History of the Town of Bradford,
iWebTech: Chird Bobbitt Copyright © 1997-2xxx All Rights Reserved
Americans, the Quapaw Indians, were the first humans to inhabit the Bradford
area. The land was great for hunting,fishing and farming. No one knows when the first
white settlers arrived in the area, but the vicinity was probably first settled in the
early 1800's. The original community was located in an area northeast of its present
site, at Old Grand Glaise just west of Ingleside (listed as Grand Glaise on a 1897
railroad map I have where Possum Grape is located, Chird Bobbitt).
Old Grand Glaise was a major shipping point on the White River.
The river was the primary mode of shipping in the early
1800's. Farmers and hunters would
sell their crops and furs at the port where they were transported downstream for refining
In the mid to late 1800's, the Cario
and Fulton Railroad, running from Little Rock to the
White River at Newport, was constructed. The White River was treacherous and unpredictable,
and shippers turned to the trains for faster and cheaper means of transporting their goods.
The Bradford Allen Station was built
seventeen miles southwest of Newport in 1871. The
identity of Bradford Allen is controversial. He was either the son of a Cairo and Fulton
Railroad vice-president or the son of a contractor who built the railroad. At that time
it was a common practice to honor a
railroad official by naming a station after him or
someone in his family. Bradford became a major shipping point. Strawberries, grapes,
cotton, mussel shells, lumber and pecans were shipped from Bradford regularly. In its
heyday, Bradford was shipping 15 to 20 boxcars of strawberries every night, which were
hauled in wagons and trucks to the railroad.
In the late 1800's, people began moving
into the area surrounding Bradford Allen
Station. The government was essentially giving away land in an effort to populate and
cultivate the western threshold. This brought many settlers into this area. The main
income for these new settlers came from logging and farming.
On March 9, 1375, the general charter
for the municipal corporation of the town of
Bradford was approved. It would be eighteen more years, September 19, 1893 (or October
23-these two dates have both been given as incorporation dates), before Bradford would
be incorporated into a township by the White County court Under this incorporation these
were the first elected officials:
Mayor .................. Joseph W.Price
Alderman ............... W.D. Plant
Alderman ............... H. Denson
Alderman ............... C.W. Plant
Alderman ............... William Throckmorton
Alderman ............... G.K. Robinson
Town Recorder .......... George Dalton
Treasurer .............. George Dalton
Town Marshal ........... W.H. Goad
Ten standing committees were
formed. Only a partial list of these members are known:
Finance-W. Throckmorton, G.K. Robinson, C.W. Plant
Claims-H. Denson, G.K. Robinson, W.D. Plant.
Street and Alleys-W.D. Plant, W. Throckmorton, G.K. Robinson
Printing and Markets-H. Denson, C.W. Plant, W. Throckmorton
Sanitary Regulations-H. Denson, W.D.Plant, W. Throckmorton
Other committees were: Fire Dept., Police Company, Company Grounds.
Did You know-
1899: If you didn't keep your "Privy" clean,
you could be fined from $1.00 up to $5.00!
The town council was the governing body for the town.
The laws and ordinances set were
very strict. Those who broke the law were firmly dealt with by the authorities. Before
the town had a jail, people who became unruly or drunk were chained to trees until
officials decided they had served enough time and let them go. In June of 1897, the
council voted to purchase a marshal's badge, which would be owned as town property and
worn by the appointed marshal.
The first post office was established, in 1873. At that time tile mail was delivered
to a general store and distributed by the proprietor. Loyd Bailey was the first
postmaster. He began service October 22, 1873.
The following have served as postmaster:
Calvin Mitchell-1875, Perry Mitchell-1877,
John D. Staples-1879, William A.B. Barnes-1881-82,
John G. Allen-I 886, W.B.A. Barnes- 1889,
James J. Good-1909, Ulyses L. Hickmon-1910,
Thomas C. Wilson-19[4, Lasco A. Callas-1924,
Herbert A. Whitley-1934, Thomas C. Wilson-1955,
Robert L. Hickmon-1960, Norman J. Cox-1961,
C.P. Stewart.-1977, Cecil Hickman-1980,
Bervie Baker- 1985.
