Tag Archives: fire

Fire protection, 1927

The last post (11/27/07) displayed an invoice whereby McDonald Motor Company sold a 1 1/2 ton truck in June of 1937, and I speculated that perhaps this was a fire truck for the City of Bradley.    The City had apparently been soliciting funds from local land owners for fire protection as long as ten years before that truck was sold.

Shown below is correspondence whereby the City of Bradley was soliciting donations for fire protection as early as 1927.  The letter is printed on a letterhead impressively titled “Executive Department, Town of Bradley.”  (One wonders just how many “Departments” the Town of Bradley had in 1927.)  The letter is addressed to Mr. P. D. Burton of Lewisville, and was replied to on the same letterhead by Mr. J. B. Burton, who together conducted their business as “Burton Bros.”  They owned some lots in Bradley in the area where RB’s Car Wash and Mini-Storage is now located.  A transcription of the correspondence appears below the picture.


Executive Department

Town of Bradley

                                   Bradley, Arkansas 1/31/27

Mr. P. D. Burton,

Lewisville, Ark.

Dear Sir:

     As previously stated to you, we have ordered 300 ft. of 8 inch hose and are now engaged in installing the fire plugs, and the merchants and other property owners have subscribed about $60.00 of the $200.00 required to pay the bill, and we take the liberty to ask you to favor us with a donation of at least $5.00 or $10.00 to be applied on the above indebtedness.

     Please let us hear from you at your earliest convenience, and oblige yours very truly,

                                   /s/ W. J. Jackson, Mayor

                                   /s/ W. E. Cochran, Recorder

[Mr. J. B. Burton replies:]

Executive Dept.,

Town of Bradley, Bradley, Ark.


     Burton Bros. are always pressed for funds, but we are also always ready to take part in any good cause.  Fire protection is the best thing you could possibly give Bradley.

     We think we should donate at least as much as $20.00.  If you find we are in line return letter and will forward check next mail.

                                   Yours very truly,

                                   Burton Bros.,

                                   /s/ J. B. Burton

[City Recorder W. E. Cochran replies:]

     We feel that $10.00 would be in line as no one else gave more than that.

     Please make check payable to W. E. Cochran, Treas., and oblige yours truly,

                                   W. E. Cochran

Light & Ice Plant Fire, 1938

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


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.