Born on 4 December 1904 in the City of St. Louis, William Bradburn Jr. was the son of William Bradburn and Mary O’Reilly. William and his one-year-older brother, Vernon, were in the same grade from the fourth grade through college. William and Vernon, known as the Bradburn Brothers, attended St. Louis University High where they excelled in basketball. While attending St. Louis University from 1922 to 1926, William was a starting player for the basketball team.

Following graduation, William worked for the St. Louis Board of Education and was district supervisor of all lunchroom programs. Later while working as the supply supervisor, William taught Latin and Greek part time at St. Louis University night school.

William Bradburn married Elvera Heier on 30 November 1933, followed by the birth of two daughters, Betty and Barbara. Moving to St. Louis Hills near Nottingham School in 1938, William formed a boys’ sports club, the Nottingham Athletic Club, where he coached basketball and baseball for six years.

William left the employ of the Board of Education in 1942 and started a supply company, Spies-Bradburn. In 1946, he started his own business, Bradburn School Supply, operating first from his garage, before his first store opened on Hampton Avenue. William retired in 1975, passing the business to his two daughters.

In April 1970, the Nottingham School named their school ball field the William Bradburn Athletic Field. Governor of Missouri, Warren Hearns, recognized this event.

William passed away on 2 April 1983 with burial at Resurrection Cemetery. In 2002, St. Louis University elected William to the Billiken Hall of Fame.


Written by Barbara (Bradburn) Larson
September 2016

© 2016, St. Louis Genealogical Society

William Bradburn Jr.
William Bradburn, Jr.
Photo in the collection of Barbara (Bradburn) Larson
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 26-Oct-2018 19:45