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OBIT 1946


The Palm Breach Post , Friday, August 16, 1946   Page 1

     Edward Riley Bradley died Thursday morning at 3:35 (CST), a.m. West Palm Beach time, at his Idle Hour Farm at Lexington, Ky., following two years serious illness.

     Death came to the famed winner of four Kentucky Derbies from a heart ailment he had suffered some years, on the nationally famous farm where he bred and raised thorobred horses internationally known for their racing ability.

     At his bedside, where he remained concious until the last, were: Mrs. Catherine B. Bailey, his only surviving sister; C. Barry Shannon, his long-time business associate and publisher of The Post-Times; Thomas S. Bohne, Mr. Bradley's private secretary, and Dr. Fred Rankin, Lexington physician.

     Requiem high mass will be sung  Monday at 11 a.m. (CST) at St. Paul's Catholic Church, conducted by the Rev. Father Joseph E. MKenna.

     The body will reamin at the Milward Funeral Home until Saturday when it will be removed to the residence.  Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery there, press dispatches from Lexington said last night.

     Mr. Bradley left his Palm Beach home May 28 after spending the winter here.  Shortly after his arrival in Kentucky he underwent a successful operation.

     Mr. radley left no children.  Mrs. Bradley, who was Miss Agnes C. Curry, of St. Louis, Mo. died suddenly January 15, 1926, in the China Sea, while on a world cruiser with a party of friends.

One brother survives Mr. Bradley.  He is John R. Bradley of Palm Beach.  The surviving sister is Mrs. Catherine B. Bailey, of Palm Beach , who at the time of his death was making her  home with Mr. Bradley.  

     Nephews and nieces surviving are Lt. Lockwood Bradley, of California, son of John Bradley; Edward Bailey and Bradley Bailey, Philadelphia; John Bailey, Scotland; Joe Bailey, Mobile, Ala.; Miss Louise Scanlan, Silver Springs, Md; Mrs Charles Brennig, New Rochelle, N.Y.; Mrs. Frank Speno, Jr., Palm Beach.  

     The death of E. R. Bradley, nationally-known capitalist, sportsman and philanphropist, of Palm Beach, Fla. and Lexington, Ky., marked the passing of a man who as far back as half a century ago was a conspicuous and colorful figure in the development  of the Florida East Coast, when dreams of its wonderful possibilities existed in the minds of Henry M. Flagler and a small coterie of associates like E. R. Bradley, who from time to time were associated with the great pioneer and builder. 

     Edward Riley Bradley was a native of Pennsylvania, born at Johnstown, Dec. 12 1859, son of Hugh and Mary Ann Riley Bradley.

     Cramped family fortune and the opportunities of the then village of Johnstown afforded small support or inducement for the aspirations of the rugged and adventurous spirit of this lad, and after a hardening experience of employment in the steel mills, etc., in the locality of his birth, the boy heard and answered the call of the new and great west.

     Of these early years of his life in Texas, Mr. Bradley rarely conversed at length.  He preferred to "talk about horses," as he expressed it.  It is known, however, that he very early underwent all of the  hardships which befell the average boy who went to the plains in search of fortune and adventure, worked as a cowboy, as a scout for United States troops in early Indian wars, as a prospector and miner for gold in Arizona and Mexico and so on.

     Tiring of life in the West, and in possession of means to establish himself nearer the center of population, Mr. Bradley next located in the rapidly growing city of Chicago, became interested in real estate speculations and as a hotel proprietor, finally devoted all of his activities to thorobred horse racing.

     In 1890 Mr. Bradley's health became precarious, and his doctors convinced him that the life of a country gentleman was his only hope of recovery.  He then went to Blue Grass Kentucky and in 1905 established the now widely famous Idle Hour Stock Farm, near Lexington, destined to become one of the most famous institutions of its kind in the world.  This beautiful property he owned until the day of his death.

     In 1891, Mr. Bradley, again a health seeker, still maintaining his racing activities and the life of a sportsman, decided to establish a wnter home in Florida.  After a short residence in St. Augustine, he chose Palm Beach as his permanent abiding place.  Here he joined Flagler enthusiastically in the early development of what later became and still is in particular respects the most widely known winter resort in the world. 

     In Palm Beach Mr. Bradley founded the Beach Club, a private institution with rigid membership regulations which allowed admittance only to adult residents of States other than Florida.  In addition to a membership card, evening dress also was a requirement for admission.

     Some evidence of the esteem in which Mr. Bradley has been held in "The Palm Beaches," is gained from a clipping from a local newspaper of some years ago, which said in part:  

     "Colonel E. R. Bradley, wh is closing the Beach Club this week, is one of the pioneers of Palm Beach.  His career of more than 30 years is replete with good works and charitable and generous acts, and no one in Palm Beach more earnestly emphasizes in his daily life the "brotherhood of man."   Always public spirited, he he is ever to the fore in matters of civic and public importance, and a generous contributor to every worthy cause as well as to the church.  Many of the improvements in Palm Beach would never have been made had it not been for Colonel Bradley.  His management of his own property here, with his high sense of honorable endeavor and his liberal business policy, has commanded him to all, and has brought to him the friendship of some of the most important men in the world of American affairs.  His generosity is still further emphasized in Palm Beach by the beautiful Catholic Church to whose building he was so generous a contributor.  He is a member of the Bath and Tennis Club, the Oasis Club,  the Everglades Club, and prominently identified with all Palm Beach activities, although he seldom goes about socially, save when he has guests."

     Mr. Bradley's charities and benefactions were widespread.  Suffering and want of every nature quickly appealed to him, to what extent will never be known. Many churches other than of his own creed found him generously sympaphetic in their financial troubles.  Probably his pet object of charity recently has been the orphanages of the State of Kentucky, regardless of race or creed. 

     For some years it has been his habit to give one-day charity race meetings at Idle Hour Farm, which became an important  social as well as interesting annual sporting event in the Blue Grass region.  The proceeds from these meetings were distributed to orphanages in Kentucky.  I pro rata sums, with the distinct understanding that the funds would be used to provide beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the children.  When these one-day meetings were for some reason abandoned,  Mr. Bradley continued personally the annual holiday distribution of money to the orphanages.  This one private benefaction has amounted to upwards of $10,000 annually.

     To attempt to recount here Mr. Bradley's career as a horseman would practically be equivalent to writing the history of thorobred racing in America during the long period within which his major activities  were maintained.  To his talents as an organizer and business executive was added an uncanny knowledge of winning strains and blood lines, and breeding particular individuals for battles of the turf.  This knowledge, combined with his own theories, he pursued so well  that his stock farm  and his stables ultimately became widely known the world around for the speed and stamina of his great race horses.

     Mr. Bradley's greatest thrill was seeing a thorobred of his own breeding win the Kentucky Derby .  "There wouldn't be much thrill in buying a horse  and winning the Derby with me." he once said.  "It would be all right as a commercial proposition, like buying an automobile that would run faster than others.  The real thrill comes in choosing the sire and dam, watching the colt develop, then seeing your faith in those bloodlines justified.

     With an ample fortune  founded on his real estate and investment operations prior to his purchase and equipment of his Blue Grass stock farm, the breeding and training of thorobred horses became his major passion and pastime, and so continued until his horses had won almost every major stake in America.

     When his thorobreds began winning the Kentucky Derby, most prized racing stake of the United States, with regularity, he was called "the nation's premier turfman."  He is the only owner so far to send four winners to the post in the Kentucky Derby.  Twice his entry ran one, two.

     He first won the Derby in 1921 when Behave Yourself and Black Servant, both bearing the Bradly green and white silks, ran first and second in the classic.  He repeated this feat in 1926, when Bubbling Over and Baganbaggage finished first and second.  In 1932 he won with Burgoo King and the next year captured the rich prize with Broker's Tip.  Several other Bradley horses finished second or third in the Derby, but Blue Larkspur, which proved to be Bradley's money winning horse, was able to win only fourth in the 1929 Derby.  Blue Larkspur won $272,000 during his racing career.

     Mr. Bradley entered thorobred racing in the 90s.

     The Bradley stable for decades was known as the "Lucky B" establishment because of his habit of giving all his thorobreds names beginning with the letter"B."  All his Derby winners had three characteristic names.  Others bore such cognomens  as Broadway Jones, Beau Butler, Bet Music, Befuddle, Busy Signal, Buttered Toast, Bootto Boot and Barn Swallow.  Despite his large race winnings, both in stakes and from wagers on his entries, the turf  proved a costly hobby for Mr. Bradley.  Though his winnings from stakes and purses alone passed the $2,000,000 mark in 1932, he estimated that his net losses from racing, because of the heavy upkeep of his breeding farm and maintenance expenses of his horses amounted to $30,000 annually.

     Idle Hour Farm has always been open to tourists and sightseers who were most impressed by one one barn which quartered four stallions with an aggregate value of  $1,000,000.

     The veteran turfman was vitally interested in the Army Remount Service, founded to improve the quaulity of Army horses.  He donated many stallions to this service, including Behave Yourself, 1921 Derby winner, and others which would have brought excellent prices on the open market.

     Although Mr. Bradley would "bet on anything," he frequently advised other against gambling.  "Playing the races will break any man in time," he said on one occasion.  "The better is always fighting the percentages and the percentages can't lose."


Col. Bradley and the Rosarian Academy

Rosarian Academy is an independent Catholic school in West Palm Beach, Florida that was founded in 1925. The school is owned and operated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and is the only independent Catholic school in Palm Beach County. The mascot of Rosarian Academy is Rowdie Raider who wears the Rosarian Shield on his hat, carries the shield on one arm, and holds the Rosarian 'Torch of Truth'.

Rosarian Academy's academics in grades K-8 are centered around the Core Knowledge Curriculum, a consensus-based model of specific content guide-lines developed by the Core Knowledge Founda-tion.  Rosarian Academy currently has a student population of approximately 400, along with 44 teachers, 6 teaching assistants, and 10 support staff. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Since 1974 Rosarian Academy has been home to an early childhood Montessori educational program. The program currently admits children up to 5 years old.

Originally known as St. Ann-on-the-Lake, Rosarian Academy was first established by St. Ann's Church in conjunction with the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan. The Jesuits established St. Ann's Church in West Palm Beach in 1895. Henry Flagler later contributed to the development of St. Ann's by building a rectory and financing the relocation of the chapel from the corner of Rosemary and Datura to Olive Avenue and Second Street.

In 1923 Patrick Barry, fifth bishop of St. Augustine, invited the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan to West Palm Beach to establish a school for Catholic children. By the time the sisters arrived, 126 students were already registered and there was insufficient housing for all of them. Colonel Edward R. Bradley, a wealthy businessman and racing horse breeder, gifted the sisters with a 7 ¼ acre plot for the construction of a combined dormitory and school for female students. The building, named Bradley Hall, opened in 1925. At the time the school was named St. Ann-on-the-Lake Academy in honor of Colonel Bradley's mother. A school building was opened downtown the same year and students traveled from one to the other for classes.

In 1926 Florida was hit by the first of two historically devastating hurricanes and the Bradley Hall building began to deteriorate. On the night of September 16, 1928, the second hurricane, with winds gusting up to 130 mph, struck Palm Beach and moved inland, causing widespread devastation and killing as many as 2,000 people. The grounds of St. Ann-on-the-Lake Academy were a scene of devastation. Two original towers on the building were ripped off and the roof was blown away. The roof was replaced, but the towers were not.

The first students graduated from St. Ann-on-the-Lake Academy in 1934. This was also the first year that the girls attended all classes at the school's property, separating entirely from the St. Ann's Parish school. The 1930s were lean times and the sisters supplemented their incomes by tutoring students of all ages and both genders.  In 1939, to avoid confusion between St. Ann-on-the-Lake and St. Ann's parochial school, the name of the former was changed to Rosarian Academy.

