lIllllNII III II nil in I iiiIIhIh
The Chicago Dailt^lvp
Vf jITY OF
CARTOONS BY BRADLEY
Pholo b^ Syhrt
The Chicago Daily News
WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
AND AN APPRECIATION
RAND McNALLY & COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, I917, BY
The Chicago Daily News Co.
Rand McNally * Company
THIS picture, drawn by John T. McCutcheon, the noted cartoonist for Tlte Chicago
Tribune, was published in that newspaper Januar>' ii, 1917, the day of Luther
D. Bradley's funeral. The tribute was characteristic of Mr. McCutcheon's sincerity in his
friendships. Equally sincere was his spoken corrunent at the time of Mr. Bradley's
death: "He was great all the time . . . not just now and then."
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY, whose cartoons commanded admira-
-/ tion everywhere, was never personally conspicuous. He did not make
speeches, or sit on platforms, or seek office. His very portrait was almost
unknown. In an age when publicity comes easily to less eminent men,
when, indeed, popular persons are so much written about that their work
is less known than their way of working, Luther Bradley managed to live
unobtrusively. Yet he had friends, thousands of friends who never saw
him, but who felt that in his cartoons he spoke directly to them. They
wrote to him, not as "Dear sir," but as "Dear Mr. Bradley." In the
scrapbooks wherein he methodically pasted every cartoon he had published
for the last seventeen years, he laid away scores of these letters, some from
people of note, the majority from that vast body of "plain citizens" he
loved to serve. They said in these letters he had "helped"' them. They
asked his advice. Mothers poured out to him their thoughts. Little boys
sent drawings painfully copying his style. He laid all these tenderly away
where he could see them again. They were his banquets.
Now that he is dead it seems only fair to his public to tell something about
how he lived, and what kind of man he was. A representative collection
of his cartoons, such as this volvune is intended to present, would be incom-
plete without the story of himself. It is a simple story, for his adventures
were mainly of the intellect; but it has qualities arising from the fact that
he was so sterling a man, and so patriotic an American.
THE story of Luther D. Bradley does not really begin with the date
of his birth (September 29, 1853) but with the year 1857, when his
parents embarked on the great adventure of moving to the "far West" —
Illinois. They lived in New Haven, Connecticut, where they were highly
regarded both for their own sakes and because of their ancestry. The father,
Francis Bradley, was the grandson of Col. Philip Burr Bradley, who received
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY
from George Washington himself a commission as marshal of the State of
Connecticut. The mother, Sarah Ruggles Bradley, came of a Vermont
family similar in patriotic tradition. In New Haven Francis Bradley held
the double position of cashier of the City Bank and instructor in astron-
omy in Yale College, whence his father had been graduated in 1800. Pass-
ing his days in the bank, and his evenings in gratifying his love for science,
Francis Bradley set his son a high example of industry.
The Bradleys had heard of Chicago, Illinois, as a city of promise, a vigor-
ous and growing community of more than 80,000. A brother of Francis
(William H. Bradley, afterwards for many years clerk of the Federal courts
in Chicago) was living there, and was enthusiastic about the West. So
Francis and Sarah Bradley left New Haven forever, and with their son and
two daughters entered the company of "early Chicagoans," whose memories
are of a courthouse square across which people walked to work; of farmers'
wagons standing at State and Washington streets; of sidewalks on stilts;
of " Long John" Wentworth and Stephen A. Douglas; of wooded places now
known as Hyde Park and the "north shore." In this chaotic but virile
community the Bradleys made a new home.
