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RG4334.AM:  Bridge Family

Papers:  1814-1913

Whitewater, Wisconsin; Fremont, Dodge County, Neb.:  Farmers and nurserymen

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Robert Bridge, Sr., the son of Samuel and Mary Smith Bridge, was born in Herefordshire, England on June 9, 1814. The family was temporarily residing in England, although they were originally from Glasgow, Scotland. On June 12, 1835, Bride was married to Isabella Kelly in Glasgow, where he had been working as a machinist. In 1841, Bridge entered a partnership with his brother-in-law, Hamilton Kelly in the operation of a coal mine. After engaging in this business for two years, the family emigrated to the United States and settled near Whitewater, Wisconsin. Bridge’s sons, Robert Jr., James, and John, all served in Wisconsin Units during the Civil War, and were honorably discharged.

Following the war, James and John Bridge opened a nursery near Whitewater, Wisconsin, and Robert Jr. was employed on his father’s farm. In 1868 John Bridge came to Fremont, Nebraska, where he continued in the nursery business. About a year later, Robert Bridge, Jr., came to Fremont where he joined in partnership with his brother. He assumed full operation of the business following the death of John Bridge in 1875. Robert Bridge, Sr., lived with his son in Fremont for a short time in 1897, later moving to Evanston, Illinois, where he died in 1913 at the home of his son, George.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material arranged in five series: 1) Correspondence, 1862-1899; 2) Family Records, 1835-1893; 3) Biographical Data, 1907-1913; 4) Daily Journals, 1896-1910; and 5) Miscellany. This collection relates to members of the Bridge family, Whitewater, Wisconsin, and Fremont, Nebraska. The bulk of the collection consists of letters of Grace Bridge to her parents and other family members while she was attending Yale University, 1898-1899. Also included within the collection is considerable biographical and genealogical information regarding the Bridge family.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1862-1899

Box 1


  1. Correspondence of Robert Bridge: Includes letter to his children and wife and letters to him from his mother

  2. Correspondence of Grace Bridge, daughter of Robert Bridge, Jr., to her father and mother and other family members, 1898-1899

Series 2 – Family Records, 1835-1900

  1. Marriage certificate of Robert Bridge and Isabella Kelly, also giving records of subsequent marriages, births and death in the family, up to 1926

    One sheet handwritten, recording births and deaths from 1835 until 1915

    Sixteen sheets handwritten on Bridge family history entitled “This book belongs to George S. Bridge of Evanston, Illinois.” Some of it written by Robert Bridge

Series 3 – Biographical Data, 1907, 1913

  1. Three typed copies of manuscript entitled “A Rare Day,” recounting a visit with Bridge in 1907

    Two typed copies of a manuscript entitled, “A Life and Lesson,” which is a biography of Bridge; also included is a copy of the Whitewater Register, 1913, for which this article was apparently written

Series 4 – Daily Journals, 1896-1910

  1. May 1896-January 1903

    February 1903-January 1910

Both volumes are mainly a log of letters sent and received with a number of financial accounts and weather notes

Series 5 – Miscellany, 1861-1907, n.d.

  1. Clippings – obituaries of Robert Bridge

    Certificate naming Robert Bridge as the executor of the estate of James Bridge, 1875

    Certificate of the Lincoln Farm Association awarded to Robert Bridge on February 16, 1907

    Bridge Brothers Fruit, Forest, and Ornamental Trees Booklet from Fremont, Nebraska


    Article in Fremont Daily Tribune given by the First Congregational Church of Fremont, Nebraska

    Bibles carried during the Civil War by Robert Bridge, Jr.



Bridge Family

Fremont (Neb.) — History

Horticulture — Nebraska

Nursuries (Horticulture) — Catalogs


JEP/pmc   12-22-1970

03-02-2010   Revised TMM