Category Archives: Buildings

Fourth Street, 1910s

Several previous posts have featured photos from Fourth Street (now Highway 160).  The following photo shows a gentleman whose identity is unknown, but who is obviously very well dressed, standing on Fourth Street in the 1910s.  That date is reasonably certain because of the album from which the photo was taken. 

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This photo is roughly contemporary with the photo on the header of this site and with the first photo in the 1/30/08 post which shows two people standing at the south entrance to the railroad depot.  The buildings in the background face the railroad, as did most of the early commercial buildings in Bradley.  It is difficult to discern, but there is no structure at all on the half-block behind the building at left, which would be where Coker Hardware is now located, and upon which a row of several buildings was later built and also demolished.

This photo is an almost 180–degree opposite view of Fourth Street from the photo in the post of 2/11/08.  The tinted photo of the kneeling man and his dog in that post was taken about 20 years later than this photo, however.

This photo is obviously, judging by the man’s shadow, taken in the late morning.  Below is a photo taken from approximately the same place and angle in the late morning of March 22, 2008.

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Edwards Company, circa 1940

Edwards Company was located on the southwest corner of Block 9, for the most part between where the Bradley City Hall is now located and Fourth Street/Highway 160.  At one time, Edwards Company was in the dry goods, grocery, and hardware businesses.  Below is an image of the Edwards Company building, taken about 1940.

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The picture is obviously taken in the late afternoon.  The sign near the top of the building on the left side of the picture says “Westinghouse” and “Edwards Company.”  The sign hanging from the awning in front of the left entrance to the building says “Dry Goods,” and the sign to the middle entrance to the building says “Groceries.”  There is a vertical sign behind the car on the right side of the picture that says “Mansfield Tires.”  The hardware part of the business was located in the right side of the building.  The identity of the woman in the picture is not known, but she appears to be in something of a hurry.

Below is a photo taken from approximately the same place and angle on the afternoon of February 26, 2008.

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Edwards Company, of course, is no longer in business.  I don’t know the dates on which the Dry Goods and Grocery stores ceased business, but did find an old advertisement where the remaining stock of the hardware business was sold at public auction on January 23, 1964.

Cochran Hardware

Sometime in the early 1920’s (probably 1924), Frank Cochran, Sr., resigned his position at Holland Hardware Co. (see the post from October 8, 2007) and decided to go into business for himself.  The following photo shows “Frank M. Cochran Hardware Co.” as it looked about 1928 or 1929.  And, yes, for those of you who are wondering, the boy on the horse is, indeed, Frank M. Cochran, Jr.  A close look at the right-side window pane reveals a gentleman standing inside the building wearing a white or light-colored shirt and a tie.

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The following slightly out-of-focus photo shows Cochran Hardware Co. as it appeared during World War II.

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The sign on the front says “International Harvester Farm Equipment” and “Cochran Hardware Company.”  The two people standing beside the yellow truck are probably Frank Cochran, Sr., and Edith Cochran, a distant relative who worked for him for slightly more than ten years.  The spot in the upper left quadrant of the picture is simply deterioration of the original slide film photo.  The poster just to the right of the blue car is probably some sort of patriotic exhortation, i.e., urging the purchase of war bonds or something similar.  Note that, even though this photograph is taken approximately fifteen years after the first photograph, the street is still unpaved.

Most of this building was demolished in 1964, but the left side one-third still stands today.  The lot on the right of the picture, approximately where the gasoline pump appears, is now occupied by the Walnut Hill Telephone Co. building.

Cochran-Allen Equipment Co.

On March 2, 1945, Frank Cochran, Sr., and J. Madison Allen entered into a partnership for “…the buying, selling and vending of trucks, farm machinery and all sorts of goods and equipment incident to the retail Farm Machine business.”  The firm name of the partnership was Cochran-Allen Equipment Co.  In 1946, the company built this building on the northeast corner of the intersection of Fifth and Pullman streets:

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The partnership was dissolved on April 3, 1948, and Frank Cochran, Sr., as sole proprietor, changed the firm name to Cochran Implement Co.  In 1958, he sold the business to James Roberson of Plain Dealing.

The following picture taken on October 21, 2007, from approximately the same spot, shows what remains of the building today:

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Light & Ice Plant Fire, 1938

Monday, September 12, 1938, was a memorable day in Bradley:

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Della McKnight Cochran, who kept a diary from 1920 until shortly before her death in 1950, wrote on that day:  “At 10:00 A.M. light & ice plant burned.  I [was] there until noon.  Business disrupted without electricity.”  The entries for the following few days do not mention when electricity was restored.

The photo is taken from approximately where Highway 160 now crosses the railroad tracks, looking southwest.  The second building from the left is where Smith Funeral Home is located today.  Note the men on the roof of the adjacent building to the right of the burning building.

Lee Bros.–Holland Hdwe. Building

The photo below is of a long-ago demolished building in Bradley.  My grandmother, Della McKnight Cochran, wrote underneath the photo:  “G. W. & R. R. Lee Store, later Holland Hdwe. Store, where Frank Cochran [Sr.] worked 10 yrs. 4 months.”  My father, Frank M. Cochran, Jr., much later wrote on the back of the photo:  “Lee Bros. Store about 1910.  Later Holland Hdwe. about 1912.  Demolished 1931.”

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Where was this building?  I remember my grandfather, Frank Cochran, Sr., telling me about working for Holland Hardware Co.  He said it was located close to the building which was built in the mid-1960’s by the Walnut Hill Masonic Lodge, and which now houses Vicki’s Beauty Shop.

The 1905 Real Estate Tax Book in the Lafayette County Clerk’s Office shows that lots 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11 of Block 9 were assessed to “G. M. & R. R. Lee.”  Lots 4 and 5 (50 ft.-wide lots) of Block 9 are approximately where the new Bradley Fire Department building is located today.  Lots 9, 10, and 11 (25 ft.-wide lots) of Block 9, where this building apparently stood, are located just south of the former Lodge Hall.  The building almost certainly faced the railroad (east).

By deed dated November 3, 1910, G. M. Lee and Willie Howell Lee, his wife, and R. R. Lee and Daisy Lee, his wife, conveyed all five lots to W. D. Stewart for a consideration of $1,500.  Mr. Stewart paid $600 down and signed 9 promissory notes for $100 each, with each due on the first day of succeeding months, beginning December 1, 1910.  All the notes were without interest.  (Deed Records Book T-3, page 488)

By deed dated February 1, 1914, W. D. Stewart and Emma Stewart, his wife, conveyed all five lots to Holland Hardware Company for a consideration of $2,200.  Holland Hardware Co. paid $500 down and agreed to pay $565 on February 1, 1915, $565 on February 1, 1916, and $570 on February 1, 1917.  Each of the installment payments bore 10% interest.  (Deed Records Book Y-3, page 613)

In the 1931 Real Estate Tax Book, the year the notation on the back of the photo says the building was demolished, all five lots were assessed to R. M. Holland.