Martha Jane Draper was the second daughter born to William and Fanny Newton Draper, February 6, 1859, at Spanish Fork, Utah, and the second wife of Zephaniah Richmond Bradley, whom she married April 6, 1876 at Moroni, Utah. She died at Preston, Nevada January 3, 1933.

Zephaniah was the son of George Washington and Betsy Kroll Bradley. He was born at Manti, Utah April 7, 1851. He died at Preston, Nevada, January 5, 1933, where he and Martha Jane were buried the same day. They had the following children:

Name Born Died Married
Zephaniah D. Mar. 16, 1877 May 1, 1935 Manette Simonsen
William Clifton

Feb. 12, 1879
Moroni, UT

Nov. 9, 1935
Las Vegas, NV

Emma J. Terry
Almira Jane May 12, 1881 Vernal, UT Albert Oliver Cloward

July 2, 1883
Moroni, UT

Jan. 23, 1947
Preston, NV

Jan. 1, 1907
Eliza E. Levitt 


Feb 1, 1886
Moroni, UT

Mar. 31, 1891
Moroni, UT


June 21, 1888
Moroni, UT

July 26, 1889
Moroni, UT

Joseph Riley

Aug. 4, 1889
Moroni, UT

Aug. 12, 1926
Preston, NV

Royal Everett

May 20, 1892
Moroni, UT

Apr. 18, 1927
Ely, NV

June 24, 1914
Ethyl Baylis

John Wells

July 25, 1895
Moroni, UT

Nov. 25, 1960
Alameda, CA

Jan. 27, 1917
Lavina Dye

Orthello Carlyle

Mar. 5, 1898

May 28, 1979
Ely, NV

Maggie Bell Windous
Frank Donahue  July 8, 1895 Feb. 23, 1924 (Unmarried)

Zephaniah was first married to Almira Draper, the first daughter of William and Ruth Hannah Draper, who was born September 22, 1855 at Draper, Utah. They were married in 1873, and unfortunately Almira died about a year later.

Zephaniah and Martha Jane lived two or three miles south of Moroni on the southern slope of Squaw Hill. The house of red brick contrasted pleasantly with the towering green poplars growing on the banks of a canal running in front of it. Almost all of the families of Utah were land hungry in 1898. They were looking for land elsewhere for their growing families. The L.D.S. Church, to which most of these families belonged, was well aware of the need for new lands and industrial opportunities beyond the boundaries of Utah. The Bradley boys had no training except for farming and household arts.

At about the turn of the century the church acquired three large ranches in the Steptoe and White River Valleys of White Pine County, Nevada which it converted into Mormon towns. Two of the settlements were 40 miles south of Ely, one named Preston and the other Lund. The town of Preston was settled principally by people from Moroni. The two oldest Bradley boys, Will and Zeph, left with a company of six wagons just after the youngest child Carlyle was born but Martha Jane and Zephaniah didn't get to go until fall. Everyone was busy building log houses to live in. The logs were hauled from the mountains and trimmed up with a big broad ax to get the logs ready to put into the houses. There was only one large house when the pioneers arrived there. It was called the company house. It had plenty of room. Two or three families would live in this old house until they would get their log home built.

The first winter in Preston, Martha Jane was the only woman in this little town. She was a mother to all that were there. Zephaniah to all intents and purposes was its leading High Priest, and Martha Jane was its matriarch. The next year there were several more families who came to join the ones that were there. In the next couple of years Preston was built up and becoming a nice community. Everybody was happy, working hard to make Preston blossom as a rose. On Sunday everyone in town was to church, young and old, worshipping the Great Giver of all things. Besides the religious duties they all had enjoyment and fun. When there were parties everybody in town would be there. They were great for dancing and mostly square dancing. A lot of times the carpet was pulled up, made into a pile with the furniture on top of it. Also the small children put up there to bed. Zephaniah Richmond would play his fiddle, and he really knew all of the old time tunes.

Father and sons worked side by side in the fields cutting and loading hay, weeding potatoes, then in the fall cutting the golden grain with the old binder. The first job a child would do would be pushing the grain back in the bins to make more room. Then as they got older the next thing was to work on the straw stack in pushing the straw back.

There were no stores in Preston for the first few years, so every one had to go to Lund. The money was real short in those days, but the eggs were saved to take to the store and trade for groceries. There were no cars in those days so a wagon or on horseback was the means of getting from one place to another.

