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Whatcom County
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Bradley, Silas Hopkins

    In the list of Whatcom county's successful citizens Silas Hopkins Bradley occupied a prominent place. In his record there was much that was commendable and his career forcibly illustrated what a life of energy can accomplish when plans are wisely laid and actions are governed by right principles and high ideals. In his business career, as well as in his private life, no word of suspicion was ever breathed against him. His career was rounded in its beautiful simplicity, for he did his full duty in all the relations of life, and it is safe to say that no man in the community in which he lived was held in higher regard. He was born in Franklin county, Virginia, on the 17th of September, 1854, and his death occurred January 31, 1917, in the sixty-third year of his age. His parents, John and Frances (Powell) Bradley, were old settlers of Virginia, where they lived until our subject was about five years of age, when they moved to Callaway county, Missouri. There the father continued in his vocation as a farmer, and there he and his wife died.

    Silas H. Bradley received his education in the schools of his home neighborhood in Missouri, and he remained on the farm with his father until his marriage. He then was engaged in the buying and selling of black walnut timber until 1887, when he came to Whatcom county, locating in Lynden, which was his home for about six years. He was engaged in the meat business, having established the first butcher shop in that place. While in business there he took up a preemption claim that had belonged to his brother, J. R. Bradley, and during a period of four or five years he lived there in the summer, moving into Lynden for the winter months, until he had the land proved up, when he sold it. It was heavily timbered and he did considerable clearing and ditching on the place before disposing of it. In 1893 Mr. Bradley bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Lynden township, comprising the present homestead, and applied himself with energy to the work of developing a farm. Part of the land was swampy, the remainder being covered with a heavy growth of timber and brush. His efforts were effective, and about eighty acres of the farm are now cleared, the remainder being used as pasturage. The farm has been devoted mainly to dairy purposes, thirty-five to forty high grade Jersey cows being kept, as well as a registered sire, and the business has for years been a very successful one. The fields are well cultivated and productive, good crops of hay and grain being raised, and frequently there is a considerable surplus above the requirements of the stock. The farm has been well improved, standing today among the best ranches in this locality, and it reflects greatly to the credit of Mr. Bradley, who had devoted himself indefatigably to his work.

    On December 5, 1883, in Missouri, Mr. Bradley was married to Miss Mattie J. Kirkpatrick, who was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Gingrich) Kirkpatrick, both of whom were natives of the Keystone state. When Mrs. Bradley was about six years of age the family moved to Missouri, and in that state she received her educational training. To her union with Mr. Bradley were born ten children, namely: Maud, who is the wife of W. H. Williamson of Nooksack, and has two sons; Lloyd, who lives near the home farm, is married and has two children; John, of Lynden, who is married and has three children; Elizabeth, who is the wife of R. H. Kruse, of Seattle, Washington; Walter, of Vancouver, who is married and has one child; Edna, who is the wife of A. S. Kukura, of Astoria, Washington [Oregon]; Harold, of Calgary, Alberta; Dorothy, who is the wife of E. C. Mickleson, of Bellingham; and Glenn and Florence, who are at home. Mr. Bradley was active in local affairs, cooperating with his fellow citizens especially in early days in the building of roads and the promotion of other measures for the public welfare. His death removed from the community one of her most substantial and highly esteemed residents, and the many beautiful tributes to his high standing as a man and a citizen attested to the abiding place he had in the hearts and affections of his host of friends. His life was beautifully epitomized by a friend of long standing in the following words: "A devoted husband and father, loved by all who knew him; a successful man of affairs, of spotless integrity; a clear-headed optimist, an ideal citizen and gentleman."

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 310-313

Brandt, Oscar A.

    Known and honored for his sterling traits of manhood and for what he accomplished as an agriculturist, the death of Oscar A. Brandt in 1914 was a distinct loss to Acme township and the occasion of deep and widespread regret.  He was born in 1867 and was a native of Germany.  He came to the United States in 1893 and settled in Whatcom county in 1899.  He purchased eighty acres of land in Acme township and continued to make his home on that property until his demise.  The tract was covered with timber, and after years of tireless industry he succeeded in clearing the place, which he transformed into a productive farm.  He erected good buildings, equipped his ranch with the newest devices and utilized the most effective methods in the cultivation of the soil.  He thoroughly enjoyed his home and found his greatest happiness in the family circle.  He was a devoted husband and father and possessed a frank and generous nature that won him many loyal friends.

