Biography of Philip Brady

For many years Philip Brady has been one of the most active figures the industrial, political and journalistic fields of Rhode Island has known. His career is illustrative of an unusual versatility of accomplishment, for in each of the occupations he has from time to time followed he has become favorably conspicuous and has made many friends through his contributions to the general public welfare and instruction. His wide experience covers a period of half a century in Bristol, where he has lived since his birth. He has been frequently called to public office and in each instance has acquitted himself with credit and fully justified the confidence reposed in him by the people.

He was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, October 25, 1863, a son of Hugh, a native of Ireland, who was engaged here in the mason’s trade until his death; and Mary (Quinn) Brady, also a native of Ireland, now deceased. He was educated in the public schools and by private tutors, and upon completing his studies he became associated with the National Rubber Company here, for which corporation he worked twelve years. For several years following, he engaged in the grocery business in Bristol, and while thus engaged was the local correspondent of the “Providence Telegram.” This led to his association with the “Bristol Phoenix,” with which he was affiliated until 1904, after which he was elected to the position of secretary of the Bristol School Committee, a post he filled until 1913. He then became local correspondent of the “Providence Tribune” and continued so for four years, resigning in order to accept the post of probation officer, in which he served until 1927, afterward returning to his association with the “Phoenix,” with which publication he still remains. He also contributes articles to a number of yachting magazines and does considerable feature and personal writing. Mr. Brady is a baseball enthusiast when seeking recreation. He is independent in his political views and has held a number of town and State public offices, among them being: truant officer for seven years, overseer of the poor from 1900 to 1911, and two years, 1910-1911, he served as president of the Overseers of the Poor of the State of Rhode Island. Since 1906 he has been secretary of the Bristol Veteran Firemen’s Association; has served as tax assessor and as clerk of the Tax Board; president of the Rhode Island Tax Officials’ Association; justice of the peace for the fifth district since 1914; bail commissioner for the Superior Court since 1916. He was unanimously elected by the Rhode Island State Legislature as Clerk of the Superior Court for Bristol County in March, 1930. On the occasion of his election to this office the “Providence Evening Bulletin” printed the following favorable comment:

When the General Assembly filled the post of Assistant Clerk of the Providence and Bristol Counties Superior Court this week unanimously elected Philip Brady of Bristol, it didn’t exactly make history but it did do an unusual thing.

For it is rarely indeed when a State office is to be filled that a man elected is the choice of both parties and that not a single vote is cast against him.

The Assembly’s action is a tribute to Mr. Brady’s popularity—a popularity, incidentally, that is not based upon back-slapping or gladhanding, but upon the much sounder foundation of confidence and respect. Mr. Brady has filled a variety of State and town offices in Bristol in the course of his long career and has shown himself always a courteous, conscientious and intelligent public servant. His record merits the honor the Assembly has paid him.

From 1896 to 1899 Philip Brady held the commission of a first lieutenant in the 2d Regiment, Rhode Island National Guard, serving as regimental quartermaster on the staff of the commanding officer. He is a Roman Catholic in religion. He married, in 1914, Ellen F. Cronan, of Providence.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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