Daly’s life was buffeted by great, often tragic, world events, yet he thrived and did much to improve the situation wherever he lived. He arrived In Lakeview just ten years after the small town was established. He became the town doctor, member and chair of the school board, banker, rancher, state senator, county judge, and a regent of Oregon Agricultural College (today’s Oregon State University). Although he held many prominent positions, he lived modestly in a boarding house and developed a reputation for being especially frugal. According to local accounts, he rarely bought new clothing and seemed to subsist on an occasional nickel bowl of soup and a handful of crackers.
It is tempting to call Bernard Daly’s life a rags-to-riches story, but to do so would be an incomplete description of his remarkable life and legacy. Daly did come to America as a poor Irish immigrant, and over the course of his life, he became successful and prosperous. However, it is not his financial success that defines his life; instead, it is what he did with his wealth.
“It is my earnest desire to help, aid and assist worthy and ambitious young men and women of my beloved county of Lake, to acquire a good education, so that they may be better fitted and qualified to appreciate and help to preserve the laws and constitution of this free country, defend its flag, and by their conduct as good citizens reflect honor on Lake county and the state of Oregon.”