    In 1896 Mr. Brandt married Miss Minnie Ulrich, a daughter of Gus and Augusta (Blode) Ulrich, the latter of whom passed away in New Jersey.  Mr. Ulrich came to Whatcom county in 1899 and remained a resident of this part of the state until his death.  Mrs. Brandt survives her husband and still makes her home in Acme township.  She attends the Presbyterian church and conforms her life to its teachings.  To Mr. and Mrs. Brandt were born nine children: Oscar A., a well known contractor of Seattle; Walter, at home; Ernest, who is married and operates an engine in the lumber camps but makes his home in Acme; Arthur, who is living in Seattle; Helen and Emma, at home; Bernhardt, who is attending high school; and William and Albert, grammar school pupils.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 636

Bremner, James

    James Bremner, a Scotchman, came to Lynden from Iowa in 1880.  With his family, consisting of his wife, Abbie, two sons, John and Archibald, and a daughter, Winnie, he settled on the ridge, five miles northwest of Lynden, and one mile west of Bertrand Prairie.  Very progressive and alert for the welfare of his own and his neighbor's children, he started plans for securing a public school, even before he had his own home completed, and his wife, Abbie, was the first teacher in what became known later as the Delta District.

    He was also the chief moving spirit in securing a postoffice in that section, and acted as postmaster, in his own home, which was officially known as Delta.  He cleared a considerable part of his homestead which was a very scenic location, having a wonderful view of the distant mountains, and the whole Nooksack Valley.  Misfortune, however, marred the course of events at Delta.  Soon after going on his homestead, his daughter, Winnie, was very severely burned and her life was despaired of for a full year, but through the generous help and care of friends she finally recovered.  In 1885, the oldest son, while returning from work on the Canadian Pacific Railroad in British Columbia, was accidentally drowned in the Fraser River.  Not long after that tragic event, Mr. Bremner was kicked by a vicious horse, and from that contracted pneumonia and died in 1887.  

Skqee Mus, R. E. Hawley, pub. 1945, pg. 178

Breuer, Peter

    Depending upon his own resources for a livelihood, the force of his character as manifest in indefatigable industry has constituted the source of the success of Peter Breuer, a self-made man in the best sense of the term and one of the well known agriculturists of the bay district. A native of Germany, he was born December 26, 1863, and his parents were Claus and Katrina Breuer. His youth was spent in the fatherland, and in 1888 he came to Washington, obtaining employment at Fairhaven, now known as Bellingham. He assisted in clearing land and afterward worked for the Great Northern Railroad. He was promoted to the position of section boss, which he filled for a quarter of a century, faithfully discharging the important duties intrusted to his care. In 1908 Mr. Breuer purchased a fifty-four acre tract near Goshen, and since 1913 he has made his home on this property, which is well improved. He has built a good home and a modern dairy, also having substantial barns for the shelter of grain and stock. His orchard contains many choice varieties of fruit, and he also find poultry raising a profitable occupation.

    In 1887 Mr. Breuer married Miss Caroline Ebeling, also a native of Germany, and to their union were born six children, four of whom survive. Peter, the eldest son, is living in Tacoma, Washington, and has a wife and two children. Edith is the wife of W. W. Lyst, a well known ranchman of this locality, and they have one child. Leo, the second son, is attending the State University. William is married and operates a farm near the homestead. Doris, the fifth in order of birth, died when a young girl of sixteen, and the life of her brother Henry was terminated at the early age of ten years.

    Mr. Breuer is identified with the Order of Yeomen and exercises his right of franchise in support of the candidates and measures of the republican party. He served to six years on the school board and is much interested in everything that affects the growth and prosperity of the district in which he resides. He enjoys the social side of life and is esteemed for the qualities that have made possible his success.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 582

Bridges, R. L.

    Among the well known commercial institutions of Bellingham is that of the Modern Electric Company, which owes its success to the untiring efforts and able management of R. L. Bridges, an aggressive, farsighted young business man. A native of Missouri, he was born in 1888 and is a son of James B. and Louise (Lee) Bridges. After the completion of his high school course he entered the University of Colorado, which he attended for two years, and then spent a year at the University of Washington, devoting his attention to the study of electrical engineering. He was a railroad employe for a few years and was next connected with a fish cannery. He came to Bellingham in 1922 and in partnership with Mrs. L. L. Bridges and Miss N. L. Bridges purchased the business of the Modern Electric Company, of which he has since been manager. He is alert to every new avenue opened in the natural ramifications of the trade and is constantly enlarging the scope of the undertaking, possessing an initiative spirit and the requisite executive force. The business was established in 1912 by H. E. Mills and was later acquired by Martin Brothers, whose stock was subsequently purchased by Mr. Mills. He remained at the head of the business until it was sold to the present owners. The firm carries a complete line of electrical goods, including washing machines, lamps and vacuum sweepers, and there is also a fine lamp shade department. They store is situated at No. 1322 Cornwall avenue and is seventeen by one hundred and twenty feet in dimensions. The business is conducted along progressive lines and patrons of the house are always assured of a "square deal."

