Bradshaw is on U.S. Highway 83 some 1½ miles from the Runnels county line in southern Taylor County. It was founded when the Santa Fe rail line was constructed through the area in 1909. After the railroad bypassed Audra, two miles west of the site of Bradshaw, Audra residents moved to be closer to the railroad. C. M. Bradshaw is believed to have given a portion of his land for the railroad and for the development of a town, which was named for him. In 1910 the town had two gins, two grocery stores, a general mercantile store, a butcher shop, a drugstore, a blacksmith shop, a hardware store, and a Methodist church. By 1914 it had added Baptist and Christian churches, a bank, and a hotel. Bradshaw flourished in the 1920s, and in 1929 its population reached 450. In the 1930s, as local transportation improved and gave the population readier access to Abilene, twenty-eight miles to the north, Bradshaw declined as a center of commerce. In 1988 Bradshaw's population was reported as twenty-five. Its young people attended school in nearby Tuscola, and local mail was routed through Winters. Bradshaw's businesses comprised a gas station and the Audra Mercantile Company, owned by Opal Hunt, the daughter of one of Bradshaw's original settlers. Residents of the surrounding area farmed wheat and milo and raised cattle. In 2000 Bradshaw had eight businesses and sixty-one inhabitants. By 2003 the Audra Mercantile had been converted to a feed store. The Bradshaw Pistol Academy occupied the old Audra townsite west of Bradshaw, sharing the space with Bradshaw Ghost Town Trail Rides.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Charla Birchum, Jennifer Kaaikala | © Texas State Historical Association
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