Category Archives: Civic Organizations

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:

“BRADLEY PARENT-TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

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.

ROTARY CLUB

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. 

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:

“AWARD OF CIVIC MERIT

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

HONORABLE MENTION

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:

“BRADLEY ONE OF TEN FINALIST [sic] IN IMPROVEMENT CONTEST

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:

“DISTRICT SUPERVISOR IS GUEST OF ROTARY CLUB

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….