Terri Bradt   




Historical Archives

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Busch, Arkansas 72620

Charles Edwin Bradt

Julia Bugbee Bradt


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Busch, Arkansas 72620


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Historical Archives


The Charles Edwin Bradt Collection


The Charles Edwin Bradt Collection of private journals, scrapbooks and published books is now stored and available for viewing at The Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas.


Charles Edwin Bradt on the far right looking towards his group of traveling missionaries in 1914.


     Charles Edwin Bradt, my Great-Grandfather, was best known to me through family oral and written histories, as a dedicated Presbyterian minister and missionary.  But without his many writings, he would have been just another minister and missionary.  Throughout his career he kept meticulous handwritten journals, and wrote inspirational books published and printed himself by his Missionary Press Co. of Wichita, Kansas.  Thankfully, these survive intact and as a collection, and are catalogued online at The Kansas State Historical Society.  Search their archives at http://topekalibraries.info/.  


     Charles Edwin Bradt was born in La Porte, Indiana November 7, 1863.  When Charles was six his mother died and his father, Isaac, a minister himself, remarried a young woman, Julia Bugbee.  In 1870, the new family embarked on a covered wagon trip from Michigan to Nebraska.  This trip was most interestingly documented in a day-to-day journal kept by Julia herself along the way.  Hale Bradt, a direct descendent of Julia and her new husband Isaac Bradt, has written a foreword to this diary, and his foreword and the entire diary can accessed on this website at Julia Bugbee.


     When Charles was nine, his father, Isaac died. Julia remarried and moved on, leaving Charles with his Grandparents in Nebraska.  Charles worked in a print shop there, developing his skills and talents with a printing press.  He served as Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Lincoln, Nebraska for seven years before moving to Wichita, Kansas and taking over the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church.  There he served from 1896 through 1905, developing his programs supporting international missionary work.  This led him to his next career as a field secretary for the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in Chicago, where he served until he died in 1922.  But his work at the First Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kansas, and his Wichita publishing company, The Missionary Press Co., were the accomplishments most dear to his heart, and so he was brought back to Wichita to be buried.


     An interesting family history involves his relationship with one of the members of his congregation in Wichita, A.A. Hyde.  The founder of Mentholatum, A.A. Hyde also served on the board of The Missionary Press Co. along with Charles Bradt.  By 1916, Hyde had donated a large amount of acreage near Estes Park, Colorado to The Y.M.C.A., allowing Bradt and his family to first select a building site of their choice.  A copy of the log from the family cabin there is among the Bradt archives at the Kansas State Historical Society.


Also among the Bradt archives at the Kansas State Historical Society:


    - Nine large, leather bound handwritten journals and monthly reports that Bradt kept from 1905-1916, during his work as the Field Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions. These journals also contain many printed materials collected during his work and travels.

   - One leather bound book called Church Papers from Bradt’s work at the First Presbyterian Church in Wichita from 1896-1901.

   - Two leather bound books containing collections of the periodical, The Missionary Messenger, published by Bradt’s company, The Missionary Press Co. in Wichita.  These publications contain lots of wonderful advertisements of Wichita businesses, including Mentholatum.

   - A book by Bradt called The Key To The Kingdom, written while he was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Wichita, and published by The Winona Publishing Co. of Chicago in 1904.

    -A book by Bradt called Edwin: Adventures in the Universe, published by The Missionary Press Co. of Wichita in 1922.  This book has much autobiographical material from Charles Bradt about his family and his work.

   - A book by Charles Bradt's son, Acken Gordon Bradt, called A Boy's Experiences Around the World, published by The Missionary Press Co. of Wichita in 1914.  This book recounts the travels of Charles and a group of his missionaries around the world.  Also in the archives is the original handwritten journal that Acken kept while traveling around the world with his father and the other missionaries.

   - Three to four scrapbooks compiled by Acken Gordon Bradt's daughter, Elizabeth Bradt Parson, containing copies of photos, memoirs, and genealogical records.