In September 1941 the school purchased the adjacent property, La Casa Hermosa, for use as dormi-tories. The property was thereafter referred to as Casa Maria and was used to house elementary students until elementary boarding was ended in 1967.After Bishop Gallagher of Detroit recovered from a winter cold there, the guest quarters at the Academy became a popular destination for mem-bers of the church hierarchy, including Archbishop McNicholas of Cincinnati; Bishop Karl Albers of Lansing; Archbishop Amleto Cicognani; Archbishop Edward Hoban of Cleveland; Archbishop Ryan of Hamilton, Ontario; and Father Coughlin, the "radio priest". For the blessing of the newly opened Casa Maria, Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia, Cardinal Mooney of Detroit, Archbishop Stritch of Chi-cago, Archbishop Hurley of St. Augustine, and Bishop Muench of Fargo were all in attendance.

The outbreak of World War II saw Rosarian Academy students and staff getting involved with the war effort. Students and Sisters took First Aid courses and raised money for Polish refugees. Choral programs were performed for wounded soldiers at Reams Hospital (the current Biltmore Hospital in Palm Beach) and the students performed a Christmas play for the local USO club. In 1944 the students participated in an all-out bond drive which raised $48,000, earning the Academy a US Department of Treasury medal in recognition of its service.The 1940s brought Rosarian Academy increased recog-nition for its academic program. In 1943 it was accredited by the Florida State Board of Education and in 1946 it was given accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The Academy was accepted as a charter member of the National Honor Society in April 1947, and the first students were inducted into the Chi Tokos Rho Chapter during the Honors Assembly in May of that year. In 1947 the school also graduated twenty students for the first time. The number of students graduated would not fall below twenty again until 1991 with the exit of the final graduating class.

In the early years of the school male students had been admitted as day students, however in 1943 this practice was discontinued and the school would enroll girls exclusively until the creation of the Montessori Program in 1974.  The tradition of Rosarian Week was first begun in 1945. The first Student Council was organized during the first Rosarian Week. Patricia Collier was elected the first student body president.  Due to the school's rapid growth, the need for more schooling, chapel, and dormitory space was recognized. Ground on two new buildings was broken in March 1949 and in 1950 a new chapel and a new school building were dedicated.  Recognizing the need to raise public aware-ness of Rosarian Academy, the school initiated a lively public relations program with the aid of Mrs. Frank J. Lewis whose culmination was the Red, White and Blue Ball at the Biltmore Hotel. In 1948 ground was broken on the new Rosary Chapel and the Angelicum, a new wing of the school.

In May 1951 Rosarian Academy Home Association (RAHA) was founded to promote cordial parent-teacher relationships and aid in raising funding support for the school. Mrs. Francis H. Sprankle, whose daughter was in grade school, served as the first chair. The first effort of the association was a theater benefit at the Paramount in Palm Beach which succeeded in raising $27,000. RAHA would later become RAFA.  In 1952, Rosarian Academy purchased the Palm Beach Yacht Club for $75,000. The main floor was converted into an auditorium and eight music rooms. The basement was remo-deled to provide a shower room, lockers for day students, and a large classroom.  To raise money for the remodel the school put together a fundraising drive with the motto Have a Heart for Rosarian. The highlight of the fundraiser was a showing of [The African Queen] at the Paramount Theatre, with Judy Garland and Peter Lawford among the guests. Door prizes included a donated Jaguar.  Several school traditions were begun during this period, including the annual Spaghetti Dinner, which was first held in 1953. Other regular events that were established included the Reception Tea and the Spring Lun-cheon. The May Day Cake Social and benefit card parties that began at this time eventually evolved into golf tournaments, the Anniversary Ball, the Rosarian Roundup, and the fundraising auction.  In 1956 Rosarian Academy acquired the Aiello property and in December of that year ground was broken for Lewis Hall, named for Academy supporter Frank J. Lewis. The new hall contained a large student dining room, a kitchen, a library, an art room, and an audio-visual room. For Christmas in 1958 Count and Mrs. Frank J. Lewis gifted the Harrington Apartments to the school. Later renamed Regina hall, initially it was used as the senior dormitory and lay faculty residence. Today it houses the Montessori Little School.  The swimming pool and bathhouse were a gift from Bertha K. Evans in 1959.


During the late fifties the students of Rosarian Academy staged several high production-value musical shows directed by Paul Crabtree and financed by Frank J. Hale, first at the Palm Beach Playhouse, and later at the Royal Poinciana. Crabtree taught weekly classes in voice, acting, and stage construction, and was also managing director at the Playhouse and later the producer-director at the Royal Poin-ciana. The shows staged included Chonita in 1956, The Wizard of Oz in 1957, and Cinderella in 1958. Two original productions, The Perils of Pinocchio and Dreamland, U.S.A., were staged in 1959 and 1960.  Rosarian Academy's traditional Christmas pageant got its start in 1958 under Paul Crabtree's direction, and the students designed the scenery and costumes themselves. This become a long-running annual tradition.

In 1961, Rosarian Academy's accreditation was renewed "unanimously and without reservation."  In 1962, Rosarian Academy stopped taking boarders before the seventh grade, although day students were still accepted from younger grades. The kindergarten program was phased out in 1963.  In December 1963, ground was broken for the Margaret Tighe Michlin Fine Arts Center in place of the old yacht club, which was removed by barge to Palm Beach Gardens. The Center was completed the following year.  To inaugurate the building and dedicate the magnificent Allen organ (a gift from Perry Como and his wife) Berj Zamkochian, organist for the Boston Pops and Symphony Orchestras, was invited to play a concert in March 1965. That same year Perry Como and Ray Charles both visited the campus to hear the Rosarian Choral perform, and the Choral were later invited to be guests on Perry Como's nationwide television show, broadcast from Miami Beach Auditorium.

In 1966, trumpet player Al Hirt performed with the Rosarian Choral in a program called "Al Hirt Swings at Rosarian". Perry Como attended the program and sang during the intermission.  In 1964 Sister John Virginia formed the Little Players of Palm Beaches for children in grades one through six. They performed productions including The Pied Piper, The Selfish Giant, and The Velveteen Rab-bit.  In September 1964 Rosarian Academy inaugurated a nongraded program in mathematics and reading for grades one through four, extending it to grades five and six the following year. In 1966, team teaching became an integral part of the fifth and sixth grades' language arts, social studies and science programs.  In November 1966 the Guidance Office, an area added to the second floor between the old and new sections of the school, was officially opened. In 1967 a study was undertaken that showed that Rosarian Academy's grade school was not a feeder for its upper level classes. The decision was made to phase out the grade school classes one grade level at a time.  Father Gregory Durkin arrived in December 1966 from Springfield, Massachusetts to recover from a heart attack and became Rosarian's first resident chaplain, serving in that capacity until 1977.  Organist Berj Zamkochian returned in February 1967 with a male choral called the Edmundites who performed in a joint recital with the Rosarian Choral. The Rosarian Choral then traveled to Boston to perform with the boys in their hometown. More joint concerts would follow in 1973 and 1975.  A film studies program was introduced in 1967 by Sister Margaret Ryan (William Paul), head of the English department. The program focused on the technical aspects of filmmaking. The first student films to be presented to the public would be at the 1970 Rosarian Academy Awards, with trophies presented by Mrs. Perry Como.

In the 1972, Rosarian formally became a Middle School including sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and a high school encompassing ninth through twelfth grade. At the same time the school transitioned to a strictly academic curriculum intended to prepare students for college.  New electives were added to the coursework with the input of the students and Senior Projects, which often involved some form of community service project became a part of the senior year. During the spring Rosarian began offering week-long 'mini courses' as varied as yoga, decoupage, modeling, karate, computer program-ming, and gourmet cooking that students could voluntarily participate in.  In 1973 interscholastic sports opened up a new area in which Rosarian Academy students in grades six through twelve could participate. Rosarian joined the Palm Beach County Junior High School Activities Association for grades six through eight and Florida High School Activities Association for grades nine through twelve. This gave Rosarian students access to competitive interscholastic sports such as volleyball, bowling, swimming, softball, tennis, and golf.  In September 1974 the Montessori Little School opened under the directorship of Sister Jean Durrer. The program was for pre-kindergarten children 2 ½ to 4 ½ years of age and was located on the first floor of Regina Hall. Sister Anthonita Porta, an Adrian Dominican internationally recognized as a Montessori consultant, supervised the establishment of the program.

The Sophomore Religion Program also began in 1975. Students spent at least two hours a week in the community, comforting, helping, and teaching as needed.  In 1976 Rosarian held its Golden Anni-versary Ball to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The event was held at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. Mrs. Victor W. Farris (Celia Lipton) was General Chairperson of the event and [Gordon MacRae] and [Milton Berle] were the featured entertainers.  In 1976 Rosarian Academy acquired Myer's House on Eighth Street, which would later be known as French House. Over time it would serve as a faculty residence, Barry University Office, kindergarten, and classroom.  Sister Eileen Sullivan and Sister Medeleine Sophie McLeod became co-principals in 1977.  Glenn and Joy Evans continued the Rosarian tradition of annual musicals when they arrived in 1978 by directing Once Upon A Mattress, Bye, Bye, Birdie, and Hello Dolly. They also directed several dramas including David and Lisa and The Impor-tance of Being Earnest.  That same year a photography lab was added to the campus in a section of the laundry area and classes were taught by Timothy Sanders.

In 1982 Eugene C. Mildon took over the theater department at Rosarian Academy and began to direct elaborately staged Broadway shows, including The King and I, Carousel, and Annie. The latter's performance included the original Broadway dog, Sandy, who spent ten days on the campus with his trainer and understudy.  Former Rosarian teacher Sister Thomas James Burns became principal of Rosarian in 1983. During her tenure, kindergarten through second grade classes were reinstated at Rosarian. Sister Phyllis Kreiner, O.P., was the consultant for the formation of the new elementary school. One grade was added each year and in June 1992 the first coed eighth grade graduating class received their certificates.  In 1983 Rosarian Academy acquired its own yellow bus to transport students to and from the campus, as well as to aid with field trips and athletic events.  By 1988 the service had expanded to three busses and a sports van, which served the areas south to  oynton/Delray, north to Jupiter, and west to Military Trail, accommodating over sixty students.  In early 1986 a fire burned the garage apartments used as a faculty residence behind Myer's House and the building was torn down.  In September 1988 Sister Mary Rose Hochanadel, O.P., joined the staff as Elementary Principal for the expanding grade school. Sister Margaret Exworthy became director and High School Principal in 1989. By that year registration for grade school classes had ballooned to the point that there were two classrooms for each grade and the school's facilities were at maximum capacity.

In 1990 an after-school athletics program was organized for the students in grades one through six, which included basketball, soccer, flag football, and swimming.  1991 saw a momentous change as it was determined that Rosarian's all-girl's high school program needed to close. There were fewer students interested in attending an all-girls school and it was believed that male students would not be interested in attending a school that had formerly been known to be girls only. In May 1991 the high school graduated its last class of nineteen seniors, while the kindergarten through eighth grade programs continued.  In 1994, Regina Hall was razed and the construction of new offices for the Adrian Dominicans begun in its place. The new Regina Hall was completed in 1996.  In December 1996, Bradley Hall was razed in preparation for the new, larger Mary Alice Fortin Building. Because this building would require more space, Casa Maria was also razed to make room for it.  In 1998 cons-truction of the Fortin Building was completed. The new structure replaced Bradley Hall. Its cons-truction was funded in part by wealthy philanthropist Mary Alice Fortin, widow of late oilman Philip Fortin.  The school also purchased two neighboring houses on 8th street, which were converted for the use of office and maintenance personnel.