Our present postmaster is Jane Crabtree, who began in 1987.
The city of Bradford now has a paid
staff of six full-time employees and one part time
employee. There is also a 17-member volunteer fire department working out of two fire
stations. Serving as Chief is Billy G. Bright; Assistant Chiefs are Dean VanWinkle and
Leroy Mitchell. The City owns several vehicles and fire-fighting equipment, including
two fire trucks and two police cars. The 1993 City Officials are:
May or C. McKinley Goad
Alderman-Ward 1 James "Tinker" Siler
Alderman-Ward 1 James Turner
Alderman-Ward 2 Billy George Bri~lit
Alderman-Ward 2 Leroy Mitchell
Alderman-Ward 3 Trent Hays
Alderman-Ward 3.Thurman Smith
Police Chief Doug Grey
Recorder, Treasurer Greba June Edens
Water Commissioner Dale Goad
Six businesses sprang up in the
Bradford area during the 1870's By 1878, the city of
Bradford had six prospering businesses and a population of 50. A blacksmith shop was
operated by R.E. Furman, dry goods and groceries by Petty Mitchell, a grocery and saloon
by W.D. Plant, and a Saw and grist mill by VanLuren and Samuel Moore. By 1908 Bradford
had become one of the most important shipping points on the St. Louis-Iron Mountain and
Southern Railway. Bradford had grown at a steady rate, and over twenty businesses had
located in the area. The Bradford State Bank was organized in 1905 with a capital outlay
of $10,000 and assumed the lead in financial circles. Following is a partial list of
those businesses operating 1908:
Bradford State Bank .............. W.D. Plant,
Blacksmith, woodworking shop ..... E.L. and Thomas Humphries
Blacksmith, woodworking shop ..... Frank Manuel, G.C. Twyford
Pawnbroker ....................... U.L. Hickmon
Drug store ....................... Sam S.W. Criswell
Farm implements .................. Arthur Blankenship
General store .................... A.J. Bell
General store .................... H.C. Denson
General store .................... U.L Hickmon
General store .................... C.L. McKnight
General store .................... J.T. Ward
Grocery,cafe ..................... A.S.Whitwell
Hotel Main ....................... Mrs. Dora Eaton
Insurance company ................ W.R. Westbrook
Jewelry store .................... G.M.D. Hamby
Livery, feed ..................... J.T. and T.C. Plant
Lumber, wagonwood stock .......... E.L. and Thomas Humphries
Photoshop ........................ Ollie Howard
Restaurant ....................... Jerry B. Brown
Shoestore ........................ W.P.Mason
Undertakers ...................... Earnest Williams, B.H. Davis
In 1915 a movie theater, owned and
operated by William H. Hays (Trent Hays' father),
was a wonderful source of entertainment for the citizens of Bradford The projector was
gas-powered and had a hand crank. In 1918 Mr. Hays bought an electric generator, which
supplied the town with its first electricity. The projector was converted to use
electricity shortly thereafter. Mr. Hays continued to supply the town with power until
he sold out to the newly formed Bradford Light and Power Company.
Did you know-
Bradford has had two newspapers - The INDEX, published by J.E Newman
(date unknown), and The BRADFORD Eagle, published during the 1970's.
Visitors to Bradford could stay at
Hotel Main and rent a horse and buggy from the local
livery. If they so desired, they could socialize at the saloon. The livery stable was
located on the site of Trent and Reba Hays' home today. Residents looked forward to the
arrival of the 7 o'clock train coming from the North each evening. After meeting the
train, people would visit and perhaps enjoy a fountain drink at the corner drug store.
