Meet Edgar Bradshaw
CAREER: Veteran of World War II and Korea; retired from Anderson Wholesale.
EDUCATION: Kiowa High School, class of 1937.
FAMILY: One son and one daughter, five grandchildren, three great-grandsons.
CHURCH: West Side Church of Christ.
HOBBIES: “I don’t have any hobbies except for staying alive as long as I can. When I worked for Anderson’s I didn’t have any hobbies.”
Earning a living
Edgar Bradshaw grew up in the small town of Kiowa.
“Eighteen miles south of McAlester on U.S. 69 and the old Katy railroad line,” he said. “You might say I was a country boy. I lived in town, but Kiowa at the time was only 500 to 600 people. There were only 10 or 12 of us in my senior year when I graduated in 1937.”
Bradshaw said he was the only one of nine children to graduate from high school.
“At that time, if they didn’t want to go to high school, they didn’t have to,” he said.
After graduating high school, he worked in a general store for $10 a week.
“Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it,” he said. “We sold groceries, dry goods, hardware. We’d open up in the morning at 7 a.m. and stay open till 6. When anyone with a nickel to spend came in, we’d stay open for them.”
When Bradshaw got married to a McAlester city girl named Lou Eva Meadows, he got a raise to $12 a week.
“When they put the ammunition depot down there, I was given a choice. I could get a raise to $15 a week or I could get 5 percent of dry goods sales,” he recalled.
He chose the 5 percent.
“The ammunition depot people needed lots of clothing,” he said. “I sold a lot of clothing and overalls.”
“When I got up to $30 to $35 a week, I knew that was good money,” he said.
There soon would be a need for the ammunition from the depot. Bradshaw said that just when he started making money at the store, the war started.