Monthly Archives: December 2007

Block 9, through the decades

The real property records in the various offices of the Lafayette County Courthouse are an historical resource that is often neglected.  Those records, of course, go back to the very founding of both Bradley and Lafayette County itself.

What follows is the first of several posts, over a period of probably several months, that will show ownership of lots located in some of the various blocks which comprised the original plat of the Town of Bradley.  Each post will begin with a rough diagram of the buildings and landmarks in each block as of 2007 or 2008.  Next will follow a plat showing the persons or firms assessed for tax purposes (and, therefore, ownership) in 1906, the first year in which the land occupied by the original Town of Bradley was assessed for tax purposes by lots, instead of as pieces of sections (square miles).  After that will follow a plat showing the assessments in the first year of each new decade from 1910 to 1960.

The original Town of Bradley was laid out with 300–ft. square blocks.  All lots are 50 feet wide and 140 feet long, except those lots which front the railroad, which are the same length, but only 25 feet wide.  So, in the diagrams of Block 9 below, lots 1 through 6 are 50 x 140, and lots 7 though 18 are 25 x 140, because they front the railroad.  Streets in the original Town of Bradley are 60 feet wide, and alleys are 20 feet wide.  The diagrams of Block 9 below purposely omit the alley from the middle of each block in order to provide a little more space to list the owners of each lot.  I.e., lots 1 through 6 do not actually abut lots 7 through 18, because there is a 20–ft. wide alley in between which is purposely not shown in the diagram.

Block 9 is the first block one encounters on the right (north side) when crossing the railroad on Highway 160 (Fourth St.) westbound.  The site of the railroad depot in each of the following diagrams was just to the left of the bottom of the rectangle marked “RAILROAD.”


The approximate location of some of the buildings and landmarks in Block 9 as of today are shown in this diagram:

 Block 9, 2007 B

 6                                                    7  Vickie’s Beauty Shop

                                                               (old Lodge Hall)

                                                       8  Vickie’s Beauty Shop

                                                                (old Lodge Hall)

5  Bradley Fire Dept.                   9


4  Bradley Fire Dept                     11


3  Bradley City Hall                      13


2                                                      15 RB’s Car Wash & Mini-Storage

                                                        16 RB’s Car Wash * Mini-Storage

1                                                      17 RB’s Car Wash &  Mini-Storage

                                                        18 RB’s Car Wash & Mini-Storage


The 1906 assessments for this block show who owned each lot at the time the City of Bradley was incorporated.  Lots 9, 10, and 11 show the location of the Lee Bros.-Holland Hdwe. building, which was the subject of the October 8, 2007, post on this site.  The lots fronting the railroad (7 through 18) were designed to be the commercial hub of Bradley and most, if not all, of those lots at this time were probably occupied by stores or other commercial entities or ventures of one type or another. 


6  Rosetta Leonard                       7   T. T. McGee

                                                         8   E. H. Randle

5  G. M. & R. R. Lee                      9   G. M. & R. R. Lee

                                                       10  G. M. & R. R. Lee

4  G. M. & R. R. Lee                     11  G. M. & R. R. Lee

                                                       12  G. W. Reynolds

3  Southwestern Improvement        13  Pierce Adams

     Association                               14  W. C. Bradley

2  S. G. Gray                                 15  L. W. Ham

                                                        16  E. H. Randle

1   S. G. Gray /                            17 Hamiter Bros.

     E. P. Thruston                        18 Hamiter Bros.



The 1910 assessments, only four years later, show few changes in the assessments.


6   Haley Smith                          7   T. T. McGee

                                                     8   E. H. Randle

5  G. M. & R. R. Lee                  9  G. M. & R. R. Lee

                                                   10 G. M. & R. R. Lee

4  G. M. & R. R. Lee                11 G. M. & R. R. Lee

                                                  12  G. W. Reynolds

3  State of Arkansas               13  Pierce Adams

                                                  14  J. B. & D. Bradley

2  S. G. Gray, Caroline Gray   15  L. W. Ham

                                                  16  E. H. Randle

1  S. G. Gray, Caroline Gray    17 H. A. McCants

                                                  18  H. A. McCants


By 1920, the Bank of Bradley had appeared on the assessment list (Lot 16).


