Category Archives: Schools

Walnut Hill School, circa 1910’s

Photos of Walnut Hill in the early twentieth century are quite rare, but below is a photo of the Walnut Hill School. 

Walnut Hill School, 300 pixels

This building was located on the northwest side of the intersection of what is now Highway 160 and the old Washington (Arkansas)-to-Shreveport Road.  It was probably taken on or close to what is now Highway 160, looking north.  Judging from the shadows and the clothing worn by some of the students in the picture, it was probably taken in the early to mid-afternoon of a relatively cool day, although some of the students are indeed barefooted.

Glynn McCalman, in his book Bradley Connections, says of the Walnut Hill School:  “A new building with two large rooms was constructed in 1900, and after consolidation into the Bradley school the white frame school building was disassembled and reassembled in Bradley.  It has continued to serve after having been expanded and remodeled.”  (More on the reassembly, expansion and remodeling will follow in a future post.)

At great magnification, the American flag in this photo appears to have six rows of eight stars each, which would mean that this photo was taken sometime after July 4, 1912, when the number of stars in the flag was expanded to 48 to reflect the admission of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union.

This photo is courtesy of Nancy McGee Ward, and many thanks to her for sharing it with bradleyark.com.  On the back of the photo is written:  “Walnut Hill School, Walnut Hill, Ark.” and “Photo belonged to William Alford (Dick) and John Blanton Martin McGee.”

Bradley School Campus, 1957

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook contains many pictures of the campus and activities of the Bradley school, some of which are reproduced here.

Below are two views of the “new” high school building.  The scrapbook states:  “The new Junior-Senior High School building was completed at a cost of around $80,000.00.”

081201 new high school building, front, 300 pixels

081201 new high school building, side, 300 pixels

Below are two pictures of a building that no longer exists.  It is referred to in the scrapbook as the “Music Room.”  Mrs. Sigel Allen gave piano lessons in the east side of this building.  The second photo shows her conducting the Glee Club in this building.

081201 Music room, 300 pixels

081201 Glee Club, 300 pixels

And, finally, below are photos of three items on the elementary school playground at that time.  First is the slide, second are the swings, and third is the merry-go-round.

081201 slide, 300 pixels

081201 swings, 300 pixels

081201 merry-go-round, 300 pixels

Demise of 1930s Bradley High School Football

This past weekend, I visited with Mr. and Mrs. Dick Bishop in their home.  I asked Mrs. Margie about the story I had heard of the accident that ended the Bradley High School football program of the 1930s.  She confirmed the story and was able to provide enough details that I was able to pinpoint the precise date of the accident.

She remembered that the “bus” carrying the football team was side-swiped on “old” Highway 29 coming back from a game.  The “bus” in those days was nothing that resembles today’s school bus.  It was basically a large truck, with the rear passenger compartment framed with lumber and the windows covered only in poultry wire.  George Baker was driving the bus, and apparently he was not at fault in the accident.  “Old” Highway 29 refers to the road that now runs by the Arkansas Division of Youth Services Wilderness Camp.  It was Highway 29 prior to the 1954 paving and straightening of that highway.

Mrs. Margie was able to give an approximate year for the accident by remembering what grade she was in when it occurred.  She also remembered that the two boys most seriously injured were Basil Henderson and Ernest Jewell Hamiter.

The diaries of Della Cochran contain the following entries:

Friday, October 13, 1933:  “…Our football boys played Stamps at night.    
S[tamps] 21, B[radley] 0.  Last game for year for Bradley.”

Saturday, October 14, 1933:  “At midnight called F[rank Cochran, Sr., who was in Shreveport that night] to tell about truck wrecking our school bus.  Basil H. and E. J. Hamiter hurt worst.  Others cut and bruised….”

And thus ended the Bradley High School football program of the 1930s.

Bradley High School Football, 1930s

Bradley indeed had a football team in the 1930s, but I don’t know the precise year that the football program of that era began, or the precise year that it ended.

