From the Lincoln Sentinel, June 7, 1923
The second son of the Rev. Elbridge and Mary J. Bradbury was born at Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 15, 1844.
He received his early educational training at the Classical Insititute at Hudson, N.Y., and graduated from Amherst College, his fatherís alma mater, in 1866, and from Union Theological Seminary, N.Y., in 1871. While taking his seminary course he spent three years in city mission work in the slums of New York City.
In 1872 the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions commissioned him to take charge of the mission work in Ottawa, Mitchell and Lincoln counties with the addition of Wilson and Elkhorn in Ellsworth County. He first located at Minneapolis where, after much difficulty, he succeeded in accomplishing the organization of that church about 51 years ago. A little later he was instrumental in the organization of the Beloit church, often having walked from Minneapolis, a distance of 40 miles or more, to conduct services at Beloit. In addition to these the churches of Lincoln, Delphos, Bennington, Barnard, Wilson, Sylvan Grove, Vesper, Elkhorn, Harmony, Pleasant Dale, Pleasant Valley, Pinon, Shiloh, Westfall and others owe their organization and many of their existence to his untiring efforts.
Mr. Bradubry was married at Minneapolis on the 25th day of October, 1875, to Miss Elma A. Boblett of that place. To this union six children were born. They are: Augusta U., wife of Rev. D.H. Hare of Caldwell, Idaho; Mrs. Eunice Thompson (deceased), wife of James K. Thompson of Topeka; Mrs. Mary J. Baker, wife of Raymond E. Baker of Albany, Ore.; Edward A. of Los Angeles; Ruth E., Mrs. Harold B. Thomas, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Esther J., Mrs. Fred R. Muson of Topeka. All these except Eunice, with his wife and 16 grandchildren, survive him.
Mr. Bradbury was a man of sterling integrity, deep piety, and a generosity that never considered any sacrifice too great when duty called or relief was needed. To meet him was a guarantee of an everlasting friendship never to be forgotten, and hundreds of true friends of every class and condition will miss his cordial and genial handshake. Neither distance, nor cold, nor heat, nor storm nor any other obstacle could detain him from filling an appointment or responding to a call for services.
It is thought that he has officiated at more funerals and performed more marriage ceremonies in Lincoln County and vicinity in the last 50 years than all the other ministers combined. Young people by the scores whose parents he had married and to whom he had in their infancy administered the sacred sacrament of Baptism were constantly coming to him that they might, by him, also be united in the holy bonds of matrimony.
When the end came he quietly and peacefully fell asleep in Jesus on the 29th day of May, 1923, at the age of 89 years, 9 months and 27 days.
Truly we can use the language of the old apostle without any doubt of its application or appropriateness. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." And we can rest assured that he has gone to wear the crown which God the righteous Judge has prepared for him in this day.
The funeral was held in the Presbyterian Church in Lincoln on Friday, June 1, conducted by the Rev. R.L. Barackman, D.D., who incorporated in his discourse the message from the Rev. S.S. Estey, D.D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Topeka, which will appear elsewhere in this paper. Dr. Barackman was also assisted by the Rev.W.H. Course, an intimate and longtime friend of Bro. Bradbury, the Rev. H.C. MacMican, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Sylvan Grove, and the Rev. S.E. Colglazier, pastor of the Church of Christ at this place.
The pall bearers were elders from different churches in Lincoln County that Bro. Bradbury had founded and served in earlier days. The floral tribute was in keeping with the taste he had for the beautiful in nature and especially for flowers, and came from the hearts and hands of many loving donors. But the love and esteem in which our Brother was held was best of all demonstrated by the great concourse of people who thronged the church beyond its capacity to express their esteem for the man whose place no one else can ever fill as he has done.
[Buried in Lincoln Cemetery.]
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