One of the Few Near-Centenarians in This Section Succumbs in Home of Son in Evanston
Founded Wisconsin Town
Early Settler in Whitewater, Where He Operated Mill and Trained Five Sons in That Business.
Robert Bridge, 99 years old, one of the few near-centenarians of this section of the state, father of George S. Bridge, a commission broker with offices in the Board of Trade building, Chicago, died in the latter's home, 578 Millburn street, Evanston, Sunday night. The death of the aged citizen ends a most remarkable career. the body was taken this morning for interment to Whitewater, Wis., a town founded over sixty years ago by Mr. Bridge.
For more than twelve years Robert Bridge has made his home with his son in Evanston. His advanced age did not blight his life by snatching away his faculties, and his bright and active mind, even up to a few days before his death, caused friends and relatives to marvel.
Was Born in Scotland - Robert Bridge was born in Glasgow, Scotland, June 9, 1814. He has often told in giving history of his life of the hardships he was forced to endure, chief among which was the fact that he was forced to make his own livelihood after he was 6 years old. He did not secure any schooling whatsoever in his youth.
In 1843, physicians in Scotland advised him to seek a milder climate on account of chronic indigestion, which he suffered. He decided to come to America and try his fortune. A machinist, Mr. Bridge located in Milwaukee, where he worked for a few months, later going to the place where the village of Whitewater is now located. He founded the town and later became the miller of that vicinity.
Five Sons, All Millers. - A peculiar coincidence is that he has reared a family of five sons, all of whom at one time in their lives have been engaged in the milling business, following the vocation of their father.
Until a week before his death, Mr. bridge was in close touch with the affairs of his five sons and recounted with joy the success that these men of affairs have attained. The sons who survive are: Robert Bridge, retired miller, Omaha, Neb.; William Bridge, Spokane, retired miller; Charles Bridge, Norfolk, Neb., retired miller and banker; Albert Bridge, Chicago, commission broker, and George S. Bridge of this city, of the firm of Bridge and Leonard, Chicago. He also leaves one daughter, Mrs. Mary Kinney, 439 Forty-first street, Chicago.
Deacon for Half Century. - For more than a half century Mr. Bridge was deacon of the village Congregational church in Whitewater, Wis. It was among his last requests that his body be taken back to the old town for burial. Simple funeral services will be conducted in the church there today. Short services were held in the Bridge home in Evanston yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock by Dr. William T. McElveen.