Monthly Archives: October 2007

Cochran Hardware

Sometime in the early 1920’s (probably 1924), Frank Cochran, Sr., resigned his position at Holland Hardware Co. (see the post from October 8, 2007) and decided to go into business for himself.  The following photo shows “Frank M. Cochran Hardware Co.” as it looked about 1928 or 1929.  And, yes, for those of you who are wondering, the boy on the horse is, indeed, Frank M. Cochran, Jr.  A close look at the right-side window pane reveals a gentleman standing inside the building wearing a white or light-colored shirt and a tie.


The following slightly out-of-focus photo shows Cochran Hardware Co. as it appeared during World War II.


The sign on the front says “International Harvester Farm Equipment” and “Cochran Hardware Company.”  The two people standing beside the yellow truck are probably Frank Cochran, Sr., and Edith Cochran, a distant relative who worked for him for slightly more than ten years.  The spot in the upper left quadrant of the picture is simply deterioration of the original slide film photo.  The poster just to the right of the blue car is probably some sort of patriotic exhortation, i.e., urging the purchase of war bonds or something similar.  Note that, even though this photograph is taken approximately fifteen years after the first photograph, the street is still unpaved.

Most of this building was demolished in 1964, but the left side one-third still stands today.  The lot on the right of the picture, approximately where the gasoline pump appears, is now occupied by the Walnut Hill Telephone Co. building.

Cochran-Allen Equipment Co.

On March 2, 1945, Frank Cochran, Sr., and J. Madison Allen entered into a partnership for “…the buying, selling and vending of trucks, farm machinery and all sorts of goods and equipment incident to the retail Farm Machine business.”  The firm name of the partnership was Cochran-Allen Equipment Co.  In 1946, the company built this building on the northeast corner of the intersection of Fifth and Pullman streets:


The partnership was dissolved on April 3, 1948, and Frank Cochran, Sr., as sole proprietor, changed the firm name to Cochran Implement Co.  In 1958, he sold the business to James Roberson of Plain Dealing.

The following picture taken on October 21, 2007, from approximately the same spot, shows what remains of the building today:


Light & Ice Plant Fire, 1938

Monday, September 12, 1938, was a memorable day in Bradley:


Della McKnight Cochran, who kept a diary from 1920 until shortly before her death in 1950, wrote on that day:  “At 10:00 A.M. light & ice plant burned.  I [was] there until noon.  Business disrupted without electricity.”  The entries for the following few days do not mention when electricity was restored.

The photo is taken from approximately where Highway 160 now crosses the railroad tracks, looking southwest.  The second building from the left is where Smith Funeral Home is located today.  Note the men on the roof of the adjacent building to the right of the burning building.

Lee Bros.–Holland Hdwe. Building

The photo below is of a long-ago demolished building in Bradley.  My grandmother, Della McKnight Cochran, wrote underneath the photo:  “G. W. & R. R. Lee Store, later Holland Hdwe. Store, where Frank Cochran [Sr.] worked 10 yrs. 4 months.”  My father, Frank M. Cochran, Jr., much later wrote on the back of the photo:  “Lee Bros. Store about 1910.  Later Holland Hdwe. about 1912.  Demolished 1931.”


Where was this building?  I remember my grandfather, Frank Cochran, Sr., telling me about working for Holland Hardware Co.  He said it was located close to the building which was built in the mid-1960’s by the Walnut Hill Masonic Lodge, and which now houses Vicki’s Beauty Shop.

The 1905 Real Estate Tax Book in the Lafayette County Clerk’s Office shows that lots 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11 of Block 9 were assessed to “G. M. & R. R. Lee.”  Lots 4 and 5 (50 ft.-wide lots) of Block 9 are approximately where the new Bradley Fire Department building is located today.  Lots 9, 10, and 11 (25 ft.-wide lots) of Block 9, where this building apparently stood, are located just south of the former Lodge Hall.  The building almost certainly faced the railroad (east).

By deed dated November 3, 1910, G. M. Lee and Willie Howell Lee, his wife, and R. R. Lee and Daisy Lee, his wife, conveyed all five lots to W. D. Stewart for a consideration of $1,500.  Mr. Stewart paid $600 down and signed 9 promissory notes for $100 each, with each due on the first day of succeeding months, beginning December 1, 1910.  All the notes were without interest.  (Deed Records Book T-3, page 488)

By deed dated February 1, 1914, W. D. Stewart and Emma Stewart, his wife, conveyed all five lots to Holland Hardware Company for a consideration of $2,200.  Holland Hardware Co. paid $500 down and agreed to pay $565 on February 1, 1915, $565 on February 1, 1916, and $570 on February 1, 1917.  Each of the installment payments bore 10% interest.  (Deed Records Book Y-3, page 613)

In the 1931 Real Estate Tax Book, the year the notation on the back of the photo says the building was demolished, all five lots were assessed to R. M. Holland.

Header Image

The image in the header of this website shows the area around the railroad depot.  The date is unknown.  Below is a photo taken from approximately the same place on September 26, 2007.  The concrete base of the water tank is still there today, although it is obscured by weeds in this photo.


An Explanation

Why start a web site devoted to Bradley and the area around it?  It’s just a way to share some information about the small town where I’ve lived almost my entire life.

The plan is to make available some old photos, some information taken from old newspapers, from old diaries, from the Lafayette County Courthouse, and from other sources.  One other source of information will be the items in the Cochran Museum, which is located in the building formerly occupied by Cochran Hardware.

The Cochran-centric nature of much of the material found on this web site will be, for the immediate future, at least, unavoidable.  It is material accumulated over many decades by various members of the Cochran and McKnight families.  Nothing would please me more, however, than to have access to, and permission to show, material owned by others.

One matter that will not be found on this web site is persistent negativity.  There is no attempt at objectivity here.  Bradley, like any small town, is not without its issues, but this is a web site geared toward the good things about Bradley in its past and present.

This web site is in blog form because I’m definitely not an HTML coder and am now too old to learn.  Blog software (WordPress in this instance) is an easy way to avoid having to learn HTML.  Each new post is placed at the top of the front page, and the previous posts are pushed down the page.  Posts which are not on the front page may be accessed through the monthly “Archives” on the right sidebar. 

Posts will be irregular, at best.