Robert And Bessie Brown : Civic Minded Residents Of Bradley, South Dakota Essay
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Robert and Bessie Brown:
Civic Minded Residents of Bradley, South Dakota
Robert and Bessie Brown, who are the paternal grandparents of the author’s wife, made their home in Bradley, South Dakota, a farming community and rail hub on the eastern Dakota prairie. Bessie grew up on a farm near Bradley, whereas Robert, subsequent to service in the Great War, arrived in Bradley as a young adult seeking a livelihood by acquiring the community’s Ford dealership. After becoming husband and wife, they remained in the small town where the civic-minded couple took on leadership roles in their church and numerous service organizations. Foremost in Robert and Bessie’s lives were their four children: Mary, Robert, Eldred, and Verna. They nurtured their children through the challenging times of the Great Depression and, as they matured into adulthood, guided them through the turbulent years of World War II.
Prior to World War II, Robert and Bessie’s close relatives literally meant family that lived nearby, most of whom were kin to Bessie. The only relatives of Robert’s that resided in or near Bradley was his brother and business partner, Harry and his wife, Flossie. In addition to Bessie’s parents, Merritt and Mary Kirby, other members of her close extended family were Bessie’s sister and brother-in-law, Pearl and John Madden, her brother and sister-in-law, Emmett and Nellie Kirby, and numerous nephews and nieces. Particularly significant among these relatives was their niece,