William Austin Bradley was born in Searcy County, Arkansas, near the town of Snowball on June 8, 1871. He was the son of Alfred Anderson and Mary Caroline Blair Bradley. The family had traveled from Tennessee in the 1860s. Alfred supported the family as a merchant in Snowball.
Young William attended Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in1895. He immediately moved to Jasper (pop. 242 in 1910 U.S. census) in Newton County, northwest of Snowball, to set up his medical practice. As reported in a news clipping he later took graduate courses at the University of Tennessee and the University of Arkansas.
In 1896 he married Cora Moss. When his father-in-law, Joseph B. Moss, died in 1905, he bought the beautiful house Moss had built in 1892 and lived there until WWII.
The Bradleys had five children, Mary Stella (Feb. 1898), William Theodore (Sept. 1900), Joe A. (1908), Dorothy M. (Sep. 1911) and Rose Catherine (1915). They also raised three grandchildren, the children of daughter, Dorothy (John, Bill, Jean).
Dr. Bradley established his office in the west front room of his home. Patients came from the surrounding hills and valleys to see him. He carried his medical bag on Old Boy, his pony, as he made house calls to treat the homebound.
Because Newton was a "dry county" in 1905, Dr. Bradley had to sign an affidavit that he would not serve liquor to anyone other than for medicinal purposes.
Though Dr. Bradley never learned to drive, he bought a Ford car and had his children drive him, or hired a driver.
One author wrote, “Dr Bradley could handle any emergency, from amputating an arm to attending childbirth. His dedication to his profession was unflagging and he served the people of Newton County when they needed him, heedless of bad weather, time of day or night or inability to pay. He often accepted his payment in potatoes, canned fruit or fresh meat.”
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