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Lois Bradley House

circa 1849 ♦ 317 Boston Post Road

The Lois Bradley House was constructed in 1849 for Lois Bradley and her children. The house’s design displays the Greek Revival style popular in Madison and the northeast United States from 1825 to 1860. Greek Revival style mimicked the design of temples in ancient Greece because many Americans viewed ancient Greece as the birthplace of democracy. The window centered in the gable, end-gable entrance, doric columns, and portico are all typical of Greek Revival style buildings. Furthermore, the interior of the house also reflects the architectural tendencies of Greek Revival style and the 1840s and 50s. The house’s preserved window and door moldings are typical of Greek Revival style. Additionally, the exposed stone foundation and stone chimney stack indicate that the house was built in the 1840s or 1850s.

Phineas Ezra Bradley acquired the land upon which the Lois Bradley House stands in 1816 from his father in-law, Ebenezer Dudley. Phineas Ezra Bradley, the son of Dr. Ashbel Bradley and Chloe (Graves) Bradley, was born on January 2, 1790. On December 15, 1815, Phineas Bradley married 21-year-old Chloe Dudley. Shortly after their marriage, Phineas purchased four and a half acres from his father in-law and probably constructed a house about which little is known. Phineas and Chloe’s only son, Ashbel Benjamin Dudley was born on October 20, 1818, before Chloe died on August 18, 1822. After the death of his first wife, Phineas married Chloe’s older sister, Roxana Dudley, in 1823. Roxana, who was 31 at the time of her marriage to Phineas, died soon after on March 12, 1824.

Shortly after Roxana’s death, Phineas married his third wife, Lois Howell, in 1824. Lois was born on November 18, 1802 and was twelve years younger than her husband. During their marriage, Phineas and Lois had six children: Ezra George (b. Dec 7, 1825), Louise Concurrence (b. Dec 28, 1829), Henry Clay Dudley (b. Feb 25, 1832), Mary Meriam (b. Feb 23, 1835), Richard Clark (b. Feb 24, 1837), and Cynthia Rebecca (b. Mar 24, 1839). The fact that Phineas and Lois named their third son after the famous Kentuckian statesman Henry Clay indicates that the Bradleys probably were Whigs and supported Henry Clay in his 1832 Presidential bid versus Andrew Jackson. In February 1848, Phineas Bradley died at the age of 58.

Following Phineas’s death, a new home, the Lois Bradley House, was constructed for Lois and her children in 1849. Notation left on a rafter reading “Hill” indicates that the Hills probably built the house. The Hills were prominent ship and home builders in Madison and Albert L. Hill (1810-1873) lived nearby in a similar house at 518 Boston Post Road. Lois granted the house to her son, Ezra Bradley, in 1875 and died in 1877 at the age of 75. During Ezra’s ownership of the house, he added railings and columns to the side porch. The additions’ style reflects the Queen Anne style that was popular from 1880 to 1910. Although no records exist for the transfer, Ezra sold the house to George E. Whedon sometime between 1875 and 1922.

George Whedon was born on January 6, 1838, and died on July 19, 1922, at the age of 84. Whedon served as a sergeant in the 27th Connecticut Regiment during the Civil War. After George Whedon’s death in 1922, the property went to his children. His grandson, Don Liepelt, resides behind the Lois Bradley House. Whedon’s daughter, Esther Whedon Liepelt, sold the house to Ralph and Ada Hamilton in 1947. The Hamiltons owned the house for only two years before they sold it to John Chapin Reed and Idah Reed in 1949. John Reed inhabited the house until his death on November 26, 1970, and Idah Reed inhabited the house until she sold in 1982 to Russell Davis for $85,000. Davis’ ownership of the home was short as he sold the house in 1984 for $125,000 to Kenneth Jackson who sold it in 1991 to the home’s current owners.

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