ONTARIO — “Til Death Do Us . . .” is part Malheur County history and family history, but is primarily a sordid tale about Gladys Lincoln Broadhurst, of Sacrament, who was married several times, had her sixth husband, a Caldwell doctor and Jordan Valley rancher, killed before he could learn about the fifth husband, Leslie Lincoln, who she was still married to at the time. And, it’s all true.
The book by Patrick Gallagher, who lived in Ontario until he was in the ninth grade, is just off the press having been printed June 16. Gallagher has a personal interest in the story as his grandfather, also Patrick Gallagher, an Ontario attorney, was the lead defense attorney for Lincoln who was tried in Malheur County Circuit Court. Gallagher’s father, Martin Gallagher, was also an Ontario Attorney.
According to writer Gallagher, Lincoln’s marriages last no more than two years.
In 1945, Lincoln contacted the prosperous Dr. W.D. Broadhurst, who was divorced, to rekindle their romance of 20 years earlier, he was receptive and they began corresponding and he made a few trips to Sacramento and they were married in Reno in May 1946.
After a three-day weekend together, they went their separate ways with Dr. Broadhurst returning to Caldwell, and Gladys Lincoln Broadhurst returning to Sacramento to her husband there.
The doctor also owned a dairy farm outside of Caldwell, as well as a big stock ranch near Jordan Valley.
“She didn’t’ want the doctor to know about that (about the other husband),” Gallagher said, and was doing everything she could to keep him from finding out. The husband in Sacramento did find out about the other marriage, and so Gladys summoned Broadhurst to take her back to the Caldwell. The husband in California sued for divorce, claiming bigamy as the reason.
Gladys decided she needed to back to Sacramento to settle things down, but did not drive. Broadhurst was busy on the ranch and could not take her, so they settled on a cowhand who reluctantly agreed, thinking it would take 10 days to two weeks. In fact, it was seven weeks.
The first night out, she starts seducing him and by the second night they began checking in hotels as man and wife. Instead of a few days or a couple of weeks, they were gone seven weeks, driving all-around California using the doctor’s car and spending his money. It was during this time they began plotting the doctor’s murder death which occurred in October of 1946.
The young cowhand flags Broadhurst down along the road, kills him and dumps the body in the brush.
A search for Broadhurst was conducted by Jordan Valley residents and the sheriff’s office and after the body was eventually found, the two were tried for murder and convicted, according to Murderpedia.
While on the road with Williams, the doctors writes Gladys love letters which she never responded to. After her arrest she asked to be taken to the ranch to get some things, which was allowed. One of the things that she retrieved was a box, and the sheriff advised that the box would be searched if she took it to jail with her.
Years later after his father had died, Gallagher said he was going through family papers and other effects and at the bottom of a half-size steamer trunk he found pasteboard box. Inside were those love letters from Broadhurst, which the prosecutor never saw and were never brought out during the trial. So those letters as well as trial transcripts, were the basis for Gallagher’s book. Having these letters that no one else had, was one of reasons he was compelled to write the story.
Having been sentenced to life in prison, Lincoln was paroled in 1956, after serving nine years, in the Oregon State Penitentiary, according to Murderpedia.
Gallagher is retired from a career in international logistics. His book was published by Wildblue Press and is also available on Amazon.