In that same year, 1857, Lyman Baird, another New Haven man whose
ambitions led him westward, became a citizen of Chicago, and a year later
went into partnership with L. D. Olmstead, who in 1855 had established a
real estate business. Mr. Olmstead died in 1862, whereupcm Mr. Baird
persuaded Francis Bradley — then auditor of the Chicago, Rock Island &
Pacific Railroad — to enter partnership witli him. Thus began a business
relationship, and a friendship, that was to continue for many years, and was
to establish in Chicago's shifting soil one of its permanent things: the suc-
cessful real estate firm now known as Baird ami Warner. One would like
to dwell upon the struggles and triumphs of that pair of pioneers whose
names were so long linked as " Baird and Bradley, Real Estate," to tell how
they breasted calamities like the civil war and the "great fire of '71." But
this is not their story. And Luther Bradley's destiny, after a few years
As .\ Boy Willi Ills Sister I'^i.kanok As a "Coi.i,iu;i-: Man," 1S75
A I lii)MK IN WlI.MKTTK, 1 1) I .|
In His Oimmck, as Cartoonist for
In Kvanston, iHy(j, with Childrkn
UK a Sister
when it seemed about to be bound up with that business enterprise, branched
AFTER a few years of residence in the city, Francis Bradley took his
x~V family to a new house in Evanston. It stood on a lot of nearly half
a block frontage in Hinman Avenue south of Church Street. A fascinating
lot this was, shaded by Evanston's eternal oaks; full of sweet odors and sing-
ing birds. There was country all about, woodland and meadow, and to the
east, almost, it seemed, at the edge of the Bradley property, the lake shim-
mered beyond the trees.
One hears of Luther Bradley growing up in Evanston, a boy with brown
wavy hair and dancing browTi eyes, who shot up presently to an astonishing
height, and who had just the best time a boy can have. His father encour-
aged him to be athletic, and to make things, and to be a manly fellow,
^hat was a father worth having: one who could beat the fellows jumping,
and who could do nice carpentry work, and who kept a little astronomical
observatory in the back yard, with a real telescope. Luther Bradley
became a very strong-and masculine youngster, quite untamed by the
fact that he had a houseful of sisters. He had at first three of these —
Sarah Elizabeth and Eleanor, bom in New Haven, and Louise Ruggles,
bom in Chicago. But before long he had another sister, Bessie, and
still another, whom they named Mary Frances. Next came a brother,
Francis, who died at a comparatively early age, and lastly Jessie, who was
his "little sister" as long as he lived. Six sisters to admire him, to pull his
hair, to criticize his neckties. And besides, in their abounding love for
children, the Bradleys adopted the daughter of a relative, who made
really a seventh sister, as dearly loved as any.
It is not hard to believe that the house was full of laughter, of April
showers, and of quaint ambitions. But it was also full of Luther's boy
friends, and his playthings, and their playthings; and there were always his
dogs, and theirs, trooping through. Luther loved his sisters, but neither
he nor his pursuits were dominated by them. He had his own especial
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY
pleasures, such as pigeon-shooting south of Evanston, in regions now covered
by apartment buildings and business blocks, or exploring wild places west
of the Skokie, or driving old Frank, the family's amiable white horse, through
the Wilmette forests. Better yet, he loved to sprawl in the sand and
listen to the yams of the Evanston life-saving crew. Capt. Lawson, for
so many years in charge of the station, took a fancy to Luther Bradley, and
taught him how to sail a catboat. He taught him, too, to delight in a keen
wind casting spray in one's face, while one shoots over whitecaps toward
a misty horizon. And not only then, but always, Luther Bradley loved
battles of that kind ; loved the water, and its hardships and its romance.
Sometime in this period of growing up, perhaps on winter evenings
when the lake was frozen, and the woods impassable, Luther developed a
knack of drawing pictures. It was more knack than genius, and it made
him when quite small the especial, exclusive artist for the Misses Bradley;
but that is all. His father looked benevolently upon art as a pastime, but he
did not encourage it as a serious matter. Luther had a few drawing lessons
before the family moved to Evanston, taking them of a north side lady.
They were the kind of lessons during which one works at a lop-sided peach,
or a tort tired hand. Afterward he had no art instruction whatever.
He was just a gay, clear-eyed youth, full of pranks, who might be any-
thing when he grew up, but who it was hoped would be a real estate man.
As one old friend put it the other day, "Luther Bradley always seemed
too much of a kid ever to be famous, to have a career."
But perhaps it was even because he was so much of a kid, a happy boy
his whole life long, that he achieved a career — yes, and fame.
