JOE AND MARY BRADLEY CONWAY
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
Joseph F. and Mary Hette (Bradley) Conway were both born in Saint Paul, Minn. Joe on March 14, 1889, and Mary on Dec. 6, 1891. Joe's first job was as office clerk at James J. Hill's private farm in rural Ramsey County, Minn. Mr. Hill was the President of the Great Northern Railway at that time. Joe Conway first came to Montana in 1909 as a helper on a surveying party for the Northern Pacific Railroad; the party was surveying for a new line over the mountains to the West Coast. This job brought him through Miles City and he spent several weeks in this vicinity. He returned to Minnesota when the winter weather closed down the survey. In 1910 Joe noticed an advertisement in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press for a bookkeeper for the Miles City Saddlery Company. He answered the ad and was hired by Frank Jelinek. On June 4, 1919, Joe Conway and Mary (Hette) Bradley were married in Saint Paul. They returned to Miles City to make their home and to raise their three sons, Dick, Bob and Luke Conway. During the depression of the early 1930's Joe secured additional work as office manager for the (CBC) Chappell Brothers Montana Ranches. They were engaged in raising horses for horse meat for their packing plant in Rockford, Ill., where they were packing the meat for sale in Europe and also for dog food in this country. Their trademark was Rin-Tin-Tin of the Movies. He worked for CBC until they sold the ranches in Montana and disposed of their business to the Quaker Oats Company. In 1936, Joe bought a minority interest in the Saddlery and through the years acquired additional shares until he and his sons finally acquired the entire stock of the Company. During the last few years of Joe's life he continued his supervision of the operations of the business along with Mary and his three sons' help. He was in failing health for many years, but managed to be in the store nearly every day to greet his oldtime friends and customers and visit with them. He died of heart failure on Dec. 6, 1956, and Mary passed away on Aug. 30, 1960. They are buried side by side in the Calvary Cemetery in Miles City. In 1962 the Conway boys sold the Saddlery to Merv Fuller, formerly of Miles City and his son-in-law, William "Tat" Cain, of Miles city. Bob and his wife, Jean (McGee) Conway, are living and working in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Bob works with computers and Jean is a teller in a bank. Their daughter, Georgia Jo Conway, is a Licensed Practical Nurse in Spokane, Wash. Georgia Jo is the only grandchild of Joe and Mary Conway. Dick and Luke are still living here in Miles City, where Dick works for a CPA firm as an accountant and Luke is employed as a steward in a local night club.