John Thomas Brady

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John Thomas Brady
John thomas brady.png
John Thomas Brady
Tenth Texas Legislature
In office
Eleventh Texas Legislature
In office
Texas Senate
Assumed office
Personal details
Spouse(s) Caledonia Tinsley, Lennie Sherman, Estelle Jenkins

John Thomas Brady (10 October 1830– 26 June 1890) was an attorney, publisher, business promoter and politician. He served two terms in the Texas Legislature and one term in the Texas Senate.

Early life and family[edit]

John Thomas Brady was born on 10 October 1830 to John and Mary Brady in Charles County, Maryland. His father was a veteran of the War of 1812 and his family first arrived in Maryland in 1634. John Thomas was the eldest of four children. His three siblings were William, Emily, and Elizabeth. He attended school in Charles County before entering the work force at age seventeen.[1]

In 1858, Brady married Caledonia Tinsley, the first of three wives. They resided at a 2,000 acre property known as The Cedars. After Caledonia died, he married the daughter of Sidney Sherman, Lennie, with whom he raised two children. After Lennie’s death, he married Estelle Jenkins, who bore a daughter.[2]


Brady taught school while teaching himself law, passed the Maryland bar and practiced in that state. He moved to Missouri, near Kansas City, just a few years later. He acquired part interest in a newspaper, working as a journalist for two years. He moved to the Houston area in 1856.[1] Brady established a residence in Harrisburg, Texas while practicing law in nearby Houston.[2]

Brady served as aide to Confederate General John B. Magruder, and later to Commodore Leon Smith aboard the steamboat Bayou City. During the American Civil War, he was twice elected to the Texas Legislature. In 1876, he served in the Texas Senate.[2] He was one of the organizers of the first Texas State Fair, then held in Houston. The fair committee invited Horace Greeley as its keynote speaker.[1] Brady organized transportation companies in Houston. He co-founded the Texas Transportation Company in 1866, which was later absorbed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. He later served as the company’s president. He co-founded and served as president of the Houston Belt and Magnolia Park Railway Company, later acquired by the Missouri Pacific Railroad. He promoted a ship channel and turning basin in Buffalo Bayou, permitting a channel cut through his homestead, which created Brady’s Island.[2]


Brady died of a stroke on 26 June 1890 in Houston. He is interred at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d History of Texas, together with a biographical history of the cities of Houston and Galveston. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1895. pp. 377–379 – via 
  2. ^ a b c d e Flachmeier, Jeanette H. (12 December 2017). "Brady, John Thomas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 1 July 2018.