Chap. 4,6 d
gen. (iv)
Mary Margaret Hedley (1872 - ? )
and Edward Bridwell (1870 - 1931)

Mary Margaret Hedley, born in 1872 in Michigan, was the only child born to James Hedley and his second wife, Harriet Wood. Harriet died on Aug. 2, 1877, when Mary Margaret was five years old. After her mother’s death  Mary Margaret was raised by her father James Hedley and his third wife Emma Hays along with her three older half brothers, John R., James U. and George W., and the three younger children from the marriage of her father to Emma Hays. When the family moved from their farm home in Eveline Twp., Charlevoix County, Michigan to Black Jack, Douglas County, Kansas, Mary Margaret was about ten years old.

Mary Margaret Hedley married Edward Bridwell on Sept.5 (or 25),1894 in Douglas County, Kansas. Mary was 22 and Edward 24. Edward was a brother of Mary Bridwell, who three years earlier had married George (Nickerson) Hedley, Mary Margaret’s adopted half brother. (See Chap. 4,6, c)

Steve Bridwell, a great grandson of Mary and Edward emailed the following story:
"Sixteen-year-old Edward Bridwell was trudging the roads around Baldwin, Kansas, looking for farm work to help with expenses at home after his father died. At the point that he had neared discouragement a wagon bearing a farmer and his pretty daughter passed. The girl looked him over as they passed and then said something to he father who brought the wagon to stop. When Edward caught up to them the farmer asked him if he was looking for work and a bargain was struck. The farmer was James William Hedley and his daughter was Mary Margaret Hedley. Nearly seven years later Edward and Mary would marry."

Married - - At the Presbyterian Parsonage on Tuesday, Sept. 25, Edward Bridwell of Baldwin to Mary M. Hedley of Black Jack. We wish them happiness(Baldwin Ledger, Fri. Oct. 5, 1894, p. 3, col.2, under “Here and There.)

Edward Bridwell was born Sept. 17, 1870 in Larkenburg Township, Clay County, Illinois, the son of Martha (Colburn) and William Wallace Bridwell.
Edward’s mother, Martha, was born March 23, 1836 in Pembroke, New Hampshire.
Edward’s father, William Wallace Bridwell, a minister, as well as a teacher, was born Aug. 9, 1831 in Sullivan County, Indiana. He died Aug. 15, 1886.
The Douglas County Tombstone Census lists William W. Bridwell 1832-1886 and wife Martha Bridwell 1836-1933; both buried at Oakwood Cem., Baldwin City, KS.
(For Obituary of W.W. Bridwell please see Addendum at end of this chapter)

The William Bridwell family was shown on the 1880 census for Texas when Edward  was nine:

The 1880 U.S. Census for Denton, Texas:
William W. Bridwell, 48, b. IN; occ. Min.of Gospel; father b.Virginia, mother b.Vermont
Martha C. Bridwell, wife, 44, b. NH; occ. Keeping House; fa. b. MA, mo. b. NH
Charles Bridwell, son, 16, b. Illinois; occ. Printing Business; fa. b. IN, mo. b. NH
Mary Bridwell, dau., 13, b. Illinois; occ. Keeping House
William C. Bridwell, son, 11, b. in Illinois
Edward Bridwell, son, 9, born in Illinois
Robert Bridwell, son, 7, born in Indiana
Arthur Bridwell, son, 6, born in Indiana
John Bridwell, son, 2, born in Texas
Henry Bridwell, son, 2 months, born in Texas

