Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mrs. Anna Bradbury

In 1908, Mrs. Anna Bradbury's History of the City of Hudson, New York was published by the Record Printing and Publishing Co. in Hudson. Mrs. Bradbury explains, in the Preface to her book, why she undertook to write it: "Grateful acknowledgments are made to Mr. Stephen B. Miller's 'Historical Sketches of Hudson.' Had that work been still in print this would not have been written. The fear that its valuable material would be lost, together with the numerous inquiries in relation to the early history and settlement of Hudson, led to the preparation of this volume." At the beginning of the 20th century, Mrs. Bradbury could hardly have anticipated that a hundred years later both Miller's work and hers would be electronically archived and available to all on the Internet.

Recently a reader asked me if I knew where Mrs. Bradbury had lived in Hudson, so I spent a little time yesterday, with the Hudson directories in the History Room at the library and on the amazing Fulton History site, seeking the answer to that question.

It seems Mrs. Bradbury may have grown up in Hudson and after marriage moved somewhere else, probably Claverack. Her return to Hudson in 1900, very likely after the death of her husband, was announced in the Hudson Evening Register for December 3: "Mrs. Allen Rossman and Mrs. Anna Bradbury, former Hudsonians, have moved to this city from Claverack, where they have been spending the summer."

During her first years back in Hudson, Mrs. Bradbury lived as a boarder at 4 East Court Street. In 1904, she took up residence at 729 Warren Street.

In this extraordinary house, with brackets and an ornamental veranda reminiscent of A. J. Davis's work on Dr. Oliver Bronson's house, Jane E. Heath and her daughter, Sally Heath, operated a boarding house. Mrs. Bradbury lived here from 1904 through 1909, and it's entirely possible that she may be one of the people who posed on the veranda for this picture. Mrs. Heath's boarding house seems to have been a fairly upscale establishment. In 1905, the eleven roomers in the house included "teachers, a mechanical engineer, a publisher, and several book agents." It's not hard to imagine Mrs. Bradbury's book project being conceived and carried out in this environment.

In 1910, Mrs. Bradbury moved from 729 Warren Street to 620 Union--the Home for the Aged--where she lived for the next eight years.

In 1919, her name disappears from the directories, but so far I have unable to locate her obituary.

5 comments:

  1. I have access to ancestry.com and Anna R. Bradbury, born in England about 1839 is an "inmate" at the Home of Aged, corner of Union and Seventh Street in the 1910 census.

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  2. Yes, it looks like Anna was the only daughter of Allen Rossman, he born about 1814 NY. I could dig further if you wish.

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  3. So she moved back to Hudson with her mother in 1900. Very interesting. But if her father was born in New York, how did Anna end up being born in England? Hmmm.

    Yes, do dig further, Chad. But did you know that everyone with a library card from a library in the Mid-Hudson System has access to Heritage Quest? Probably something similar to ancestry.com.

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