in a Pecan Shell
Bradshaw was born in 1909 with the approach and arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad.
The town of Audra, two miles west, was bypassed by the railroad and Bradshaw
inherited their population, small though it was.
The town was named to
honor land-donor C. M. Bradshaw who gave the railroad
a right-of-way. The town prospered (bolstered by the former residents of Audra)
and by 1910 there were already two grocery stores, a mercantile store, a blacksmith,
butcher, and druggist.
By 1914, the town had added a bank, and hotel.
A Baptist and Christian joined the existing Methodist church. The prosperous 20s
were kind to Bradshaw and by the onset of the Great Depression, it had a healthy
population of 450 people. Improved highway construction during the 30s shortened
the 28 miles to Abilene and the
town suffered from its proximity.
Over the years, the school closed and
the post office. By 1988 there was only an estimated 25 people living in the vicinity.
Bradshaw remains on the state map and is featured in T. Lindsay Baker's book More
Ghost Towns of Texas.
1947 Bradshaw Baptist Church cornerstone|
Photo courtesy Barclay
Taylor County map showing Bradshaw|
(Just above Runnels state line, under "Y"
Courtesy Texas General Land Office