We've been bombarded this year with news and more news concerning octuplets born to a California woman. That story is all too true, but 1859 incident here in northern Ohio concerning purported octuplets must have started as a cruel joke.
A letter was printed as genuine by the New York Tribune in the summer of 1859, the letter averring that eight children had been born on Aug. 2, 1859, to Eunice Mowery, the wife of Timothy Bradley. They had been married six years and has two sets of twins born already making 12 children born in six years. The Bradleys lived at Johnson in Trumbull County, Ohio.
The letter writer also told the world that Eunice Bradley was "a twin of three" her mother and father both were twins; and her grandmother bore five sets of twins in her time. The Bradleys were alleged to have named her sons after prominent local citizens who then gave them land in one case, and a cow in another. Mr. Bradley said he was happy with his family since the neighbors have provided clothing for twins ever since they were born.
As it turned out, the only truth to the above paragraphs was that there was a Timothy Bradley and Eunice Mowery married and living in the town of Johnson. They only had one child born to them, a daughter named Mary, in 1867.