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J. W. Bradley

Joseph William Bradley was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania on March 30, 1887. He came out West as a young man and took a job in the offices of the Copper Queen mine in Bisbee, Arizona in 1912. He was transferred to Mexico, but had to be evacuated three times in two years because of threats from Poncho Villa (who murdered over 200 American mining men during the Mexican Revolution). In 1918 he married Elizabeth M., and they remained married until sometime after 1930, when he married Lucile.

Returning permanently to the United States in 1928, Bradley took a position as Secretary for the United Eastern Mining Company in Oatman, Arizona. He spent the rest of his professional career with two large mining companies, the Mudd-Wiseman Enterprises and the Goldfields of South Africa Corporation, which operated the Golden Queen mine in Mojave County from 1935 to 1944. He retired in 1946 because of an outbreak of cancer.

Bradley and his second wife, Vera Lucile (born August 11, 1906), opened the mineral business known as "The Bradleys" in Los Angeles, California on October 1, 1947. They got their start by purchasing the stock of the Tucson, Arizona mineral dealer Hugo Wiener (1888-1947) following his death and ran their first ad in Rocks & Minerals in November 1947. They operated from their shop on Budlong Avenue in Los Angeles until November or December of 1951, when they moved to a new location on Crenshaw Boulevard. He died at his home in Los Angeles on August 20, 1956, after 12 years of suffering due to bone cancer; his wife continued the business for some years thereafter, with the help of Leonard Bourget.

"The Bradley's" last ad appeared in January-February 1958, announcing the acquisition of the Cunningham collection of old-time Bisbee specimens. M.J. "Mike" Cunningham, known as "Mischievious Mike," was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his aunt, Nellie Cashman, in Tombstone, Arizona, in the 1880's. By 1930 he was among the most influential citizens of Cochise County, occupying the position of President of the Bank of Bisbee and the Bank of Lowell.

Lucile Bradley and Leonard Bourget purchased the collection of Dr. Percy A. Foster together in 1966-1967, indicating that she remained in business at least through that time. She later retired to Arkansas, where she died on May 21, 1994

Bradley's personal collection labels, marked only "J.W. Bradley," probably predate the opening of their business in 1947. Other than those, the earliest labels are probably the ones without an address and with "The Bradleys" in quotation marks (we have one inscribed "Exch. 1948"). These must date to the first few years of the business, 1947-1949. Next come the labels with the Budlong address, ca. 1950-1951. And finally the labels with the Crenshaw address, ca. 1952-1968.

ZODAC, P. (1956) Memorial of Joseph William Bradley. Rocks & Minerals, 31 (11-12), 621.
CLUM, J.P. (1931) Nellie Cashman, the Angel of Tombstone: A modest tribute to the memory of a noble woman, whose energetic, courageous, self sacrificing life was an inspiration on a wide frontier during half a century. Arizona Historical Review.
Social Security Death Index.
U.S. Federal Census, 1930.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
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Number of labels found: 7 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 7

The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 41 x 60 mm,
Personal label of J. W. Bradley, from before the opening of "The Bradleys" in 1947.
The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 51 x 89 mm,
Label with Budlong address, 1950-1951.
The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 50 x 90 mm,
Label with the Crenshaw address, 1952-1958.
The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 50 x 93 mm,
Label with "The Bradleys," no address, 1947-ca.1949.
The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 49 x 86 mm,
Label with "The Bradleys," no address, 1947-ca.1949.
The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 50 x 89 mm,
Label with "The Bradleys," no address, 1947-ca.1949.
The Mineralogical Record - J. W. Bradley 50 x 89 mm,
Label for a specimen from the Michael J. Cunningham collection.
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