Category Archives: Schools

Bradley School, First Grade, 1955

On a September morning in 1955, Miss Ray Crabtree welcomed her newest first grade class.  Somehow, in a feat which must have been akin to herding cats, the new students were persuaded to pose for a picture.  Mrs. J. W. Camp, Sr., was there with her camera and took the photo below, which her son, Harry, has graciously provided to bradleyark.com.

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Who are these kids?  Even though I was a member of this class, fifty-four intervening years have drastically reduced my ability to identify them.  Below are two slightly enlarged and cropped versions of the photo.  Most of the identifications on these photos were made not from memory, but by comparing them with the class photos in the 1956 Bradley School yearbook.  Almost certainly, there are one or more errors and, of course, some of the faces have not been labeled at all.  Corrections and additional identifications will be most appreciated and promptly incorporated into the photos.

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Bradley High School Class of 1962 Reunion

On June 27, 2009, the Bradley High School Class of 1962 held a reunion on the 47th [!] anniversary of its graduation.  A total of 42 class members and friends attended the reunion and enjoyed catching up with each other.

James Drake, a member of that class, has provided bradleyark.com with two photos of those in attendance.

Ladies first:

Womens group 1962 reunion 6-27-09

Standing, left to right:  Judy Cheney Bogart, Bette Whetstone Lynn, Lola Lane Starling, Faye Tucker Durabb, Sherry Jackson Hendrix, Gloria Stephens, Sharon Drake, Judy Coker and Sue Cook.  Seated, left to right:  Rachel McKinney, Carolyn Burks, Diane Fletcher, Mary Cross, Phyllis Barrington.

And the gentlemen in attendance:

Mens group 1962 reunion 6-27-09

Standing, left to right:  Clyde Stephens, James Drake, Bob Coker, Dickie Bishop, Robert Lane, Samuel Marvin Cross and Willie Harrist.  Seated, left to right:  James Bland, Floyd Goode, Tom Burks, Henry Fletcher, Gerald Lynn and Marvin Barrington.

Thanks, James, for the photos.

Bradley High School Class of 1969 40th Anniversary Reunion

This past Saturday, June 20, 2009, the Bradley High School Class of 1969 came together for a class reunion on the 40th anniversary of their graduation.   Below is a photo of those present, with the exception of one person who arrived after the photo was taken.

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From left to right:  Johnny Craig, Danny Maness, Ricky Powell, Dennis McEachern, Jan Allen Segrest, Curtis Thompson, Betty Carol Endsley Stanley, Penny Dreher Lyons, Delores Maness Grimes, Linda Goodwin Elledge, Barbara Price McGuffie, Carroll Collier (partially obscured), Jean Starling Burnett, John Bishop, Billy Bynum, Vicky Powell Paige, Bobby Works, Buddy Stevenson, Earl Vickers, Susie Cochran Hargis, Jimmy Ray Dickerson, Peggy Wilson Cook, and Ronnie Hill.  Mary Adams Garner is not shown.

Faces in the above photo are obviously difficult to discern, so here are some zoomed-in photos of the participants.

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Above are, from left to right:  Johnny Craig, Danny Maness, Ricky Powell, Dennis McEachern, Jan Allen Segrest and Curtis Thompson.

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Above are, from left to right:  Curtis Thompson, Betty Carol Endsley Stanley, Penny Dreher Lyons, Linda Goodwin Elledge, Delores Maness Grimes, Jean Starling Burnett, John Bishop, Billy Bynum, Vicky Powell Paige, Bobby Works and Buddy Stevenson.

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Above are, from left to right:  Carroll Collier, Billy Bynum, Vicky Powell Paige, Bobby Works, Buddy Stevenson, Earl Vickers, Susie Cochran Hargis, Jimmy Ray Dickerson, Peggy Wilson Cook, and Ronnie Hill.

In the above photo of the middle group, one person is obscured, so here’s another photo.

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That’s Barbara Price McGuffie behind Linda Goodwin Elledge and Jean Starling Burnett.  Carroll Collier, Billy Bynum and John Bishop are obviously preoccupied with something besides the camera.

Three faculty members from the 1960’s also attended the reunion.

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From left to right:  Coach Leo Johnson, Janiece Rogers Blount, and Jimmy Gray.

Class members who were unable to attend were Bobby Adams, Larry Adams, Tommy Harvey, Glenda Knott Givens, Rebecca Knott Fricks, Don McDonald and Bobby Earl Steed.

The Class of 1969 also paid tribute to the five deceased members of their class with a memory board of photographs.  Those class members are Fred G.  Berry, Jr. (1949–1992), Billy D. “Butch” Bland, Jr. (1951–2002), Fred H. Dreher III (1951–2008), Gary Dale Pickett (1951–1991) and Rose Hinds Thompson (1950–1996).

