The town of Bradley, situated along State Highway 19 in eastern Grady County, fifty-seven miles south and west of Oklahoma City and five miles southeast of Alex, is the site of a post office that was established on July 10, 1891. Bradley was named for William S. Bradley, a local stockman, blacksmith, and Chickasaw-by-marriage, and his younger brother, Winter P. Bradley. The brothers settled near the present townsite, then located in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, in 1887. That same year a subscription school opened on their ranch. In the late 1800s cattle ranches prospered around the community, the most famous being the 97 Ranch.
In 1905 Winter Bradley and Civil War veteran Capt. J. B. Terry, each donated five acres of land for the Bradley cemetery. Winter's wife, Texanna, was the first person buried there. The town was located on the Chickasaw allotment of Ada Goode, and its plat was filed by the Bradley Townsite Company in 1906. On December 9, 1907, public school began in the community, and the Chickasha Milling Company soon established a station there. In the 1930s the Works Progress Administration built a two-story school at Bradley. The town also had a boarding house for teachers and a restaurant.
Population figures are not available for Bradley prior to 1940, when the town had 281 residents (Bradley Township had 1,244 residents in 1907 and 1,444 in 1910). That number reached 294 in 1960 and declined to 182 in 2000. Sales, construction, and production jobs are important to the present economy.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Bradley," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Gwen Jackson, Trails, Rails, and School Tails: A History of 125 Schools and Communities of Grady County (N.p.: N.p., 1995).
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