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Dr Norman Bridge
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Birth: Dec. 30, 1844
West Windsor
Windsor County
Vermont, USA
Death: Jan. 10, 1925
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Norman Bridge was the 2nd of three children born to James Madison Bridge, b. Oct. 31, 1816 in Woodstock, Vt. and d. Feb. 20, 1879 in Scranton, Ia. and
Nancy Ann Bagley, b. Feb. 20, 1818 in Vt. and d. Jun. 15, 1903 in Pasadena, L.A. Co., Ca.

On May 21, 1874, Norman married Mae Manford in Cook Co., Ill.

Dr. Bridge was a physician, author, and philanthropist.
He was a trustee and generous benefactor of the California Institute of Technology, of the University of Southern California, and an esteemed member of Throop Memorial Universalist Church. The Norman Bridge Laboratory at Caltech bears his name. At the time of its placement in 1923, the Great West window at Throop Memorial Church was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Norman Bridge.

In his Apr. 9, 1909 U.S. passport application, Dr. Norman Bridge, physician and surgeon, living in Chicago, Illinois, was applying for a passport for his wife, Mary and himself with the intention of traveling within one year. Mary was b. in NY, March 15 (or 18), 1840.

According to his March 11, 1920 U.S. passport application, Norman Bridge was the son of James M. Bridge, b. in Vt. He was applying for a passport to travel to Tampico, Mexico, sailing from Galveston aboard the Casiana. He was a Vice Presdient of the Pan American Petroleum & Transport Co. and was traveling on business for the company. His description was: 75 yrs. of age, height - 5'10 1/2", high forehead, brown eyes, straight nose, medium complexion, oval face, br.-gray hair, beard and moustache.

Dr. Norman Bridge was an doctor of allopathic medicine.

Medical Licenses: CA, 1891, IL, 1877

Practice Dates Places: Los Angeles, CA, Feb 6, 1911, Pasadena, CA, Chicago, IL, Nov 15, 1918

Hospital: Cook County Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital

Medical School: Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago: Chicago Medical College, 1868, (G), IL-01 Rush Medical College, Chicago, 1878, (G), MI-01 University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Department of Medicine and Surgery, 1866

Professorship: Rush Medical College, Chicago, medicine

Los Angeles Times Obituary, Jan. 15, 1925

Many Pay Final Respects at Home Services

Physician's Life Reviewed by Dr. C. Elwood Nash

Body is Placed in Vault at Rosedale Cemetery

In a gently falling rain, the body of Dr. Norman Bridge was carried from his home at 718 West Adams Street yesterday afternoon to a vault in Rosedale Cemetery. The services for the eminent physician and philanthropist were simple and unostentatious, as was the wish of his widow.

More than 200 friends gathered in the home to pay their last respects. They were drawn from the city's wealthy and leading families, as well as simpler friends he had known in his thirty-four years' residence in Los Angeles.

During the service, members of the Sunset Club were grouped at the bier. They had formed his closest companions in life.

Dr. Bridge's genial philosophy and his many deeds of philanthropy and charity were recounted and extolled by Dr. C. Elwood Nash of the First Universalist Church of Los Angeles and rev. Carl Henry of the Universalist Church of Pasadena.

They told of his coming to Los Angeles more than a third of a century ago, when physicians had despaired of his life; how he regained his health and accumulated wealth, only to distribute it to various organizations and colleges to advance the study of medicine and other sciences and arts.

Clifford Lott, accompanied by his wife, sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee", the doctor's favorite anthem.

*The last two paragraphs of the obituary list the names of the 6 active and 30 honorary pallbearers.

In 1925, Mrs. Mae Manford Bridge established the Mae Manford Bridge Research Maintenance Fund, for the support of researches in physics in the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics. The estimated total amount on receipt of entire bequest from Mrs. Bridge's estate was about $500,000.

BRIDGE, DR. NORMAN, Physician, Teacher, and Business man, Los Angeles, Cal., was born in Windsor, Vt., Dec. 30, 1844, the son of James Madison and Nancy Ann (Bagley) Bridge. He is descended from Deacon John Bridge, who came from England and settled in Cambridge, Mass., in 1632. Norman is of the seventh generation from John of Cambridge. His great grandfather, Ebenezer, was a Colonel in Washington's army of the Revolution. Deacon John "saved the settlement" of Cambridge when Hooker seceded to Connecticut in 1636 and was responsible for the present location of Harvard College. There is a bronze statue of him on Cambridge Common, in the garb of a Puritan. It was erected in 1882 and is the work of the artists, T. R. and M. S. Gould.

