People > Oscar Bradley

Oscar Bradley, MD

Dr. Oscar Holmes Bradley would have been a man of mark in any community, and it was a fortunate circumstance for Jaffrey that led him here in young manhood to establish himself in his chosen profession. He was a doctor in a country town, but his influence was not limited to his profession or to geographical boundaries. He had in an eminent degree the masterful qualities characteristic of the Scotch-Irish stock, which, more than any other element, has given to New Hampshire a leadership in contributions to the constructive and governmental forces of the Nation. He had the courage of his convictions and the tenacity of purpose of those people who came from the north of Ireland to New England in large numbers between 1714 and 1720, and founded the town of Londonderry, New Hampshire, where his mother, Margaret Holmes was born, (see Vol. II).

Dr. Bradley was of dignified presence, a ready and logical thinker, and one of the most impressive and convincing speakers who ever addressed a town meeting in Jaffrey. He was possessed of unusual business acumen, and, out of the limited income of his medical practice in a country town, by careful and judicious investment he accumulated a fortune for his day.

By strength of mind and study, he became a well-read and educated man. He kept himself abreast of the progress of his profession, and he was well informed upon economic, political, and business affairs of State and Nation. He was graduated from Black River Academy, Ludlow, Vermont, in 1847, and added to his experience by teaching school in Mt. Holly. In 1848 he began the study of law with Hon. D. E. Nicholson of Rutland, a profession in which his native abilities gave ample assurance of success. This training was of priceless value to him in later life. In his business affairs in his dealings with men it gave him a breadth of view and a judicial attitude that were often of decisive importance in the consideration by the town of measures of community interest. He found, however, stronger attractions in the medical profession, which led to a change in his life plans, and he took up the study of medicine with Doctors Amos and George B. Twitchell of Keene, New Hampshire, who were eminent practitioners in their day. In 1851 he was graduated with highest honors of his class, and received his medical degree from Castleton Medical College, Castleton, Vermont.

The following year he came to Jaffrey and opened an office in the house on the Square last owned by Edward A. Coburn, on the site of which is a store now occupied by The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. He soon became the leading physician and surgeon in this section of New England, and was widely employed as a consultant in complicated and critical cases.

Dr. Bradley was one of the incorporators of the Monadnock Savings Bank, and served as its president from its opening in January, 1870, to March, 1906. He was also vice president of the Monadnock National Bank, and, largely through his interest and superior business judgment, both institutions were early established upon a substantial financial basis and have been of inestimable benefit to the community which they serve. He was a leading promoter of the Monadnock Railroad, one of the most important undertakings for the advancement and prosperity of the town in all its history. He served as an active director of the railroad corporation during the trying period of financing and construction, and continued in the office until the company passed into the ownership and control of the Fitchburg Railroad. As president of the Savings Bank and vice president and director of the Monadnock National Bank, his financial sense and wise counsel in matters relating to the development of the business interests of the village and the town were of inestimable value. Of the Universalist Church and social organizations of the town and vicinity he was a generous supporter. He was an active member of Charity Lodge of Masons, of Royal Arch Chapter of Peterborough, and Hugh de Payens Commandery, K.T., of Keene. He was a man of vision and careful and judicious in expenditures; he never failed to advocate adequate appropriations for public purposes, to the end that whatever was done for the public good should be done with a view to the future growth of the town.

Though not of the party in power at the time of the Civil War, he was a leader in the support of measures for the care of the soldiers' families, and in all other measures which occupied the attention of the town toward bringing the war to a victorious end.

Dr. Bradley after his marriage lived in the house on the Square where he had his office until 1856, when he bought of the heirs of Caleb Searle the Searle house, at present (1930) the home of Dr. W. J. Wilkins, which he greatly improved and made his home for the rest of his life. Here from his office window he saw the Village grow from an unkempt disorderly collection of houses, mostly small, un-painted, and ill-kept, into one of the busiest, neatest, and best-kept of the manufacturing villages of New Hampshire.

His counsel and service in all the various capacities in which he served have been so woven into the fabric of Jaffrey that his name will remain one to be held in perpetual respect and honor.

Walter Heath

A portrait of Dr. Oscar H. Bradley

Name: Dr. Oscar Holmes Bradley
Born: February 10, 1826
Place of Birth: Louisville, KY
Died: March 29, 1906
Place of Death: East Jaffrey, NH
Occupation: Medical Doctor
Place of Burial Unknown