Monthly Archives: January 2008

Railroad Depot

The building of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway from Lewisville to Shreveport in the late 19th century is the reason why Bradley is located where it is.  Stated differently, the railroad was the single most important reason for the “rise” of Bradley, and the “decline” of Walnut Hill.  Here are two photos of the railroad depot, taken about 40 years apart.

The first photo of the depot, judging from the apparel worn by the two people in the photo, and by the photograph album in which it was found, was probably taken sometime in the 1910s.

Sunday, January 18, 2004 (16) C

The “Bradley” sign on the south side of the Depot gives the mileage to four destinations.  The two destinations on the left side of the sign are illegible, even at great magnification.  The two destinations on the right side of the sign are “Ft. Worth 255 mls.” and “Waco 298 mls.”  The identity of the man and woman standing on the step is not known.  A chimney can be seen rising just above the roof line.  This photo is approximately contemporary with the photo on the header of this site.

The second photo of the depot was probably taken in the 1950s, although perhaps it could have been taken a little earlier.

Gray 2-inch 010 C

The presence of the gas meter dates the photo from no earlier than 1941.  The south doors of the depot have been replaced by windows and moved to another wall, probably due to the increase in traffic on Fourth Street/Highway 160 in the intervening 40 years.

Senior Girls basketball, 1940

By far the most visited post on this site to date is the 12/17/07 post showing the 1936 Bradley Senior Girls basketball team.  There is obviously an appetite among viewers of this site for sports-related items.  So, I dug around and found a newspaper clipping depicting the 1940 Bradley Senior Girls basketball team.  Being a newspaper clipping, it is obviously quite grainy.

Girls basketball 1940

The caption is:

“Lafayette County Champions

In the above group are shown members of the Bradley (Ark.) high school senior basket-ball team, Lafayette county champions for 1940.  They are, reading from left to right:  Violet Pearson, captain, Mary O’Neal, Grace Cochran, Lorene Andrews, Plesine Barker, Estelle Barhams, Winifred Cochran, Mary Helen Starling, Mary McGill, Louise Dodson, Alice Louise Lester and Lorene Burns.”

More notes on Block 9

I remember as a young boy being sent on frequent errands to the Post Office and the Bank.  They were in close proximity to each other on the southeast part of Block 9. 

The tax assessments do not contain any record of an assessment to the U. S. Post Office, or even a notation that the federal government is exempt from real property taxes. That made me curious.  The great majority of Bradley residents who are at least my age can no doubt remember that the Post Office was in the very southeast corner of Block 9 during the 1950s.  The deed records in the Lafayette County Circuit Clerk’s office furnish the explanation of that conundrum.

Deed Record Book Z-6, at page 290, contains a “Standard Form of Government Lease … (As Modified For Use By The Post Office Department),” which is dated July 8, 1939.  The Lessors, i.e., the land owners, are J. B. Burton and P. D. Burton and their spouses.  The initial term of the lease was for ten years.  The lease calls for “…a room 22’ x 48’….” situated “… on the northwest corner of Pilot and Fourth Streets…,” and provides for an annual rent of $230.00.  The terms of the lease are mostly standard provisions that would usually be found in any lease of commercial property, with one exception.  Paragraph 11 states, in part:  “No Member of or Delegate to Congress or Resident Commissioner shall be admitted to any share or part of this lease or to any benefit to arise therefrom.”  The term “Resident Commissioner” is not defined.   

 The Post Office remained there until it was moved to the present location, one block south of what is now Community State Bank, in 1961. 

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The following images are examples of stationery used  by two of the businesses located in Block 9 in days long past.

First is an invoice from Holland Hardware to the Town of Bradley, dated 5/24/1924:


The printed part of the invoice says:

“In Account With


D. D. HAMITER, Manager

Hardware, Furniture, Stoves and Implements”

Holland Hardware was located on lots 9, 10, and 11 of Block 9.

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Next is an invoice from Reynolds-Crockett general merchandise to the Town of Bradley, dated January, 1924:


The printed part of the invoice says:

“In Account With


All Bills Are Due and Payable On The First

Of Each Month Following Date of Purchase

10 Per Cent Interest Charged After Maturity”

Reynolds-Crockett was located on lot 12 of Block 9, and later became O’Neal & Crockett.

Walnut Hill Bank, 1907-1913 (Part 1 of 2)

Perhaps more surprising than the fact that Bradley once had at least one automobile dealership (see post of 11/27/07) is the fact that Walnut Hill once had a bank.

Here is an image of a counter check from the Walnut Hill Bank.

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Some of the history of the Walnut Hill Bank can be reconstructed from public records.

The Articles of Agreement And Incorporation of the Walnut Hill Bank were executed on December 11, 1907, and are recorded in Record Book N-3, at page 330 in the Lafayette County Circuit Clerk’s office.  The incorporators, i.e., the persons who formed the corporation were:  J. B. Herndon, J. F. McKnight, R. H. Duty, J. C. Smith, G. M. McKnight, Ida Baker, W. H. Baker, T. H. Dismukes, T. J. Dooley, G. M. Lee, P. M. Allen, R. B. Duty, and W. S. Collins.  The purpose of the corporation was “… General Banking and to buy and sell Real Estate.” 

