Category Archives: Civic Organizations

Bradley Chamber of Commerce Banquet, 3-6-10

The 26th annual Bradley Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held in the Bradley Elementary School cafeteria during the evening of March 6, 2010.  Attendance was excellent, as it always is during an election year, with many present seeking to be elected to or to retain political office.

The Community Service Award was given to Kala Traxler, shown below with Mollye McCalman.  Kala also arranged a slide show for the banquet.

DSC_5260 A

Travis Gore, whom Emcee Richard Estes, referred to as the “Sage” of the chamber, recognized State Senator Barbara Horn for her contributions to Bradley.  Senator Horn is in her last year of service in that position, and she made a few brief remarks.  Travis and Barbara can been seen in the following two photos.

DSC_5266 A

DSC_5271 A

With so many politicians present, not just the usual one T-shirt, but instead two T-shirts were auctioned off.  The auctioneer was State Representative Bruce Maloch, seen below.  Bruce is in his last year of service in that position, and has served as auctioneer for several past Chamber banquets.

DSC_5286 A

Mollye McCalman holds up one of this year’s Conway Days T-shirts, below.

DSC_5283 A 

And Joe Middlebrooks holds up the other T-shirt to be auctioned off, one he said meant “Who dat gonna win this election?”

DSC_5288 A

The Best Ad for Bradley went to Eugenia Collum, seen in the following two photos, the last of which with Emcee Richard Estes.

DSC_5155 A

DSC_5302 A 

No annual Chamber banquet would be possible without the assistance of the student servers, shown below.

DSC_5327 A 

Governor Conway Days are held each year on the last weekend in March.  The primary date of celebration this year will be Saturday, March 27, 2010. 

Lafayette County Fair in Bradley, 1947

The 65th (at least in its current incarnation) annual Lafayette County Fair is being held this week at the fairgrounds just off Highway 82 between Stamps and Lewisville.  Before that, it was held at a location just off the Skelly Road (now County Road 22), which basically runs from the southwest part of Stamps to the southeast part of Lewisville, and vice versa.

Few are aware, however, that at least on one occasion, the Lafayette County Fair was held in Bradley.  In 1947, the Fair was in its third year.  Exactly where in Bradley was it held?  In the field just south of what members of my generation remember as the residence of Mr. & Mrs. L. E. “Happy” Taylor.  Today, it might occur to many that there wasn’t much room for such an undertaking in that location because of the proximity of Highway 29 just behind (east) of that field.  However, that portion of Highway 29 was not constructed until 1954, seven years later.  Highway 29 ran in 1947 in front of the Taylor residence, i.e., between their home and the railroad tracks. 

The following are some photos of that event, which have yellowed and deteriorated with the years.  A makeshift corral was erected for the livestock events:

031203 County Fair in Bradley 47 B

Local merchants exhibited their wares:

031201 County Fair in Bradley 47 B

031204 County Fair in Bradley 47 B

And, finally, the following photo shows a reasonably good of view of what was then Highway 29, still unpaved, next to the railroad.

031207 County Fair in Bradley 47 B

Making Plans for Summer Baseball, 1957

Today is the day in which most major league baseball teams open their regular seasons, so let’s take a look at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the organization which sponsored the Bradley Little League, Pony League,  Babe Ruth, and American Legion baseball teams in 1957.

The following article is reprinted from the Lafayette County Democrat, with permission.

– – – – –


The Board of Directors met on Monday, February 11, 1957 at one p. m. at Hamner Implement Company for the purpose of preparing for the coming baseball season, which will include the Little League, Pony League, Babe Ruth and American Legion ball clubs.

The appointed officers and their duties are as follows:  Commissioner, Ralph Hamner; President H. M. Burks; V. Pres, Odell Clary; Sec-Treas., John Coker; Umpire Controller J. W. Camp.

Plate Umpires: Gerald Walding, Marvin McCalman, Billy Barker.

Base Umpires: Herbert Collier, Madison Drake, Jack Jones, Harry Bussey.

Transportation Officers:  Odell Clary, Herman Barnett.

Bus Drivers:  Herbert Collier, Clyde Jackson.

Entertainment:  Thomas Williams, Herman Barnett, J. W. Camp.

Police and Traffic:  Glendon Barnett, Pat Coker, L. G. Middlebrooks, Hulon Mitchell, Madison Drake, James Wilson, Carl Baker.

