Bradbury Bedell

Bradbury was named after his maternal grandmother, was born on 8 Feb 1856 in Athens, Greene, New York son of Abram Bedell and Sarah W. Sanderson Bedell. He gained his preparation for college at Markham University in Milwaukee, and at Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He received a BA degree from Yale University in 1876. After graduation he studied at the Albany, New York and Philadelphia Law Schools. On 26 May 1877 he was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For two years he practiced with Richard P. Ashhurst, Esq. He then established an office by himself and practiced as a lawyer for twenty-three years. He me with very unusual success and made many trips abroad. We found passport applications and passenger lists for various years.

Bradbury married Emmeline Shinn Reed, daughter of Thomas Sydenham Reed and Mary Woodnutt Shinn, on 22 May 1879 in Philadelphia. She was born on 10 Sep 1853 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the sister of Charles Henry Reed, M.D. an 1872 Yale graduate. She was educated graduate of Vassar in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York. Emmeline was active in the art circles.

Mrs. Bradford Bedell was also active in humane work for over 40 years in Philadelphia. She was the President of the Auxiliary of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). She was the first person to sponsor the plan for watering horses, now more generally known as “Horse Watering Stations.” Emmiline donated money to establish the first watering stations in Philadelphia in 1906. The system was then established in nearly every city where Humane Societies exist.

She was also a member of other humane societies for children and Animals, including founder and vice-president of the Animal Rescue League of Philadelphia. She served for a time as board member and also as secretary of the Women’s Pennsylvania SPCA. She was connected to the Francisvane Home for Smaller Animals, the Humane Education Society of Pennsylvania and the Morris Refuge for Smaller Animals.

Emmeline (Reed) Bedell’s name did not often appear in print but she was considered one of “the most genuine humanitarian in Philadelphia.”

They lived at 1601 Chestnut in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Bradbury’s office was on 6th street. A photo of his law office can be found here.

Bradbury died of pneumonia at his home on 23 May 1902 at the age of 46 at 101 S. 22d St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Emmeline died on 20 Jul 1920 at the age of 66.

Bradbury and Emmeline had two children who died at a young age.

At the time of Emmeline’s death her artwork collection was given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I contacted the Philadelphia Museum of Art and they were gracious enough to send me a comprehensive list of items in the Bradbury Bedell Collection. It is quite extensive.
So far I have been able to collect the following images:


  1. matth23 Said,

    Just a note for you folks regarding Bradbury Bedell: As evidenced by an envelope addressed to him from the Sunday School Times dated Nov. 15 [year unknown], he was also the Secretary of Ex[change?] Com[mittee?] of the Yale Alumni Association, based in the Fern Club Rooms at Locust and 8th in Philadelphia. If you’d like to get a copy of the image, contact me . . .

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