Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

November 1, 2009

Author uncovers county images with ‘Cleburne’

At the age of 8, author Mollie Gallop Bradbury Mims wrote her own newspaper.

She laid out the pages in pencil, hand-drew the pictures and sold them to her neighbors for a nickel each down North Robinson Street in Cleburne.

In 1985, she published a 900-page tome, “Johnson County History,” a compendium of the county’s colorful past.

This week marks the release of her second book, “Cleburne,” part of the “Images of America” series — a book filled with more than 140 years of Cleburne history, this time presented in 208 photographs and descriptions.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this book could be worth millions.

A few pages into the book, a picture shows dozens of horses and buggies circling the Johnson County courthouse in 1883 before it burned down the same day the Titanic sunk.

The first airplane built in Texas, started in Cleburne and finished in Keene, was called “Old Soggy No. 1” and is pictured in Chapter 2.

Near the middle of the book, a photo shows the empty, green expanses that surrounded Yellow Jacket Stadium in 1941.

Mims said the year she spent researching the book taught her much about the county and her own family, and she thinks even longtime Cleburne residents could find something they never knew.

“I’ve always been interested in family history, and I’ve learned by working in genealogy that if you don’t record it, write it down, save it, preserve it now, when that person is gone, that information is gone,” she said. “So, I guess my love for that turned into trying to save some of the community history.”

Starting in the Layland Museum as a historical researcher, Mims waded through thousands of negatives the Times-Review donated several years ago covering the ’50s through the ’70s and any other photos and documents she could find.

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