Food Concessions:  Mrs. John Coker, Mrs. Ralph Hamner, Mrs. L. G. Middlebrooks, Mrs. Lewis Whisenhunt, Mrs. Herman Barnett, Mrs. Thomas Williams.

Drinks:  Ralph Hamner, Hulon Mitchell, Ralph Hamner, Jr., Buck Williams, Merle Gore.

Repairs:  Odell Clary, James Wilson, L. G. Middlebrooks, Madison Drake, Marvin McCalman, Clyde Jackson, John Coker.

Grounds:  Thomas Williams, Glendon Barnett, Pat Coker, Jack Jones, Herman Barnett, J. W. Camp, Billy Barker.

School Property:  H. M. Burks, E. V. Powell, Entire Ground Crew.

Board of Directors:  Ralph Hamner, Thomas Williams, Glendon Barnett, Pat Coker, Jack Jones, Herman Barnett, James Wilson, L. G. Middlebrooks, Horace Burks, John Coker, E. V. Powell, Madison Drake, J. W. Camp, Odell Clary, Harry Bussey, Carl Baker, Lewis Whisenhunt, Hulon Mitchell, Billy Barker, Gerald Walding, Herbert Collier.

At this meeting it was also decided to improve the playing field by leveling the grounds, installing more lights, repairing the bleachers, concession stand, fences, and the property South of the ball field, when leveled and drained will provide a new entrance to the field.  A heavy wire fence will be built along both base lines to protect the spectators.

The Ground Committee voted to bring the following implements to work the grounds.  Plows:  Ralph Hamner, Thomas Williams, and Jack Jones; Land Levelers:  Ralph Hamner and Glendon Barnett; Disk Harrows:  Ralph Hamner, Lewis Whisenhunt, Horace Burks and Pat Coker.

All Board Members agreed to wear ball caps as to Mr. Hamner’s suggestion.

During 1956 a total of 66 boys participated in the program.  In 1957 a total of 100 is expected to participate.

Respectfully Submitted, John R. Coker, Secretary-Treasurer; Merle Gore, Reporter.”

Bradley Chamber of Commerce Banquet, 3-7-09

The Bradley Chamber of Commerce held its 25th (!) annual banquet in the Bradley Elementary School cafeteria this past Saturday, March 7, 2009, with a good crowd present.

090307 Wide shot of banquet, 300 pixels

Emcee and auctioneer Richard Estes auctioned off one of this year’s Governor Conway Days T-shirts, as shown by Mollye McCalman, below.

090307 Richard as auctioneer, 300 pixels

090307 Mollye with T-shirt, 300 pxiels

Also auctioned off was a glass etching donated in memory of the late Jackie Walker.

090307 etching, 300 pixels

The Best Ad for Bradley award was presented by Travis Gore to the Walnut Hill Telephone Company, represented by Mitchell Ham.  Travis holds this year’s Walnut Hill phone directory which has an image of Governor James S. Conway on the cover.

090307 Travis and Mitchell Ham, 300 pixels

Fred Harris, below, announced that the Centenarian Award was being given to Mrs. Mariah Mitchell.  Mrs. Mitchell, widow of the late Frank Mitchell, was not able to be present.

090307 Fred Harris, 300 pixels

Mollye McCalman presented the Community Service Award to Mickie Gore, shown below with her husband, Travis.

090307 Mickie and Travis Gore, 300 pixels

Governor Conway Days, as always, will be held this year during the last weekend in March, specifically March 27–28, 2009.

Oh, and one last note.  After the banquet had adjourned, my camera caught this bit of nefariousness:

090307 theft of rolls, 300 pixels

In the interest of full disclosure, however, I must admit that I walked out with some of those rolls myself!

Bradley Boy Scout Troop No. 72, 1957

In 1957, Bradley had an active Boy Scout Troop (No. 72), which was described in the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook as follows:

“Highlights of Boy Scout Troop No. 72 during 1957.

Feb-1957.  The Scouts distributed the posters of the Special Clean Up drive sponsored by the B & P W Club.  The Scouts celebrated the 47th Birthday of Scouting in the U S A with an open house and family night dinner at the American Legion Hut.

June-1957.  Seventeen Scouts spent one week in June at Camp Pioneer, near Hatfield, Arkansas.  Two Scouts were inducted into the Order of the Arrow at this Camp.

July-1957.  Two scouts went to the National Jamboree at Valley Forge.

During the year of 1957 a total of 300 Boy days and nights were spent in camping.

