Monthly Archives: September 2008

First Anniversary

Today, September 26, 2008, marks the first anniversary of  Many thanks to all the loyal readers who have made the site a success and who also inspire me to keep it going.


Four Bradley scenes, 1957

Here are four photos taken from the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook, each showing a different view of Bradley.  Following each 1957 photo is a photo taken from approximately the same place and angle on September 23, 2008.

The first is a photo taken at the intersection of Highway 160, Woodruff St., and Crabtree Lane.  It shows Baker Bros. Garage (the “Esso” sign on the left) and Hamner Implement Co.  In the current photo, the Bradley Medical Clinic, with the apartment buildings in the rear of the photo, is now located where Hamner Implement Co. appears in the 1957 photo.

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The second photo was taken on the Bradley school campus.  It shows what was then the gymnasium in the back of the left side of the photo, and the old high school building on the right side of the photo.  The “new” high school building is described and pictured prominently in the B. & P. W. scrapbook, so this would have been about the time the “new” high school building was constructed. It is possible that, when this photo was taken, the old high school building had been abandoned and was awaiting demolition.  When this 1957 photo is enlarged, 14 (!) buses can be counted.

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The third photo is taken from the westbound lane of Fourth St./Highway 160 approximately in front of where the Post Office would have been located at that time.  The sign hanging from the awning on the right side of the photo, just above the automobile, says “Kennedy Grocery.”  The discoloration in the top portion of the photo is from the age of the photo, and not from a threatening sky.

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The fourth photo is taken from what is now the interior of the Community State Bank, looking more or less east at the west wall of the Edwards Co. building and Fourth St./Highway 160.  Prior to the construction of the second Bank of Bradley building on this location, the Arkansas Highway Department used it as a storage facility for highway resurfacing materials and equipment.

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B. & P. W. Scrapbook, circa 1957

In an earlier post (6/16/08), I mentioned a scrapbook compiled by the Bradley B. & P. W. Club in the late 1950’s, which was once in the Bradley Public Library.  Since the closing of that library several years ago, I have often wondered what happened to it.  Well, Richard Estes has found it.  It is an absolute treasure trove of information about and photographs of Bradley in the late 1950’s.  Many, many future posts on this site will be devoted to that information and those photographs.

The B. & P. W. Club, assisted by some other local organizations, entered Bradley in a statewide “Community Accomplishment Contest” for at least two years, and perhaps more.  The Contest was divided by population range and Bradley was entered in the division of cities with populations up to 1,000.

Inside the front cover of the scrapbook is a certificate which was apparently won in the first year Bradley was in the contest.  It says:


For Outstanding Achievement in the Initiation and Improvement of Community Facilities in

The 1956 Community Accomplishment Contest

Sponsored by

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce

The Arkansas Industrial Development Commission

The Arkansas Power & Light Company,

The City of Bradley is hereby awarded


In its population group.

The sponsors are honored in making this presentation.

[signed with illegible signature], President, The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.”

– – –

A newspaper clipping announces:


The town of Bradley was notified Sunday that they were one of the ten finalists in the 0–1,000 group of the Seventh Annual Community Accomplishment Contest.

The ten finalists are besides Bradley; Cave City, Danville, Gillett, Hampton, Marion, Mount Ida, Prairie Grove, Salem and Sparkman.

The judges started touring the state Monday to visit the towns and inspect first hand the improvements that had been made and Monday about nineteen citizens of Bradley met at Cochran’s Store in Bradley to talk to the three judges, B. S. Hundley of Star City, Charles Leighton of DeQueen and Glenn Zimmerman of North Little Rock.”

– – –

A magazine clipping contains what is apparently meant to be a summary of the improvements made in the Bradley area over the past year:

“Bradley is a small town located in the southern portion of Arkansas having a population of 678 people and has a fire insurance rating of Class 9.

During the past year they paved 23 blocks of town streets.  They have fire fighting equipment consisting of two trucks and their fire department is headed by a chief and 18 men, all of whom are volunteers.  Five of the 18 men are qualified to teach first aid and the town also provides outside fire service.

