Letter from George Bridge to his cousin Andrew

805 Augusta Ave, Elgin ILL. USA

Jan 29, 1901

To Andrew Bridge PM
W. Brook, Ontario Can.

Dear Cousin
   - My brother William has just brought me a letter from cousin Ellen of England and one from you to niece Rhoda. Rhoda was married a few days ago. We have not had the pleasure of knowing her husband. I only saw him once. He was a widower. We will learn more of him hereafter. I hope he will be a good husband. Rhoda is a good woman. It may seem selfish in us to say that we are sorry to loose her. She will live at Chicago Heights south of Chicago. I did not tell you in my last letter much about ourselves and children. My wife is six years younger than I am. She has but few near relatives. Only one sister who is 1½ years younger than she. She is living in London, England. She came to this country with my wife when they were young women. They were orphans & came to this country with an uncle & aunt. They had 2 or 3 other uncles and aunts here but they have all died, also their children with one or two exceptions. The sister married twice (to an Englishman each time) while in this country but went back to England at the commencement of our civil War (2nd year) 1862. We heard from them today. They are getting old like ourselves.

We have as I told you 9 children W.C. the doctor, the oldest is 45 years old a few days ago. He has a wife and one daughter, Clarita 6 years old. About 8 yrs ago they lost their first born daughter. She was about 3½ yrs old — died of diphtheria very suddenly about the same time our daughter Flora lost her second daughter of about the same age of the same dire disease. She died in Chicago.

Our second son C.J. Bridge is 44 on Washington's birthday. He is married & they have three children, Florence Marguerite & Harry their respective ages being 13 - 11 - 9. Clara is our oldest daughter & married to C. F. Johnson a methodist minister of the Northwestern Iowa Conference. They reside at Clarion Wright Co IA. They have 3 children Clara A (Johnson) is 42 yrs old. Their oldest daughter's name is Ines 8, a boy Earl aged 6 yrs & daughter Miriam 1½ yrs old. Next is Martha (Bridge) now Mrs. Given with whom we live. They have one son G. W. Given 10 yrs old — Mrs. Given & my son C.J. Bridge work in the Elgin Watch Factory. Mr Given has a good position having worked there 24 yrs.

Next is a daughter Flora Belle aged 34 yrs who married W. B. Wanzer of 282 32nd St Chicago. He is of the firm of Wanzer & Sons 305 30th St. They have 4 children Nellie 13, Clarabel 9 (the one referred to died between Nellie and Clarabel) Sidney 3 and Elsie Louise 4 mos.

Next in order is Henry aged 30 or 31 — is married & has 2 sons; Raymond aged 8 yrs & Russell aged 6. A little daughter died 4 years ago. Henry works for the milk firm of Wanzer & Sons — Henry's address 3122 Indiana Ave. Chicago.

Next is Elma Jane aged 30 & married to H H Wanzer has 5 children, Evelyn 8, Stanley 6 Virginia 4. Lucille 2 Gordon 7 mos.

Next is Frank Arthur Bridge age 29. Married — 2 children Dorothy 2½ yrs Mildred 7 mos. Address of F. A. Bridge is 125 La Salle St. Chicago. He is working on developing a motor power village plant &c at American Falls Idaho.

Next is Edward George. We call him Ted — aged 26 — Married no children Address 35 Ogden Place 2nd flat Chicago is employed by a wholesale pie Co.

This ends the description of our family & their whereabouts &c. The Wanzers are on the South Side and so is Henry. F. A. residence 4339 Langley Ave City. S Side also. Ted is on the West Side now. If you or yours come to Chicago hunt them up & they will be pleased to see you at any time.

HH Wanzer is of the firm of Wanzer & Sons. Home address 3025 Wabash Ave Chicago.

The 2 sons of Mr Sidney Wanzer married 2 of my daughters.

My wife is on the sofa sleeping having given me the names ages etc. of our family her memory being better than mine. From childhood she has been a Christian. She cannot be called a real healthy woman. She is of nervous temperament & rather weak sight which hindered her from sowing for her children at night time. When I was on farm 10 or 12 years ago she was quite low & has been later fit at present time & for some time past she has been better and I fancy sometimes looks younger. I tell her sometimes she is in a fair way to have a chance to lay flowers on my grave if she wishes to. "Favor is deceitful beauty is vain but a woman that feareth the Lord shall be praised". We are growing old together & have lived together long enough to know each others disposition & to conduct to each other accordingly.

Last week I wrote to cousin Ellen Packham and addressed it to her at Stone. Fear she may not have got it I wrote again this AM & addressed to Owley Wittersham. I know where the farm is very well: when a lad I worked repairing the house and later worked on Little Acting Farm that has some land very near by — of late since I heard from her I have in imagination gone over many of those places and would very much like to go over the place that I did when a boy and young man but in all probability I never shall. I rather indulge in the hope that I may get over to you territory. My son Frank was 3 times East to NY State and City — and once to Boston the last part of Dec. 1900 and the first of this month once, though twice he was to New York some earlier but the last time it was after Xmas. When I told him I had just rec'd a letter from your bro. Amos and told him where each of you lived, he said had he known it before he could have gone out to where Amos lives just as well as not. He had to wait in Buffalo, I think he said, a day or two or more. He may come over to Canada some of these days before long. He said he thought he had seen a post office order with your endorsement on it — I must now bring this scribble to a close. A few days ago I got one of your group photos with key card. I must study out your family. At any rate learn their names. The trouble with me is I cannot remember things as well as I used to. I apprehend in a great many ways you are about as we are in the States.

Some things you can raise better than we can here & in other things we can beat you but general customs cannot be very different. I have thought you were better observers of the Sabbath than we are here with our perhaps more mixed population we as a nation are not improving on that line I think & if we go on at the same rate as we are going at present, that alone will eventually ruin the nation. Yet perhaps there never was so much good being done as at the present time but the drink habit and the Sabbath breaking is appalling — one of the old said: "Let others do as they may as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." — Write again — Let us come a little closer to each other. What is the matter with Cornelius. Tell him to write or we shall make a raid on him. For the present moment good bye

— From Cousin George Bridge

Children of George Bridge (Cousin of Andrew Bridge)

This table was added later, presumably, perhaps by one of Andrew's children.

Age Children Residence Vocation
1. W.C. Bridge 45 girl, age 6 Elgin, Ill Doctor
2. C.J. Bridge 44 3 Elgin, Ill Watch maker in factory
3. Clara A. (Johnson) 42 3 Clarion, IA Minister's wife
4. Martha (Given) 1 son Elgin, Ill wife of Given, 24 yrs in factory
keeps father and mother
5. Flora Bell 34 4 282 32nd St Chicago wife of W B Wanzer
6. Henry 31 2 sons 3122 Indiana Ave, Chicago works for milk firm of Wanzer
7. Elma Jane (Wanzer) 30 5 3025 Wabash, Chicago Married to HH Wanzer
8. Frank Arthur 29 2 125 Lasalle, Chicago developer of motor power plant
9. Edward George (Ted) 26 married, none 35 Ogden place,Chicago pie factory

pencil note added later: Martha Given Died

This letter was first copied on 26 Feb 1985 by Alan Bridge (great grandson of Andrew Bridge)
and recopied on 25 Jun 2002 by Greg Bridge (great great grandson of Andrew Bridge) to send to me, NJB.