James H. Brady was born on June 12, 1862 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the State Normal College in Kansas. He taught school for 3 years, studied law, was a newspaper editor and was interested in the real estate business. He came to Idaho in 1895 and eventually started a power company, the Idaho Consolidated Power Company, now known as Idaho Power Company.
He was Idaho’s governor from 1909 to 1911 and served as US Senator from Idaho in 1913 to fill a vacancy left when Senator Heyburn died in office. He was re-elected in 1914 and served until his death on January 13, 1918.
The Brady Chapel
Senator James Brady’s family had the chapel constructed to contain his ashes and as a memorial to the Senator’s high office and personal worth.
About the chapel:
- The Brady Chapel was designed by architect Frank Paradice, Jr. in the French Gothic style. The contractor was Alex Mathers. The stained glass windows were designed by Herman Pierson.
- The construction of the Chapel took over 3 years, from 1919-1922, and was constructed primarily of hand-carved Indiana limestone with turned pinnacles at a cost of $30,000.
- The Chapel was dedicated on Memorial Day 1922, the same day as the Lincoln Memorial dedication.
After Irene Brady’s Passing
Mrs. Irene Brady died in 1959. At that time, Senator Brady’s ashes were removed from the chapel and interred with Mrs. Brady’s in a plot directly behind the chapel. The Senator’s and Mrs. Brady’s two sons, J. Robb Brady and S.E. Brady are also interred behind the chapel.
In 1961, the doors to the chapel were locked and it was used for storage. All but 3 of the original pews were auctioned off. It was listed on the National Register in 1979.