BUSINESS -- Today
The railroad is no longer a contributing factor in the business community. Only the "ole
timers" can remember the regular stops of the trains to our area. Bradford was fortunate
to be located on busy and important U.S. Highway 67, one of the main thoroughfares of
the state. Visitors traveling through our state were familiar with the little town of
Bradford. However, the town is now bypassed by the new four-lane highway, just east of
the city limits. But for citizens of rural northern White County, Bradford is still an
important commerce center.
The following is a list of current businesses in Bradford - 1993
Siler Furniture ................. Bill & Pat Siler
Kimberling Feed ................. David Kimberling
Jim's Garage & Repair ........... Jimmy Anselmi
Quick Check ..................... Neal Chumley, Manager
Hickmon's Store ................. Robert & Erica Hickmon
Winningham Drugs ................ Tom & Kaye W~gham
Blade Beauty Salon .............. Margaret Kilgore
Willbanks Recreation Center ..... Buster Willbanks
Vee's Beauty Shop ............... Vee Wilson
Dean's NAPA Auto Parts .......... Dean & Linda VanWinkle
Burress Pawn Shop ............... Charles & Ronnie Burress
The Tape Shop ................... Connie Smith
Ludeen's Beauty Shop ............ Ludeen Baker
Olde House Flower Shop .......... Joyce Otts, Cindy Kuykendall
Laundromat ...................... Don & Wanda Thomason
Pro-Med Ambulance................ Prof Medical Services, Magnolia
Sheila's Beauty Shop ............ Sheila Schuman
Vel's Beauty Shop ............... Vel Dunn
Brenda's Family Hair Care ....... Brenda Burress
Bradford Family Video ........... Brenda Goad
Smith Clinic .................... Dr. Bernard C. Smith
Citizens State Bank ............. Branch of CSB Bald Knob
Wanda's Steel Yard .............. Wanda Reeves
Bright's Garage ................. Wayne Bright
Bill's Food Center .............. Bill & Mary Burruss
Masters' Conoco ................. Terry Masters
Did you know-
1902-It was unlawful to pitch horseshoes, play
croquet or participate in any other sport on the Sabbath!!
Did you know-
Early 1900's-A corn cob pipe stem factory was a
thriving business in Bradford. The cane was cut
on the river and brought to town to be made into pipe stems.
In the early years, one-room schoolhouses were scattered across the countryside.
There have been five public schools in Bradford's history. Three were built during
the town's first sixty years. The first school was located one-half mile southwest
of the present site and was constructed of logs. It had one teacher. The second
school was a two-story box-type building located on the site of our present City
Hail. The first floor was used for school, and the second floor~ for the Masonic
Lodge. About 1900, a new building was constructed on the site of the present
schooling 1908 the Bradford Graded Public School opened. The school had a total
enrollment of 193 students. A course was set up to teach the student everything
from the basics, such as writing, to advanced education, such as algebra. There
were two teachers: Miss Jane Hickmon, who taught elementary students, and Mr. George
Davis, who taught high school. Mr. Arthur Blankenship was the principal, and
according to others was "a teacher of experience."
The 1908-09 Board of Directors were: President-W.D. Plant, Secretary -G.C. Twyford,
and U.L. Hickmon. The visiting committee consisted of: Mrs. C.C. Coffman, Mrs. Annie
Whitley and Dr. J.N. Lovell. In 1930 the old schoolhouse was torn down, and a new
and larger building was built In 1935 that building burned, and the present day
facilities were built
Today the Bradford School District consists of 88 square miles, covering parts of
White and Jackson counties. There is a total enrollment of 565 students. The school
employs approximately 80 people, forty-five of whom are certified teachers.In 1991
the school received North Central Association accreditation after undergoing
rigorous, thorough evaluations. This represents the highest standards for schools
in our area. The school is being continuously updated with personnel and facilities.
