Category Archives: Buildings

Last Game in 1962 Gymnasium: February 7, 2012

An era came to an end in Bradley last week.  Assuming that the construction of the new gym is completed as planned, the evening of Tuesday, February 7, 2012, saw the last regularly scheduled home game in the 1962 gymnasium, with the Bradley Senior Boys defeating the Horatio Senior Boys.

The first game in the 1962 gym was played in the fall of that year, with the Bright Star Junior Boys defeating the Bradley Junior Boys, 26–22.

Below are some photos taken during and immediately after the final home game last week.

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For the benefit of those who may not be close enough to Bradley to see the progress on the new gym, here are two photos which may give some perspective on that progress.

The first photo was taken on June 12, 2011:

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And the photo below, taken on January 29, 2012, from approximately the same angle, shows the completed slab of the building:

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Old Hamner-Edwards Building remodeling, 1960

James Drake has graciously provided bradleyark.com with a clipping from the June 13, 1960, Lafayette County Democrat.  It deals with the radical remodeling of the building on the southwest corner of Pilot and 4th Street/Highway 160, known as, so the article says, the “Old Hamner Edwards Building.”  It is the building currently occupied by Bradley Ag Supply and Kevin’s Kitchen and should not be confused with the Edwards Company building which was located more or less on the site now occupied by the Bradley Municipal Complex.

The article is accompanied by a very grainy photo, reproduced below:

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The text of the article is as follows:

“NEW STRUCTURE WILL REPLACE OLD BUILDING

Monday morning, June 13, Mrs. M. M. Hamner, Sr., began work on main street that will greatly improve the appearance of Bradley.  The Old Hamner-Edwards building is being partly torn down and will be remodeled and two modern store buildings will take its place.  The building has been vacant for several years and has been an eye sore.  Windows were broken out and boarded up and [sic] was very unsightly as one crossed the railroad tracks coming into Bradley.

The height of the walls are being lowered changing the entrance from the East to the North.  Brick veneer will cover the old outside wall and will be of similar design of the new bank building.  The inside walls of the building will be of plaster and the floor will be of concrete.  Dirt had to be hauled in to fill the about four feet escavation [sic] that existed after many thousands of gallons of water was pumped from the hole.  People who remember when the building was constructed in 1913 say that the dirt was removed by mules and slips in order that air circulation might be possible under the floor of the building.  Instead of permitting air circulation, it became a pool of water under the entire 50 x 150 building.

This old building now being removed to give way to a modern structure was constructed by Mr. Tom W. Maryman, then President and Manager of the Bradley Mercantile Co. in 1913.  An old building stood on this site previous to this, according to Mr. J. W. Meek, and was partly destroyed by storm.

The Bradley Mercantile operated a business in this then modern brick building from 1913 to 1915.  Mr. P. M. Allen purchased the stock and at some later date the building was sold to J. B. and P. D. Burton from whom Mr. Hamner purchased the property recently.

In 1918, Mr. M. M. Hamner, Mr. L. B. Hamner and Mrs. J. B. Edwards went into business in this old store and in 1923 M. M. Hamner sold to Mr. Edwards.

In 1936, Edwards moved to their present location [near the present Bradley Municipal Complex].  Mr. Max Baker then became a partner with Mr. L. B. Hamner which lasted a few years and then Mr. Baker left the business leaving only Mr. L. B. Hamner who moved out of the building four years ago.

The new building now being erected will add two more modern stores to our list of new construction in Bradley.  Main street will take on a new look with the completion of this building.”

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The article is reprinted here with permission.

There are two other partial views of this building already on this site.  The photo in the post of March 24, 2008, shows this building on the left side of the photo, apparently not long after it was built.  The photo in the post of January 22, 2009, also shows this building on the left side of the photo, about 1951.

Downtown Bradley, December 1968

Below are two views of 4th Street/Highway 160, both taken in December of 1968.  The first looks west and shows on the right (north) side of the photo, the Tom’s Furniture and Edwards Company buildings.  The Christmas lights above the street are also visible.

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The second photo is taken looking northeast from the intersection of 4th and Pullman Streets (between what are now Community State Bank and Coker Hardware) and shows the Edwards Company building.  It was taken on the occasion of the downtown Christmas celebration in 1968.

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Finally, below is a roughly similar view of the Edwards Company building, taken on October 27, 2001, shortly before its destruction to make way for the construction of the Bradley Municipal Complex.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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More Notes on Old Post Office-Bank Building

Shown below is an image of the Bank of Bradley portion, mostly, of this building, taken on an overcast winter’s day in 1975, three years before it was demolished:

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And here is a photo taken much earlier in front of the Bank, showing the lettering on the windows:

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The two young ladies in the photo are Thomasene Jester and Ruth Joy Jackson.  The photo is courtesy of Mrs. Marjorie Bishop.

Two items from the old Bank of Bradley are now in the Cochran museum:  the “Bank” sign above the front door and part of the door to the vault, which was mentioned in the article in the previous post on this site.

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Incidentally, Jack Meek, who was assistant cashier at the time the Bank was robbed in 1938, gave a newspaper interview in 1990 which casts doubt on part of the “Big Store No More” article.  According to him, the robbers forced him into the vault, but he was able to release himself before firing on the robbers as they made their escape.