State Representative Doc Richard Brydon
Essex Citizen from 1908 - 1912 - Founder of Essex Leader Newspaper
Doc Brydon was born in Hamilton County, Illinois on February 22, 1881. His father, Benjamin F. Brydon, was originally a farmer from Kentucky before removing his family to Illinois in 1870. In 1891 he moved the family to an uncut tract of bottomland near Aid and built a successful farm. Benjamin married Doc's mother, Emily Oldham (born in Kentucky in 1840) and the two had ten children (one died at birth).
Doc Brydon attended public school and after graduating from Bloomfield High School, began teaching for four years. After teaching he moved to Puxico and bought the Puxico Index newspaper. In 1902 he married Maud (Walker) of Bloomfield, daughter of Van W. Walker. From 1903 to 1908 he was editor and publisher of the Puxico newspaper and served a stint as mayor, before moving to Essex in 1908 where he established the Essex Leader on May first of that year.
He leased the Essex newspaper to George Cross in 1912.
Doc Brydon was 29 years old when he ran and won a seat at the state assembly (Democrat) representing Stoddard County in 1910.
From 1910 to 1914 he served in the state legislature (where he became secretary of the Democratic State Committee), afterwards he was a clerk in the office of the State Auditor and in 1916 he announced his bid for secretary of the Senate.
During his time in the state legislature, he sponsored legislation which resulted in the organization of drainage and levee districts in Southeast Missouri. He was a ranking member of the committee on swamps, lands, and levees; a member of public schools committee and text books; a member of the state printing committee, and a member of the committee on eleemosynary (charitable) institutions. He lived with his family when not in session in Jefferson City, four miles north of Bloomfield.
Doc Richard Brydon
In 1913, Brydon served on the textbook committee in the state legislature and pushed for uniform textbooks in Missouri schools.
He was appointed supervisor of land reclamation in 1915 and served in that position until 1919 when he bought the Bloomfield Vindicator.
In 1927 Brydon along with his son, Blan, sold the Vindicator to Frank A. Brannock. Brydon left the Vindicator to accept a position with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At some point he moved to Bloomfield, and then in 1936, moved back to St. Louis.
He made another bid and won a seat in the state legislature in 1950, but soon resigned because of his failing health. He had three children, Bland Brydon of Jefferson City, Donald Brydon of Detroit (later NYC), and Miss Velva Brydon of St. Louis. He passed away on September 18, 1951.