Bullitt County History

Charles Preston Bradbury

The following tribute was published in The Pioneer News on 6 Feb 1964, and again the following week.

A Tribute To The Memory of
Charles Preston Bradbury

Written by
Stuyler M. Harris
of Mt. Washington, Ky.

Honorable Charles Preston Bradbury was born in Bullitt County, Kentucky, March 28, 1875.

Throughout his long life he was actively identified with the public affairs of his County, until his retirement.

Having been reared during the time of McGuffey's Readers, Ray's Mathematical Series, Harvey's and Butler's Grammars, and other good text books that were standard at that time, he laid the solid foundation for a good education, which he built upon until he acquired a splendid classical education, to which he added his law degree.

All of his attainments were used in the interest of the educational welfare and practice of the legal profession in Bullitt County. He taught school for eleven years, served as Superintendent of Schools for four years, County Attorney for twelve years, County Judge for nearly sixteen years and represented his legislative district in the General Assembly of Kentucky for two years -- total of forty-five years, which together with his private law practice enabled him to round out a long life of active service, until his forced retirement, because of ill health, some eight years ago.

His life was dedicated to the promotion of the public good in Bullitt County. He was untiring in his efforts, loyal to his friends, and in all of his laudable undertakings he demonstrated the courage of his convictions.

Throughout the years of his busy life he was blessed by having the sympathetic support of his good wife Mrs. Addie Lee Bradbury, and during the eight years of his retirement from active life, and confinement to his home in Hodgenville, Kentucky, she was ever by his side, nursing and caring for him as only a good companion knows how to do.

Judge Bradbury was blessed by having a good wife and two dutiful sons, Dr. J. W. Bradbury of Hodgenville, Kentucky, and Dr. Charles Bradbury, a Pharmacist of Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Judge Bradbury left his native County of Bullitt and moved to Hodgenville to be near his son, Dr. J. W. Bradbury, in order that the son cound have constant professional oversight over his, which with the excellent care and good nursing by Mrs. Bradbury, no doubt prolonged his life and contributed much to his comfort.

Death came to him on January 23, 1964. His remains were brought back to his native Bullitt County. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Bruce Hartsell, in First Baptist Church, Shepherdsville, Kentucky, in which body he held membership for many years. Masonic services, under the auspices of Bullitt Lodge No. 155, F. & A. M., in which lodge he had held membership for longer than 50 years, were conducted at grave side, in Hebron Cemetery, in his native County, where he rests to await the resurrection of the just.

Peace to his memory. May the sprig of acacia flourish over his grave.

Also, Sandra K. Gorin transcribed the following biography from History of Kentucky, The Blue Grass State, Volume III Illustrated; published by the S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago – Louisville, 1928. It is included her with her permission.


One of the most prominent members of the legal profession in Bullitt county is Charles Preston Bradbury, who has not only been eminently successful in the practice of law, but has also filled a number of public positions with ability and great credit to himself. Mr. Bradbury is a native of Bullitt county, born on the 28th of March, 1875, and is a son of John J. and Frances (Mathis) Bradbury. His father, who was born in Jefferson county, this state, July 9, 1834, and died in Shepherdsville, February 22, 1916, was a farmer by vocation, a democrat in his political views and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, of which he was a steward for a number of years. His parents were Henry and Sarah (Brinley) Bradbury, the former a native of Liverpool, England, whence he came to Jefferson county, Kentucky, where his death occurred. He was a school teacher and an author, gave his political support to the democratic party and held to the faith of the Baptist church. His wife was born and died in Jefferson county, Kentucky. Frances Mathis was born in Bullitt county, January 1, 1843, and is now living in Mt. Washington, Kentucky. She is a daughter of George and Julia (Weller) Mathis, of whom the former was born in Kentucky, of German descent, and died in Bullitt county in 1854. He devoted his life to farming, was an active member of the Lutheran church and supported the democratic party. His wife was a native of Bullitt county, where her death occurred.

Charles P. Bradbury attended the public schools of Shepherdsville and entered the National Normal University, at Lebanon, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1898. He studied law in the University of Louisville, where he took a two-year course in one year, was admitted to the bar in 1903 and at once returned to Shepherdsville, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession, in which he has gained a high reputation as a skilled and a capable lawyer.

On July 15, 1903, in Shepherdsville, Mr. Bradbury was united in marriage to Miss Addie Jenette Lee, who was born near Lebanon Junction, Bullitt county, August 2, 1881, and is a daughter of William Thomas and Sarah (Atcher) Lee. Her father was a native of Bullitt county and died at Shepherdsville, January 12, 1917. He was a farmer and stock dealer by vocation, was a member of the Baptist church, and was active in democratic party politics, having served many years as a member of the county executive committee. He was a son of Orleans and Elizabeth (Cundiff) Lee, both of whom were born and died in Bullitt county, where the father had devoted his life to farming. They were members of the Baptist church and Mr. Lee gave his political support to the democratic party. His father, William Lee, was a relative of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Mrs. Bradbury attended the public schools of Shepherdsville and an academy at Glasgow, Kentucky. She is a member of the Baptist church and Star of Hope Chapter, O. E. S. Mr. and Mrs. Bradbury are the parents of two children. Charles Lee, born May 20, 1906, graduated from the Shepherdsville high school in 1923, and is now a senior in Georgetown College. He was a member of the all-state basketball team, chosen at the state tournament at Winchester, Kentucky, and at the basketball tournament of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, held at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1927, he was chosen on the all-southern team. John W., born October 15, 1910, is a junior in the Shepherdsville high school and is also prominent in athletics.

Mr. Bradbury has been a lifelong supporter of the democratic party and has been prominent and active in the public affairs of his home county. He served as county superintendent of schools four years, from 1902 to 1906, when he was elected county attorney, in which position he served until 1918, a period of twelve years. He was elected to the bench of the county court, which he occupied from 1918 to 1922, and during the incumbency of Circuit Judge D. A. McCandless he served eight years as master commissioner of Bullitt county. Since January, 1926, Mr. Bradbury has been mayor of Shepherdsville. He was for a number of years chairman of the democratic executive committee of Bullitt county and he is now serving his second term in that office since 1922. For the past twenty years he has served as attorney for the People’s Bank. During the World war he was a member of the legal advisory board and aided in every possible way to advance the Liberty Loan and Red Cross drives in this county. He is an earnest member of the Baptist church and belongs to the Commercial Club. Fraternally he is a member of Bullitt Lodge, No. 155, A. F. & A. M., Lebanon Junction Chapter, No. 44, R. A. M., and Marion Commandery, No. 24 K. T., at Lebanon. As a diversion from his professional duties, Mr. Bradbury looks after the cultivation of his splendid farm of two hundred and sixty acres, near Shepherdsville. A man of sterling integrity and upright life, courteous and friendly in his social relations, and standing consistently for all that is best in the life of the community, he has long commanded the sincere respect and confidence of his fellowmen and is regarded as one of the representative citizens of Bullitt county.

If you, the reader, have an interest in any particular part of our county history, and wish to contribute to this effort, use the form on our Contact Us page to send us your comments about this, or any Bullitt County History page. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you feel that we have misspoken at any point, please feel free to point this out to us.

The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available by calling 502-921-0161 during our regular weekday hours. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 12 Jan 2024 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/cpbradbury.html