In 2001, ground was broken on the Margaret and Michael Picotte Center for Athletics and Fine Arts. The building was officially dedicated in May 2009.  In 2010, the Garvy Gym was opened and the Rosary Chapel was re-dedicated with a Mass led by Bishop Gerald Barbarito. In 2012, the school reopened the theater and the Machlin family returned the naming rights of the Theater to Rosarian Academy.  In 2012, Rosarian Academy reopened the theater and the Machlin family returned the naming rights to the school.

The Rosarian Academy campus sits on the edge of Lake Worth in West Palm Beach. It consists of nine buildings, most of which exist thanks to the generosity of the school's benefactors, including the Margaret Tighe Machlin Theatre, Lewis Hall, Victor W. Farris Library, and the Mary Alice Fortin Building.  Until 1927 the campus extended to the water's edge, until the city of West Palm Beach paid the Rosarian Academy $1,650 for a sixty-foot right of way to build Flagler Drive. The Adrian Domi-nican Sisters retained riparian rights and the city also agreed to install a seawall and maintain it for forty years. In 1954 the State Road Department purchased another parcel of land for the purpose of widening the road, creating the present limits on the property frontage.  The school's original building, which came to be known as Bradley Hall, was a three-story structure with a basement. The basement contained a lobby, gymnasium, furnace and laundry. The first floor contained a chapel, a dining hall, a community room for the sisters, a kitchen, offices, and a guest room with a bath. The second floor contained classrooms, a library, a study hall, three music rooms, an infirmary, and a large bathroom. The third floor contained the dormitories for the sisters and the students, bathrooms and changing rooms. The building featured two towers on the roof, as well as a rooftop garden, but these were destroyed during the 1928 hurricane. Today the structure has been replaced by the Mary Alice Fortin building.  The Rosary Chapel was constructed in 1949. The interior design of the Rosary Chapel was the work of Sister Helene O'Connor, a former head of the Studio Angelico Art Department of Siena Heights College. The chapel contained fifteen rosettes surrounding the mahogany cross in the sanc-tuary. It also contained statues of St. Dominic, the Blessed Mother, and the Stations of the Cross. In the 1990s the chapel was converted into a physical education building and chapel services were held in the Margaret Tighe Machlin Theatre. In 2010, with the opening of Garvy Gym, the Rosary Chapel was rededicated as a chapel once more in a mass led by Bishop Gerald Barbarito.  The original painting ""Our Lady of the Rosary" by C. Bosseron Chambers was donated by Frank J. Hale and still hangs in the student's dining hall.  The Picotte Center Athletics and Fine Arts is a 49,000 square foot complex completed in 2009 which includes a dining area, health classrooms, a technology suite, a gymnasium, drama lab, music room, and after school classrooms.

Rosarian Week is a celebration of the Feast of the Holy Rosary and Rosarian Academy's patron which occurs the first week of October. First started in 1945, it was originally only a day long celebration. It began with a "Missa Cantata" sung by the students, continued with the debut of the whole student body in which they were presented to the faculty, parents, and friends around 4 pm in Our Lady's Garden, and came to its completion with an evening banquet. By 1957 the celebration had expanded to fill an entire school week with a special event on each of the five days. Special days often include Spirit Day, Color Day, Alumnae Day, Open House, and a Family Barbeque.  Award ceremonies are held at the conclusion of each scholastic trimester. Students are recognized for achievement in academics, ath-letics, and community service. The highest award, the St. Dominic Award, is bestowed at graduation to a student who exemplifies qualities of joy, service, leadership, and achievement.  A number of clubs have been organized on the Rosarian Academy campus, including an Art club, a Society of Creative Writers, a Spanish Club, a Drama Club, a Show Choir, and a National Math Club. Most clubs meet once or twice a week after school.  The National Junior Honors Society at Rosarian Academy is a chartered member and affiliate of the national office of NJHS.  Students in the 5th through 8th grades elect a student council each year who set standards for peer behavior and take leadership roles at school dances and social functions. A president and vice president are also elected. Officers are required to have a C average for the current school year and no failing marks, no less than a "2” in each class in effort and conduct, and no record of school suspension or chronic disciplinary problems.

Students in kindergarten through fourth grade participate in intramural school sports including soccer, tennis, golf, basketball, swimming, lacrosse, and space and movement.  Students in grades five through eight may try out for the interscholastic sports teams. Sports include flag football, volleyball, cheerleading, swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, and golf.  In the 1986–1987 school year the Rosarian golf team became state champions, and the following year they earned the title of state runner-up.

DARBY DAN FARM was formed from the core of the famed IDLE HOUR STOCK FARM owned by E.R. Bradley, who first buried horses here. Previous to this, the farm was known as Ash Grove Stock Farm and was home to the great trotting sire GEORGE WILKES, who is said to have been buried on the property in an unmarked grave. Bradley honored his foundation stallion BLACK TONEY with a statue over his grave, which remains today, located near the stallion barns. Bradley also buried his Kentucky Derby winner BUBBLING OVER here, and the mare BLOSSOM TIME (dam of the top class BLUE LARKSPUR). The farm is also probably the site of burial of Bradley's first winner, FRIAR JOHN (1895), who was still alive as a pensioner in 1926 and was promised a final place to rest on Idle Hour, although his date of death is unknown. Idle Hour stallion *NORTH STAR III, who died in 1935, is probably also buried here. Bradley also bred the Kentucky Derby winner Brokers Tip, who is buried at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, Louisville.

Upon the death of Bradley in 1945, IDLE HOUR was sold and broken up into smaller farms. The parcel on the southern side of Old Frankfort Pike was sold to King Ranch, which owned it into the 1980s, and is now known as Old Frankfort Place where Bradley-bred BLUE LARKSPUR is buried. A southern parcel became Danada Farm, which is now Mare Haven Farm. The core of the farm, on the north side of Old Frankfort Pike, was for a short time known as Circle M Farm, owned by Charles W. Moore. Moore stood BLUE SWORDS, who died here in 1955. 

Daniel W. Galbreath purchased the property and renamed it DARBY DAN FARM. Later, Darby Dan horses were also laid to rest here and include the great Italian champion RIBOT, as well as his sons, the good stakes winners and sire brothers GRAUSTARK and HIS MAJESTY. Galbreath's homebred ROBERTO won the Derby at Epsom and became a leading international sire. Other Darby Dan burials include the good stakes winners SUMMER TAN and GOOD COUNSEL, and the broodmares DARBY DUNEDIN and FLOWER BOWL (dam of GRAUSTARK and HIS MAJESTY).

Darby Dan Farm also has a division near Columbus, Ohio, the home of it's owner, Daniel Galbreath. Some of the farm's pensioners were brought to the Ohio farm to live out their days, including the great runner and producer PRIMONETTA, Champion Handicap Mare of 1962 and Broodmare of the Year in 1978, and QUEEN'S PARADISE, dam of champion filly TEMPEST QUEEN. -- A.P.



Known Ash Grove Stock Farm Burials


George Wilkes (trotter)

Known Idle Hour Stud Farm Burials


Black Toney (c. 1911-1938, statue)
Bubbling Over (c. 1923-1938)Blossom Time (f. 1920-1946)

Known Circle M. Farm Burials


Blue Swords (c. 1940-1955)

Known Darby Dan Farm Burials


Graustark (c. 1963-1988)
His Majesty (c. 1968-1995)
Ribot (c. 1952-1972)
Roberto (c. 1969-1988)
Summer Tan (c. 1952-1969)
Good Counsel (c. 1968-1987)Darby Dunedin (f. 1942-1962)
Flower Bowl (f. 1952-1968)s

Known Darby Dan Farm Burials: Columbus, Ohio, Division


Primonetta (f. 1958-1993)
Queen's Paradise (f. 1969-1994)

Thoroughbred horse racing

In 1898, Edward Bradley purchased his first race horse which quickly led to the acquisition of others. In 1906, he bought Ash Grove Stock Farm, a 400-acre (1.6 km2) property near Lexington, Kentucky which he renamed Idle Hour Stock Farm. This became the leading Thoroughbred breeding operation in the American South and added greatly to the rise of Kentucky as the most important horse breeding state in America and the Kentucky Derby as the country's premier race.

At Idle Hour Stock farm, Bradley built first class stables and breeding and training facilities. Bradley introduced the fibre skullcap worn by jockeys and as a racetrack owner made improvements to the starting gates.  All of his horses were given a name that began with the Bradley "B". His stallion Black Toney, purchased from James R. Keene in 1912, became the farm's first important sire. In December 1930, Bradley purchased the French mare La Troienne, who had been consigned by owner Marcel Boussac to the Newmarket, England Sales.

Over the years, Bradley's horses were conditioned for racing by several trainers such as Willie Knapp and Edward Haughton, but William A. "Bill" Hurley and future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Herbert J. Thompson met with the most success.

Bill Hurley trained Kalitan, who won the  1917 Preakness Stakes, and Bagenbaggage,  who won the 1926 Latonia and Louisiana  Derbys  and  was  second  to  Bradley's own  Bubbling Over  in the Kentucky Derby.  Hurley  won  the 1935 Florida DerbyCoaching Club American Oaks and American Derby with the great filly and 1991 Racing Hall of Fame inductee Black Helen. Another of Bill Hurley's important Hall of Fame horses was Bimelech, who earned U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt and 3-Year-Old honors in 1939 and 1940 respectively, and just missed winning the U.S. Triple Crown when he finished second in the 1940 Kentucky Derby, then won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Herbert Thompson trained Bradley horses that won numerous important stakes race including four Kentucky Derbys, two of which were the first ever back-to-back wins by a trainer or by an owner. Thompson won one of the Derbys with Burgoo King in 1932, who also won that year's Preakness Stakes. The most important horse Thompson trained for Edward Bradley was Blue Larkspur. The colt won the 1929 Belmont Stakes and was voted United States Horse of the Year honors and in 1930, U.S. Champion Older Male Horse.

Edward Bradley's wins in the American Classic Races were as follows:

Kentucky Derby

Preakness Stakes

Belmont Stakes

Edward Bradley raced horses at Arlington Park in Chicago as well as in New York, where Thoroughbred racing flourished at several race tracks near New York City and on Long Island. In addition to two wins in the prest-igious Belmont Stakes, his horses won other important New York area races such as the:

Bradley was given the honorific title of Kentucky Colonel by the Governor.

Race track ownership

Bradley was an owner of the Palmetto Club in New Orleans, Louisiana, which serviced a betting clientele for local horse races. In 1926, Edward Bradley purchased the Fair Grounds Race Course. In 1932, after making a substantial investment in Joseph E. Widener's new Hialeah Park Race Track near Miami, Florida,

The "Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap" is named in his memory and is raced annually in January at the Fair Grounds Race Course. In 1971, he was part of the inaugural class of inductees into the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame.

More about that Horseracing thing...

At the end of the 19th century, Col. Edward Riley Bradley - a self-proclaimed gambler, bookmaker, and owner-manager of several casinos - Informed by His physician was a more outdoor lifestyle That Might Be His beneficial to health.


Something as easy as taking walks or hikes Might Have done the trick, but This was much too slow-paced for Bradley. In His Mind, The most sensible thing to do was start a racing stable, Where Could I benefit from outdoor living Simultaneously while building an empire in a sport deeply intertwined With gambling. What a picture-perfect scenario!

Born on Dec. 12, 1859, Bradley was not really a colonel. , Although I partook in many different enterprises and activities During His younger days, military life was not Among them. The "colonel" was part of His Name whos an honorary title; I was a classic "Kentucky Colonel." Thanks to His achievements in horse racing, I Also Kentucky became a legend.


Having made the decision to delve into horse racing, Bradley - like many other successful sportsmen of the time - wasted little time buying up talented horses, Hundreds of acres of land and some quality broodmares to Establish a racing stable and breeding farm. Forty years later, I HAD irrevocably changed the sport of horse racing for the better, and the legacy of His breeding farm extends to this day.