Steve Bridwell informs us that, "Edward started out teaching school and setting type for small town newspapers that he and a couple of his brothers owned." Around 1896 Edward and Mary Margaret moved from Douglas County, Kansas to Dodd City, Arkansas "to help an older brother with a newly opened newapaper speculation and to be the teacher of that mining community’s one-room school. The newspaper didn’t last and neither did the teaching position, but not before Edward took on an additional job selling real-estate and speculations in zinc mining land." Edward’s brother-in-law George (Nickerson) Hedley and his family had also moved to the area, probably to work in the zinc mine and to oversee investment acreage that he may have purchased from Edward (See Chap. 4,6 c). George, his wife Mary and their three little girls lived in tents. Unfortunately Mary (Bridwell) Hedley, Edward’s sister, "died there in Dodd City from complications of childbirth or a bad winter...Soon after Mary’s death everyone packed up and left Dodd City." Edward and Mary Margaret moved to Licking, Missouri, where Edward had bought The Licking News, which he operated for nearly seven years.    "The local Methodist minister grew to rely more on Edward’s help with his pastoral work. The Bishop prevailed upon Edward to follow in his father’s footsteps full time." Edward, age 35, father of six, "sold the newspaper and accepted the call to serve the Licking Methodist church for some three years. It was during this time (1907) that their last child, Ralph, was stillborn."

back: Ruth 14, Bernice13 ---- middle: Paul 8, Faith 12 Ethel 9 ---- front: Bessie 5
photo abt. 1910 Licking Missouri

Mary Margaret (Hedley) and Edward Bridwell had seven children:

              (1) Martha ‘Ruth’ Bridwell b. March 1996 in Arkansas
              (2) Bernice Harriet Bridwell b. April 1897 in Arkansas
              (3) Laura ‘Faith’ Bridwell b. Sept. 1898 in Arkansas
              (4) Mary ‘Ethel’ Bridwell  b. abt 1901
              (5) Paul Edward Bridwell  b. 1902 in Arkansas
              (6) Bessie Beulah Bridwell b. 1905 in Arkansas
              (7) Ralph Bridwell  (Ralph listed on World Connect, but not yet verified)

It appears that the families of Mary Margaret Hedley and her adopted half brother George W. Hedley remained close. Both families are recorded in the censuses of 1900 and 1910 living on adjoining properties both in Dodd, Arkansas and in Sherrill, Texas County, Missouri.

1900 U.S. Census for Dodd City, Marion County, Arkansas
Bridwell  Edward, head, 29, b. Sept. 1870, Real Estate Agent, m. 5 yr; b. Ill; fa. b. Indiana; mo. b. Mass.
                Mary M, wife, 28, b. Apr. 1872, m. 5 yr; b. Mich; fa. b. Canada; mo. b. N.Y.
                Ruth M, daughter, 4, b. April 1896, b. Arkansas; fa. b. Ill; mo. b. Mich.
                Bernice H, daughter, 3, b. March 1897, b. Arkansas; fa. b. Ill; mo. b. Mich.
                Laura F, daughter, 1, b. Sept. 1898, b. Arkansas; fa. b. Ill; mo. b. Mich.

Ten years later, in 1910, the family was living in Missouri. Edward had become a Minister of the Gospel, a new son and daughter had been added to the family, and the four older children were attending school. Their daughter Mary, who would have been 9 years old, is missing from this census.

1910 U.S. Census for Sherrill Township, Texas County, Missouri
Bridwell  Edward, head, 39, Clergyman, m. 15 yr; b. Ill; fa. b. Indiana; mo. b. New Hampshire
                Mary M., wife, 37, m.15 yr; 7 ch.(6 living); b. Mich; fa. b. Can; mo. b. N.Y.
                Ruth M., daughter, 14, b. Arkansas; fa. b. Illinois; mo. b. Mich.
                Bernice H., daughter, 12, b. Arkansas; fa. b. Ill; mo. b. Mich.
                Laura F., daughter, 11,  b. Arkansas; fa. b. Ill; mo. b. Mich.
                Paul E., son, 8, b. in Arkansas; father b. in Ill; mo. b. Mich.
                Bessie, daughter, 5, b. in Arkansas; fa. b. Ill; mo. b. Michigan

By 1920 Edward Bridwell was preaching in a Methodist Episcopal (ME) Church in Kansas. Edward and Mary Margaret’s three eldest daughters, Ruth, Bernice and Laura, who would have been in their 20s are no longer in the household, but a  daughter, Mary E., age 19 (b. abt. 1901) appeared on this census.

