With the decline in the number of businesses operating in Bradley over the past several decades, it is perhaps difficult for some to imagine that Bradley at one time had at least one automobile dealership, McDonald Motor Company. Clues to the origins of that business can be found in the real property records of the Lafayette County Circuit Clerk.
On April 2, 1925, M. M. Hamner and Ada W. Hamner, his wife, sold the East one-half of Lots 11 and 12 of Block 4 of the original town of Bradley to McDonald Motor Company. This tract is approximately where the Community State Bank building is located today. The deed, which is recorded in Book B-5, at page 280, recites that McDonald Motor Company was “a partnership consisting of J. D. Fenet, S. J. Caldwell, and B. D. McDonald.” Shown below is an invoice from McDonald Motor Company for the sale of a vehicle in 1937. A transcription follows below the picture.
“Insist On Genuine Ford Parts
McDonald Motor Company Authorized Dealers
No. 13178 Lincoln Ford Fordson
Bradley, Ark. June 7th 1937
Sold to F. M. Cochran, Trustee
Address Bradley, Arkansas
1 – 1937 V-8 1 1/2 Ton Ford Truck Equipped with Governor, Over-Load Springs & 32X6 10 Ply Tires 647.62
Less Donation McDonald Mtr 25.00
Paid June 7, 1937
McDonald Motor Company
By /s/ B. D. McDonald
Filled by Delivered to
ALL CLAIMS MUST BE MADE WITHIN 24 HOURS AFTER DELIVERY”
For whom was F. M. Cochran acting as Trustee? My suspicion, and it is only a suspicion, is that he was acting on behalf of the City of Bradley and that this vehicle was to be used as the City’s fire truck. One clue to this suspicion can be found in the line that states “Less Donation McDonald Mtr 25.00.” A subsequent post on this site will include another document which supports this suspicion.