The Bugle - In making the community aware of the Woodstock's important heritage. The Bugle will highlight one of the town's mayors each week. This one was was published October 24, 2001
A 24-year stint by Lewis P. Fisher as Woodstock's first mayor would have been a hard act to follow, but residents of the first incorporated town in New Brunswick felt that long-time councilor Frederick T. Bridges would prove a worthy successor.
When Fisher resigned after 23 consecutive years as an incumbent and 24 years in office, the mayoral seat sat empty, until the 38 year old Bridges was elected to the mayoralty by a "handsome majority" in early March 1880.
In announcing the election results on March 13, 1880, a local newspaper wrote: "He (Bridges) may expect close criticism, but at the same time a candid support, in all wise judgements, by his constituents. Mr. Bridges has, by a pretty long service as councilor, fairly "won his spurs" and this may prove an incentive to young men to aspire to the honur and prepare themselves to fill creditably the higher positions; a the same time electors may keep in mind that, in their selection of counsillors, they should try and provide suitable elements for future mayors."
Bridges came to Woodstock in the mid-1860's after establishing himself as a popular watchmaker in Saint John. Once in the Shiretown, Bridges continued the occupation of watchmaker, while also becoming a dealer of silverware and jewelry, and interested himself in farming.
Eight months into his term as Mayor of Woodstock. The prominent member of the Masonic Order ' fell victim to consumption' in his residence on the afternoon of November 11, 1880. His funeral was held on the following Sabbath with Masonic honours. He was survived by a wife and three children.
The obituary in the newspaper of the day read as follows: "it is with no ordinary feelings of regret that we are called upon to record the death of Mayor Bridges, which event took place at his residence on Thursday afternoon. Mr. Bridges had filled the office of town councilor for many years, discharging it's duties faithfully. In March last he was elected mayor, and, so far as his health permitted, had performed the functions of that office well. As a citizen, he was universally respected. To lament the loss of a kind and affectionate husband and father, he leaves a wife and three children who are the subjects of sympathy of the community in this time of their heavy bereavement."