Hudson Erastus Bridge was born on 17 May 1810 in Walpole, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. He died on 25 February 1875 in Carondelet, St. Louis County, Missouri. He was the son of Joseph Bridge and Francis “Fanny” Wightman of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.When he was twenty-one, Hudson left his parents’ home and began extended travels throughout the country, including New York, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri. While in Illinois, he began the manufacture of plows, which taught him iron manufacturing. Coming to St. Louis in 1838, he established a foundry and, in time, determined to manufacture stoves, he started the Empire Stove Works.

Hudson was a founder of Washington University in St. Louis and the main conference room in Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis is named in his honor. Hudson was also a trustee for Bellefontaine Cemetery from 1851 until his death in 1875. He was president of the association for the years 1862 and 1863. He was also a director and twice president of the Mercantile Library Association.

Hudson was first married to Isabella E. Holland about 1840. Isabella was born on 5 August 1820 in Walpole, New Hampshire, and she died on 1 April 1848 in St. Louis County. He and Isabella had the following children, all born in St. Louis:

    • Isabella Bridge, was born on 21 October 1841 and died on 3 November 1888 in St. Louis. Isabella married George Eliot Leighton on 23 October 1862 in St. Louis.
    • Julia Bridge was born on 2 July 1843 and died on 19 March 1845 in St. Louis County.
    • Emma Bridge was born on 8 June 1846 and died on 20 April 1914 in St. Louis. Emma married Joseph Gilbert Chapman on 21 October 1868 in St. Louis County.
Hudson E. Bridge
Hudson E. Bridge
Photo in the Public Domain
Hudson then married Isabella’s younger sister, Helen Augusta Holland, sometime after 1850 in St. Louis. Helen was born on 13 October 1823 in Walpole and died on 12 May 1893 in St. Louis County. Hudson and Helen had the following children, all born in St. Louis:

    • Maria Bridge was born on 31 May 1852 and died on 11 March 1853.
    • Helen Bridge was born in December 1853 and died on 21 July 1855.
    • Mary Bridge was born on 16 July 1856 and died on 28 October 1932 in Keene, New Hampshire. Mary married Nelson Charles Chapman about 1883.
    • Hudson Eliot Bridge was born on 4 April 1858 and died on 5 March 1934 in St. Louis. Hudson and Helen Lee Durkee were married about 1884.
    • Harrison Parker “Harry” Bridge was born on 3 February 1860 and died on 25 August 1895 in St. Louis County. Harry married Caroline Gardner Tobey on 9 October 1889 in Boston, Massachusetts.
    • Amy Bridge was born about 1862 and died on 3 April 1895 in Walpole, New Hampshire. Amy married Thomas Nelson Hastings III on 14 July 1882 in New York City.

Written by Ted Steele
January 2020

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Last Modified: 25-Feb-2020 20:27