6  Cross & Allen                          7   T. T. McGee

                                                       8   E. H. Randle

5  Hollland Hdw. Co.                    9   Holland Hdw. Co.

                                                      10  Holland Hdw. Co. 

4  Holland Hdw. Co.                    11  Holland Hdw. Co.

                                                      12  G. W. Reynolds

3  J. B. Burton                             13  F. P. Adams

                                                      14  J. B. & P. D. Burton /

                                                            State of Arkansas

2  S. G. Gray /                             15  Mrs. L. W. Ham

       W. P. Baker

                                                      16  Bank of Bradley

1  S. G. Gray /                             17  J. B. & P. D. Burton

        W. P. Baker

                                                      18  J. B. & P. D. Burton


The 1930 assessments:


 6  J. T. Cross                            7   T. T. McGee

                                                    8   Lenona Allen

5  R. M. Holland                        9   R. M. Holland

                                                   10  R. M. Holland

4  R. M. Holland                       11  R. M. Holland

                                                   12  G. W. Reynolds

3  J. B. & P. D. Burton             13  F. P. Adams

                                                   14  J. B. & P. D. Burton

2  W. P. Baker                          15  Cora E. Pearce

                                                   16  Bank of Bradley

1  W. P. Baker                          17  J. B. & P. D. Burton

                                                  18  J. B. & P. D. Burton


The 1940 assessments: 


6  Frank Cochran                         7   J. T. Cross

                                                       8   Marie Herring

5  R. M. Holland                           9   R. M. Holland

                                                      10  R. M. Holland

4  R. M. Holland                          11  R. M. Holland

                                                      12  O’Neal & Crockett

3  J. B. & P. D. Burton                13  R. B. Waller

                                                      14  J. B. & P. D. Burton

2  Mrs. Blanche Baker /            15  Mrs. Cora E. Pearce

      M. M. Hamner

                                                     16  Bank of Bradley

1  Mrs. Blanche Baker/            17 J. B. & P. D. Burton

      M. M. Hamner

                                                    18  J. B.  P. D. Burton


By 1950, the Bank of Bradley had added another lot (15).


6  Frank Cochran                          7   J. T. Cross

                                                        8   Marie Herring

5  J. B. Edwards                            9   J. G. O’Neal Estate

                                                       10  J. G. O’Neal Estate

4  J. B. Edwards                           11   J. G. O’Neal Estate

                                                       12  Mrs. W. M. McKissick /

                                                                Owen Jester

3  J. B. & P. D. Burton                 13  Mrs. W. M. McKissick /

                                                                Owen Jester

                                                      14  J. B. & P. D. Burton

2  M. M. Hamner                        15  Bank of Bradley

                                                      16  Bank of Bradley

1  M. M. Hamner                        17  J. B. & P. D. Burton

                                                      18  J. B. & P. D. Burton


By 1960, the Walnut Hill Lodge appears in the assessments.


6  Frank Cochran                            7   Walnut Hill Lodge #188

                                                          8   Walnut Hill Lodge #188

5  J. B. Edwards                              9   P. D. Burton, Jr.

                                                          10  P. D. Burton, Jr.

4  J. B. Edwards                              11  P. D. Burton, Jr.

                                                          12  Tom Jester

3  M. M. Hamner                            13  Tom Jester

                                                          14  J. B. Burton

2  M. M. Hamner                            15  Bank of Bradley

                                                          16  Bank of Bradley

1  M. M. Hamner                            17  J. B. Burton

                                                         18  J. B. Burton

Assessments from other blocks from the original Town of Bradley will appear in future posts.