Four Scouts advanced to Tenderfoot.  Two Scouts advanced to Second Class.  Two Scouts advanced to First Class.  Two Scouts advanced to Star Scouts.  Mack Jackson advanced to Life Scout.  A total of twenty merit badges were passed.

Thomas Burks and Don Barnett are the two Boy Scouts that attended the National Scout Jamboree in Valley Forge.

The Boy Scouts are sponsored by the American Legion.

Mr. J. M. Drake [shown below] is the Scoutmaster for Troop 72.  He was the assistant Scoutmaster for several years.

DSC02037 A

The American Legion Hut [shown below] where the Boy Scouts hold their meetings.”

DSC02038 B

– – – – –

The American Legion Hut had fallen into disrepair and was demolished several years ago to make way for the construction of a baseball/softball field.

A previous article on this site has mentioned that George W. Bell was Scoutmaster of Troop No. 72 at one time.  In the early 1960’s, when I was of Scouting age, Glen Ruth was the Scoutmaster.  Perhaps some reader(s) can recall the names and approximate tenures of other Bradley Scoutmasters.

I was one of a very few people who attended the ceremony at the Legion Hut where Mack Jackson was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, so I have personal knowledge that Bradley had at least one Scout to reach the highest rank in Scouting.  Perhaps some reader(s) have knowledge of others to accomplish that feat.

Bradley B. & P. W. Club Officers, 1956

Who were the ladies who compiled the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook, from which so much material has been shown on this site?  It’s impossible to say for certain, but a reasonably good clue can be found in an article which appeared in the June 14, 1956, edition of the Lafayette County Democrat.  It is reprinted here with permission.


Officers of the Bradley Business and Professional Women’s Club installed are:

Vera Reed, President

Ida Middlebrooks, Rec. Sec.

Susie Lewis, Cor. Sec.

Thomasine Cook, Treasurer

Committee Chairmen:

Ruth Baker, Health & Safety

Mary Sue Baker, Radio & TV

Sigel Allen, National Security

Virginia Faye Cochran and Vesta Powell, Music and Entertainment

Jeanette Templeton, Program Coordinator

Ella Mae Jones, News Service

Margaret Odom, Education & Vocation

Gladys Powell, Finance

Sue Hammond, Int. Relations

Rilla Cochran, Legislation

Lois Drake, Public Affairs

Betty Cochran and LaRita Burks attended Girls State at Little Rock, sponsored by the Club.”

Bradley Fire Department, 1955, 1957

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook recognizes the Bradley Volunteer Fire Department for its contributions to the community.  The narrative is as follows:

“The Bradley Fire Department never relaxes it’s [sic] efforts a moment to promote fire protection for our community.

It meets twice a month for a 2 hour instruction course.  Mr. Geo. Bell, the former instructor, resigned in the summer of 1957 to accept the position of District Civil Defense Director….

The Chief, 13 Volunteer Fireman [sic], and the 6 Junior Marshals attended a course in Rescue at Magnolia.  A local inspection to reduce hazards was made, and a class in First Aid was conducted.

The equipment, consisting of 2 pumpers – one with a 450 gal. tank and one with a 600 gal. tank – 425 feet of hose, 2 fog nozzles, 4 five gal. Indian Pack pumps, one 14 foot ladder, 1 fireman’s axe and 4 electric lanterns, are housed in a tile building.   This building also has a kitchen, dining area and office space for the Mayor.  The chief and firemen, their time and services gratis and other expenses, incidental for operation, are underwritten, mainly, by public donations.

The Fire Department and the Town recently purchased a Mobile Unit for emergency use.

Four fire hydrants were installed in the business district in June, 1957.  These hydrants were financed by contributions by the business firms.”

– – – – –

Below are two pictures taken from the scrapbook, the first of the Fire House and the second of one of the World War II-era fire trucks.

DSC01864 A

DSC01866 A

Below is an image of an Bradley Fire Department record of attendance at drills for the first few months of 1955.

Fire meetings 1955 A

The names of the members/attendees are as follows:  Carl W. Baker, Rogers Baker, J. W. “Buck” Camp, A. C. Cobb, John R. Coker, F. M. Cochran, Jr., H. G. Collier, T. E. Cason, J. M. Drake, Johnnie Kennedy, L. G. Middlebrooks, Alvin Owens, T. R.  Stampley, J. H. Starling, J. B. Works, and George W. Bell.