In 1898, Bradley bought his first horse and in 1906 purchased Ash Grove Stock Farm near Lexington, Ky., and renamed it Idle Hour Stock Farm. Bradley developed Idle Hour into one of America’s leading breeding operations. He was given the honorary title of a Kentucky colonel by the state’s governor for his contributions to Kentucky’s prosperity.


Under the name of Idle Hour Stock Farm, Bradley bred more than 125 stakes winners from 1906 Through 1946, but it was the quality of These horses - and the quality of one broodmare in private - That had a lasting impact on the sport.


One of the first successful horses raced Bradley That was a tough-as-nails gelding by the name of Bad News. As a result of That success, Bradley Began the tradition of choosing names only That Began With horses the letter "B" for his. One Would Have Thought That Eventually Bradley would run out of names, but This was far from the case-while I did Eventually Have to use names like Bee Mac, Bric a Bac, Bymeabond, Bug Juice, and Bee Ann Mac, His creativity ensured That I never ran out of names. As a side effect, all of the best horses bred and raced've ever had "B" names. These included Bimelech, an unbeaten champion 2-year-old colt won the WHO later Preakness and Belmont Stakes; Blue Larkspur, WHO won four of six starts in 1929 en route to Being Recognized as Horse of the Year; and Busher, WHO beat ills on multiple occasions to Become One of only 12 fillies or seas That Have Been Recognized as a US Horse of the Year.

Some of Bradley's greatest Successes meat in the Kentucky Derby, a race That I dominated in the 1920s and 1930s. I won the race four times (as Both owner and breeder) During That timeframe, and - incredibly - His horses swept the first two finishing positions on two occasions. Interestingly, the best-Remembered of Bradley's Derby winners was the Least Accomplished as a racehorse: Brokers Tip won just one race in 14 career starts, but Had the good sense to make it count by scoring A Nose victory in the 1933 Kentucky Derby. Even still, it's very likely That I would be long forgotten if not for the fact That His jockey and the jockey of runner-up Head Play engaged in a fight down the homestretch in Which They Grabbed each other's silks and boots and even struck at each As They battled other for command of the race. Brokers Tip crossed the wire in front and, after an inquiry, the results Were left as posted.


But as Mentioned above, Bradley's greatest impact on the sport would come through one broodmare. At the end of 1930, Bradley Purchased a 4-year-old filly by the name of * La Troienne from a sale in Europe. As a racehorse, she HAD failed to win in seven starts, but the daughter of Teddy had a quality pedigree Suggested That Could she be a valuable brood-mare. In the end, she PROVED to be much more than that. She produced five stakes winners That included the Bradley's champions Black Helen and Bimelech, but her daughters PROVED to be even more successful, and founded an epic, wide-spreading family of descendants That includes Affectionately, Allez France, Buckpasser, Easy Goer, Go for Gin, Mineshaft, More Than Ready, Pleasant Tap, Princess Rooney, Sea Hero, Smarty Jones and many other standouts.


Bradley passed away in 1946, and the majority of His horses Were Purchased by fellow racehorse breeders John Hay Whitney, Robert Kleberg, Jr., and Ogden Phipps. That group extended the legacy of Bradley's empire by breeding many champions of Their Own His quality from stock. To this day, breeders and racing fans alike still value the descendants of Bradley's horses, Particularly Those That descend from * The Troienne. His farm May be gone, but Bradley's legacy lives on.


- See more at:

The Styx: Removal 


Several men owned and collected rent on portions of the land under the Styx community, including Henry Maddock, E.M. Brelsford, and James M. Munyon. Each of these landlords dealt with many tenants, other property owners, local and state officials, and usually an agent to represent his interests. The local newspaper, The Tropical Sun, reported the ongoing efforts of the white community to improve or remove the conditions in the Styx, revealing a complex (if one-sided) view of the situation: 


May 1903: Sanitation conditions had greatly improved since Eugene F. Haines, Justice of the Peace of the Thirteenth District, had taken over as agent for James Munyon. Haines issued orders to the blacks to “observe perfect sanitary laws and keep their premises clean and tidy or pay a $10.00 fine.”

October 1903: Four blacks were arrested for operating a “blind tiger” [or “speakeasy,” where alcoholic beverages were sold illegally]. Another man, apparently white, was arrested for the same reason across the lake on Banyan Street.


January 1904: “East Side” property owners [Palm Beachers] Senator Elisha Dimick, Thomas Tipton “T. T.” Reese, Enoch Root, and Harry Redifer asked the West Palm Beach Board of Trade for help with conditions at the Styx. Flagler and others, they said, had also promised, “to rend what aid they could.” 


Senator Dimick (chair of the East Side owners) had approached the state health officer, who said the local officer was authorized to handle the problem. Officers had already come from two other areas and presumably reported to Tallahassee, but nothing had changed. Dimick believed, “if the health officer was to insist that the property owners put in sewers it would have to be done or else remove the buildings.” Dr. Henry J. Hood, chair of the West Side (West Palm Beach) owners and supervisor of the local health officer, Dr. Richard B. Potter, offered to speak with him. Dr. Hood also acted for E. M. Brelsford, who he said would evict his tenants if others did. Representatives for Sidney Maddock, [unnamed] Russell, and Munyon were sure their clients would agree. A three-man committee was organized to act as liaison with the Styx residents. 


February 1904: At a subsequent meeting, Enoch Root, the Palm Beach postmaster, called conditions “bad beyond all powers of imagination.” He described the Styx as “hundreds and hundreds of unsightly huts, some of them but little more than shoeboxes, all jumbled up together, and with no system of sewerage, and the filth was allowed to remain. [M]oral conditions were such as to cause all decent people to shudder [with] scores of houses of ill-fame, blind tigers and other dens of iniquity.”

All property owners were said to have agreed to “do what was best.” Munyon authorized George Currie (then Dade County treasurer) to have a deputy serve his 150 tenants with 30 days’ notice to remove their dwellings. Maddock said he would follow suit when the season ended. Guy Metcalf had given 30 days’ notice to Russell’s tenants, not only to vacate, but also “to remove their ‘shacks.’” The unnamed purchaser of Russell’s property, Metcalf said, intended “to make a cleaning out of all [illegible] element, and conditions that have brought about so much fear of epidemic.”


In 1910 T. T. Reese convinced his employers, brothers Edward R. and John R. Bradley, to purchase Munyon’s land in the Styx, adjacent to their existing property, from the Beach Club northward 264 feet to John Bradley’s cottage, and from the lake to the ocean. The plan for that summer, The Tropical Sun reported, was to remove all the old shacks on the Bradley property, fill in the marshy sections, remove “ugly barn-like buildings” along the water’s edge that were “damaging the value of contiguous estates,” and add a road along the lakefront.

There was no mention of the residents, who apparently had relocated for the most part about 1906 to the all-black Northwest neighborhood of West Palm Beach, which had been established since 1894. According to the Palm Beach Daily News:


Many negroes had been allowed to put up “topsey-like” houses, [which] have seen their best days [and] will disappear within the next few months. The entire tract will be leveled, filled in, and ornamental trees … will be planted. [T]hree large and commodius [sic] villas … will be built of concrete and Miami stone. 


The rest of the Styx residents were not asked to leave until 1912, as the Bradleys developed their land into the town’s second subdivision, Floral Park. That year Pleasant City, established in 1905, was created. A 1913 ad in The Tropical Sun advertised its remaining lots for sale by Currie Investment and Title Guaranty Company: “This is a high class colored subdivision north of town. Four hundred lots have already been sold and we have about 75 more yet for sale from $150.00 up.” Currie chose ‘pleasant’ names for the streets: Beautiful, Comfort, Merry, Cheerful, Contentment—even an Easy Street. Present day Pleasant City is bordered on the north by Northwood Road, on the south by 15th Street, on the east by Dixie Highway, and on the west by the FEC railroad tracks.





By Mc Clatchy News Service

Few Floridians left as indelible a mark on the peninsula as Henry M. Flagler. The rail, oil and real estate baron towered over Palm Beach County and has also been called the father of Miami. In 1912, he completed the Overseas Railroad linking Key West to the mainland, its first train rolling into Key West on Jan. 22.

Although the railroad was torn to pieces by 1935’s Storm of the Century and never rebuilt, the project arguably remains Flagler’s most audacious achievement. It’s centennial is being celebrated this year with lectures, museum exhibits and bike rides.

But in Palm Beach County, where his 55-room mansion (now a museum) and the Breakers are monuments to his vision, a controversy hovers over the tycoon 99 years after his death.

In the black community, many believe that Flagler was behind the burning of a dilapidated oceanfront neighborhood known as the Styx, a haphazard colony that housed many of the black workers who labored on his behalf. It would have been a primitive, illegal version of what later became known as Urban Renewal.

The scorched-earth legend has been passed on through generations like an heirloom, and gained currency not long ago in a sensationalized novel.

There’s simply no way it is true, said Debi Murray, chief curator of the Palm Beach Historical Society.

“Would he have problems with his employees? Sure. He was a railroad baron and they were working in the worst conditions you could possibly imaginable,” Murray said. “But I think it’s a huge stretch to believe he torched the Styx.”

One in six Palm Beach County residents are black, and to many of those residents, the assertion that Flagler had a role in the destruction of the Styx in 1912 is not far-fetched.

“From what I’ve seen in the past, it has never been refuted,” said Lia Gaines, the director of the city’s NAACP chapter. “When we look at the story of blacks in America, it’s been ugly for most of that history. But we were able to persist.”

Here’s what most everyone can agree on: In the early 1900s, the area now known as Palm Beach began to evolve from an untamed frontier town into a winter playground for rich snowbirds, thanks to the extension of Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railroad down the Atlantic Seaboard.


During the construction of Palm Beach’s first two iconic hotels — the Royal Poinciana and the Breakers — the black labor force needed a place to live, so they created a tent settlement at what is now Sunset and Sunrise avenues off North County Road. They called it the Styx because of its (at the time) remote locale, said Jim Ponce, 94-year-old historian at The Breakers. There was no running water, so the raw sewage piled high. But it was a close and cheap option for poor blacks who worked in the resorts.

At its peak, some 2,000 blacks are said to have lived in the Styx, a slum owned not by Flagler but by brothers Edward R. and John R. Bradley. As the years went on, most of their tenants were either single men or heads of households who stayed in the shantytown during the work week, but whose families lived in better neighborhoods to the west.

Eventually, the white powers-that-be decided the growing eyesore had to go. Newspaper clippings from the early 1900s show an effort by local business and political leaders to have the tent city closed on sanitary grounds. Eviction notices were issued, and by 1912, the entire population was asked to leave. But how exactly it was shut down remains a point of heated debate.


The legend: Flagler’s henchmen burned out anyone who didn’t budge. As the story goes, he brought a carnival to town, and provided free tickets to all of his black employees, emptying the compound. When the residents returned, their homes were in embers and they had no choice but to find another place to live.

A century later, that’s the accepted account of events for many in Palm Beach County. And with his book The Styx, author Jonathon King gave cover to those believing the worst. King’s novel, published by Middle River Press in 2009, accepts the premise that the Styx was burned to the ground, although he admits his thesis employed a healthy amount of creative license.

Thing is, fires were common in those days of potbelly stoves and open hearths. A shantytown like the Styx would have been especially vulnerable. At the time, there were numerous fires around the island — including at some of the fancy resorts — that had nothing to do with arson, Murray said.

“I never found a news report, or came across any actual documentation of the fire,” King said. “It’s a work of fiction. It is folklore, it is a myth. But I think it could have happened, just in stages.”