Christmas Cantata, 1946

On Sunday, December 22, 1946, the combined choirs of the churches of Bradley joined together for the annual Christmas Cantata, entitled “The Nativity Song.”  Perhaps a bit of historical perspective is in order.  World War II had ended 16 months earlier.  Just two days earlier, on December 20, 1946, the Christmas movie classic It’s A Wonderful Life had premiered at the Globe Theater in New York.

Shown below is the program for that cantata, with a transcription following pages two, three and four.

Cantata 1946 page 1, 250 pixels



Presented by the Combined Choirs of Bradley

at the

Baptist Church

December 22, 1946

7:30 P.M.

Prelude                                             “Silent Night”

                       Miss Hortense Hamiter


Invocation                                  Mr. Frank Cochran

Scripture                                       Miss Janet Allen

Bethlehem’s New-Born King                          Choir

Prepare Ye The Way                                       Choir

Christmas Starlight                                          Choir

                       Mrs. W. H. Baker

Out on The Stillness                            Men’s Chorus

                       Mr. Jimmie Allen

 Cantata 1946 page 3, 250 pixels

The Heavenly Song                                          Choir

God So Loved The World

                         Mrs. J. G. Allen, Jr.

O Holy Night                                              Quartette

Sing O Heavens                                                Choir

Joy Fills Our Hearts                                         Choir

                         Mr. Carol Glynn McCalman

The Quest Of The Wise Men  ———     Men’s Chorus

Hark The Bells of Christmas                                 Choir

Away In A Manger                           Mrs. G. W. Smith

Joy To The World                                                Choir

Peace And Good Will To Men                              Choir

                           Mrs. J. G. Allen, Jr.


Benediction                                       Mr. Leecy Adkins



Director                                                Mrs. J. M. Allen

Accompanist                            Miss Hortense Hamiter


Mrs. J. G. Allen, Jr.

Mrs. W. H. Baker

Miss Grace Cochran

Mrs. Cleo Cochran

Miss Jeanettaline Templeton

Mrs. George Davis

Mrs. G. W. Smith

Miss Faye Smeltzer


Lucy Short

Miss Merna Kennedy

Mrs. Lucille Starling

Mrs. Carl Baker

Miss Sally Allen


Mr. N. H. Taylor

Mr. G. M. Mason


Mr. Carol Glynn McCalman

Mr. Jimmie Allen

Rev. G. W. Smith

Senior Girls basketball, 1936

Athletics have long been a prominent part of life in Bradley.  From the 1930s through the 1960s, perhaps no sport was as prominent in Bradley as was girls basketball.

Below is a picture of the 1936 Bradley Senior Girls basketball team.

071217 Senior Girls basketball, 1936, 300 pixels

Front row, left to right:  Maedran Wilson, Onie Wilson, Obie Colvin, Sis Hamner, Jessie Mae Burns, Elvis Wise, Mary Dees.  Second row, left to right:  Pauline (?) Wingfield (chaperone), Agnes Nolte, Dorothy McGee, Hazel Massey, Beatrice Wilson, Docia Morgan, W. R. Hudson (coach).

The four basketballs being held by the girls seated in the front row are labeled, from left to right, “County Champs 1934,” “District Champs 1935,” “County Champs 1936,” and County Champs 1935.”

Street duty, August, 1921

An earlier post (11/9/07, “So you want to start a town, Part 1”) summarized some of the early ordinances adopted by the City of Bradley.  Section 13 of Ordinance No. 8 provided:  “That all male persons residing in the Corporate limits of the said Town between the ages of 18 and 45 years, shall be subject to work on the Streets and alleys in said Town who has resided in the town for ten days before the day of warning to work, when he is warned as stated in the preceding section; that every person so warned may pay in money the sum of Two ($2.00) Dollars for each day he is so warned to work on or before the day of working, said money to be paid to the Street Commissioner as be paid to the Treasurer of the Town of Bradley.”  In essence, this ordinance conscripted the men of the town to work on the City streets, and provided for an “out” that any man so conscripted could avoid actually doing the work by paying a $1.00 per day fee for the required two days of work. 

