 24 to 26 of the Bradley Genealogy of 1898.) Michigan did not ban marriage between first cousins until 1904.

Their first child Marguerite was born in April 1888 but died within three weeks. Their second child, Harold Frederick Bradley was born July 10, 1890.

Sometime after that they divorced and Kate moved to New York City and became a successful novelist. She married Samuel Hart Benton on July 14, 1896 and wrote the popular novel “Geber: A Tale of the Reign of Harun Al Raschid, Khalif of Baghdad” as Kate A. Benton. However, the novel was not published until after her untimely death from acute tuberculosis in 1899.

Frederick also remarried.  He took his son Harold and moved to Oregon and Washington State where he was successful in the lumber business. Harold married Mary Blanchard Heron on April 4, 1917 according to the entry in a family bible in Ilwaco, Washington.

Fred W. Bradley donated land for a park in 1921 to be dedicated to his brother Elemar. The park overlooks the Columbia River on Route 30, twenty two miles east of Astoria, Oregon and is known as the Bradley Wayside. Here is a photograph of Kate A. Bradley and a picture postcard of the Park shortly after the drinking fountain memorial was installed.

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Kate3 Bradley Park Oregon

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