Below is a photo of one of those Bradley football teams, probably in the early 1930s.  The tall young man in the back row, second from left, with his left hand on his hip is Ralph C. “Bruz” Hamner.  If any reader is able to identify any of the rest of these formidable gridiron gladiators, it would be much appreciated.

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (5) A

Shown below is an announcement of a game against Lewisville.  A date and time for the game are given, but the year is unknown.  While this may appear to be a handbill which would be posted on a utility pole, or something similar, it is actually a small card about twice the size of today’s business cards.

Saturday, January 31, 2004 (73) A

It says:

“FOOTBALL

Bradley Hi

vs.

Lewisville Hi

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Bradley Athletic Field

Come out and see the Bears drub the Red Devils in the last big game of the season.  Watch those Bears pull those Red Devil tails.

Admission 10 and 25c.  Time 3 P. M.”

– – –

The diaries of Della Cochran make mention of four home games in 1931 and 1932. On September 25, 1931, Bradley defeated Waskom, Texas, 27–0.  On October 2, 1931, Bradley defeated St. John’s, 19–0.  Who “St. John’s” was is a mystery. From the two 1931 scores, it appears that team defense was quite good that year.

On October 28, 1932, Hope defeated Bradley, 12–6.   On November 4, 1932, Stamps defeated Bradley, 26–0, and the Stamps High School Band made an appearance.  From the two 1932 scores, it appears that offense was a problem for Bradley that year.

As for the eventual fate of the 1930s-era football program, I’ve heard tales of a bus or auto accident which injured some of the players on the way back home from an away game, causing the cancellation of the remainder of the season.  I don’t know what year that happened, but apparently the program was not resumed in the following year.

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.

DSC02162 A

DSC02301

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.

DSC02219 A

DSC02305

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.

DSC02290 A

DSC02309

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.

DSC02273 A

DSC02314

 

 

Revival of Football Program, 1963

Football season is here and it’s a good time to look back at some Bradley football pioneers.  In 1963, after a hiatus of about three decades, Bradley High School revived its football program.  Ironically, the football program lasted about another thirty years before, due to lack of numbers, it had to be discontinued again.

In 1963, the number of players was not a problem.  There were 23 players, two coaches and 4 managers (Jimmy Burns, Donald Adams, Earl Vickers and Raymond Gildon), according to the 1964 B. H. S. yearbook.

The program for the 1963 home games was printed by George Bell of the Bradley Pioneer.  The front page:

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (8) A

“1963–64

BEARS

Football

Bradley High School

Winston Duke, Coach

Gerald Vines, Ass’t. Coach

Bradley Arkansas”

– – – – –

The back page contained the team’s schedule and two advertisements (which are transcribed with all the other ads, below).

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (8) B

“Bradley ‘Bears’ Football Schedule

1963–64

Sept 6.  Bismark  There

Sept. 12  Hope (B Team)  Here

Sept. 20  Fouke  There

Sept. 27  Texarkana (B Team)  Here

Oct. 4  Strong  There

Oct. 11  Mineral Springs  There

Oct. 18  Murfreesboro  Here

Oct. 25  Horatio  There

Nov. 1  Lewisville  Here

Nov. 15  Foreman  There”

– – – – –

The roster page of the 1963 home-game program listed each player’s name, number, position, and weight, and designated the “probable starting lineup.”

