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Bracken Family

William Kerrick Bracken (1865-1947) was a Bloomington lawyer and Lincoln historian. At his death, his collection of Lincoln books was estimated at 900 volumes, as well as photographs, two original Lincoln letters, and other rare documents. His historical interest included George Washington, and his collection included several volumes of research.

William Bracken was born in Brookville, Indiana (September 14, 1865). After teaching in a rural school, he entered Illinois Wesleyan University as a law student, graduating in 1895. He established a law office with T. C. Kerrick that same year, which he maintained until his death. He married Grace Funk in 1896. He was a prominent railroad attorney, a member of the McLean County and State of Illinois bar associations, and Rotary Club. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the First Methodist Church. He died December 10, 1947.

His son Dwight Bracken (1897-1980) graduated from University High School (1916) and the University of Illinois. He received a master's degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1924. He married Waneta Guttery in 1925. He worked much of his life in employment and placement services associated with the YMCA and universities. After returning to Bloomington, he worked in life insurance companies, employment services, and public relations. He was curator for the McLean County Historical Museum.

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