The towns people would take trips to the mountains or somewhere for picnics or outings. May Day was always celebrated by going to the White River Meadows. The first week in September everyone would go for pine nuts for the winter. Every so often a trip was taken to visit the Indians that lived six miles south of Lund. The women cooked some very nice food as well as taking them some clothing. They sat around a little fire making willow baskets. They were very pleased to get the food and clothing. Martha Jane and Zeph would always welcome them into their home and feed them whenever they came to see them.

They always had a rabbit hunt on New Year's Day. All the men and guns that were in town were divided up on two sides. They would start out at eight o'clock in the morning with wagons and some riding horses to gather the rabbits up from the hunters. The hunt would end at 4:00 p.m. Then the rabbits would be counted. The losers would have to put on a hot dinner and a dance. It was lots of fun and there were plenty of rabbits. Around 2,000 would be caught in a hunt. This also kept the rabbits from eating the crops.

Zephaniah along with the rest of the farmers raised sheep and spent many weeks on the range with them. When spring broke it was sheep shearing time so there was plenty of work for the young men. Many of the crops were freighted to Ely. The road and the hours were long.

Many years later Zeph and Martha moved from the old log house and bought the Horsley home where they lived the rest of their days. Their youngest son, Carlyle, had married in the meantime and there raised his own children until the death of Zeph and Martha Jane when the home was sold and Carlyle moved his family to Ely, Nevada.

Zephaniah and Martha Jane returned to Utah only once after moving, this was in 1923. It was a pleasure trip and very exciting for them to return after so many years and to see so many changes. It was good they could do this as they both became sick and gradually became worse until they died 36 hours apart in January of 1933. Their funeral was held in the only chapel in town which turned out to be a shrine to their memory. It was small, but new and sturdily built and had been brought into being largely through the efforts of this couple alone.

Their coffins were the product of loving neighbor hands. They were made of native lumber and covered with white "Factory cloth", decorated with such materials as were available in this remote village.

Soon the mourners began to assemble. First there were the survivors of the family and inhabitants of the town, followed by an unusual assortment of what appeared to be strangers. There was the District Judge, his clerk and the District Attorney from Ely. There were humble people from all over Steptoe Valley. There were dozens of Indians wrapped in their native blankets and a few women in fine furs which they drew closely around them to avoid brushing the Indians, and perhaps most unusual of all, there was a Greek singer down from the "Line" in Ely.

In due time the services began with notes from an organ so wheezy as to be disquieting, but the voices of a small choir along with more subdued tones from the organ tended to restore tranquility.

The reactions of the audience were mixed. Some sat as if to say, "My presence here is forced." Others were all humility, while an air of curiosity shone on the faces of many of the non-Mormons.

After a humble prayer and a song, a brother of Martha Jane's, Marvin Draper, who was a merchant at Ruth, and had been a tavern-keeper, rose to say his last farewells to his deceased sister and her husband.

Those who knew him were surprised to see him in this role, for he had probably never made a public speech before in his life. But he rose to the occasion with such dignity and feeling that it was hard for many to keep their tears back and their emotions in control. He was followed by the Greek singer, Bill Coleman, who sang, "Lay My Head Beneath a Rose." Whatever the merits of this song may be as art, it was rendered in such a manner as to impress even the Indians and to bring forth more tears.

Then a sun-blackened farmer, Niels Peter Jensen, who was an original pioneer at Preston, rose with calloused hands hanging loosely beside him and began to speak. It soon appeared he was not concerned with the problem of an audience of different faiths and culture. He was full of desire to portray two lives which were as perfect, in his estimation, as human lives can be. His hope was to assure his hearers that God is in heaven and that he has such regard for his children that everyone must attain peace and eternal life if he can love his fellow men and show it in deeds as well as it had been demonstrated by the humble couple lying in death before him.

As he spoke, the first thing to be noticed was that the backs, stiff and erect with pride had slumped and heads held too high were bowed as if in shame; curiosity had left the faces of the curious, and faces that were humble and serene (in the first place) shone now as if with hallowed light.

Zephaniah and Martha Jane were then taken to the Preston cemetery, where they were laid to rest side by side in one grave, there to rest among many of their friends who had gone before and many more who were yet to join them. Their sons are close to them now, also many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Now the family will all rest in peace together once again.

Written and submitted by:
Margie Bradley Beckwith