The incorporators held their initial meeting in the office of J. B. Herndon at 2:00 P.M. on December 11, 1907.  The incorporators elected J. B. Herndon as President, J. F. McKnight as Vice President, and R. H. Duty as Secretary-Treasurer.  The other two directors elected were W. H. Baker and T. H. Dismukes. 

The capital stock of the corporation was set at the amount of $20,000.00, divided into shares of $25.00 each.  However, only $5000.00 of the stock was originally paid in by the incorporators.  The stock was originally issued as follows:  100 shares each—J. B. Herndon & J. F. McKnight; 80 shares—R. H. Duty; 40 shares—J. O. Smith; 20 shares each—G. M. McKnight & T. H. Dismukes; 10 shares each T. J. Dooley & W. S. Collins; 8 shares—R. B. Duty; 4 shares each—Ida Baker & P. M. Allen; 2 shares each—W. H. Baker & W. S. Collins.  The total number of shares was 400.

About two months later, the Walnut Hill Bank recorded in Record Book N-3, at page 396, a Power of Attorney to “G. M. McKnight of Lewisville…” as its attorney in fact “… to acknowledge payment and to enter satisfaction … of all mortgages now held by us or that we may hereafter have recorded ….”  This appointment was undoubtedly because of the fact that G. M. McKnight lived in Lewisville, in close proximity to the Lafayette County Courthouse.

In an Annual Statement of the corporation as of January 1, 1910 (about 2 years later), recorded in Record Book S-3, at page 470, the number of shares owned by each stockholder is identical, except that the shares owned by J. O. Smith have grown from 40 to 50 shares.  The “Resources” of the corporation at that time totaled $34, 810.12 and are listed as:  Cash due from banks, 22,193.57; Cash on hand 2,234.43; Due from receivers 1,366.78; Judgment in our favor 1,000.00; Loans & Discounts 6,313.34; Fixts. Sta. & Bldg 1,658.54; and Overdrafts 43.46.  The “Liabilities” of the corporation also totaled $34,810.12 and are listed as:  Capital stock 5,000.00; Surplus 274.63; Profits 194.82; Deposits 22,280.67; and Reserved for taxes 60.00.  This Annual Statement was sworn to by J. B. Herndon, President, and by R. H. Duty, as Cashier.

Another Annual Statement as of January 1, 1911, recorded in Record Book T-3, at page 558, shows total “Resources” and “Liabilities” of $31,681.51, approximately a ten percent decrease from the previous year.  The amount of “Overdrafts” had also decreased, to 41 cents.  The number of shares of stock owned by each shareholder had changed considerably, however, as follows:  50 shares—J. F. McKnight; 41 shares—R. H. Duty; 25 shares each—J. B. Herndon, R. L. Searcy, & O. D. Hinshaw; 10 shares each—G. M. McKnight & T. H. Dismukes; 5 shares—T. J. Dooley; 4 shares—R. B. Duty; 2 shares each—Ida Baker & P. M. Allen; 1 share—W. H. Baker.  The total number of shares had shrunk to 200.  The names of R. L. Searcy and O.  D. Hinshaw appear for the first time as shareholders, replacing W. S. Collins and J. O. Smith.  This statement is sworn to by J. F. McKnight, President, and by R. H. Duty, Cashier.

The last Annual Statement of the Walnut Hill Bank states its financial condition and ownership as of January 1, 1913.  It is recorded in Record Book W-3, at page 416.  The number of shares as of that date was still 200, and the ownership of those shares had not changed from the 1/1/11 statement.  The assets have declined precipitously and are listed as follows:  Amount of capital actually paid in—$5,000.00; Cash value of its real estate—None; Cash Value of its personal estate—$5,470.55; Cash value of its credits—(left blank); Amount of its debts—None.

A future post will examine the questions of (1) Where was the Walnut Hill Bank located? and (2) What became of it?


There are two questions regarding this site that I am frequently asked, so here are the answers:

1.  “If I make or send a comment, does it automatically appear on the site?”  Answer:  No.  The site uses what is called “comment moderation.”  All comments come to me in the form of an e-mail, and I appreciate the feedback provided by each and every comment.  All non-spam comments do receive an e-mail reply from me.  (I suppose that I should be flattered that the site has received at least a small amount of spam comments.)  Due to space limitations, I have decided that unless a comment adds substantively to the historical aspect being discussed in a post, comments will not be shown on the site.  Also, no comment will be shown without the permission of the person making the comment.

2.  “Are you making any money out of this?”  Answer:  No, absolutely not.  Not a single penny.  For one thing, this site is hosted by, and their terms of service prohibit the display of advertisements on their sites by the persons who maintain the blogs (in this case, me).   However, even if I did attempt to make a profit from the site, it just does not have enough traffic, and it is not likely that, even if every person alive who ever lived in Bradley visited the site, it will ever have enough traffic to generate advertisement-related income.  I’m doing this first, because I enjoy it, and second, because I hope others will enjoy it.  For me, it’s fun. does reserve the right to place advertisements on their sites which would generate income for, but that also is unlikely because the traffic on this site will not justify their trouble in doing so, either.

I would like to thank each person who has visited the site in the slightly more than 3 months of its existence and all those who have taken the time to send comments.  The site has logged almost 2,000 hits in that time, far more than I ever anticipated.  I can only hope that its visitors enjoy viewing the site as much as I enjoy preparing it.