The American Legion sponsored a Little League Baseball organization which took care of 66 boys during the summer of 1956.  The local citizens working together collected $2,000 for this program.  A new Legion hut has been constructed in Bradley and they have outstanding scout troops.

One new milk plant was installed with ten new bins.  A new cotton warehouse was constructed covering 16,000 square feet.  The Ground Observation Corp.was created and 55 people have completed the course.  The local PTA concentrated most of its efforts on the health program for the community.  They made a health record for every child in school and also gave a trophy for the most outstanding student.  Two girls were sent to Girls’ State.”

The “Ground Observation Corp.” referred to in the preceding paragraph was part of what was then called “Civil Defense,” and which we now call, generically, “Homeland Security.”

– – –

The scrapbook also contains an account, apparently retyped from some newspaper, which indicates the result of that particular year’s contest:


On Nov. 21 [1957, apparently], Mr. Bill Fountain, one of the District Supervisor [sic] for the Eighth Annual Achievement Contest, sponsored by the Ark. Power & Light Co., Arkansas Economic Council and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce was the guest meeting [sic] of the Bradley Rotary Club.

Mr. Fountain, who is from Ark. Power & Light Co., of Little Rock, complimented the town of Bradley very highly on its achievement in the contest last year.  Bradley ranked in the top ten and [sic] said  that the judges were especially impressed with the Little League program, the Civil Defense program and the cooperation of the entire community in the cleanup program.

He also brought out the fact that, while the town is not, as you might put it, strategically situated, yet it is very PROGRESSIVE AND DESERVED COMMENDATION FOR IT.  [upper case letters are in the original article]

Bradley is again registered in the Eighth Annual Contest, with which [sic] ends [sic] December, and is sponsored by the Bradley Business & Professional Women’s club.”

Another article describing what was apparently the same meeting states that it took place at Smith’s Cafe, which was located where Coker Hardware is now.

– – –

Much more of the B. & P. W. scrapbook still to come….

Mr. & Mrs. Richard A. Bishop: 65th Anniversary

This past Saturday, September 6, 2008, saw an event that seldom happens in Bradley: the celebration of a 65th wedding anniversary.  The couple is none other than Mr. & Mrs. Richard A. Bishop, affectionately known to members of my generation as Mr. Dick and Mrs. Margie.  This event was held in the Family Life Center of the Bradley Baptist Church from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and had an excellent turnout of friends and relatives of the Bishop family.  (Of course, if only Bishops and Allens had shown up for the event, there would still have been a large turnout, but there were many, many others there.)

Some pictures of Mr. Dick and Mrs. Margie at the reception:


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They also posed with their children.  Standing, left to right, are Margie, Dickey, Ann, Sally, Jim, Jeanne and John:

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State Representative Bruce Maloch made a presentation on behalf of the Arkansas General Assembly:


One of the attractions was a continuous slide show of the Bishop family:

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A Schenectady, New York (where his parents resided), newspaper announced shortly after the wedding:

“Announcement of the marriage of Miss Marjorie Allen to Tech. Sgt. Richard A. Bishop, son of Col. and Mrs. Leonard A. Bishop, 312 Fifth St., Scotia, has been made by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Josiah G. Allen, Jr., of Bradley, Ark.  The ceremony took place Sept. 12 [1943] at Las Vegas, Nev.  The bride is a graduate of Ouachita College, Ark.  Sgt. Bishop, who also attended Ouachita College, was employed by the New York Telephone Co. here before enlisting in the Signal Corps.  He is stationed at Fresno, Cal.”

Revival of Football Program, 1963

Football season is here and it’s a good time to look back at some Bradley football pioneers.  In 1963, after a hiatus of about three decades, Bradley High School revived its football program.  Ironically, the football program lasted about another thirty years before, due to lack of numbers, it had to be discontinued again.

In 1963, the number of players was not a problem.  There were 23 players, two coaches and 4 managers (Jimmy Burns, Donald Adams, Earl Vickers and Raymond Gildon), according to the 1964 B. H. S. yearbook.

