Bradley Evans Bell changed his name to Bradley TenEyck Van Deusen in 1934. He was usually called Brad, Van, or Tiger.
Bradley left home while still underage to join the army, and lied about his age to get in. His military records show
a birth date of 05 Nov 1903, while he was actually born 05 Nov 1905. A newspaper account of 15 Jan 1926 shows that he left
the army after a five year enlistment. That meant he entered the army having just turned 15.
He was born Bradley Evans Bell in Canon City CO
to Jack Bell, a rare earth miner and newspaperman, and Catharine Burnett Mercur, divorced.
daughter of Brig. Gen. Henry L. Burnett and Sarah Lansing, the daughter of
Brig. Gen. Henry L. Lansing.
Catharine's marriage to Jack Bell lasted barely five years, and she moved to Denver CO, where she met and married
Robert Meade Van Deusen, giving her son his step-father's name and raising him on The Van Deusen Ranch, a ranch which
she bought in Granby CO. It was because of his step-father's heavy hand, so the family story goes,
that Bradley ran away to join the army.
Jack Bell was in the military during the Spanish American War and World War I, serving as a sargaent in Paris during the latter. He was also a feature writer with
a huge backlist of articles. Catharine published their newspaper, The Canon City Cannon, while Jack was away mining, and published two small books of her own.
Besides having a family tree hanging low with soldiers going back to colonial days, Bradley also came from a line of writers and poets. Joining the army and
writing poetry were natural life choices for him.