Monthly Archives: October 2008

Deer Hunting, 1957

Autumn is the time for the primal sport of deer hunting, where men are men, and deer are … well, dead.

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook contains several deer hunting pictures and the following brief narrative:

“Since deer hunting became legal in Lafayette County in 1950, it has attracted hundreds of out of state hunters, [sic] they come from Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and many other states.

There are fifteen deer clubs, with a membership of 375 members in Lafayette county, seven of which are within an area of ten to fifteen miles from Bradley.

In 1950, 46 deer were killed.

In 1951, 71.

In 1952, 108.

In 1953, 82.

In 1954, 121.

In 1955, 86.

In 1956, 140, and in 1957, 104 deer were killed in Lafayette County.”

– – –

Below are some of the photos of deer hunting activities which appear in the scrapbook.  The caption accompanying each picture in the scrapbook appears in quotation marks under each picture.

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“Deer killed by Mr. J. B. Bennifield”

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“Joe Crain and his Ten Point Buck”

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“Even the ladies hunt deer in Bradley”

(Does anyone recognize this lady?)

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“Our Sheriff and his kill.”

This is Sheriff Buck Baker, who continued to serve as Lafayette County Sheriff until his untimely death in 1963.

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“Scene at the Bradley Deer Club”

Farm-Oriented Businesses, 1957

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook mentions four farm-oriented businesses in the Bradley area:  Hamner Implement Co., Cochran Implement, Allen Bros., and Bradley Grain Elevator.  The narrative in the scrapbook is excerpted as follows:

“Three large Implement Concerns are situated in and near Bradley and furnish the planters with all the equipment necessary for planting, tilling and harvesting the crops.  The farmer has a choice of three leading lines.  Allen Bros. handle the Massey-Harris; Hamner Implement Co., the Jno. Deere line and Cochran Implement has the International Harvester line.

All three of these firms have a garage in connection, well equipped to take care of repairs of the implements sold by them.

These concerns are housed in large tile buildings.  The Jno. Deere Co. is completely air-conditioned; the office of the Cochran Implement Co. is air conditioned and the rest of the building is cooled with large fans.  The Allen Bros. Construction & Equipment Co. recently added 50×60 feet of floor space, in which are three air conditioned offices and a large tire department.

… Allen Bros. installed a two way radio mobile system and have units in three cars at this time.  This enables the two Allen Bros., Charles and J. G. III, to keep in touch with the many phases of their work.

… Bradley Grain Elevator during 1957 handled approximately 90,000 bushels of grain, which included Oats, Corn, Milo and Rice.”

– – –

Shown below are the 1957 pictures of three of these businesses.  Unfortunately, the picture in the scrapbook of Hamner Implement Co. is irretrievably out of focus.  However, a very good picture of Hamner Implement Co. taken from the scrapbook appeared in the post on this site of 9/24/08.

Below is a photo of Cochran Implement in 1957:

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And below is a photo of Allen Bros. in 1957:

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And below is a photo of “Bradley Storage & Elevator Co.” in 1957:

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Bradley Warehouse, Inc., 1948-1978

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook contains a brief history of the Bradley Warehouse, Inc., which is reprinted here:

“In 1918, M. M. Hamner, Sr., J. B. Edwards and L. B. Hamner formed a partnership to operate a cotton warehouse.  Using their own capital, they erected three sheet-iron buildings, 75’ x 140’.  Later they sold some stock to Charley Smith and W. T. Murphy, Jr.  The warehouse was in operation until the outbreak of World War No. 2 and, because of conditions peculiar to those times, such as labor shortage, etc., it was decided to close down the business.

In December, 1948, M. M. Hamner, J. B. Edwards, L. B. Hamner, W. T. Murphy, Jr., and F. M. Cochran, who bought the interest of Charles Smith, held a meeting and decided to reactivate the warehouses, form a Corporation under the laws of the State of Arkansas known as Bradley Warehouse, Inc., and Government Bond it.  With an additional investment of $25,000.00, all local capital, the three existing warehouses were completely repaired, inside and out.  A 128’ well was put down, a 25,000 gallon water tank was erected and all buildings were equipped with sprinkler systems.  The Government approved the warehouse for the storage of 5,000 bales of cotton.

In 1953, it became quite evident that the three houses could not take care of the cotton to be stored, and in the fall of that year, an 80’ x 140’ galvanized Butler building was erected at a cost of $25,000.  This, too, was equipped with a sprinkler system.  The Government increased the approval to 7,000 bales.