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (9) B

“Bradley High School

Bears

Colors Purple & Gold

Name     No.   Position   Weight

Ronni [sic] Byrd*, 11, QB, 150

David Byrd, 12, QB, 150

Ken Allen, 13, QB, 145

Tommy Pauley, 17, QC, 110

Jimmy McDonald, 21, ET, 165

Gwen Lee, 22, T, 185

Mitchie Jones*, 23, HB, 160

Glenn Brackman, 24, HB, 145

John Taylor, 25

George Pickett, 26, HB, 135

Ronnie Odom*, 27, G, 160

Tommy Lindsey, 28, G, 145

Larry Jackson*, 29, E, 140

John T. Williams*, 30, C, 155

Jerry Clary*, 31, FB, 180

Dickie Bishop, 32, T, 220

Buddy Jackson*, 33, E, 155

Jimmy Gildon*, 34, T, 200

Charles McDonald, 35 E, 170

Larry Parks, 36, G, 160

Johnny Umphries*, 37, G, 155

Henry Maness*, 38, T, 170

Willard Bandy, 39, E, 175

Carl Pauley*, 40, HB, 170

Thomas Clarence [sic], __, T, 215”

*probable starting lineup

– – – – –

The remainder of the 8–page program consisted of advertisements, which provide a glimpse into Bradley businesses of that era.

“Compliments of Allen Bros. C & E Co; Allis Chalmers; New Holland”

“Bradley Pioneer; Community News; Commercial Printing”

“Roberson Farm Equipment; International Harvester Dealer”

“Compliments of Coker Hardware”

“New Phone TW4–2815; We Have All Types of Cotton Defoliants; Logan Seed Co.”

“Crain & Rogers; Mobil Products”

“The Bank of Bradley; Member F. D. I C.”

“Clary Butane & Oil Co.; Cities Service”

“Let’s Go Bears; Odom Dusting Service”

“Hamner Implement Co.; Your John Deere Folks”

“Baker Bros.; Automotive & Tractor Service”

“Cochran Hardware; Building Material”

“Kennedy’s Grocery & Market”

“We Want A Touchdown; Edwards Co.; Edwards Hardware”

And there were also advertisements for “Board of Directors; Bradley
School” and “Thomas E. Tincher, City Marshal”

– – – – –

Alas, fortune was not kind to the 1963 football Bears.  As might be expected with a brand new football program, the team finished with a record of one win and nine losses.

The Bradley Pioneer reported on the first game at Bismark:  “The Bradley Bears played their first football game against Bismart [sic] last Friday night.  One hundred and ten people from Bradley accompanied the team to Bismark and rooted for the Bears.  Bismark won 28–0 but Coach Winston Duke carried 24 Bears to Bismark and let each one play.  Coach Duke said that this experience was a big help to the boys and the support the people of Bradley gave them was a boost for their morale.”

If memory serves correctly, the only win of the 1963 season was the game at Fouke, which was also beginning its football program that year.

For some historical perspective, the final game of the season at Foreman would have taken place two days before the dedication of the new sanctuary of the Bradley Baptist Church (see post of 7/18/08) and one week to the day before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Finally, if any of the players from that team should have any good stories about their experiences that year, bradleyark.com would be most interested in hearing them.

 

Original Bradley High School Building, 1915-1956

The start of the 2008–2009 school year year is perhaps an appropriate time to begin looking at some aspects of the past of the Bradley schools.

Below are three photos of the original Bradley High School Building, which was built in 1915 and demolished in 1956.  It was a three-story building, but the main floor was actually a half-story above the ground.  The bottom floor was a semi-basement.  I can remember my grandfather telling about the frequent problems that arose with water either seeping into that semi-basement or even coming into it from actual flooding.

This building was located approximately where the Bradley High School gym is now, although it did not extend as far out toward Highway 160.  The northwest corner of this building and of the current gym would have been in roughly the same place.  Its front faced the highway (east) side.

The first photo shows the front view of the building when vegetation was allowed to grow up its walls, and there was a shrub-lined walkway out to the highway.

Old HS Bldg, Front View

The next photo was taken from the northeast angle of the building, without vegetation:

Old HS Bldg, Northeast view

The final photo was taken from the southeast angle of the building, obviously in the afternoon.  Just  out of the photo in the lower right corner was a small, shallow fish pond.  In the lower left of this photo can be seen a merry-go-round and the building on the diagonally opposite corner of the campus which was used for many decades as a lunchroom/home economics building. 

Old HS Bldg, Southeast view