Willie Miller, 36, a fifth-generation Palm Beach County resident, said his great-aunt, Inez Peppers Lovett, lived in the Styx, remembered no fire and said she left of her own accord.

Her characterization of the Styx’s demise ran so counter to everything Miller heard outside of his family, he felt compelled to sift through old newspaper clippings himself, in an effort to determine the truth. All the written accounts he found supported his aunt’s benign version of events.


Just one of many holes Miller found in the theory: If 2,000 people were burned out of their homes, there would have been mass homelessness. But in the newspaper archives, there was no mention of such a phenomenon.

“There’s a lot of evidence that refutes it, but none that supports it,” Miller said. “It’s character assassination of that man and needs to stop.

Murray isn’t betting on that happening any time soon.

Both the historical society and Palm Beach-based publications have written extensively over the years in hopes of disposing of the story. But it persists.

“Urban legends are stronger than facts,” Murray added. “And this is definitely a very strong urban legend.”


February 7, 2014 · by rosysophia · in History. ·

I sat in on a lecture a couple of years ago and listened as a docent from Whitehall talked about Henry Flagler, the man who forged a path through the wilderness of Florida to do the impossible– build a railroad clear to Key West. I didn’t know much about Flagler at the time, but I knew enough to know that many call him a great man and a visionary. I also knew the legend of the Styx, the community on Palm Beach island where the black workers lived. They worked to build up the area for Flagler, to bring in all the wealthy tourists. They lived in shacks and little homes they’d built.

The local legend tells us that Flagler then saw the attractiveness of Palm Beach as a resort getaway, but knew visitors wouldn’t want to see the “squalor” of the Styx when they arrived in pristine Palm Beach. Supposedly, in 1912 Flagler invited all the blacks off Palm Beach for a circus of sorts– some say a cookout –and then set the Styx ablaze while everyone was out.

I raised my hand after the lecture to ask the docent about this, and everyone laughed, waving it off as a silly inquiry. I couldn’t help but notice everyone in the room was white.

The legend is sensationalized in the book Palm Beach Babylon, and many people believe it to be true. While whites saw the Styx as “dirty” and “uninhabitable,” these were homes the blacks lived in, people who built the hotels, the beautiful places whites flocked to for their vacations.

In present-day Florida, I’ve heard racists say horrible things about the blacks “on the other side of the tracks.” Pleasant City, where the blacks settled after they were forced off Palm Beach, is not so pleasant today, and neither is the crime rate in West Palm Beach as a whole. Having driven through Pleasant City, and read about the town, I’m sad to see its decline.

Flagler saw what Palm Beach could be.

Naturally, there was more than one reason to get rid of the Styx. It was a health hazard, they say. But I don’t think anyone can ignore the bottom line. What rich white fellow wants to visit an island that has a bunch of black people living on it, in a time when blacks were considered nothing more than laborers?

When the blacks were evicted, Pleasant City was born, and developers gave the streets lovely names such as Merry and Contentment because “the Negroes were naturally happy people” Everee Clark recalls. Many of them were still employed on Palm Beach, but they weren’t allowed there after sunset.

Author Eliot Kleinberg dismisses the tale as false, and Inez Lovett, a little girl at the time, remembers no fire. Kleinberg says the owners of the land had to evict the last of the blacks, and then set fire to what was left of the settlement.

But I met a woman recently who claims otherwise.

She knows an elderly lady who was there when it happened.

“I was there,” the old woman had recalled. “Flagler tricked us. They got us out of there, invited us off the island, then burned our homes down.”

I was there, the old woman said.

What do you think?

This is part of the research for a book I am writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts, readers. Florida might be a beautiful place, and I’m certainly in love with it . . . but I don’t want to wear my rose-colored glasses while I write this book.

Others may laugh at what the legend claims, but I say there’s a bit of truth in every piece of fiction. The only question is, just how much truth are we talking about here?

Beginning in 1898, the guests of the Royal Poinciana Hotel and The Breakers were within walking distance of a major new attraction: Bradley’s Beach Club, a gambling casino and restaurant. Colonel Edward Riley “E. R.” Bradley and his brother, John “Jack” Bradley, built the Beach Club just north of today’s Flagler Memorial Bridge, on land purchased from then-State Senator Elisha Dimick. E. R. Bradley was most associated with the club and eventually bought out his brother.

Once Bradley decided to let women gamble, the venture prospered and became what many considered the world’s finest gambling casino. In the earlier years, roulette and hazard were the only games offered. Later chemin de fer was added, a variation of baccarat, with a $5,000 limit. Although gambling was illegal in Florida, the Beach Club circumvented that technicality by operating as a private club. Security was provided by men recruited from the Tennessee mountains.

The club was very simply decorated in green and white, with lighting that Bradley said flattered a woman’s comp- lexion more than harsh, bright lights.

In the dining room, which seated up to 212 people, Bradley wanted the best food, no matter what it cost. They ordered “most everything” from New York, said Bradley’s long-time secretary Tom Bohne, where chef Gene Braccho went each fall to collect menus from the best restaurants. The Beach Club then charged the highest New York prices plus ten cents, but still lost money on the dining room.

Drinking and smoking were not allowed in the gambling rooms, only in the dining room, where the headwaiter would oversee the consumption of alcohol. "It was difficult to control," said Bohne, especially during Prohibition, when diners brought their own beverages: “They would be called to the telephone [and Bradley would] meet ‘em and say, ‘Young man, you’re drinking a little heavy tonight. Come back tomorrow and everything will be settled.’ If the fella got unruly, he was out. But it was done in a nice manner.”

Bradley’s Beach Club: The Rules of the Game

Tom Bohne, secretary to E. R. Bradley, and self-described “overseer of everything” Harry Redifer, recounted just how exclusive the Beach Club was:

Only gentlemen were allowed membership. A woman had to be escorted at all times by a gentleman member. No one under 26 years old was permitted in the club, even in the dining rooms. Bradley’s logic was, a young man was likely to claim he was 22, thinking that 21 was required, so they would know he was not 26.

In the early years, Florida residents were restricted from the club, because they could be called to testify about the club’s activities. When this rule was relaxed, Bradley still did not want Palm Beach business owners as members, said Bohne: “People who came down from New York, opened a little store, they’d come in and gamble and lose their money. If they lost the store’s money, he’d give them back as much as two or three thousand. He didn’t want to take that kind of money.”

Bradley only wanted people to gamble who could afford to lose. Further, he wanted them to enjoy themselves. Bohne:

Many a time when the customer would win, why, he’d be tickled, he’d really be pleased, because so many would lose during the Season … anyway. If [a member] could get some pleasure out of it, extending his time at the table and being seen and enjoy passing checks back and forth, that was [Bradley’s] idea of entertainment. And that’s just what it was.

Bradley was well thought of by the residents of Palm Beach. James M. Owens called Col. Bradley, “one of the finest men I ever knew, whose word was just better than most people’s bond, and he contributed a great deal to the growth and development of Palm Beach and its beauty and loveliness.”

Avoiding the Law

Everyone seems to think, and he probably did, [E. R. Bradley] had to pay off officials, but I was with him 20 years and during that time, I could swear that I never saw him pay anyone a penny of [bribery]. Yes, he was raided several times, but they was [sic] always tipped off and he had everything hid away, and … the guests would sit down and drink tea at the tables. … And they would all join in the fun while the inspector from the governor’s office would go around and search the place—not too methodically, but search the place. The [gambling] tables all folded up and looked like a tea table when they took the layout off of them. Harry Redifer built the [hiding] places for them.

Tom Bohne

The Palm Beach Post Tuesday, April 28, 1953   Page 1


John R. Bradley Dies At Home In New York At 86


     John R. Bradley, 86, surviving member of the famed Bradley brothers, died late Sunday night at his apartment in the Waldorf Towers, New York.

     His noted sportsman brother, Col. Edward R. Bradley, died Aug. 15, 1946, at his Idle Hour Farm in Lexington, Ky., at the age of 86.

      In gradually failing health, Mr. Bradley did not make his customary visit to Palm Beach this season, but his wife, the former Katherine Lockwood who survives him, was here briefly.  Although he came to Palm Beach periodically, he retained his legal residence in Florida, and came down to vote.  

     According to dispatches from New York, private funeral services, followed by cremation, are to be held Wednesday i that city.  In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, John Lockwood Bradley, San Francisco; a sister, Mrs. Catherine B. Bailey, of Palm Beach, and the following nieces and nephews, Mrs. Charles C. Brennig, Mrs. Frank Speno, Jr.,  both of Palm Beach; Miss Louise Scanlan, Silver Springs, Md.; Joseph Bailey, Mobile; John Bailey, Edinburgh, Scotland; Edward  and Bradley Bailey,  both of Philadelphia, and two granddaughters in San Francisco.

     John R. Bradley was born in Pennsylvania, the son of Hug and Mary Ann Bradley.  In early life he and his brother engaged in ranching in texas, and at one time had the Baechus Club in El Paso.  After its sale they built the famous Beach Club, widely known as Bradley's, which opened in Palm Beach in 1898.  Jack Bradley, as he was called by his friends, had much to do with establishing the club's restaurant fame for fine food.

     However, he soon ewithdrew from active participation in operation of the club.  Travel and ranching activities in Colorado occupied much of his time.  After his brother's death, he served as executor of the estate.

     Acting both as executor of his brother's estate and for homself, in 1848, Mr. Bradley worked out arrangements for the disposition of the Beach club propertyy and the house occupied for years by Col. Bradley, the whole occupying a track between Royal Poinciana Way and Sunset Ave., Bradly Place and Lake Worth.  It had long been known that Col. Bradly had wished the property to go to the Town of Palm Beach for park purposes, and he so stipulated in his will, with certain restrictions attached to the house.

     Under the contract entered into by Mr. Bradley and the Town Nov. 12, 1948, the property was deeded to the municipality, witha life interest in the residence being retained by Mr. Bradley until his death.  Also, accorsing to this contract, the residence can be utilized by the town only as a public library, with the proviso that should this prove impractical, the building may be demolished and the site made part of the park.

     Should the Bradley property ever be used for anything but park purposes and in any way not recognized by this agreement, it would revert to the Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese for school purposes.

     Bradly Park has been developed as a result of this agreement after the town acquired title.

     Though the matter will be up to the Town Council, Town Manager L. Trevette Lockwood Monday indicated that as the town now had a fine library in the Society of the Four Arts, to which it makes an annual appropriation, it is not likely that town authorities will consider another library.

The Palm Beach Post    Thursday, Dec. 19, 1946

John R. Bradley Tells Plans For Razing Old Beach Club

By Emilie Keyes Post-Times Staff

     Plans for razing the old Beach Club building next summer and transforming the grounds into a lake front park that will eventually revert to the Tpwn of Palm Beach were revealed Wednesday by John R. Bradley, brother of the late Col. Edward R. Bradley, on his arrival at the Breakers Hotel, where he will spend several weeks.

      Mr. Bradley, co-owner with his brother of the properties in question, also revealed that his will provides that his half of the lake frontage shall be bequeathed to the Town of Palm Beach.  Col. Bradley, who died Aug. 15, left his half to his brother, during the latter's lifetime and to the town thereafter.

     "Town ordinances prohibit demolition proceedings in the season," Mr. Bradley explained, "so that nothing will get underway until next spring or summer, but I should like to see the property beautified and plan to start the work and if anything should happen to me before it can be completed my son will carry on."

     Despite a life of many interests and travels that have taken him far afield, Mr. Bradley has maintained his Florida residence and spent considerable time here.  This season he will stay at the Breakers, where he will be joined for Christmas by his wife, but he plans to add a kitchen to his brother's house house, which was serviced from the Beach Club during the colonel's lifetime, and to occupy it subsequently.