A'l'ER preparation at Lake Forest Academy, and some study at North-
western University, Luther Bradley was enrolled at Yale College in
the class of '77. It was expected he would go through to graduation, and
thus form one more of the famous line of "Yale Bradleys." His experience
there, however, was not quite what was anticipated. He seems to have
had two sides: one a romping side, which led him into pranks of the purely
fun-making sort ; and the other a graver tendency, under the spell of which
he wrote verses for the college literary magazine. Incidents growing out
of both these moods are told. They foreshadowed the man very distinctly.
First, he was suspended for hazing. Nothing very unusual, then or now.
The notable thing in Luther Bradley's case was that he was not concerned
in the particular scrape for which they sent him home. He had, however,
been concerned in several hazings of earlier date, and had not been found
out. When he was summoned for this new exploit, he considered that "in
spirit," — since he had been a hazer before — he was guilty this time.
And he accepted sentence. But the faculty made his sentence light, and
he was permitted to return.
The other incident came of his verse-writing. He had contributed to
"Yale Lit" a poem, signed only by his initials, which, after a great deal of
revision, he decided to try on a "regular magazine." He sent it to the
New York Independent, with the stipulation, quite characteristic of his
lifelong modesty, that his full name must not be used. This put him at a
deadlock with the Independent, whose editor. Dr. William Hayes Ward,
was willing to use the verses, but insisted in all cases upon using the com-
plete and genuine name of contributors. There could be no compromise
with Luther Bradley. He took back his poem, and gave up for the time
his dawning "literary career." Later Frank Leslie's Monthly printed the
verses, signed by initials only (see page 27 of this volume).
He took a literary prize, instead of the scientific honors expected of him.
Instead of decorating New Haven with comic pictures, he joined the glee
club. The one thing in which he seemed consistent with his boyhood was
that he "made" the freshman crew. And then, in 1875, his father became
anxious to bring liini at once into the business, and sent for him to come
home. He came, bringing with him, as old companions remember, the big
oar he had used with the crew. And almost immediately he had to lay
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY
aside the big oar, with other trophies of boyhood, and go into the office.
This was a tremendous change from the freedom of life in Evanston,
and the comparative freedom of the campus. This was being at the
command of somebody eight or nine hours a day, and having intricate
new tasks to learn. This was work. And, whether he liked it or not,
Luther Bradley worked. It is possible he did not like the real estate busi-
ness; perhaps visions of sailboats or even drawing lessons floated before
him, but he put these things aside, in business hours, and crooked his tall
young form over ledgers. At first he was conveyancer, and afterward, when
he had proved his worth, cashier. Always from youth to maturity he did
with all his might whatever lay before him. So he was a diligent convey-
ancer and a scrupulous cashier. From an outdoor boy he had turned into
an "inside man."
A little later Wyllys W. Baird, eldest son of the senior partner, came
into the office to "work up." The Baird and Bradley families knew each
other well, of course, and Wyllys Baird, though younger than Luther, was
more than a mere office acquaintance for him. Mr. Baird is one of those
who testifies to the fidelity with which the future cartoonist did routine
work. He learned then much of the clean-cut efficiency, the determination
to finish what was begun, that he practiced later, and that he demanded
from others. Nevertheless, whenever he could he went in for athletics,
for hard physical tests. Wyllys Baird recalls vividly a day wlien Luther
Bradley challenged him to walk from the north end of the La Salle Street
tunnel to Evanston. They did it that afternoon by dinner time. Thirty
years later the same Luther, again with u dauntless companion, rowed a
boat from the mouth of the river to Wilmette witliout dropping oars. He
enjoyed such feats at fifty as much as he did at twenty.
WYLLYS BAIRD pushed on with the firm, and became at length its
senior partner, as he now is. But Luther Bradley, after seven years,
dropped out. His health had suffered somewhat from loyalty to those
ledgers; and it may have come to him suddenly that he had other work
to do. At all events he left the real estate business as completely and
energetically as he had entered it. He had gone as far as he could toward
being a logical, traditional Bradley. Now he was going to be a Bradley
of his own creation.
It was the sea that called him, among various thrilling summonses from
the outside world. Not as a profession, though that may have suggested
itself, too. But, somehow, the sea —
And the sea's colors up and down the world,
And how a storm looks when the sprays arc hurled
High as the yard . . .
