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The Resurrection Window

The Resurrection stained glass window has a prominent position behind the altar in our old church.  It is inscribed “In Memory of James Bradley.  Donated by his children”.  James Bradley was one of the early settlers of the Lake Forest area.  James was born 1798 in Ireland and was married to Grace, also born in Ireland in 1802.  They emigrated to the United States settling initially in Maine.  He and his wife Grace had nine children: John, James Jr., Grace, Joseph, Steven, Peter, Patrick, Mary and Harry.  John, James Jr. and Grace were born in Ireland, and Joseph, Steven, Peter, Patrick and Mary were born in Maine. 


According to an article written by an unkown family member, Grace and James Bradley came from Ireland in 1829.  They lived for several years in Portland, Maine.  Wishing to bring up their family on a farm they bought property on the Kennebec near Whitefield, Grandimer Co.  Having received glowing accounts of the fertility of Illinois soil, they sold their home and came to Chicago, via the Erie Canal and Great Lakes arriving in Lake Forest on May 1, 1844.  For a few months they lived in the old Jones home (now Turnbull sub-division), but as soon as their house was completed on the farm, bought partially from the government, they moved to the new home on what is now called Bradley Road.  The farm was a total of 400 acres.  


Traveling to Chicago, on the same boat with the Bradley family, was Bishop Quarter, the first Bishop of Chicago coming to take charge of his new diocese.  He induced Mr. Bradley to have his sons, John and Joseph, who were in the Catholic Seminary in Erie, come to St. Mary of the Lake (St. Mary’s College, Chicago) to complete their studies. Eventually, John became a professor at Old St. Mary’s in Chicago and Joseph became an ordained priest.

In August, 1848, Grace Bradley, at the age of 45, gave birth to a son, Harry.  Unfortunately, Grace passed away later that month on August 31, 1848 and only a few days later, their newborn son, Harry, passed on September 3rd.  According to the 1850 Federal Cencus, James was widowed and had six children living with him. 

Their son, James Bradley Jr., married Sarah Atkinson in 1853 who was the sister of Mathew Atkinson, who’s name adorns another of our stained glass windows.  James Bradley Jr. and Sarah Atkinson had a son named Joseph F. Bradley who married, Catherine Yore Bradley, and was the granddaughter of Michael and Rosanna Yore.


James Bradley died on October 15, 1854 at the age of 56 years old.  The Bradley memorial is one of the tallest in St. Patrick Cemetery.  Patrick Doyle, a local resident and St. Patrick parishioner, wrote about James Bradley; "Old Mr. Bradley with a large family of sons came early, the whole family were permeated with a vein of piety as the shaft in Yore's cemetery testifies. James Bradley served as committeeman more terms probably than any man in the parish - a good man gone to receive his reward.”


At the time the Resurrection window was donated, Patrick Bradley, the only surving son of James and Grace Bradley, was approximately 72 years old.  Patrick Bradley is most likely responsible for donating the window and wanted the inscription to read ‘Donated by his children’ to honor his siblings along with their father. James Bradley, his wife, Grace and most of their children are interred in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.

James Bradley, Grace Bradley, St. Patrick Cemetery, Lake Forest, Illinois
James and Grace Bradley headstone,
St. Patrick Cemetery
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