    On January 15, 1916, Mr. Bridges married Miss Olive Carter, of Seattle, Washington, and to this union has been born a son, Robert Ward. Mr. Bridges is liberal in his political views, refusing to submit to the dictates of party leaders, and casts his ballot for the man whom he regards as best fitted for the office to which he aspires. He is a director of the Kiwanis Club and along fraternal lines is connected with the Masonic order. He is one of the energetic members of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and loyally supports every project destined to prove of real benefit to the city with which he has allied his interests.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 239

Briggs, Frank A.
Frank A. Briggs, who now occupies a leading position in business circles in Whatcom, and whose success is attributable entirely to his own efforts, is a native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, his birth having occurred on the 7th of March, 1873. His father, J. L. Briggs, was born in New York and became a contractor and builder. After arriving at years of maturity he wedded Ellen M. Howe, who was born in Vermont. They became the parents of three sons: Frank A.; Edward L., who is thirty-four years of age and is living in Oakland, California; and Bert H., who, at the age of thirty-two years, is living in Reno, Nevada. The father passed away at the age of fifty-three years, but the mother is now living in California at the age of seventy-two years.
To the public school system of Wisconsin, Frank A. Briggs owes the educational advantages which he enjoyed in his youth. He was also a student in the high school of Aberdeen, South Dakota, but at the age of sixteen years put aside his textbooks and came to Whatcom, where he entered upon his business career in the employ of R. I. Morse, a hardware merchant, for whom he acted as a salesman until 1901. He then turned his attention to the piano business, entering into partnership with E. I. Wilson, under the firm name of the Wilson & Briggs Music Company. They established their store at 1146 Elk street and entered upon a successful career. The following year Mr. Briggs purchased his partner's business, and has since continued the business under the name of the Briggs Piano Company. He now has a well equipped establishment, carrying a fine line of pianos and other musical instruments, together with musical specialties, and his patronage has increased until it has now assumed profitable proportions. While in the employ of Mr. Morse Mr. Briggs saved his earnings and made investments in real estate in Whatcom and also in Everett. He erected three modern residences in this place, and has thus contributed to the improvement of the city as well as to his individual prosperity. In business circles he is held in the highest esteem by all with whom he has come in contact, and he maintains a high credit standing with the eastern manufacturers, among whom he is known as a large buyer and an entirely reliable business man. He also holds extensive interests in mining prospects at Mount Baker, at Stalie creek and in the Mathew country districts.
On the 20th of June, 1900, Mr. Briggs was united in marriage to Miss Pearl E. Coleman, a daughter of S. J. Coleman, a native of Minnesota. After being graduated in Allenburg, Washington, in 1897, she came to Whatcom and engaged in teaching school up to the time of her marriage, and is thus a lady of culture and refinement. She has now two children: Andre Coleman, who is two years of age; and Charles Stephen, the baby of the household.
In his political views Mr. Briggs is an earnest Republican, and believes it the duty of every citizen to keep well informed on the questions of the day and to indicate his preference for forms of government by his ballot. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and is a strictly temperate man and throughout his entire life has never tasted liquor. He is, indeed, a strong advocate of prohibition, and is found as the supporter of all measures which are calculated to uplift humanity and prove of benefit to the race. He has a very large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the county, and his high character and sturdy integrity have gained for him the confidence and good will of all. Moreover, he is a gentleman of genial manner and unfailing courtesy, and one who has risen to his present creditable position in the business world through his own labors, his life record proving conclusively that success is not a matter of genius, but is the outcome of sound judgment, experience and close application.
A History of the Puget Sound Country Vol. 1, Col. William F. Prosser, pub. 1903

Brill, Joseph H.

    Though a comparative newcomer in Whatcom county, Joseph H. Brill, one of the substantial farmers and dairymen of Mountain View township and proprietor of a well kept and admirably improved place on rural mail route No. 3 out of Ferndale, is quite well content with conditions as he has found them here and is glad to enroll himself among the permanently established citizens of this county. Mr. Brill was born on a farm in the vicinity of Morris, Grundy county, Illinois, August 6, 1889, and is a son of Charles and Christina (Hess) Brill, the latter a native of the state of New York. Charles Brill was born in Germany and came to this country when eighteen years of age. For some time he worked in lumber camps and after his marriage became a farmer in the neighborhood of Morris, Illinois, where he lived for years or until his removal to South Dakota. After seven years in this latter state he moved to Minnesota and there resided until his retirement, when he and his wife went to Virginia, where their last days were spent. Charles Brill died in 1919, his wife in 1915.