The program for the 1963 home games was printed by George Bell of the Bradley Pioneer.  The front page:

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (8) A




Bradley High School

Winston Duke, Coach

Gerald Vines, Ass’t. Coach

Bradley Arkansas”

– – – – –

The back page contained the team’s schedule and two advertisements (which are transcribed with all the other ads, below).

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (8) B

“Bradley ‘Bears’ Football Schedule


Sept 6.  Bismark  There

Sept. 12  Hope (B Team)  Here

Sept. 20  Fouke  There

Sept. 27  Texarkana (B Team)  Here

Oct. 4  Strong  There

Oct. 11  Mineral Springs  There

Oct. 18  Murfreesboro  Here

Oct. 25  Horatio  There

Nov. 1  Lewisville  Here

Nov. 15  Foreman  There”

– – – – –

The roster page of the 1963 home-game program listed each player’s name, number, position, and weight, and designated the “probable starting lineup.”

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (9) B

“Bradley High School


Colors Purple & Gold

Name     No.   Position   Weight

Ronni [sic] Byrd*, 11, QB, 150

David Byrd, 12, QB, 150

Ken Allen, 13, QB, 145

Tommy Pauley, 17, QC, 110

Jimmy McDonald, 21, ET, 165

Gwen Lee, 22, T, 185

Mitchie Jones*, 23, HB, 160

Glenn Brackman, 24, HB, 145

John Taylor, 25

George Pickett, 26, HB, 135

Ronnie Odom*, 27, G, 160

Tommy Lindsey, 28, G, 145

Larry Jackson*, 29, E, 140

John T. Williams*, 30, C, 155

Jerry Clary*, 31, FB, 180

Dickie Bishop, 32, T, 220

Buddy Jackson*, 33, E, 155

Jimmy Gildon*, 34, T, 200

Charles McDonald, 35 E, 170

Larry Parks, 36, G, 160

Johnny Umphries*, 37, G, 155

Henry Maness*, 38, T, 170

Willard Bandy, 39, E, 175

Carl Pauley*, 40, HB, 170

Thomas Clarence [sic], __, T, 215”

*probable starting lineup

– – – – –

The remainder of the 8–page program consisted of advertisements, which provide a glimpse into Bradley businesses of that era.

“Compliments of Allen Bros. C & E Co; Allis Chalmers; New Holland”

“Bradley Pioneer; Community News; Commercial Printing”

“Roberson Farm Equipment; International Harvester Dealer”

“Compliments of Coker Hardware”

“New Phone TW4–2815; We Have All Types of Cotton Defoliants; Logan Seed Co.”

“Crain & Rogers; Mobil Products”

“The Bank of Bradley; Member F. D. I C.”

“Clary Butane & Oil Co.; Cities Service”

“Let’s Go Bears; Odom Dusting Service”

“Hamner Implement Co.; Your John Deere Folks”

“Baker Bros.; Automotive & Tractor Service”

“Cochran Hardware; Building Material”

“Kennedy’s Grocery & Market”

“We Want A Touchdown; Edwards Co.; Edwards Hardware”

And there were also advertisements for “Board of Directors; Bradley
School” and “Thomas E. Tincher, City Marshal”

– – – – –

Alas, fortune was not kind to the 1963 football Bears.  As might be expected with a brand new football program, the team finished with a record of one win and nine losses.

The Bradley Pioneer reported on the first game at Bismark:  “The Bradley Bears played their first football game against Bismart [sic] last Friday night.  One hundred and ten people from Bradley accompanied the team to Bismark and rooted for the Bears.  Bismark won 28–0 but Coach Winston Duke carried 24 Bears to Bismark and let each one play.  Coach Duke said that this experience was a big help to the boys and the support the people of Bradley gave them was a boost for their morale.”

If memory serves correctly, the only win of the 1963 season was the game at Fouke, which was also beginning its football program that year.

For some historical perspective, the final game of the season at Foreman would have taken place two days before the dedication of the new sanctuary of the Bradley Baptist Church (see post of 7/18/08) and one week to the day before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Finally, if any of the players from that team should have any good stories about their experiences that year, would be most interested in hearing them.