In the process of doing my family tree, I found this information reguarding my great uncle's life and death.
CHARLES E. BRADSHAW Sr.
November 5, 1923 - May 17, 2007
by Dr. David Hopkins
Charles E. Bradshaw, Sr., was born on November 5, 1923, in Darlington, South Carolina, to Charlie and Lydia Bradshaw. He grew up in Darlington, attended the public school there until the age of 17, and enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1941 before finishing high school. His other brothers had joined the Army, so he decided to do the same. The only problem was his age, and when they found out he was only 17, he was dismissed, only to be drafted a few months later in April 1943.
After a tour of duty in the Army until 1946, in the summer of 1947 he and his bride, Evelyn, moved to Franklin Springs, Georgia, to attend Emmanuel Academy, where he finished his high school education and two years of college. He graduated from Emmanuel College in 1950 and continued his education at High Point College in North Carolina where he graduated with the bachelor of science degree in history in 1952.
Woodard G. Drum, president of Emmanuel College, heard that Charles had completed his degree and invited him to return to Emmanuel to teach and be the dean of men. He agreed and came in 1952 until 1955, when he was invited to become the superintendent of Falcon Children’s Home in Falcon, North Carolina.
As usual, Charles Bradshaw accepted the challenge of building a new campus for the orphanage, and in seven years (1955-1962) there were constructed a new administration building, three residence buildings for the children, and a new recreational complex, including a swimming pool. Falcon Children’s Home still stands as a tremendous tribute to the courage, determination, and skills of Charles and Evelyn Bradshaw. During that time he also served as mayor of Falcon for four years.
In 1961, following the resignation of Dallas M. Tarkenton, Sr., as the general administrator of Advocate Press in Franklin Springs, Georgia, Charles was asked to move back to Northeast Georgia to take that position. He reluctantly accepted the job and had several projects to complete in Falcon before moving, so for about six months he held both jobs as superintendent of the children’s home and administrator of Advocate Press. The transition was finally completed in 1962.
Since the Advocate Press building on Highway 29 had just been constructed in 1959, there was much to be done to continue the progress of the operation, and between 1961 and 1973 Charles Bradshaw directed many improvements in the building and the business. His expertise in construction also brought his involvement in helping transform the cotton fields of Franklin Springs into housing developments and paved streets. On property behind Advocate Press purchased by the Pentecostal Holiness Church he directed the development of a new street (Franklin Heights Drive) parallel to Highway 29, and a number of beautiful homes for general officials of the Church were built on the block.
From 1969 to 1973 he also was elected by the Pentecostal Holiness Church to serve as general secretary of the denomination. With a change in the General Executive Board of the Pentecostal Holiness Church in 1973, he decided to resign as the general administrator of Advocate Press and pursue other business interests.
Charles Bradshaw has always had a heart for missions, so from 1973 to 1977 he formed the Must-Share Corporation to raise funds to assist the missionaries in India primarily, where, to help Reverend J. M. Turner, he was instrumental in building an elementary school, a 90-student dormitory in memory of his mother, and the T. O. Evans Chapel in Giridih, India, named after his former South Carolina Conference superintendent. In addition, he began a program whereby churches and families in the United States could sponsor children in India on a monthly basis; this later became the official “People-to-People” ministry promoted by the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.
By 1977 Charles Bradshaw had developed several businesses in Northeast Georgia in addition to personally promoting world missions projects, and when he was asked to return to Advocate Press as general administrator, he at first said “No,” but his concern for the business and the employees brought him back to that position from 1977 to 1991. Once again during this time-period, a number of improvements were implemented and the building expanded.
Upon his return to Franklin Springs in 1962, Charles immediately began to be involved in improving the community. His first tenure as mayor of Franklin Springs began in 1963 and continued until 1973. After a two-year rest he was re-elected to the office in 1975 and remained as mayor until 1993, when he tried to retire. At the same time he was serving as an officer of the Royston/Franklin Springs Chamber of Commerce (president for three terms), as a charter member of the Royston/Franklin Springs Rotary Club, and for 32 year as a member of the Board of Directors of Tri-County/Pinnacle Bank. He is held in such high esteem by the citizens of Royston, an annual award given to a worthy recipient is named “The Charles E. Bradshaw Citizen of the Year Award.”
As if all this activity wasn’t enough, for many years Charles Bradshaw served on the Board of Education of Emmanuel College, and for 22 of those years (1978-2000) he was the chairman, working with Presidents C. Y. Melton and David R. Hopkins to move Emmanuel ahead. Many of the cornerstones on campus buildings bear the name of Charles Bradshaw as the building contractor, and his crowning achievement as mayor of Franklin Springs was the completion of the Swails Center and the Charles E. Bradshaw Pedestrian Bridge across Highway 29 linking the main college campus with the Swails Center.
Encouraged by his friends to come out of retirement one more time, in 1998 Charles Bradshaw was elected to his third separate tenure as mayor and served until 2002, when Brian James took his place. It would be an understatement to say that Franklin Springs would not be the beautiful, growing, exceptional community it is today without the vision, tenacity, and leadership Charles Bradshaw provided for many years.
Mr. Bradshaw’s funeral was held in the John W. Swails Center on Sunday, May 20, 2007, at 2:00 p.m. Presiding ministers were Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr., Mr. Harrell Queen, Dr. David Hopkins, Bishop Leon Stewart, and Rev. Harrison Lampley. The graveside service was held at the Franklin Springs Cemetery with Bishop James D. Leggett and Rev. Harrison Lampley presiding. Memorial contributions may be made to: Charles E. Bradshaw Scholarship, c/o Emmanuel College, P.O. Box 129, Franklin Springs, Georgia 30639.