MC 00028 Guide to the Earley W. Bridges Papers, 1917 - 1967
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Bridges, Earley Winfred, 1894-1974
0.25 Linear feet 1 half-box
General Physical Description note
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Gift from Earley W. Bridges, September 1968 (Accession no. 1968-0007) and April 1969 (Accession no. 1969-0010).
Processed by: Jennifer McElroy;machine-readable finding aid created by: Jennifer McElroy
The Earley W. Bridges Papers are comprised of photocopies of newspaper clippings, periodicals, a pamphlet, and reports. These materials relate generally to Masonic activities or organizations, with the majority focusing on the Greensboro Masonic Museum and the Masonic Fellowship Club of Greensboro, North Carolina. Also included in the collection are photocopies of poems written by Mr. Bridges between 1917 and 1918 while he was stationed at Camp Sevier in Greenville, South Carolina. The papers date from 1917 to 1967.
Earley Winfred Bridges was born on August 18, 1894 in Franklin County, North Carolina. The son of John Joseph and Ida Lorena Carroll Bridges, he had twelve siblings, including William Stanley Bridges, a member of North Carolina State University's mechanical engineering faculty for forty-two years, and Henry L. Bridges, who was North Carolina State Auditor from 1947 until 1981. The Bridges family moved to Wakefield, North Carolina, in 1909 and Earley worked on the dairy and truck farm his father helped operate.
In the spring of 1917, Bridges enlisted as a private in Company B of the 3rd North Carolina Regiment of the National Guard. His company was called up for active duty and he trained in Raleigh before heading to Camp Sevier in Greenville, South Carolina. Bridges sailed to France in May 1918 and began serving in the front-line trenches. On September 29, 1918, during the offensive which broke the Hindenburg line, Bridges was wounded. Several months later, the wounds on his right leg necessitated amputation. For his service and injuries in the first World War, Bridges earned four medals: the Purple Heart, a Victory medal, the North Carolina medal, and the Daughters of the Confederacy's Cross of Military Service.
Bridges was discharged from the army in November 1919 and enrolled in North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University) the next month. He received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1924, and did graduate work from September 1924 until June 1925. Bridges then worked as a high school teacher in Florida for one school year before moving to Greensboro, North Carolina, where he was employed by the Dixie Fire Insurance Company as a bookkeeper until 1930. He married Emily Lena Smith on August 4, 1928.
Throughout his life, Bridges was extremely active in the Masons. He was initiated into the Greensboro Lodge #76 in 1930 and held several offices in the Lodge, including Master and Treasurer. Bridges had a particular interest in Masonic history and, after the creation of the Greensboro Masonic Museum in 1932, he was elected its first curator and librarian. In 1933 he was also elected to the position of lodge historian. Bridges also wrote a number of books and pamphlets about freemasonry and elements of Masonic history. Among the titles are The Masonic Governors of North Carolina and Tokens: A Composite And Critical Study of a Great and Important Masonic Subject . He also produced the histories of several chapters or lodges, including: Greensboro Lodge No. 76, Chorizon Chapter No. 13, Ivanhoe Commandery No. 8, and Tabasco Lodge No. 271. Bridges received the Joseph Montfort Medal for Distinguished Masonic service in 1966.
Earley W. Bridges died on Oct. 17, 1974.
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[Identification of item], Earley W. Bridges Papers, MC 28, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC
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