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It’s probably trite to say that a good time was had by all, but the class members seemed to me to genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

On a personal note, I very much enjoyed visiting with Coach Leo Johnson, who is a veritable walking encyclopedia of happenings in the Bradley schools from the mid-1950’s to the late 1960’s.  Two bits of trivia from our conversation:

Coach Johnson’s paddle/strap was well known throughout the student body, both by students who had felt its sting and those who did not.  Coach Johnson told me that any “paddle-able” offense, no matter how heinous, always drew a set number of “licks” (8). 

Some of us remember watching Coach Johnson during games and thinking he was quite intense.  In 17 years of coaching basketball (not all at Bradley), how many technical fouls did he get called for? (Answer: 3).

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Summer is class reunion time and if any other classes which are reuniting will furnish a photo(s), or a short article on their affair, I’ll be glad to post them.

Bradley School Campus, early 1950’s

Perusing the Bradley school yearbooks from the early 1950’s can be interesting in more ways than one.  Besides the people around whom most of the yearbook is centered, there are pictures of the campus at that time which reveal features and views no longer there.  Because most of these pictures are little more than candid shots, appearing in the yearbooks as part of a collage taking up an entire page, many are rather grainy.

The picture below, from the 1953 yearbook, was apparently taken from a window on the second floor of the south side of the old high school building, or possibly from the top of the slide on the elementary school playground.

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It looks southeasterly, in the direction of what most of the students of my generation would remember as the house of J. W. “Buck” Camp, Sr., and family.  On the left side of the picture is a small portion of the goldfish pond that once adorned that part of the campus.  A better view of that pond is shown below in a photo also taken from the 1953 yearbook.  The yearbook does not identify the young lady sitting in front of the pond.  The street (7th Street) behind her goes to the Bradley Baptist Church and on further east to the railroad right-of-way.

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Below is a photo of the old gym (now auditorium) apparently taken from the second floor of the west side of the old high school building.  Judging from the number of students on the merry-go-round in the foreground, it must have been a busy day on the elementary playground.

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The photo below, from the 1951 yearbook, shows the seesaws on the elementary playground, and looks north toward the Meek residence, which is now the home of Joe and Darlene Middlebrooks.  This picture would have been taken almost a full decade before part of this view would have been obstructed by the 1960 elementary school building on the north border of the campus.

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The photo below of the baseball field, also taken from the 1950 yearbook, shows the rather substantial stands which once were located on the third base side of the field.

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And, finally, I find the photo below, also taken from the 1950 yearbook, most interesting of all.  It shows Miss June Colvin, appearing as F. F. A. Sweetheart.  What is so interesting, however, is that there appears to be an elevated water tank in the distance behind the vehicle on the right side of the picture.

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This photo also offers an good view of the west side of the old high school building.

Old Gymnasium, 1935, Part 2 of 2

Here are a few photos from the interior of the old gym, before it was remodeled into the auditorium it functions as today.

Just off the northwest corner of the playing surface of the old gym were two very important items.  First, the heater (even though the gym seemed perpetually cold and drafty during basketball season), located just in front of the door to the girls’ dressing room:

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The above photo was taken from the 1959 yearbook. These unidentified young men appear to be enjoying themselves.

[UPDATE 3/9/09:  I received an e-mail from Bruce Burton regarding the above photo.  Bruce says that Larry Tyler and Wynne Copeland Tyler have identified these four young men as, from left to right, Mike Burton, Freddie Lamar, Clyde Spence, and Mike Sparks.]

Then there was the scoreboard, which would now be quite antiquated, but functioned well enough in its time:

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As is apparent from the picture above (taken from the 1958 yearbook) the balconies went all the way back to the west (stage) wall, and the balcony on the north side was almost within reaching distance of the scoreboard.  The clock part of the scoreboard operated like an old-style stopwatch, in reverse, with minute and second hands.

The photo below, taken from the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook, shows the floor-level seating on the south side, and was taken on the occasion of a New Year’s Eve dance sponsored by the P. T. A.  The bottom of the south-side balcony can be seen at the top of the photo.

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The photo below, also taken at that dance, clearly shows the relationship of the stage to the goal at the west end of the playing surface.  It was possible to sit in chairs on the stage and look down at the games.  Also, it was from here that James Drake took the action photo of Ginger Hamner contained in the 2/13/09 post on this site.

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At the other (east) end of the gym were located the front doors (although usually only the doors on the south side were used) and the stairways on each side up to the balconies.   The photo below, looking toward the northeast corner of the gym, shows the “Rhythm Club,” and is taken from the 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook.

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The gentleman in the center of the photo, keeping a watchful eye on these students, is Coach Leo Johnson.

Finally, here is a photo, also taken from the 1957 B. & P. W. Scrapbook on the occasion of the Harvest Festival, which shows a little more clearly the relationship of the east goal to the east wall of the gym.

