Claude Bragdon: His Work in Rochester

Early Life and Schooling

Claude Fayette Bragdon was born August 1, 1866 in Oberlin, Ohio, but he moved soon afterwards to Adams, New York, where his father worked at the time. His parents were George Chandler Bragdon and Katherine Elmina Shipherd. George Bragdon was a newspaper editor and poet who moved from town to town in his attempts to publish his own newspapers. He was also a devotee of Theosophy, an outlook on life that combined Transcendentalism with Buddhist and Hindu thought. George Bragdon's theories were destined to greatly influence his son.

Claude's mother was the daughter of a Congregational minister. She was also the niece of one of the founders of Oberlin College. She was a teacher and editor in her own right. Claude also had a sister, May (1865-1947), with whom he maintained a close relationship throughout his life.

Young Claude attended school in various towns due to the itinerant nature of his father's work. He lived in Watertown, then moved to Dansville (in 1877), and Oswego (in 1880). He graduated from Oswego in 1884 and then moved with his family to Rochester, where he attended a few more classes.

"My graduation from the Oswego High School marked the end of my formal education except for a few additional months in the Rochester High School. My father was too poor to send me to college, and having so early discovered and developed a talent for drawing, I was eager to exercise it in some new and more profitable field."

Page 28, More Lives Than One, By Claude Bragdon

In Rochester, he began his architectural career.

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