Poison Is Fatal To Jack Bradley
Well Known Wag and Joker Dies At Joseph—–No Relatives Found
Jack Bradley died last Friday night in the Sheets hotel at Joseph, after taking laudanum. He had been drinking heavily a day or so and was taken to the hotel by the authorities. A four-ounce bottle labeled laudanum was found after his death.
Burial was in the Prairie creek cemetery on Monday. J.T. Reach, the Joseph undertaker, telephoned and telegraphed to a number of cities in the west, trying to locate a brother reported to be somewhere in this part of the country. His quest was fruitless and not a relative could be found to attend the burial.
Bradley was about 49 years old and had lived in the county some 10 years, making his home at Zumwalt. He herded sheep and worked on ranches and had acquired some property and had money.
In many respects Bradley was an interesting character. He had a droll sense of humor that always made him worth watching and talking to. Knowing several sleight of hand tricks, he practiced them on his associates from time to time to their utter bewilderment, drawing gold pieces and large bills from pockets, and making way with coins right before one’s eyes.
But he created a greater stir by some of the hoaxes he perpetrated. He would tell the wildest yarns with so straight a face that his listeners could not help believing them. Some months ago he carried the startling news to Zumwalt that Japan had declared war against the United States and that an army under the Mikado’s banners had landed in California. C.H. Procter was so wrought up by the narrative that he started on foot to Enterprise, to enlist to defend his country. He got half way to town before he learned it was all a hoax.
A month ago two wild stories were set going in this city, one to the effect that a well known rancher in the hills had been killed by a young man living near. The other had it that an Alder Slope farmer had been killed by lightning. As the stories passed from mouth to mouth, everybody accepted them and a number of friends of the Alder Slope family drove out there to offer assistance and condolences.
When asked what he knew about these incidents, Bradley said he had heard of them too, and he guessed they must be true. Then he started in enlarging on the details of streaks of lightning on the slope, until he had woven a fairy tale beyond anybody’s belief.
Bradley was a wanderer, a man with generous impulses, who won and held friends’ despite his waywardness. He had read much when younger and had a real appreciation of good literature and of the better things in life.
Source: Enterprise Record Chieftain, Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon, Thursday, September 4, 1913.
Contributor: Sue Wells