And all the glittering from the sunset's red,
And the milky colors where the bursts have been.
And then the clipper striding like a queen
Over it all, all beauty to tlie crown."
(John Masefield; "Dauber.")
On a clipper just like that he sailed from Nova Scotia. It was in 1882,
when sailing vessels were in their glory. He arrived in London after a good
while, but with no intention of pausing there. He was restless. Some big
change was passing within him. Where next could he go? What was
the farthest place? The antipodes — Australia. Promptly he took another
sailing vessel for Australia. It was the "Lammermoor," a three-master.
He drew a picture of the ship, and sent it home. He drew many other
pictures. For the first time, it would seem, he was having the leisure to
develop as he might. And while the long, placid days succeeded each
other, and lazy cloud-ranks marched by along the horizon, it was the art
impulse that surged up in him most strongly.
He reached Melbourne somewhat tired of wandering. It was his plan
to take the next ship for home. But owing to some chance he missed
that ship, and found there would be no other for weeks. One of those
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY
determining events that arose every ten years or so, and that jolted his
conservative, habit-forming nature into a new phase, had come.
Alone in Melbourne, and not overstocked with money, he thought of
going to work. He thought of writing, and he did do some routine news-
paper work. And then he considered pictures. Was he an artist? He
did not know. But one day, as he wandered along the street irresolute, his
eye caught a sign in a newspaper office window:
He did not go in, but went away and prepared some sketches, which
he sent to the editor. To his dismay came a reply that the paper had just
"The editor wrote me," runs Mr. Bradley's own account, as he told it
some years ago, "that since I was not yet the paper's cartoonist, I could
not be blamed for its death. He added he was going to start another
publication, in which he hoped to use my pictures."
The new venture was named Australian Tidbits. Luther Bradley be-
came its cartoonist, and gave up all thought of going home. He had
found a brand new interest in life; the interest that was always afterward
to be supreme.
WHAT began as a brief visit to Australia expanded into a residence
of eleven years. After his service for Tidbits, afterwards Life, Mr.
Bradley, then a robust, bearded man of thirty and more, drew cartoons for
Melbourne Punch. On this last publication, a weekly, he remained the
longest. He wrote dramatic reviews for it. And once, when the editor,
Mr. McKinley, took a trip around the world, Luther Bradley was in
editorial charge for a year. Meantime he entered joyously into the
life of the city, which he found highly congenial, owing to its intelligent
and rather leisurely atmosphere, and its passion, almost equal to his, for
He was becoming celebrated. Australia was many sunsets distant
from the European capitals, but the mails got there after a while, and
whenever an example of Luther Bradley's work reached London, its vigor
and humor left their mark. New York, too, heard of him; and such papers
and clippings as reached Chicago astonished friends who never had thought
of Luther Bradley in this wise. He was at the door of fame, and it might
have opened to him in any of the greater cities. But in 1 892 Francis Brad-
ley, now more than seventy, became ill. Luther was summoned. And
while he was on the ocean the father, who had lived to delight in Luther's
cartooning, to feel a pride as great as he had felt when his son was succeeding
in real estate, passed away.
It was another of those determining events. Just eleven years since
the last one. It was to be only seven to the next, when he was to form
his connection with The Chicago Daily News.
His mother needed him now. It was clear that he must remain in
Chicago. He did not think he would like it as well as Melbourne. But
his duty now lay here, and his chance for a living. He did such art work
as he could get, residing, meantime, in the old home in Evanston. It was
not quite the same old home. The girls, most of them, had "married away."
The city had grown up around the homestead, and the woods, where any
were left, were thinner. However, many of his old friends remained:
Henry S. Boutell, his companion on many a camping and fishing trip;
Towner K. Webster, Frank Elliott, Philip R. Shumway, William H. Harper,
and many others. Besides, there were nephews and nieces of whom he was
fond. Having considerable leisure now and then, he drew some astonishing
pictures for the children of one sister, Mrs. John R. Case, writing verses
to explain the pictures. Two of these nonsense books afterwards were
published and sold under the titles, "Wonderful Willie; What He and
Tommy Did to Spain," and "Our Indians; a Midnight Visit to the Great
Somewhere-or-other . ' '
This was a kind of transition period for him. It may be passed over
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY
quickly in favor of the greater period to come, when, following some years
of cartoon work on other Chicago newspapers, he joined, in July, 1899,
the staff of The Daily News.
