Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ken Bradbury  

Pen Name: Freida Marie Crump

Genre: Fiction History

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1955 in Quincy, Illinois

Died: 2018 in Springfield, Illinois


-- Website -- http://www.creativeideas.com
-- Wikipedia -- https://www.facebook.com/ken.bradbury.90
-- Ken Bradbury on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ken+bradbury


Illinois Connection

Bradbury was born in Quincy. He was raised in Perry and adopted Arenzville as his “other” hometown. Ken was a 1967 graduate of Perry High School and graduated in 1971 from Illinois College in Jacksonville.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ken Bradbury attended Illinois College, where he was a member of Pi Pi Rho Literary Society. He taught at Triopia Jr. Sr. High School in Concord Illinois for 35 years and was the founding director of the Green Pastures Camp for the Performing Arts, which hosted over 400 students each summer for over 30 years. After retiring from Triopia schools, Ken played the piano on the Spirit of Peoria Riverboat on the Illinois River and served as an adjunct professor of theatre for Lincoln Land Community College.

Throughout his life, Ken was a prolific playwright with over 300 published plays and musicals. He wrote and directed dozens of plays to sold out crowds in Concord and throughout the region. His works included biographical plays about people like Abraham Lincoln, Robert Earl Hughes, and Vachel Lindsey as well as area histories, which he brought to life by working with local casts intimately acquainted with the area. Ken also thrilled audiences by occasionally gracing the stage himself. Along with co-author Robert Crowe, Bradbury won the Lincoln Library Award for the play “The Shadow of Giants.”

In addition to being a popular playwright, Ken wrote two newspaper columns that ran in 14 papers - one being the Associated Press award-winning ''The Coonridge Digest''. The column was a weekly observation of Freida Marie Crump, news correspondent from fictional Coonridge, Illinois. He also authored seven books. He was the most published author of speech and forensic material for school speech competitions in the United States.

Besides his writing accomplishments, Ken earned several awards throughout his lifetime. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from MacMurray College and a Doctor of Arts from Illinois College. He received the Friend of the Arts Award from WIU, the best humor column by the Associated Press, the McGaw Citation for Excellence from Illinois College, the Studs Turkel Humanities Award by the Illinois Arts Council, and the WICS Golden Apple Award. He was named the Outstanding Teacher of the Year by Eastern Illinois University and was inducted into the Jacksonville Hall of Fame.


Published Works

  • Vaudeville's My Home, Eldridge Publishing, 1974
  • The Coonridge Digest, Consortium Publishing Company , 1994 - Written under the pen name Freida Marie Crump
  • The Coonridge Digest Around the World with Freida Marie Crump, Creative Ideas Press, 1997
  • The Coonridge Devotions, Consortium Publishing Company, 2001
  • Homerville, Consortium Publishing Company, 2005


Selected Titles At Your Library

The Coonridge digest /
ISBN: 0964468107. OCLC Number:

Consortium,. Jacksonville, IL :. ©1994.

Around the world with Freida Marie Crump :
ISBN: 0964468123. OCLC Number:

[publisher not identified],. [United States?] :. [1997]

Freida Marie Crump and her husband, Herb describe their around the world adventure. They travel to Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, London, Wales, Scotland, Russia, Alaska, Ireland, Paris, the Caribbean, Switzerland, and Coonridge, Illinois.

Coonridge devotions /
ISBN: 0970717334. OCLC Number:

Consortium,. Jacksonville, Ill. :. ©2001.

Homerville /
ISBN: 0974883018. OCLC Number:

Consortium Publishing,. Jacksonville, IL :. ©2005.