Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Final Resting Place Of Edward Bredell, Jr.

Before we get to the end of the 1876 season, I need to clear some stuff out of my inbox.

One of the best things about running this site is that I get to meet all kinds of interesting folks who share with me a passion for the history of St. Louis and 19th century baseball. I'm blessed in that I get to have interesting conversations about subjects that I love with very knowledgeable people. I learn a great deal from these conversations and am thankful for the time and effort that these folks spend helping me. Plus, they always send me really neat stuff.

One of the people that I've gotten to talk to recently is Carolyn Willmore, who is an expert on the history of Lafayette Park and who is currently writing a book on the subject that I'm looking forward to reading. Carolyn was kind enough to pass along a great deal of information about the park as it relates to the history of antebellum baseball in St. Louis. I'm going to share some of that information with you over the next couple of days.

One of the things Carolyn passed along helped answer a question that I had been pondering for a couple of years. The following comes from a book called Lafayette Square, the Most Significant Old Neighborhood in St. Louis by John Albury Bryan (self-published, November 15, 1962):

One of the saddest events in the Lafayette Square neighborhood in connection with the War was the death of young Captain Edward Bredell, Jr. who was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg. He had enlisted in the Confederate Army at the beginning of the War, at the age of 22. Being an only son, his distraught parents had his body brought home and buried in the flower garden at the back of their home on Lafayette Avenue (where Simpson Place now opens off the Avenue.) Then in 1871, after neighbors began building closer to the Bredell homestand, his parents had the body removed to Bellfontaine Cemetary. In 1881, when the Lafayette Park Presbyterian Church was built at the southwest corner of Missouri Avenue and Albion Place, a large memorial window was placed in the north wall of the auditorium in honor of young Bredell, since his father was a Trustee and Ruling Elder of that Church. Fortunately the father was spared the agony of seeing his Church very badly damaged by the cyclone of May, 1896, for his death occurred in March of that Year. Mrs. Bredell died in 1887.

While the Bryan source gets some information wrong about Bredell's Civil War service, the information about his remains being removed to Bellfontaine Cemetery was new to me. I knew that Bredell's body was no longer in the Lafayette Square neighborhood but I didn't know where he was finally laid to rest. Now we know and the pictures at the top of the post are of Bredell's grave at Bellfontaine Cemetery and can be found at Find A Grave.

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