     Amazingly youthful at 80, Mr. Bradley bears witness to the effects of the outdoor life he has always loved.  At his ranch in Colorado Springs, he rides daily, a sport he doesn't fell is well suited to the Florida background.  Even his grandchildren insist on thoroughbred saddle horses at an early age instead of ponies, he said.

     Just as the breeding of race horses was the great love of his brother's life, big game hunting was his.

     "When we were kids," he explained, "he was always riding any horse he could get his hands on. I was out shooting wildcats."

      Mr. Bradley's adventures ranged from pioneering in Florida to safaris in darkest Africa.  He advised Teddy Roosevelt on clothing and equipment for his big game hunting in Africa, based on personal experiences.  His expeditions took him from Indo-Chino to Alaska, and the last big one was to the Arctic in 1907.  Though he maintained he was gonig polar bear hunting, the trip had far greater significance for aboard the ship, the "John R. Bradley" he took Dr. F. A. Cook bound for two years of explorations that led to the famous controversy with Robert Edwin Peray as to who reached the North Pole.

     Ask Mr. Bradley who really discovered the Pole, he'll tell you it was his men in no uncertain terms; brand the whole argument a newspaper fight, and cite reasons why he knows it was Cook.

     In 1908 he married and stopped wandering.  He'd seen all the strange places he wanted to explore, had collected enough trophies for both himself and museums.  He's an honorary member of both the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Zoological Society, has aided in assembling several outstanding collections.

     Among the many activities occupying him at the moment is the settlement of his brother's estate, for which he is executor.  And among the duties involved in this position, one is the distribution of certain moneys and personal effects for educational, religious and charitable purposes, left to his discretion in a memo from his brother.

     In this connection on his arrival hereWednesday he approved the gift of the baby grand piano from the Beach Club to the Palm Beach Private School as suggested by Mrs. Barry Shannon, when she was apprised of the school's need for one.




The New York Times, Sunday, Dec. 31, 1905 Page 3


     Mr. John R. Bradley of New York, Paris, London, Mombasa, Zanzibar and principally the Africa Jungle; is a sportsman, one of the few Americans who have taken the time to do what the English, some French, and an occasional Italian can do, to stalk big game in the jungle and the forest, on the highlands and by the rivers.  His respect for an elephant or a rhinoceros (rhino for short) is that of the man behind the gun.

     "If snakes could shoot and lions had guns, it wouldn't be possible to hunt them,"  he says in answer to questions of the uninformed or the inexperienced.  He admits the superior cunning of the wild animal, since the call of the wild is always the call of those that kill--to live."

     Just why a good-looking man should wish to bury himself for five months in the trailless wastes and jungles of Equatorial Africa in these days of pleasant times and pleasant places is in itself as interesting as the experiences he has encountered.

     It is the call of the wild in man.

     When I asked Mr. Bradley why he found the forest so attractive, he smiled incredulously at the notion that any one could fail to understand the pleasure of it.

     He had been a sportsman all his life--not a hunter.  There is a neat distinction between the two.

     A hunter is a professional, who goes into the jungle for ivory and skins for the market; the sportsman is the aristocrat, free from commercial pursuit, who hunts for trophies only.

     "Few people in this country realize the great variety of animals there are in Equatorial Africa," said Bradley, "we think that our deer species in this country are more numerous than anywhere else, for instance.  Why , I have seen animals out there that scarcely a handful of white men have ever seen.  Animals that no one scarcely in this country ever heard of."

     Then he told me about the incredible bongo, a huge, grass eating animal that no white man has ever killed, that no museum has ever seen, excepting the horns of one that were bought from a black man, and which upon investigation by the naturalists proved to be an undiscovered species.

      The Hon. Walter Rothschild of London, whose collection of natural history specimans is famous, has offered 1,000 Pounds for a bongo.

     "When I was coming out of the game country," said Bradley, "I was told that Guy Baker had gone into the bush to remain there, no matter how long it took, till he had got a bongo.  It is a big animal, and inhabits almost impenetrable jungle country."

     The country beyond Mombasa, where Mr. Bradley spent the first five most beautiful months of the year-- from June till October-- lies between latitude 1 1/2 north of the equator and longitude 36 1/2 east of Greenwich.  He chose these months because it is in the dry season.  No one hunts in that country when it rains, usually for two months at a time consecutively.

     There is never any lack of game.

      Here is a list of it as seen by Mr. Bradley:

      Elephants, rhinoceros, hippopatomus, three species of giraffe, three species of hartebeast, (an animal belonging to the antelope family:) Hunter's antelope, iopi, wilderbeast, three kinds of dinker, four species of dikdik, oribi, the Zanzibar antelope, steinbuck, kilpspringer, waterbuck, Thomas Cob, two kinds of reed buck, impalas, four kinds of gazelle, sable antelope, oryx, bushbuck, bongo, greater kudu, the eland, (the largest of the antelope tribe:) African buffalo, (a dangerous beast, that charges:) wart hog, bush pig, tens of thousands of zebra, lions, leopards, cheetahs, serval cats, jackals, and thousands of ostriches, monkeys and snakes.

     It is a busy place for the sportsman, as this list implies, and a man must be prepared.

     The preparations for a hunt of this kind involve an expense of about $20,000-- that is , including the mounting of the trophies brought out of the forest.

     "I had 130 people in my caravan," said Mr. Bradley, "consisting of black men from different tribes, Swahillis, Samallia, and Masai people.These men act as porters, mule drivers, gun bearers, armed men, cooks, and so forth.  We carry a complete camping outfit, ammunition, guns, and everything necessary for a long sojourn away from civilization.  Say, we we strike out in a northerly direction."

     "With a compass?"

     Bradley smiled once more one of those incredulous, patient smiles, and snapped his fingers as he said: "I wouldn't give that for a compass in the forest or mountains.  A man who is used to hunting knows instinctively in what direction he is going.  I couldn't get lost in a mountain country, that is something that's born in one, and then there is always the light of the sun to guide you.  For instance, two men never hunt together.  In the morning, one man, we will say, will stalk game to the left, making a semi-circle toward a certain mound or hill which they pick out in the distance as a meeting place for luncheon.  The second man chooses a semi-circular route to the right toward the same point, and they couldn't miss lunch together at that spot any more than if it were on Fifth Avenue.  The instinct of the location is born in a man of the outdoors.  Now, if we decide upon a northerly course through the country, we stick to that, not being lured to west or east by sight of big game.   We let that pass, and keep due north till we find other game.  Our programme was usually to hunt from 6 in the morning till 10, when the intense heat of the sun gets up; from 10 to 4 we stayed in camp, and from 4 to 6 we did some shooting.  The nights in the highlands are always cool, but the days are intensely hot.  We feed our servants usually on the flesh of the game we kill, saving the trophies of course."

     The danger is constant, for although few animals will charges a hunter, any wounded animal usually will.

     The success in stalking big game depends on killing promptly, upon standing your ground when an animal charges, and upon being a good shot.  If you turn and run froma wounded animal, the chances are he will catch you.  Mr. Bradley told me of a celebrayed sportsman of whose death he had heard as he was returning to Mombasa.

     He was hunting elephants, the most dangerous of all animals to shoot.

     "It was in dense forest country," said Bradley, "and the hunter faced the elephant to give him the death shot through the brain.  The animal came rushing down upon him, looking like an animated and vicious brick house, and suddenly losing his nerve, the hunter turned to run, and the elephant just seized him with his trunk and smashed him up against a tree.  You must never lose your nerve, never give ground or you'll be killed.  Hunting big game is always dangerous.  The sportsman always has his gun bearers around him, who keep the guns loaded and hand them to him as he asks for them.  I remember one morning catching sight of some antelope just beyond the fork of a tree.  I saw by there attitude of attention that they were looking at something unusual.  They did not see me.  I crept up to the tree, and looking through the fork I saw an unusually larhe leopard sitting with his back to me.  T o show you how cunning he was, he must have noticed at once by the look of the antelope, which could see me, that there was something behind him.  He just turned cooly around, looked over his shoulder calmly at me, and turned his head again, as though he had not seen me.  My gun bearers were not near enough, and by the time I had got the gun I wanted and returned to the tree, my leopard had slipped away into the tall grass.  My foreman was quite sure that it was a lion, and pressed eagerly along by my side.  A lion is not half as dangerous as a leopard.  At last, when we  came within 200 yards of the beast, it turned and began snarling and spitting at us.  I took a shot at it, and it dragged itself in the grass.  Fearing that I had merely wounded it, I made a wide detour of the place where I knew it must be, all of which proved to be unnecessary because the leopard was dead when we found it."


The rhinoceros is the most dangerous of big game.  He usually weighs 5,000 pounds, and charges viciously, tearing up everything in his way.  "The principal danger is of coming upon a rhino when he is asleep," said Mr. Bradley.  "He is the color of earth, and before you know it you may stumble upon him.  He is very quick,  and  when you hear his "Chug, chug;" look out.  I had two dogs with me during all my trip, and they were very useful in keeping one particular rhino busy till I had a chance to get the right shot at him-- in the neck.  The hippopotamus is an animal you hunt in canoes.  The best shot at him is when he rises to the surface of the water to breathe and throws up his nostrils; then, if you can put a solid steel bullet into one of them, you've got him.  But be careful that he doesn't tip you out of the canoe to make food for the crocodiles."  

     Mrmr. Bradley never shot a giraffe because there was no trophy on him, and there was other game for food.  Snakes didn't seem to worry him.

     "As long as I've got a gun, I'm not afraid of a snake, or any other dangerous animal, for that matter."

     The elephant, the rhinoceros, and the hippopotamus are the three really dangerous animals of the big game country in Africa, to say nothing of fevers and cholera.

     Mr. bradley has made a study of the natives of this wild country, who protect themselves from the beasts of the jungle as best they can with spears and poisoned arrows.

     "Frequently the natives in these villages begged me to stop over night and kill some lion that had been stealing their goats, but I never did, because it necessitated spending the night in one of their filthy huts, and I preferred my own camp tent.  I came across a native tribe that had never seen a white man before-- the Suk tribe.  I am writing a book upon what I have learned behind the gun around the world, " said the most active American sportsman we know about.     



The Inter Ocean, (Chicago, Illinois)  Sunday, March 31, 1912,  Page31

By Karl K. Kitchen


     This is a story of what I saw in one night in the greatest wide-open gambling establishments in the United Sates.

The Place is the Beach Club, commonly known as Bradley’s at Palm Beach, Fla. The most luxurious Temple of Chance on this side of the Atlantic,  It bears the same relation to Palm Beach that the Casino does in Monte Carlo.  It is an approved part of the general scheme.

     Though gambling is wide open, there is not even a blot of interference by the state authorities.

     Why?  Palm Beach is owned by Henry M. Flagler—so is most of the state of Florida.  Like Monaco, the popularity of Palm beach is supposed to depend upon the prosperity of its gambling establishment.  It is generally reported that “Bradley’s” makes a net profit of half a million a year, which is not bad, considering that it is open only three months out of twelve.

     John R. Bradley, hunter of big game and backer of Dr. Cook, is the man who operates this establishment.

     Hot springs, Ark, French Lick, and Palm Beach are the three resorts in America where there is wide-open gambling for both men and women, free from all interferances by the state and local authorities,  But the games at Hot Springs and French Lick are for pikers.  At Palm Beach they are for millionaires or for those who can live like millionaires for a few days in that delightful spot.  It is a place where pikers can’t pike.

     It was 10 o’clock at night when I arrived in Palm Beach, and with other New Yorkers I hastily donned evening clothes and hurried to the Beach Club.

     Evening dress is the strict rule at “Bradley’s” after 7 p.m.  But that said “twenty-five years of age” are practically the only requirements—except a bank roll.  If one is faultlessly attired and “looks good” to Mr. Reese, the secretary of the “club” he is admitted without question.