1920 U.S. Census for Sheridan Township, Ottawa County, Kansas
Bridwell  Edward, head, 49, Minister, b. in Illinois; father b. Indiana; mother b. New Hampshire
                Mary M., wife, 47, b. Mich; fa. b. Canada; mo. b. N.Y.
                Mary E., daughter, 19, b. in Arkansas; fa. b. Illinois; mo. b. Michigan
                Paul E., son, 18,  b. in Arkansas; fa. b. Illinois; mo. b. Michigan
                Bessie B., daughter, 15,  b. in Missouri; fa. b. Illinois; mo. b. Michigan

Ten years later, in 1930, just one year before his death, Edward was Superintendent of a Home for Children located on a farm in Harvey County, Kansas and employing a matron, Hattie Brague.  Thirteen children ranging in ages from 5 to 13 were “inmates”of  the home, although all of Mary and Edward’s children had by then left the household.

1930 U.S. Census for Newton Township, Harvey County, Kansas
Bridwell Edward, head, 59, m, age at 1st marr. 23; Superintendent b. in Ill.; fa. b. Indiana; mo. b. N.H.
               Mary, wife, 57, m, age at 1st marr. 21; b. Mich; fa. b. Can; mo. b. N.Y.
Bague Hattie, matron, 49, m, age at 1st marr. 22; b. in Kansas; fa. b. N.Y; mo. b. N.Y.

Edward Bridwell, born Sept. 17, 1870 in Indiana, died Sept.10, 1931 in a location south of Hutchinson, Kansas; burial was in Fairlawn Cemetery, Hutchinson  (World Connect).  

                          Obituary - Rev. William Wallace Bridwell  (1831 - 1886)

         Rev. W.W. Bridwell, the subject of this sketch, was born August 9th, 1831 in Sullivan Co., Indiana. He was converted and joined the M.E. Church in 1850. Feeling called to preach and having received only a common school education, he further prepared himself by attending the Lebanon High School and also by attending the then Asbury University.
         He was licensed to preach by the Roberts Chapel Quarterly Conference, Greencastle, Indiana, and was received on trial into the Indiana Conference in the fall of 1855. After two years of labor on the White River and Bloomfield works, he went to Illinois and entered the Southern Illinois Conference, where he was in charge of the following works: Danville Circuit, Centralia Station, Upper Alton Station, Fosterburg Circuit and Chester Circuit.  In 1866 he located, which relation he sustained till March 1877, when he went to Texas, and feeling, because of circumstances, he could do more good, he entered the North Texas Conference of the M.E. Circuit South.  In this relation he labored at Henrietta, Marysville, Boliver and Newport. Then that he might have better educational advantages for his family, he transferred to the Texas Conference, where he travelled the Jasper and Shelby Circuits.  On the latter field of labor his health failed and he was compelled again to locate.
          He then came to Kansas bearing the commendations of Bishop Parker, to the M.E. Church, the church of his preference.
          He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Jaynes and Elder by Bishop Baker.
          While on the Forestburg Circuit he was married to Miss Martha Colburn, who remained a true wife to the last and who now, with seven children, mourn their loss.
          After he came to Kansas he tried to renew his labors in the ministry, but his health became permanently broken, and he was compelled to yield to the inevitable.
           The last year of his life was spent in Baldwin City, Kansas. In all his disappointments he never faltered in his faith in the gospel. Though in his last days his mind was clouded, yet he still held onto God with a firm grasp of faith. He died Aug. 15, 1886 and now rests from his labors.
                                                                                        (Baldwin Ledger, Sept. 4, 1886, p.4, col. 2 & 3)

this page was updated on September 20, 2007

go to chapter 4_6 to see parentage

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