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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. DAVIS BRODHEAD. The legal fraternity of Northampton County has been strengthened by the admission to the Bar of many able advocates and counselors, whose success entitles them to just praise. But to no lawyer has there come greater prominence, or more justly merited prosperity, than to the subject of this sketch, to whom belongs the distinction of having followed the profession for a longer period than any attorney of South Bethlehem. His knowledge of the law is broad and comprehensive. No important legal points are ever overlooked by him in the preparation of his cases, and they are ably and skillfully handled throughout the whole course of litigation.

The Brodhead family has been identified with the history of eastern Pennsylvania from the time of its settlement. Our subject’s father, Hon. Richard Brodhead, was for many years one of the most eminent men of this state, being not only an influential attorney, but also a prominent statesman. He was born in Pike County, Pa., and coming to Easton in his youth, there studied law with James M. Porter. Admitted to the Bar, he devoted his attention exclusively to his profession until the demands of public affairs increased to such an extent as to require his entire time. In 1843 he was elected upon the Democratic ticket to represent the Eighth District (then known as “the Old Tenth Legion”), and filled that responsible position until 1849. From 1851 until 1857 he served as a member of the United States Senate from Pennsylvania. During that time he was a member of various important committees, and also gained distinction as the author of the bill creating the United States Court of Claims. His death occurred in 1863, when he was fifty-four years of age.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mary Bradford, and was born near Vicksburg, Miss., being the daughter of David Bradford, a wealthy planter. She had two children, J. Davis and Richard, the latter at one time an attorney of Easton, but now engaged in practice in Washington, D. C. The former, who is our subject, was born in Easton, Northampton County, January 12, 1859. In 1865 he accompanied his mother to Bethlehem, where he was reared to manhood. For a year he attended Georgetown College, the Moravian school, and afterward was a student for two years in Seaton Hall, N. J. In 1877 he entered Yale College, where he took a two-years classical course. His literary studies completed, he spent the years 1879-81 in travel through the United States, principally in the South. Nor have his travels been limited to this country, as about 1889 he made a tour of Europe, visiting the principal points of interest in England, Scotland and the Continent.

On commencing his active career our subject concluded to study law, and as a tutor secured Judge John B. Storm, of Strasburg, ex-Member of Congress. He was admitted to the Bar at Easton in 1880, at once locating at South Bethlehem, where he has since been engaged in practice. For ten years he has been Borough Solicitor, and in 1889 was elected District Attorney on the Democratic ticket, serving from January 30, 1889, to 1892. One of the original incorporators of the Easton Transit Company, of which he is now Attorney, he is also Assistant Attorney for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and Resident Counsel for the E. P. Wilbur Trust Company.

The pleasant home of Mr. Brodhead is located on Fountain Hill. His wife, who is a native of New York, was formerly Miss Cecile Harvier, their marriage being celebrated in New York City in 1883. They have, two daughters, Ethel and Leonie. The parents are members of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1892 Mr. Brodhead was elected a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago, and the same year was a delegate to the State Convention.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

View additional Northampton County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Northampton County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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