THE man who came among us then cannot be forgotten. He was
forty-six years old, and might very properly have been gray-haired and
sedate. Instead he was one of the most dynamic, quick-spoken and athletic
beings ever seen in a newspaper office. His hair was solid dark brown,
brushed up in a defiant pompadour. His face was ruddy. He was six
feet two inches tall, and his physique almost massive. His whole bearing,
even in such a trivial action as striding down a room, was that of a tremen-
dously intense and vigorous man.
Everybody knew, when Bradley came, that a new element had entered
The Daily News office. What we did not know was that this serious-
looking individual of whom most of us never had heard was to do in the
seventeen years remaining to him work enough for the average life-time —
work so startling in vitality, so luminous with youth, that one could never
believe him to be old.
His first cartoon in The Daily News appeared July 5, 1899. Thereafter
he furnished one daily, except when illness or vacation kept him away, or
when some "big news cut" occupied his place on the front page. (It was
part of his modesty and sense of the fitting that he never objected when
his cartoon was crowded out.) During those first months he did his pic-
tures at home, and went to the office only occasionally. Later he found
he could work to better advantage in close touch with his associates; and
when, in 1900, he was made director of the art department, regular office
hours of course became still more imperative. He now went to work with
the "rush hour" crowds, and returned home wlicn they did. Ho was a
daily toiler, with trains to catch, and not much time for lunch. On the
whole, he rather liked it tliat way.
Although he had efficient help in the routine of the art department,
especially from Charles F. Batchelder, his assistant and friend, he was
"in charge," and that fact he did not forget. He had a "comic page"
to censor, a drove of nimble young artists to shepherd, news pictures some-
times to bother him, an engraving room to reckon with. He liked to have
the department telephone on his desk, and to answer it himself. So he
encovmtered a lot of details that he might easily have avoided.
"How do you do it?" he was often asked by people who did not see
how he could produce his thoughtful- cartoons next door to an "art room."
He would only smile in reply, with the " what -does-it-matter " look he
wore when asked about himself.
The fact was that he had a mind capable of utter absorption in the action
of the moment. He could lay aside his drawing and forget it while he was
consulted on some matter of the department, or to look at the sketches of
a humble stranger, or to tell a mother what to do about her gifted son,
aged eight. This done, he would resume his pen, and go to cross-hatching
just where he left off. Elevated trains clattered past his window, and a
mviltitude of other noises rose from the street. They could not detach
his mind from the big idea of the day. And when the day was over and
he had carried that big sheet of cardboard, the completed drawing, to the
etchers, he could discard all the excitements and troubles of the last eight
hoiu-s, and go home free for complete relaxation.
He carried with him from the office neither portfolios nor "atmosphere."
He did not dress the artist part, nor try to look it. His work was his work.
He never threw a halo around it, nor did he ever imply that because he did
that sort of work, he was a being of a higher order. In connection with
this absence of "pose" it is worth mentioning that Luther Bradley produced
his cartoons without nearly as much academic preparation as they seemed
to reveal. He read three weekly periodicals regularly, others desultorily,
and he dipped into thoughtful books as they came out. But he did not
try to know everything. His real library was the picturesque, laughable,
dreadful book of life itself, as disclosed to him in the news of the day.
LUTHER DANIELS BRADLEY
He illumined these from the inexhaustible batteries within him. He did
not seem to need the artificial light that came from other minds.
As the years went by he was relieved more and more of the strain of
executive work, although when an emergency arose he always seemed to
be on the spot. "I am responsible," he would insist. He carried this feel-
ing of responsibility into all his relations with the art staff. He was their
bulwark, stimulus, and companion. More and more he adopted the fatherly
role toward his young men. He liked to celebrate their successes, to advise
them about vacations, and to hear about their new babies.