    Joseph H. Brill was a well grown boy when his parents went with their family from Illinois to South Dakota and in the schools of his home neighborhood in the latter state his education was finished. He remained with his father on the farm until he had attained his majority when, in 1910, he joined his uncle who was operating a cattle ranch in New Mexico and was there engaged in ranching operations for ten years of until 1920, when he came to Whatcom county and settled on his present place in the Ferndale neighborhood. Mr. Brill has forty acres here, and has made practically all of the improvements, the greater part of this tract having to be cleared after he took possession. In addition to general farming he gives attention to dairying, keeping a herd of ten dairy cows, and also is building up a poultry business, having now a hundred and fifty more hens on the place. He also has a fine young orchard, apples, cherries and pears, and is getting his place improved in fine shape. He is a member of the Washington Cooperative Egg and Poultry Association.

    On November 8, 1911, at Clayton, New Mexico, Mr. Brill was united in marriage to Miss Hazel Osborn, who was born at Coldwater, Michigan, and is a daughter of the Rev. A. C. Osborn, a clergyman of the Christian church and a native of Michigan. A member of one of the pioneer families of that state, he is now sojourning in Whatcom county, finding the climatic conditions here beneficial to his somewhat impaired health. Mr. and Mrs. Brill have five children, Harold, Mildred, Charles, Wendell and Joseph H. Brill, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Brill are members of the Baptist church and are republicans. For some time during the time of his residence in New Mexico he was a member of the local school board of his community, and since taking up his residence in Whatcom county has given his earnest attention to local educational affairs, now (1926) serving as president of the Parent Teachers Association for his district. Mrs. Brill also is actively interested in school and church affairs and both she and her husband are helpful participants in the general social activities of the community. He is recognized as one of the enterprising and progressive young farmers of the district in which he has become so well established.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pg. 828

Brinson, Edward Lane; M.D.

    Dr. Edward Lane Brinson, a veteran of the World war, is now numbered among the successful medical practitioners of Bellingham and concentrates his energies upon his profession. He was born July 31, 1885, in Stillmore, Georgia, and is a son of Benjamin L. and Annie (Lane) Brinson. His father is a well known planter of that state, but the mother has passed away.

    Dr. Brinson attended the public schools of Georgia and was afterward a cadet at Gordon Institute, a military academy. He was graduated from the Judson Medical School of Philadelphia on the 7th of June, 1907, and acted as an interne of the Park View Sanitarium at Savannah, Georgia. He chose Seattle, Washington, as the scene of his professional activities and from 1908 until 1912 maintained an office in that city. He then moved to Acme, Washington, and in 1918 laid aside his practice to enter the service of his country. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the United States Medical Corps and was sent to the front. He was honorably discharged August 21, 1920, and has since practiced in Bellingham. He is a skillful surgeon, devoting the greater part of his time to this branch of the profession.

    In 1906 Dr. Brinson married Miss Frances Foster, of Boston, Massachusetts, and they have two children: Alberta, who is the wife of Gilbert Westoby and resides in Oakland, California; and Edward Lane (II), aged eleven years. Dr. Brinson belongs to the American Legion, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Bellingham Golf & Country Club. He casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and for two terms has been county physician, ably discharging the duties of the office. He is a tireless worker and an earnest student and keeps in close touch with the progress of his profession through his affiliation with the Whatcom County and Washington State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 788

Brisbin, William I.

    William I. Brisbin, former sheriff of Whatcom county and in his day one of the best known men in this section of the state, died at his home in Bellingham, March 11, 1912. He was born in the state of Iowa in 1867, was reared in Kansas and Nebraska and studied law in the University of Nebraska. He married when twenty-one years of age and two years later, in 1890, came to Washington and became a resident of Bellingham, where the remainder of his life was spent. Upon his arrival here he became employed as a grocery clerk and was thus engaged for some years, at the end of which time he entered public service as deputy sheriff, serving in this capacity during the incumbencies of J. J. Bell and Barney Esterbrook. Mr. Brisbin was subsequently elected sheriff of Whatcom county and during his term of two years in that office had some interesting experiences, one of which was a three months' trip to England on the trail of St. John Dix, at that time much wanted in this county.

    Upon the completion of his public service Mr. Brisbin, in association with his brother-in-law, C. M. Smith, engaged in the real estate business in Bellingham, establishing the firm which later was known as Brisbin, Smith & Livesey, and continued in the realty business until his death, he then being in his forty-sixth year. Mr. Brisbin was a republican and was long looked upon as one of the leaders of that party in this county. In addition to his service in the sheriff's office he had for some time rendered public service as a member of the park board in and for the city of Bellingham. He was a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

    It was on June 6, 1888, at Franklin, Nebraska, that Mr. Brisbin was united in marriage to Miss Ella Smith, who survives him and who has three daughters living.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 885



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