Added to the campus in the last few years have been a new Agriculture building,
Special Services building and Business and Computer Lab building. The 1993
administration staff are: superintendent-Arthur Dunn, high school principal Donald
Swiney, and grade school principal-Doyle Woodall. The school board members are:
Leland Wells-president, Bobby Hickmon, Robbie Free, Mike Price and Alfred Prince.
Did You know-
1908-According to the Bradford School Handbook: "The healthfulness of
Bradford can not be surpassed anywhere in the state. The death rate
being exceedingly low. Old settlers say they have observed no deaths to
occur in the town for a period of twelve months at a time."
MEDICAL AND HEALTH HISTORY
In the early days a committee was formed to deal with health problems. This
pre-planning paid off during die Smallpox Crisis of 1899. In October of that year,
a special meeting was called by the council to establish quarantine regulations to
prevent the spread of the disease which threatened the whole town. Families who
were exposed to Smallpox left town and did not return until the Board of Health
decided the danger was past. Apparently the crisis had ended by December, and the
town returned to normal daily activities.
Many doctors have served the community over the past 100 years. One of the first
was Dr. John M. Ransom, who practiced in the late 1800's. He was followed by
Dr. J.N. Lovell, 1904-19; Dr. Sylvester Doggett, 1917-19; and Dr. Bernard C. Smith,
1952 to the present. Several others also practiced in the community, but we do not
have specific date~ These were: Dr. Oscar Dunn, Dr. Fraser, Dr. Frizzell, Dr.
Mcclain, Dr. McAdams, Dr. Emmerson and Dr. Walingsford.
In July, 1951, Dr. Bernard C. Smith opened his office in Dr Dunn's old office.
Soon afterward, the townspeople and the doctor saw the need for a small hospital.
This became a reality on January 1, 1952, when the hospital opened its doors for
business. The hospital continued to operate until December 1, 1972, when it closed
and was converted into Smith Clinic.
Did You know-
1891-If you had Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Cholera or any other highly
contagious disease, you could not bring your sailboat, ship or other
conveyance within 5 miles of town!!
MEDICINE AND HEALTH-Today
Dr. Bernard C. Smith continues to practice medicine in the same building that housed Bradford's hospital. Patients from parts of Independence and Jackson Counties-as well as White County-find medical assistance at Smith Clinic each and every day, including Sunday morning!!
Although no one knows when the first actual religious service was conducted, they were usually held in homes and schoolhouses.
METHODISTS - Records have shown that the Methodists have been in the area since the early 1800's. Traveling preachers on horseback, called Circuit Riders, held services throughout the United States. At one time there were two churches, the Methodist Church-North and the Methodist Church-South. They were one block apart! James Monroe Talkington was instrumental in the organization of the church. Today it is located on the corner of Walnut and Church Streets. The minister is Rosemary Williams.
BAPTISTS - Bradford Baptist Church was started in 1885, with Bro. J.J. Goad as the first pastor. The congregation first met in people's homes and even in an old box car parked on the railroad tracks. The early church had three pastors with the last name, Vick. At one time the Baptists and Methodists shared a building; the Baptists met on the second and fourth Sundays, and the Methodists met on the first and third Sundays. Many additions have been made over the years, with larger and more spacious facilities. In 1987 the church suffered a loss by fire of the original rock building. Today the pastor is Mike Blevins.
CHURCH OF GOD - Services were started in 1910 in a brush arbor. In 1912 a wood-framed building was constructed on what today is Denson Street. Today a handsome rock church stands on the same spot. The congregation is led by Rev. Alton George.
NOTE: My Grandparents donated the land where the rock Church now sets. My Grandmother, Emma Mix, was the first Preacher at this Church and was for many years. Their home was right beside it where they lived in the early 1900's
for many years. And they also owned a rolling store that went thru the country side selling groceries and other staples. Alton George preached at this Church several years later on. email@example.com Emma Lee (MIX) Markin
CHURCH OF CHRIST - The date is unknown when the congregation started meeting here. In the early [930's services were held in tile City Hall, with Brother Locke as minister. In the 1940's a woodframed building was built on S.W. 3rd Street. In the 1960's a brick building was built on Main Street, where the congregation meets today. The minister is Danny Blevins.
