Biography of Henry Brandley

Henry Brandley was born in Switzerland October 12, 1839, and died at his beautiful home at Matfield Green in Chase County June 1, 1910. When he was about twelve years of age his parents came to America, being fifty-two days in crossing the ocean. In 1852 the family settled in Cincinnati, where he finished his education and worked at the painter’s trade. In 1856 the Brandleys moved to Randolph. County, Indiana, and there the young man had further experience as a farm hand, in a shingle mill, as rail maker and digger of ditches.

In the spring of 1859 he went overland to Western Iowa but in the same fall came on foot to Tecumseh, Kansas, where he was employed in a brick yard for a short time and then took up a claim in Chase County, which was still unorganized. During the following winter he built a shanty on his claim and when he returned from Ohio in 1860 he found another occupant on his quarter section. After a contest he was declared the legal owner and he at once set to work to develop and prove up. At the outbreak of the war he walked forty miles to Emporia to enlist with the Lyon County troops, commanded by L. T. Heritage. He was mustered in September 1, 1861, and a few days later the company was consolidated with others, making Company H of the Eighth Kansas Regiment. He was elected as fifth sergeant. In the winter of 1862 this company was sent to Missouri, camping on Sugar Creek, and on March 10, 1862, Mr. Brandley was appointed orderly sergeant of what by consolidation finally became Company B of the Ninth Kansas Regiment. A detailed account of the movements and operations of this regiment will be found on other pages. On June 1, 1862, Mr. Brandley and his company started for Utah as escort to General Harding, the newly appointed governor of Utah. For a short time he was at Fort Laramie, afterwards guarded a stage route camp in Colorado, and then began the building of Fort Halleck at the foot of Elk Mountain west of Medicine Bow River. February 23, 1863, while scouting, Captain Brandley was shot through the left arm and side by a Ute Indian on the North Platte River. Soon afterward he was promoted to first lieutenant. After the Quantrill raid in Kansas the company was ordered east and arrived at Fort Leavenworth in November, 1863. Captain Brandley was in command of his company at Kansas City part of the winter of 1863-64 and in April, 1864, he joined his regiment at Lawrence, this being the first time he was with the regiment as a whole. The regiment spent the rest of the year in Arkansas and in the spring of 1865 Mr. Brandley was commissioned captain of Company B, made of former Companies B and E. He had command of the post at Brownsville, Arkansas, and was in service until mustered out August 17, 1866. Other members of this company were T. B. Murdock, George Plumb and other well known citizens of Emporia.

After his army service Captain Brandley returned to his claim in Chase County. The same year he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, served as journal clerk of the House and in 1874 was elected state senator from Chase, Marion and Morris counties. He was a familiar figure in the state capitol at Topeka for a number of years. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church, and while never a member of any church he was essentially a religious man. He was charitable, kindly, a big man in every respect and left an honored name in his part of Kansas. He was the father of six children: Clara B. Hildebrand, Maude Crocker, Harry Brandley, Ruby Wagoner, Daisy Crocker and Pearl Brandley. Captain Brandley developed one of the finest ranches in Kansas. He made his home and surroundings a place of beauty and spent his last years among the cedars and the surroundings which he had created by his own labor.

Edward G. Crocker married October 12, 1894, Miss Maude Brandley. She was born in Chase County March 13, 1872. The children of Edward G. Crocker and wife are two sons and two daughters: Arthur Weston, Ruby Louise, Anna Marie and Henry Mason.

Senator Crocker married at Blackwell, Oklahoma, November 15, 1902, Miss Daisy Brandley. She is also a native of Chase County, born April 20, 1878. Senator and Mrs. Crocker also have four children: Earl Edward, born January 6, 1906; Hila Eileen, born January 14, 1909; Marion Hazel, born January 19, 1912; and Sybil Elizabeth, born July 6, 1915.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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1 thought on “Biography of Henry Brandley”

  1. The history of Csptain Henry Brandley is quite inaccurate as it pertains to the number of his children he had with his second wife “Lizzy” Romigh Brandley. His first marriage was to a teacher at the women’s college across the way from the state capital in Yopeka, KS. This lovely woman died without bearing children. However, Henry and Lizxy had eight children, not six (two sons and six daughters). Son Robert Brandley (my grandfather) and his beloved and quite beautiful younger sister Flow Brandley Lampe are not listed. Based upon family gossip, I may have reasons to believe why this amazing “error” was made: Flo committed suicide and this act was viewed by some siblings as a stain to their own reputation. The many grandchildren of the other siblings are also not documented in this piece. With very little research, will be able to document the errors and make corrections. The many volumes of the “Chase County Historical Sketches” is an excellent place to start.
    Sincerely, Janet Luise Kirk Loebel

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