The Town’s records from August, 1921, provide a list of the men of those ages residing in the town.  The records show the names of the men being conscripted, the number of “Days Worked,” the “Amt Paid” and the “Total” number of days credited to each man.  In the segregated Bradley of that era, the records are divided by race, with each race on a separate page.

The first record is for the African-American men of the town:


The men listed in the above picture are Henry Green, Jno Reed, Will Evans (“Exemp”), Charly Terrell, Arthur Wright, Jack Henderson, Antney Wright, Tom Hunt, Paul Roberson, Mack Renick, Tom Jones, Bob Waddell, and Nathan Smith.

The page containing the list of the white men of the town is so large that it must be shown in two images:



 The men listed on this page are J. W. Miller, W. B. Vaughan, R. L. Vaughan, Pat Smith, J. T. O’Neal, Tom Reynolds, Allen Smith, E. M. Crockett, W. E. Cochran, F. M. Cochran, J. R. Cochran, Sid Adams, F. P. Adams, G. P. Snead, W. P. Baker, L. B. Hamner, M. M. Hamner, J. B. Edwards, M. E. O’Neal, H. T. Stewart, G. R. Wise, Thomas Williams, J. W. Meek, J. A. McDonald, B. D. McDonald, John King (name stricken through), Hugh Brock (name stricken through), R. F. Allen, D. E. Collins, John Gore, C. B. O’Neal, R. J. Montgomery, Davis Twitty, Bill Eatons, C. H. Holloway, and J. M. Barker. 

Fire protection, 1927

The last post (11/27/07) displayed an invoice whereby McDonald Motor Company sold a 1 1/2 ton truck in June of 1937, and I speculated that perhaps this was a fire truck for the City of Bradley.    The City had apparently been soliciting funds from local land owners for fire protection as long as ten years before that truck was sold.

Shown below is correspondence whereby the City of Bradley was soliciting donations for fire protection as early as 1927.  The letter is printed on a letterhead impressively titled “Executive Department, Town of Bradley.”  (One wonders just how many “Departments” the Town of Bradley had in 1927.)  The letter is addressed to Mr. P. D. Burton of Lewisville, and was replied to on the same letterhead by Mr. J. B. Burton, who together conducted their business as “Burton Bros.”  They owned some lots in Bradley in the area where RB’s Car Wash and Mini-Storage is now located.  A transcription of the correspondence appears below the picture.


Executive Department

Town of Bradley

                                   Bradley, Arkansas 1/31/27

Mr. P. D. Burton,

Lewisville, Ark.

Dear Sir:

     As previously stated to you, we have ordered 300 ft. of 8 inch hose and are now engaged in installing the fire plugs, and the merchants and other property owners have subscribed about $60.00 of the $200.00 required to pay the bill, and we take the liberty to ask you to favor us with a donation of at least $5.00 or $10.00 to be applied on the above indebtedness.

     Please let us hear from you at your earliest convenience, and oblige yours very truly,

                                   /s/ W. J. Jackson, Mayor

                                   /s/ W. E. Cochran, Recorder

[Mr. J. B. Burton replies:]

Executive Dept.,

Town of Bradley, Bradley, Ark.


     Burton Bros. are always pressed for funds, but we are also always ready to take part in any good cause.  Fire protection is the best thing you could possibly give Bradley.

     We think we should donate at least as much as $20.00.  If you find we are in line return letter and will forward check next mail.

                                   Yours very truly,

                                   Burton Bros.,

                                   /s/ J. B. Burton

[City Recorder W. E. Cochran replies:]

     We feel that $10.00 would be in line as no one else gave more than that.

     Please make check payable to W. E. Cochran, Treas., and oblige yours truly,

                                   W. E. Cochran