These four buildings, however, soon proved inadequate to take care of the cotton crop and early in 1956, a sheet-iron extension of 200’ was added to warehouse No. 2, at a cost of around $35,000.00.  Another 60,000 gallon tank was erected and 4 outside hydrants were placed.  A sprinkler system was also installed in this building, and approval was increased to 9,000 bales of cotton.”

– – – – –

Such was the state of Bradley Warehouse, Inc., in 1957.  In 1978, Bradley Warehouse, Inc., sold its physical plant to Farmers-Merchants Warehouse & Storage Co., Inc., a Louisiana corporation with principal offices in Plain Dealing, and the corporation itself was liquidated shortly thereafter.  According to the Lafayette County Tax Assessor’s records, the real property is now owned by Southern Arkansas Warehouse & Gin, L. L. C., an Arkansas limited liability company.

– – – – –

Shown below is a photo from the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook, showing the physical plant.  Immediately below it is a photo taken from approximately the same place and angle on October 14, 2008.

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The most obvious difference in the two photos is, of course, the disappearance of one of the 1957 water tanks. Also, in the 1957 photo, the street has not yet been paved.

Shown below are three photos from the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook of some of the activities and employees of the Warehouse at that time.

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If any reader should recognize any of these men, I would very much appreciate an e-mail or comment to that effect, and would gladly add their names to this post.

Civic Organizations, 1957

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook contains a summary of the activities of three of Bradley’s civic organizations at that time, namely the P. T. A., the B. & P. W. Club, and the Rotary Club:


The officers and various committees have worked together year after year to achieve objects of the PTA until now it is a solid, dependable, hard-working organization that is a credit to Bradley.  It has a membership of 242, an increase of 112 members over last year.  This group was one of the 115 membership award winners in Arkansas PTA.

Besides the regular programs, study courses have been held for parents and teachers of the different age groups.  At the meetings Baby-sitters are provided for the children.

The main achievement of the PTA every year is the health program of the school.  A health record of each student in school is kept on file, showing all the information that can be gathered pertaining to the health of each child.

The PTA made a Comic Book survey this year and the Comic Books that were objectionable were removed from the Newstands. 

The PTA Safety Committee has stressed playground safety this year.  The teachers and children have cooperated with the committee to an extent that there is more awareness of the importance of safety, and a number of hazards have been eliminated.

Civil Defense has been stressed in the PTA by having the Civil Defense Co-ordinator from this district speak at one of the regular PTA meetings.  Leaflets on the subject were handed out to members and open discussion was held.

The PTA Lunch Room Committee has emphasized table manners and the importance of a balanced diet by placing colorful posters in the lunchroom, illustrating points needing to be brought out, also the teachers are encouraged to stress diet and manners in the school and to correct students in the lunch-room.

The PTA offered to help plan entertainment for and to chaperone and furnish refreshments for any party the school wishes to sponsor.  The main party of the year was the New Year’s Eve celebration held at the school Gym.  Eighty-eight students were present.

Each year at Commencement exercise, the PTA presents a scholarship award to the Senior who has demonstrated by his grades and other attributes that he has met the qualifications of the PTA Scholarship Award.  This is a cash award of $75.00.

The PTA also presents at Commencement exercises an award to the most outstanding graduate of the year.  This award recognizes the student who might not have made the highest grades in his class, but had other outstanding qualities that merit special attention.  This award is an engraved trophy.

1957 was a very busy year for the P. T. A. Health Committee.  Under its supervision and with the cooperation of the County Health Nurse, 175 children were given the first and second Polio shots in January, February and March.  In April, a pre-school clinic was held and 26 children were given a complete physical examination by a doctor and the nurse; 22 were vaccinated for Small Pox; 8 were given a Tetanus Booster shot and one was given a Polio shot.  A third Polio shot was given to the 175 children.  The entire student body of 365 were given the M. V. test.  288 had good vision and 33 had to have a re-test, which was given in December.  The committee is now following up the re-test.

B. & P. W. CLUB

Bradley’s Business and Professional Women’s Club was organized January 1950 with 18 charter members and now has 34 active members.  The Club participates in all Civic projects in Bradley has won various awards in the State and National Federation for their B&PW work.

Every year at Christmas the club gives a Christmas basket to a needy family.

Each year the club participates in the Mothers March on Polio and a committee from the club served as judges in the Rotarians Christmas Lighting Contest.

The Club’s 1957 main project other than the National Federation’s objectives is sponsoring the Arkansas Power and Light Eighth Annual Achievement Contest.