One of the inscriptions on the monument reads: "This Puritan helped to establish here Church, School and Representative Government, and thus to plant a Christian Commonwealth"; and another is as follows: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."

Dr. Bridge was married in 1874 to Miss Mae Manford, daughter of the late Rev. Erasmus and Hannah (Bryant) Manford. Their only child died in infancy.

Mr. Manford was a Universalist clergyman of the old school for over half a century. He was much of this time publisher of various denominational periodicals.

Dr. Bridge was born on a small farm among the Vermont hills, a few miles from the village of Windsor. It has been a long-time wonder to him how his father could ever have made a living for himself and family on such a rocky and unpromising patch of earth. In 1856, the elder Bridge rebelled against his hard conditions and moved with his family and little cash to Illinois. They settled on a farm of unbroken prairie without buildings or fence, where they struggled for some tense years. This was in Malta, DeKalb County, when Norman was twelve years old. The family consisted of father, mother, an older brother and a younger sister. The brother, Edward, was a soldier in the Civil War, Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Regiment, and died of disease in the service, after surviving a dozen battles, in the first of which, Shiloh, he was wounded. His father died in 1879 and his mother at an advanced age in 1903. His sister is Mr. Susan B. Hatch, of Des Moines, Iowa.

Norman B. Received his general education in the country district schools, and in the High Schools of DeKalb and Sycamore, Illinois. He taught a country school in the winter of 1862-63, but owing to a severe fever which came on in the midst of this work he was unable to finish the term. He never attended the academic department of a university or college.

He was a postoffice clerk in Sycamore during the summer and fall of 1864; and a fire insurance agent in Morris, Illinois, in 1864-65, traveling through the entire county of Grundy.

In 1865 he began the study of medicine, attended the Medical Department of the University of Michigan in 1866-67, and of the Northwestern University in 1867-68, where he was graduated with the degree of M. D. He received the degree of A. M. from the Lake Forest College in 1889.

His summer vacations from medical college he spent in work on his father's farm in Malta, chiefly in harvesting hay and grain, and in threshing.

He began teaching medicine from the time of his graduation, and from that day to this his name has appeared in the faculty of some Medical College—in his Alma Mater first, then in the Woman's Medical College, and since early in 1874 in Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago, in which he is now Emeritus Professor of Medicine. He was for twenty years, more or less, an attending physician in the County Hospital and in the Presbyterian Hospital of Chicago. He received the ad eundem degree in medicine from Rush College in 1878. He has had his professional office in only two communities, Chicago, until 1891, and in Los Angeles since.

Dr. Bridge's first position in Rush College was received as the result of a concours or contest in lecturing, before the faculty and students—a method that has fortunately not since been in vogue. The college of that day was unconnected with any university. Like nearly all the medical colleges of the country, its trustees were mostly members of its faculty, only two courses of lectures were required for graduation, and the conditions of admission were cheap indeed. He joined his ten younger colleagues in working for higher standards, longer and more thorough courses, more laboratory work, and connection with a university. For over a decade this school has been one of the medical arms of the University of Chicago, is doing university work, and has a course of study that looks formidable by the side of that of thirty years ago. Throughout the country, in most of the large cities, the stronger medical colleges have undergone a like metamorphosis, to the benefit of all the people.

Through the decade of the eighties he accepted appointive public office for seven years, first as a member of the Chicago Board of Education for three years (1881-1884), afterward as the Republican Election Commissioner for four years (1886-1890).

His health broke down in 1890, and in January, 1891, he moved to California, where he has since resided, first at Sierra Madre (1891-94), then at Pasadena (1894-1910), and finally in Los Angeles. By 1893 he had so far recovered as to resume his work for a few weeks each autumn in the College and Presbyterian Hospital at Chicago. He continued the autumn hospital work until 1900, and the college lectures until 1905 inclusive. He has been regularly engaged in practice in Los Angeles for twenty years. Since 1905, however, his growing secular interests have compelled him gradually to reduce his professional work, and he has regarded his active college service as terminated.

The public appointments were unsought and each came as a surprise—that to the School Board from the first Mayor Harrison, and the Election Commissionership from the County Court—Judge Richard Prendergast. On his entry into the board of Education he was elected Vice President of that body, and in a few months was made President to serve out a fractional year; after which he was elected to the same office for a full year term. He was a Republican, and the Board consisted of twice as many Democrats as Republicans.