     To be sure he is given a membership ticket and a little book of rules, but there are no dues, and membership only entitles you to risk your money.

     When I received my membership card I passed from the lobby of the club building—a two story structure—late the main gambling room and to an atmosphere of pink lit fairy lamps and perfumed frou-frou.  I found myself in the presence of perhaps two hundred men and handsomely gowned women grouped around six roulette and two bazaar tables in a beautiful octagonal room.

     From the appearance of the crowd one would suppose they were attending an evening function at a fashionable Fifth avenue home.  They were equally as num-erous as the men, and their gowns were as elaborate as one would see at a Caruso night at the Metropolitan.  Most of them were ablaze with diamonds.

     Every person in the room except the black-coated croupiers seemed to have an aura of luxury—not merely the luxury of wealth but the luxury of its possession for at least two generations. 

     The men were gentlemen, the women their wives and daughters.  There were no touts, barkeepers, no vacationists, horsemen with pasts or girls from the chorus.  The Beach Club is no place for such people.  If by chance they do pet in, they are asked to leave the moment they are spotted—and when a “member” is asked to leave, there is no argument.

     The game was at the height when I was told by E. R. Bradley, bother of John R.  and the president of the  “club,”  to make myself at home.  I turned to the roulette table, nearest at hand.  A handsome moan of fifty-five or sixty—one of the leading lawyers in New York—and two young women, his nieces, were betting hundred-dollar bill, while three or four others who were seated at the table were playing with five and ten dollar chips.

     Later in the evening, when the crowd thinned out, the son of a famous Secretary of the Navy was playing at the same table with $500 bills, and rumor had it that he dropped $30,000 in less than an hour.

     It is well to keep in mind that this is not a story of Monte Carlo.  It concerns Palm Beach, the Mecca of fashionable New York for three months of the year.  San Francisco in its early chuck-a-luck days was never more open.  Canfield’s at Saratoga had a Puritanical atmosphere compared with the life and gayety at the Beach Club..

     There are gambling houses in New York today—I was in one less than a month ago—but the games are behind barred doors, no women are admitted and, further-rmore, there is little playing.  People don’t play roulette in New York since Chief Flynn’s raids showed that most of the wheels were crooked.  But at Palm Beach there is no suggestion of crookedness.

     People in Palm Beach do not play to win.  They play for amusement, because it is fashionable, because they have more money than they know what to do with.  What if they do drop half a million in three months?  They have had a good time.

     Think of it!  Eight gambling tables running full time, with an unlimited bank roll behind each and surrounded by the richest and most fashionable men and women in America!

     The “Club” opens at noon. In addition to the games of chance it contains a restaurant where the most fashionable eat lunch and dine.  Prices in the restaurant are about twice as high as at the Waldorf, hence it is the rendezvous of fashion.

Business, as the play is called< begins immediately after luncheon.  The croupiers are always on hand.  They live in a house by themselves near the club and are not allowed to mingle with the guests at the hotels.

     As a rule not more than three or four tables are running in the afternoon.  It is usually p o’clock before the club is crowded and everything is in full swing.

     At that time the diners at the club have finished dinner and the crowd from the hotels starts over in wheeled chairs.  Sometimes the crowd is so great that it fills the club to overflowing.  People stand three deep around the tables waiting for a player to leave so that  they can try their luck.  At every table there are twenty or thirty standees, for many visit the club merely to look on.

     Considering the multitude, part of which is continually moving, there is sur-priseingly little noise.  In fact, the most profound tranquility prevails; scarcely a word is spoken.  You might imagine yourself in a church, such stillness reigns.

     The spinning of the marble alone breaks the silence.  When it falls, the croupier indicates the winning number by pointing to the board, sweeping in the chips and money and paying the winners without a word.  Chips, paper as well as gold and silver money can be bet.  The lowest is 50 cents; the highest $500.

     Of course the player is at liberty to bet on as many different chances as he desires.  Unlike the roulette wheels at Monte Carlo, the wheels at “Bradley’s” have two zeros.  At Monte Carlo when zero appears, the bank leaves the simple chances on the board for the next play.  If If this adverse to the bank, your stake is liberated, otherwise the bank claims it; but there is no chance like this at Bradley’s.

     While the game is running, E. R. Bradley moves silently around from table to table, paying winners from a fat wallet containing scores oif $50, $100 and $500 bills.

     There is no drinking in the gambling room.  In the restaurant, however, there is a continuous popping of champagne corks until 2 in the morning, when most of the “members” leave for the hotels.

     Few woo the fickle goddess according to a system.  Nearly all the players trust to simple luck.  For them it’s only recreation—excitement they can’t find in New York or anywhere else in America.

     Now and then a sporty millionaire or plunger appears on the scene—usually with a stack of $500 bills.  The “club” keeps open all night for him.  Sometimes reports get around that $25,000 or $35,ooo has been won or lost by players of this type.

     It is common gossip that a New York politician lost $26,000 there in one evening and that he took it so badly that he was given a percentage on the wheel in order to make it up.   He has a cottage in Palm Beach, but now is barred from the club.

     Practically everyone who visits Palm Beach visits “Bradley’s.” so it would be impossible to give the names of those who play.  I saw two Supreme Court Judges, a dozen prominent lawyers, bankers, capitalists and society men the evening I spent in the gambling room.  Most of them were accompanied by their wives.

     At Palm Beach women can woo the fickle goddess with impunity.  No social stigma is attached to it,  Yet, in New York they would be common gamblers!

     There is little danger that the state of Florida will close the Beach Club while Henry M. Flagler is alive.  He knows what it means to Palm Beach and Florida knows what Palm Beach means to the state.

Pensacola News Journal,  Saturday, September 11, 1909,  Page 1


John R. Bradley, the man who backed the Cook polar discovery, has produced checks and other documents to prove that the entire expedition, including the cost of the schooner and the big game hunting trip which preceded the actual journey to the pole was less than $50,000.  These documents, which are still in Mr. Bradly's possession, show how carefully the undertaking was planned .  Cook had everything he needed, Bradley says, but nothing that he did not need.  He declares that polar expeditions  have been defeated in their aims by the very weight of unnecessary  impediments.  He insists that Cook's achievement exposes the folly of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fit out a polar search.  Everything which Cook elected for the dash to the pole was as light as it could possibly be made.  For instance, the stoves that Dr. Cook used weighed only three pounds, whereas Peary and other arctic explorers have carried cumbersome cooking outfits, some of the stoves weighing fifteen pounds.  Bradley further points out the very common sense fact that the smaller the party and the less food and equipment necessary, , which he declares was the real secret of Dr. Cook's success.

El Paso Herald,  Thursday, October 3, 1907,   Page 1


Man whom Herald Dispatches Told of Yersterda in Far North, Worked Once for The Eggers.


​Worked First in the Old Bacchus and Then in Center Block -- Has Hunted All Over the World.

​     John R. Bradly, spoken of in yesterday afternoon's Herald dispatches as heading to the North Pole in a boat named for him, is an El Pasoan, having worked in El Paso as a gambler in several different place and accumulating the start here which has made him a millionaire several times over.  The present trip is in satisfaction of one of his hobbies, hunting big game in out of the way and uninhabited places, of the earth, according to his old friend, The Eggers, who received a letter from him in July telling of the start for the Polar regions.

​The Eggers Gave Him A Start.

     Mr. Eggers had known John R. Bradley and his brother, Ed, for more than 20 years and was really the one who gave the two Bradley's their start in El Paso, which has handed them on the topmost wave of prosperity and enabled John Bradly to gratify his hobby for travel and exploration.

​ Came to El Paso in 1885

     "John Bradley and his brother, Ed. Bradley, came to El Paso in 1886," said Eggers this afternoon.  "John was at that time about 18 years of age and his brother slightly older.  They had been following Mexican fiestas and carnivals running a "chunk-a-lunk" machine.


     "I was instantly attracted to the two boys, especially to John and offered then some inducements to quit their roving and put their energies into square gambling.  They were both hustlers and were always doing something.

     "Once when John wasn't gambling he took a job cooking for a New Mexico mining camp, later coming back to El Paso.  I gave him a position in the old Bacchus, which was where the D. & H. shoe store is now, and which was later the Astor House.  The Bacchus was opened up on Christmas Eve, 1886, and John and Ed both had positions in the place.

Gets interest In Gambling House

     "Later I took John Bradley up and introduced him to McLein, who at that time running a gambling house in the Center Block.  McLein saw something in the young fellow from the start and offered him a good thing, giving him part of the profits and making him practically manager of the place.  John was at that time about 18 or 19 years old.


Made First Trip Around World

     "In the fall of 1887, John Bradley left El Paso to make his first trip around the world.  Of a roving disposition he did not seem to be able to stay in one place very long.  He was gone eight or nine months and came back to take his position with McLein again.

     "He had become a square gambler and the house of which he was manager for McLein was lucky, winning a lot of money.  John Bradley left El Paso for good about 1889, having accumulated a good start from the profits of the McLein house in the Center Block.

Established Resort in Florida.

     "He and McLein went together and established a big gaming house in St. Augustine, Florida, later establishing another at Palm Beach, Florida.  Both of these places they own today.  They also gambled in the east, owning gambling houses in Chicago and New York, and became millionaires several times over.

     "When John Bradley found himself in a financial position that allowed him to do so he began to gratify his hobbies, which had been in his interest always.  One of his most predominant hobbies is hunting big game in out of the way places.

Spent $20,000 on African Hunt

     "About three years ago he equipped a hunting party at a cost of $22,000 which went into the inner-most depths of Africa and he invited me to go, but I was unable to do so.  Later he sent me dozens of photographs of the trip, showing himself and others of the party sitting upon rhinoceroses, elephants, tigers and lions which had been killed in the most unknown and little explored portions of the dark-continent.

​Book of Trip Cost $2,500

     He wrote a book of the trip, giving a number of photographs, and had the book printed for private circulation.  Each one of the party received a copy and he sent one to me.  I presume that not more than three or four dozen of the books were printed, but he wrote me that they had cost him $2,500.  They were got up in an elaborate and artistic style and I value mine highly. 

Wrote Before Leaving on Trip

     "He wrote me from Boston under date of July 1st when his present expedition started out and he said that he was simply making a trip for big game of the Arctics.  I notice that the dispatches say the party intend making a try for the North Pole, so I suppose they have decided to hunt for the most northern point while they were at it."

     Eggers has a large number of photographs of both John Bradley and his brother, taken in various places as they sat at gambling tables and as they stalked big game through the unexplored jungles of little known parts of the earth.  Several of these pictures decorate the walls of his saloon and others are carefully preserved in photograph books.

​Ed. Bradley Also Millionaire

     "As John Bradley has prospered, so has his brother, Ed.," continued Eggers, "Ed. Bradley is himself several times a millionaire and is interested in various enterprises.  He owns a big tailoring establishment in Chicago, is interested in various other mercantile establishments and owns a large and valuable string of race horses.

     "He owns a horse race breeding farm near Lexington, Kentucky, where he breeds some of the best animals in the country.  This farm is of itself said to be valued at $500,000.

     In his letter to Eggers, just before leaving on his polar expedition, Bradley enclosed a clipping from the New York Herald giving an account of the trip he was to undertake.  The Herald says:

     "To hunt the polar bear, the musk ox, the walrus and the caribou at home in the shadow of the north pole not only with his rifle but with a moving picture machine as well.  Is the summer vacation planned by John R. Bradley, an amateur sportsman of New York City.  He will depart on July 1 to board his auxiliary schooner at Boston.  Dr. Frederick A. Cook, former companion of Robert E. Peary, veteran of Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, will accompany him.