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Old Gymnasium, 1935, Part 1 of 2

As mentioned in the previous post, the last school year that the old gymnasium was used for junior and senior high school basketball games was 1961–1962.  The first official game in the “new” (now current) gym was in the fall of 1962, with the Bright Star junior boys defeating the Bradley junior boys, 26–22.  (I remember watching that game from the bench.  James Simmons was the Bradley boys’ coach at the time.)

Back to the old gym, though.  In 1997, Frank M. Cochran, Jr., wrote the following piece containing his recollections of the construction and early use of the old gym:

“In 1935, the Federal government, through one of its relief programs, agreed to build gyms for several of the schools in Lafayette County.  At the time, the sawmill at Stamps had gone out of business.  The lumber company gave Bradley a section of tramway (a runway about 8 ft. above the ground).  The W. P. A. crew tore down the tram and ran it through a planer mill.  The government paid for all the labor, except [for] the foreman.  They would only pay three days work for any one man, so the Bradley School Board had to pay the other half of his wages.

The building was a 50 ft. by 90 ft. rectangle for the main part.  The studs were 24 ft. long and, diagonally between each four studs, another braced them.  The big studs were 6×6 and the others were 2 1/2 x 6.  The floor joists were 2 1/2 by 12, planed on the edges only.  The subfloor was planed to a 1–inch thickness.  The finished floor is of the best grade of pine.  About half is 3 inches wide and the rest is 4 inches wide.  … The roof trusses are made of lumber in a semicircular shape.  The overhead ceiling was installed after World War II.  It is of a Masonite-type material.  The stage part was 20 x 50 ft. and had dressing rooms on each side and showers downstairs on ground level.  The back room, called a kitchen, was about 12 x 30 ft.  It was made possible by a gift of $25 by Mrs. McGill.  No money was solicited for the project.  When completed, the cost for the District was $1,625, including insurance for a year.

The building was heated with wood until natural gas became available in 1940.  The electricity was all on one circuit and during plays, etc., it was necessary to have someone near the switch box with a flashlight and a box of fuses.  The light fixtures were aluminum wash pans, inverted with a socket installed.

The seating consisted of a double row of seats on each side, the rear row elevated.  There was a balcony on each side with one row of seating.  In the rear (east), there was a double row of seats.  The scoreboard used cardboard painted numbers and was on a very small triangular platform in the southwest corner, level with the balcony.”

Shown below is the front (east) side of the old gym as it appeared in the 1957 Bradley yearbook:

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And here is a slightly different view, from the northeast, which shows the north wall and which is taken from the 1959 Bradley yearbook:

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The east side of the old gym had two entrances, double doors on both the left and right of the center of that wall.  In the center of the east wall itself were two windows, under which a small window for the sale of tickets was located.  Below is the best early, relatively close view of that ticket window that I could find, although what group or class is shown in this view and exactly what year it was taken is unknown.

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And, finally, below is a photo, in relatively poor condition, which shows an early, very creative use of the front (east) porch of the old gym.  It shows what is apparently a backdrop for a dramatic or musical production.  Note the piano on the right side of the picture.  Judging by some of the automobiles in some other pictures which were apparently taken at the same time as this one, this must have been not very long after the building was constructed in 1935. 

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The next post will be a look at the interior of the old gym.

Old Elementary School Building, circa 1930

In the previous post, reference was made to the disassembly and move of the Walnut Hill School building to Bradley.

The 1963 Bradley School yearbook says that the old elementary school building was originally built in 1934.

In 1997, Frank M. Cochran, Jr., wrote the following short piece on that building which places a different date on the construction of that building:

“[This] building … was built in the summer of 1929 to prepare for students added by the consolidation with the Walnut Hill, Hackney, Canfield, Arkana and possibly other small districts.  The lumber used was salvaged from the old Walnut Hill building, a three room structure built about the turn of the century.  The doors and windows were also salvaged and used (notice the transoms above the doors).  The walls were covered with beaded ceiling.  There was one electric light in each room.  The old roof was unusable and was replaced with asphalt shingles.

The southeast room was for the first and second grades with Ray Crabtree as teacher.  The southwest room was for the third and fourth grades.  This room was so crowded that most of the students had to sit two in a single desk.  Donnie Marie Cheek Collins was the third and fourth grade teacher.  She got married at Christmas and had to resign because of a rule that there could be no married teachers.  This was my room and was very hot on fall afternoons.  I think that [in] the first year, the fifth and sixth grades were in the northeast room.  After the first year, the seventh and eighth grades were sent to the high school building, [but] may have been sent to the brick building from the start.  After a very few years, the teachers taught certain subjects and the students moved from room to room.

In 1946, the State Line district consolidated with Bradley and the two north rooms of the building were added.  These were built of newly purchased lumber, doors and windows.”

This is how the building appeared in the 1956 yearbook:

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And this is a slightly different view of the building from the 1961 yearbook:

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The building has recently undergone a remodeling.  The photo below was taken earlier this week.  The sign on the right (north) side of the building says, “Bradley Head Start Center.”

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