The election office was illuminating in the study of human nature and government; in ward politics and party strife. The Republican Commissioner was one of three, the other two were Democrats, and the County Court was democratic. The law required that at least one member of the Board of Commissioners should be a Republican.

His first appointment to the Election Commission was for an unexpired term of one year. Near the end of this term the "Tribune," the leading Republican newspaper, began to attack his Republicanism, not because this was open to the smallest criticism, but because he had a personal friend who edited a rival and independent newspaper.* On one certain Sunday the paper contained a severe editorial attack upon him because of his alleged failure to do a particular thing in the Canvassing Board on the Friday before. As a matter of fact, he had tried to accomplish the thing referred to, but had been outvoted, as the Saturday edition of the "Tribune" in its local columns truthfully reported. The next day (Monday) both the "Daily News" and the "Inter-Ocean" printed in parallel columns the paragraphs referring to the Republican Commissioner, of the "Tribune" on Saturday and Sunday, and ridiculed the paper for its inconsistency and carelessness. This led to worse attacks by the "Tribune," and retorts by the other papers. Finally, there appeared in the "Inter-Ocean" of Thursday a biting open letter to the editor of the "Tribune"
signed by the Commissioner himself. This inspired more reckless attacks on him and on the other papers, and culminated, the following Sunday, in a libel on his professional character. Then, with his attorney, he went to the office of the paper and had a quiet and much restrained conversation with the editor, which resulted in an editorial correction, retraction, and apology the following morning. This was printed on the editorial page. At the end of his year, which occurred during the week of this newspaper war, the County Judge reappointed him for a full term of three years, which he served out.

The only elective office he has held was that of one of a Board of "Freeholders" in the City of Pasadena, in 1900, to frame a new charter for the city. Their charter was adopted.

Dr. Bridge has written considerably for medical journals and somewhat for the lay press. He is the author of four modest books, three of collected essays and addresses: "The Penalties of Taste," "The Rewards of Taste," and "House-Health"; and "Tuberculosis," which is a re-cast of his college lectures on this subject.

Dr. and Mrs. Bridge visited Europe in 1889 and in 1896, and he alone went to London on a hurried business trip in April, 1906.

In his two earlier visits to Europe, he spent a part of his time in visiting the hospitals of Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Geneva, Strassburg, Heidelberg and Erlangen.

His vacations have consisted mostly in some varying of his activities, for he has, through life, been a constant debtor to the joy of work. He believes that, outside his regular vocation, every professional man should have some avocations that make him touch, in an intimate way, the non-professional world about him. His own early shortage in school education has encouraged a interest in schools in general. For some seventeen years he has been one of the Trustees of Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, and most of that time as Chairman of the Board. He has seen that institution grow from a small academy until it has now come to be a college of technology of the highest standard.

From January, 1906, to the present, Dr. Bridge has given a large part of his time to the oil and gas business, in association with Messrs. E. L. Doheny and Charles A. Canfield. He is now a Director and the Treasurer of several of the companies operating and interested in the gulf region of Mexico and in California, notably the Mexican Petroleum Company, Limited; the Mexican Petroleum Company, and the Huasteca Petroleum Company.

The business interests in Mexico have taken him often to that Republic, and he and his associates have many warm friends among Mexican citizens. They have for ten years conducted their business in harmony and amity with the government of Mexico and with its citizens both of the business and the working classes, for whom, and for the government, they have high respect.

Dr. Bridge belongs to several Scientific Societies, among them the "Association of American Physicians," the "American Climatological Association," of which he was one year President; the "American Academy of Medicine," the "Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters," the "Los Angeles Academy of Sciences," and the local, State and National Medical Associations. His clubs are the "Union League," "Hamilton," and "University," "Sierra Madre," "Athletic," and "Sunset" Clubs of Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Marilyn R. Pankey.
Source: Press Reference Library, Western Edition Notables of the West, Vol. I, Pages 21-22, International News Service, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta. 1913.
Family links: 
  James Madison Bridge (1816 - 1879)
  Nancy Ann Bridge (1818 - 1903)
  Mae Manford Bridge (1849 - 1926)
  Emily Bridge (____ - 1880)*
*Calculated relationship
Angelus Rosedale Cemetery
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Created by: Chloé
Record added: Apr 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68603198
Dr Norman Bridge
Added by: Arthur Allen "Art" Moore III
Dr Norman Bridge
Added by: Chloé
Dr Norman Bridge
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
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 Added: Feb. 26, 2012

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