Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM BRADLEY is one of the
well known pioneer citizens of Sprague. At the present time he holds
a responsible position on the Idaho division of the Northern Pacific.
He has risen to this position and held it for many years by reason of real
worth and ability. An account of his life will be interesting and
encouraging to many who are laboring to obtain success and it is with pleasure
that we append the same.
William Bradley was born in Ireland, in 1859,
the son of William and Mary (Feeley) Bradley, both natives of the Emerald
Isle, where also they remained until the time of their death. The
common schools of his native country furnished the educational training
for young Bradley and when twenty he started for the New World, sailing
for New York where he arrived in due time. After three months in
that metropolis, he came on to Minnesota where he worked on the Northern
Pacific. He was in the construction department for three years and
in the spring of 1883, came to Sprague, taking a position in the same department
and on the same road. For three months, he was an ordinary hand on
the section, then was promoted to the position of section foreman.
For six years he faithfully discharged the duties of that position before
the next step of promotion came and during this time as during all the
years of his service for the company, he had been making an especial study
of everything connected with the construction department of the railroad.
There was no detail too small to escape his notice nor was there any problem
too great but that he ultimately solved it and the result was that when
he was fully competent for his promotion, he was called to take up the
responsible and important position of road master. He was duly installed
in this position and since that time, has continuously served on the Great
Northern Pacific railroad with ability and execution that have made him
a very important factor on this division. Mr. Bradley has not only
displayed a thorough knowledge of everything connected with his department
but is also well acquainted with the railroad in general. In addition
to the happy faculty of handling men to the best advantage, he is a man
of excellent judgment and very keen in observation. Very nearly a
quarter of a century has elapsed since he first entered the employ of the
Northern Pacific railroad and he is practically the only one of the old
railroad men with the company now who were here with them when he came
to Sprague. It is not merely chance that Mr. Bradley has won and
held the position that he occupies but it is the result of painstaking
labor and stanch attention to business in every detail and those who would
emulate such a career must banish the idea from the mind forever that it
is "luck" and a "pull" that bring success in the industrial world.
On the contrary it is merit and ability and a man who is handling large
interests today, learned yesterday to care for every detail of the affairs
that were under his supervision however small they might be. All
of which is proof of the old proverb, "He that is faithful in the least
is faithful in much."
On November 6, 1894, Mr. Bradley married Miss
Mamie, daughter of Frank and Helen (Morey) Wilcox, the wedding occurring
in Sprague. The father was born in Wisconsin, followed merchandising,
and now lives in Portland. The mother died in Portland a number of
years ago. Mrs. Bradley has the following brothers and sisters, Guy
R., Paul D., Gertrude, Elmer. Mr. Bradley was one of a family of
five children, those besides himself being, James, Robert, Mrs. Norah Finan,
and Mrs. Annie Mahoney.
Mr. and Mrs. Bradley are both members of the
Catholic church and are devoted and substantial people. They own
a handsome brick residence on the top of the hill near the Catholic church
in Sprague and the grounds are beautifully laid out and supplied with lawn,
flowers, shrubbery, trees and so forth. Mr. Bradley also owns a half-section
of wheat land which is well improved and the land rented. He came
here with no capital and is now a man of means.
To Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, three children have
been born, Robert, Marie, and Loretta, all at home and attending school.