     Mr. Bradley has landed in every part of the world except the vast, unexplored territory of the Arctic Circle.  He has made several trips to Africa and to Asia and has covered almost every foot of big game country in the United States and the northwest.  He was in Mongolia last year seeking the long-haired cave tiger.  Before that he was in Thibet, where he obtained specimens of one of the rarest of mountain sheep.

      For his coming voyage, Mr. Bradley purchased a Gloucester fishing schooner, 118 feet over all, and installed in her a powerful engine.  She has had her sheathed with three inch oak and reinforced   inside and out.  He will take a large crew, with officers and an ice pilot, and does not expect to return until the latter part of the year.

     "We will go up the west coast of Greenland, "said Mr. Bradley yesterday, "and hunt caribou for a time."  From there we go to Melville Bay, from where I expect to get polar bear all the way up in Smith sound, which is seventy eight degrees north latitude, or within eight degrees of the "furthest north" reached by Peary.  On the islands of the sound and the surrounding mainland we hope to strike the musk ox and of course the walrus.  These will be particularly plentiful, I understand, in Hudson's Bay.  After that we will go south into Hudson Bay, turning into Chesterfield Inlet if the ice permits, where we will be able to hunt in the barren lands for musk ox.

      "Of course, I shall attempt to obtain some good specimens of game, but one of the interesting features of the expedition will be the taking of moving pictures.  I have used the camera largely in all my travels, and had arranged to take a moving picture machine with me last year, but I could not get film in Paris.  We hope now to photograph animals as they live and move."

     "While I am hunting," continued Mr. Bradly, "Dr. Cook will be pursuing his studies of the Eskimo.  He has made exhaustive studies of the tribes, and will complete them this year.  To him also the camera will be of great benefit. 

     Our schooner will not go into the smaller bays and inlets, for the risk of getting caught in the new ice would be too great, so we procured a 20 foot whale boat and put in her a 10 horse power engine, and on her a hooded cabin with accommodations for four men.  She is of light draught and can go anywhere, and if she should be caught by the ice, we can abandon her."

     Mr. Bradley said this would his last big hunt because, so far as he knows, the globe has no other big game country unexplored by him.   

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El Paso Herald-Post   Thursday, May 23, 1974   Page 9


Mother of All-Time Great Winner Sneaked Across Rio-Grande

Kentucky Derby Founders Held Close El Paso Ties

By William C. McGraw

     Few El Pasoans who watched Commander thunder down the straightaway at Louisville's Churchill Downs and win the 100th running of the Kentucky Derby, know of this city's close association with the history of this classical race.

     To begin with the famous "Run for the Roses" was started by a cousin of the late Gen. William J. Glasgow, who celebrated his own 100th anniversary eight years ago at his residence on McGoffin Street where his daughter, Octavia still resides.

    SECONDLY, it is likely there would not be a Kentucky Derby, and certainly it would not be run at a place called Churchill Downs if Gen. Stephen Watts Kearney had not wed a beautiful St. Louis belle named Mary Radford.  it was General Kearney's forces who placed most of the land between El Paso and California under the American flag -- but that is another story.  

     THIRDLY, many of the Derby records, and the most unusual ones were set by horses owned  and brad by an Irishman who once lived at 604 North Oregon Street --  where the house of Carpets is today -- and who had a place of business at 107 San Antonio Street, where the American Furnituer Co. store now stands.

   As if this weren't enough for the area.  It is furthermore evident that a former manager of the Juarez Race-track made the Kentucky Derby the noted event it has become, while a noted Juarez filly, called Useit was sneaked across the Rio Grande into the United States and later became the mother of one of the all-time great Kentucky Derby winners, Black Gold.

     THE KENTUCKY DERBY was conceived by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. who built the famous race course and named it after his mother, Abigail Churchill.  The interesting thing is that Abigail was almost  NOT his mother. His father, Meriwether Lewis Clark Sr., had planned to marry the St. Louis belle, Mary Radford, but his family strongly opposed the union because Meriwether was not only her stepbrother, but first cousins as well so she married Kearney.

     Meriwether, Sr. didn't give up easily, though, for when the then Major Kearney was wooing the St. Louis beauty, Meriwther was attending West Point. He heard about the proposed nuptials, however, and on the day Mary and Kearney were to be wed, Meriwether returned to St. Louis and he convinced her that she was making a mistake that she didn't show up at the alter and Major Kearney paced back and forth alone.

     THE WEDDING was postponed until the next day, and Mary finally decided against marrying her cousin and step-brother.  She went through with the wedding with Kearney and Meriwether remained a bachelor for four years at which time he returned to his father's home state of Kentucky and there married Abigail Churchill  of the same family as the late Sir. Winston.

     There first son was Meriwether Leis Clark Jr., and it was he  who established the Derby in 1875, after spending several years in Europe, studying the races and courses there.  He copied the Derby after the Epson Downs, England.  He named the Kentucky course Churchill Downs, because it was from his mother's family he acquired the land upon which it was built.  

     MERIWETHER Lewis Clark, was called "Lutie" by his family and it was by this name he was addressed by his aunt "Tee" who was Harriet Kennerly Radford Clark, mother of General Glasgow and grand-mother of Octavia.

     Now about the Irishman who dominated so many Derby races for so long a time and who lived in El Paso.  He was Colonel Edward Riley Bradley, often written about by El Paso's Owen P. White and J. D. Pender, the latter one-time editor of the Times.

     Bradley, born in 1859 at Johnstown, Pa., came to New Mexico with his brother, John in 1880 to mine at Kingston and Hillsboro.  Although they were strong and finely built men, they were too small for the mines, so turned to gambling under the tutelage of Lucille Dino and her husband, Frank Thurmond, later to become beloved pioneers of Deming.  It must be remembered that in those days gambling was an honored profession.

     AROUND 1882 Ed Bradley left his brother, John, to run their place in Kingston and he moved to El Paso, bringing with him a former deputy of Bat Masterson's, a fast gunman. named Michael McLean, and one of the world's greatest dealers, Del Betterworth.

     Bradley, as a good luck omen, called everything he owned with a name beginning with a "B' and that held for his gambling casinos as well as his thiroughbredd runners.  So when he opened his elegant casino at 107 San Antonio Street, he called it the Bacchus.  Ed turned over the first floor saloon and profits to McLean and Butterworth while he retained management of the games on the second floor.

     THE INSTITUTION thrived, but Ed had his eyes on greener pastures back east, so he sold out the Bacchus to a gentleman named Si Ryan, known affectionately by his friends as "Three-fingers, " who until then had oper-ated a small place on Overland which he called the Cardiff Joint.  To demonstrate that he, too, had a touch of class, Three-Fingers renamed the Bacchus, calling it the Astor House.

     There is little doubt that the Bradleys were by far the classiest gamblers to grace El Paso table.  In addition to being honest, Pender called them intelligent young men...both athletes...crack shots with pistol or rifle...Beau Brummels...intolerant of shabbily dressed men."  Uncle Jimmy McKenna, who knew them at Kingston. wrote that "only a square game was ever backed  by Colonel Bradley's money." 

     AND A GOOD chunk of Bradley's money was handed over to McLean before the brother's left., for Ed  backed his former partner in the purchase of a majority interest in the Wigwam, which was to become El Paso's most notorious gambling emporium.  Minority interest owner in the Wigwam was Theo Eggers.

     Bradley soon established the Idle Hour Farms near Lexington to further his breeding ambitions and went out to bid in top horses over the competition of such notables as the Wideners and the Vanderbilts.  His foundation sire was a horse called Black Toney.

     From the on, he was always a top contender for the Derby honors, and was the only owner ever to see his horses run one-two in two different Kentucky Derby races.  That's domination -- not withstanding Mrs. Tweedle's fine entries.

     In the 1921 Derby, Colonel Bradley's Behave Yourself came in first, followed by his other horse, Black Entry, and five years later another Bradley colt, Bubbling Over, came pounding down the stretch to nudge another Bradley horse Bagenbaggage, out of the winner's circle.  But that is not all, he had many other winners.

     I was fortunate enough to be standing in the last turn at Churchill Downs in 1933 to see Head-Play, ridden by Herb Fisher, drift wide and allow Don Meade to guide Broker's Tip along the rail and take the lead.

     Broker's Tip, another Bradley horse, started his move and Fisher reached out. grabbing Meade by the silks to hold him back.  Meade whacked Fisher across the nose with his whip and the blood started to fly.  Fisher grabbed at Meade's saddle and thus they went battling down the long straightaway at Churchill Downs with Bradley's entry crossing the wire first.  Fisher's foul claim was not allowed, since he started it. 

     Matt Winn is the racing genius who made the Kentucky derby what it is today, and he also managed the track at Mexico City and Juarez in the early years of this century.  While he was running the Juarez track, a filly named Useit, who had won 25 six furlong races, was entered in a Juarez feature.

     The filly was owned by R. M. Hoots, who heard nobody would claim his jewel, but a sharpy named Tobe Ramsey filed a claim, so Hoots rode Useit across the Rio Grande in the middle of the night and shipped her back to Kentucky.  There she was bred to Bradley's Black Toney, to produce Black Gold, which won the 1924 Derby.

     BRADLEY was responsible for many innovations.  For one, he had an oculist design a special pair of glasses for one of his race horses who couldn't see too well, and he designed and installed the first starting gate in 1928 at Fair Grounds, a track he then owned at New Orleans.  He also invented fiber skull caps for jockeys.

     In the early 1940s when Bradley was in his 80s, the old man had his private parlor car shunted off the Southern Pacific to California for a few days stay in El Paso to look over his old haunts.

     BOB INGRAM, the Herald-Post sports editor then, as now, went down to the railroad yards to interview the famous race track man and not once did Bradley ever mention he was a former El Pasoan.

     Owen P. White, the best writer El Paso ever produced, was difficult to fool, and he certainly had the number of the Bradley boys.   "The Bradley brothers," opined White sagely, "were not born until they were 45." 

A little note on Cy Ryan who became the owner of the Bacchus, renaming it the Astor House

November 09, 2010

Before Sun City, El Paso was Sin City

January 13, 2003

By Leon Metz / Special to the Times

..........Most gamblers were transients. In 1902 an estimated 600 lived here, most of them making a living in 96 saloons.

But none of them in terms of style could touch Cy Ryan, the most colorful, flamboyant gambler ever to hit El Paso. Ryan opened the Mint Saloon at 207 S. El Paso Street, old timers remembering the location as the Alhambra Theater and later the Palace Theater.

Then Ryan went big time, opening the Astor House Saloon and Gambling Emporium at 107 San Antonio.

The gambling house ran wide open 24 hours a day. Celebrities passing through always made a point to stop in. Famed gunman and sports writer Bat Masterson spent time there, as did former world heavyweight champion, John L. Sullivan.

Loud in every sense, Ryan wore "expressive" raiment topped off with a silk stovepipe hat. When he spoke, the whole town heard him, and when he went to church, he dropped only coins in the collection box because they made such an impressive, noticeable clatter.

Every morning he threw open the doors of his saloon, tossing handfuls of coins into the street where boys would scramble for them.

Once each week, Pomroy Stables sent its finest hack to the Astor House, the horses shining and prancing, the driver dressed like a wealthy cab driver. Ryan's servants then trotted out with sugar, coffee, flour, meat, corn and whatever.

With Ryan looking like a European count, silk top hat never slipping, and with a crack of the whip, he and the coachman rumbled off in their chariot to distribute food to the poor in South El Paso.

The Astor House gambling emporium is gone, in its place a rather quiet parking lot alongside Pioneer Plaza, across the street from the Camino Real Hotel. Shoppers, businessmen, tourists and politicians stroll by with scarcely a thought to the showy events that once occurred there.

As for whatever happened to the colorful, high-stepping Cy Ryan, I have not the vaguest idea, but he brought a sense of style that's sorely needed today.

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