To the Rotary Club goes much of the credit for the progress made in Bradley for the last 10 years.  Through its efforts, a doctor was brought here but his stay was short, as he was called into the Service.  It is still working on securing another doctor, but, so far, one has not been secured.

The residential street lights were erected under the sponsorship of the Club and, from time [to time], this service is being extended in every direction.  More lights are to be placed in the near future.  Recently, the Club was responsible for raising $100.00 toward the lights already installed.

Each year, this Club sponsors a Christmas program on Main Street the Saturday evening before Christmas.  Carols are sung and Santa arrives to give out candy to the children.  In December, 1957, a Christmas Lighting Contest was promoted by the Club, and prizes were offered to the best arrangement of lights in the residential and business districts.  Much interest was manifested and many pretty light arrangements were seen.

The Club now has a committee making a survey to find out how much interest there is here for bringing in new industry.”

– – – – –

A few notes:

As to the PTA section:  One wonders how many “newstands” there were in Bradley in 1957 from which comic books were censored.

As to the B&PW Club section:  The “Arkansas Power and Light Eighth Annual Achievement Contest” was, of course, the reason for the compilation of the scrapbook itself.

As to the Rotary Club section:  I believe the reference to the doctor who stayed briefly in Bradley before entering the military is to Dr. Rosendale.  If any readers should have other information, please let me know. 

Demise of 1930s Bradley High School Football

This past weekend, I visited with Mr. and Mrs. Dick Bishop in their home.  I asked Mrs. Margie about the story I had heard of the accident that ended the Bradley High School football program of the 1930s.  She confirmed the story and was able to provide enough details that I was able to pinpoint the precise date of the accident.

She remembered that the “bus” carrying the football team was side-swiped on “old” Highway 29 coming back from a game.  The “bus” in those days was nothing that resembles today’s school bus.  It was basically a large truck, with the rear passenger compartment framed with lumber and the windows covered only in poultry wire.  George Baker was driving the bus, and apparently he was not at fault in the accident.  “Old” Highway 29 refers to the road that now runs by the Arkansas Division of Youth Services Wilderness Camp.  It was Highway 29 prior to the 1954 paving and straightening of that highway.

Mrs. Margie was able to give an approximate year for the accident by remembering what grade she was in when it occurred.  She also remembered that the two boys most seriously injured were Basil Henderson and Ernest Jewell Hamiter.

The diaries of Della Cochran contain the following entries:

Friday, October 13, 1933:  “…Our football boys played Stamps at night.    
S[tamps] 21, B[radley] 0.  Last game for year for Bradley.”

Saturday, October 14, 1933:  “At midnight called F[rank Cochran, Sr., who was in Shreveport that night] to tell about truck wrecking our school bus.  Basil H. and E. J. Hamiter hurt worst.  Others cut and bruised….”

And thus ended the Bradley High School football program of the 1930s.

Bradley High School Football, 1930s

Bradley indeed had a football team in the 1930s, but I don’t know the precise year that the football program of that era began, or the precise year that it ended.

Below is a photo of one of those Bradley football teams, probably in the early 1930s.  The tall young man in the back row, second from left, with his left hand on his hip is Ralph C. “Bruz” Hamner.  If any reader is able to identify any of the rest of these formidable gridiron gladiators, it would be much appreciated.

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (5) A

Shown below is an announcement of a game against Lewisville.  A date and time for the game are given, but the year is unknown.  While this may appear to be a handbill which would be posted on a utility pole, or something similar, it is actually a small card about twice the size of today’s business cards.

Saturday, January 31, 2004 (73) A

It says:


Bradley Hi


Lewisville Hi

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Bradley Athletic Field

Come out and see the Bears drub the Red Devils in the last big game of the season.  Watch those Bears pull those Red Devil tails.

Admission 10 and 25c.  Time 3 P. M.”

– – –

The diaries of Della Cochran make mention of four home games in 1931 and 1932. On September 25, 1931, Bradley defeated Waskom, Texas, 27–0.  On October 2, 1931, Bradley defeated St. John’s, 19–0.  Who “St. John’s” was is a mystery. From the two 1931 scores, it appears that team defense was quite good that year.

On October 28, 1932, Hope defeated Bradley, 12–6.   On November 4, 1932, Stamps defeated Bradley, 26–0, and the Stamps High School Band made an appearance.  From the two 1932 scores, it appears that offense was a problem for Bradley that year.

As for the eventual fate of the 1930s-era football program, I’ve heard tales of a bus or auto accident which injured some of the players on the way back home from an away game, causing the cancellation of the remainder of the season.  I don’t know what year that happened, but apparently the program was not resumed in the following year.