ASSEMBLY OF GOD - The beginning of fellowship began in 1942, in the yard of Mike and Mae Weathers. A brush arbor, called Golden Gate, was built nearby. In 1943 the church was officially established, and Brother Edwards was minister. The congregation moved into town during 1948, into a building where the present-day church now stands. Some of the pastors serving the church were: Brother Scott, Brother Hodges and Brother Ellis. Sister Nellie Robertson is the only charter member who has had continuous membership and is still active and attending faithfully.
Did you know???
1930-A fire that began in the parsonage of the Methodist Church nearly
destroyed the whole town? The fire spread rapidly, and many businesses
and homes were burned. It was a very windy day, and several buildings
had wooden shake shingles which burned quickly. The wind blew the burning
shingles all over town. Many people quickly packed their belongings and
Did you know-
Mutt Goad bet John Calhoun that Alf Landon would win the 1936 presidential
election. The loser would pull the winner from Bradford to Newport in a red
wagon. Roosevelt won, Mutt lost, and pulled Joim Calhoun all the way to
Newport on Highway 67, which was gravel at that time!!
INTERESTING HISTORICAL TIDBITS
l900's - The sidewalks, which were really boardwalks, were repaired with lumber that cost $2.87 for two loads.
1902 -Bradford had four gas street 'amps. They were installed at a cost of $~9.28. five gallons of oil for the lamps and one tin cup cost $1.30.
1903 -Permission was given to Am~rlcan Telephone to put up lines for telephone service.
1906 -The Mayor's salary' was $72.00 per year.
1909 -Property owners furnished supplies and materials, and concrete sidewalks were built, at a cost of 19 cents a foot 1930's-The water system was installed.
1940's -In the early forties the marshal, Harry Henderson, was shot and killed by a local citizen that the marshal had gone to arrest 1950's-A sewer system was installed.
Many thanks to those who contributed to this effort:
Nancy Lynn Byler
A Special thanks to LINDA VANWINKLE and her History Book Committee.
Greba June Edens
Ina Fay Goad
City and Town
Humorous History of White County, C. Johnson
History of the Methodist Church, Carroll Jackson
107-Year Homecoming: A History of Bradford Baptist Church,
Bro. Mike Ball, Pastor
These Businesses congratulate Bradford on its Centennial:
Siler TV & Furniture
Winningham Drug Store
Willbanks' Recreation Center
Vee's Beauty Shop
Dean's NAPA Auto Parts
Burress Pawn Shop
The Tape Shop
Ludeen's Beauty Shop
The Olde House Flower Shop
Shelia's Beauty Shop
Brenda1s Family Hair Care
Bradford Family Video, Inc.
Citizens State Bank
Bill?s Food Center
Three J's Water Softener
Bradford Skating Rink
Vel's Beauty Shop
Congratuations to Bradford on its 100th Birthday:
Dean VanWinkle Joann Pruitt
Linda VanWinkle Kevin Hays
Sara VanWinkle Gaye Hays
Amy VanWinkle Christopher Hays
Duke Andrew C.M. Goad
Tom Winnirigham Larry Killough, Jr.
Kaye Winninigham Douglas Grey
Tyler Winningham Curtis Goodrich
Jennifer Winningham Howard Davis
Bliss Akridge Loretta Davis
Scott Akridge Greba J. Edens
Oneal Barnes Danny Davis
Don Dugger Frank Sanford
Joan Dugger Walter Wilburn
Trent Hays Larry Mitchell
Reba Hays Philip Grove
For additional copies-
Send $3.50 per book to:
P.O. Box 240
Bradford, AR 72020-0240
and we'll pay the postage!
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