Bradford honored for 50 years of service to city

Friday, August 11, 2017
Lewisburg City Council recognises Tony Bradford for 50 years service in the water department. From left: Councilman and Water Department Board member Nicholas Tipper, Tony Bradford, Debra K. Bradford, and Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

Fifty years is a long time, but Tony Bradford hasn’t minded at all.

“I’ve had a good time,” he said.

Bradford has been honored this year by both the Lewisburg Water and Wastewater Board and by the Lewisburg City Council for more than 50 years of service to the city.

Bradford started working for the water department in Lewisburg in 1966 before there even was a separate water department.

Technically he started serving the city several years before that, however.

He mowed during the summers at Lone Oak Cemetery starting when he was 14-years-old and remembers having to trim around every tombstone with hand clippers before the annual decoration day.

Service to Lewisburg runs in the Bradford family.

Bradford’s father was caretaker of Lone Oak for many years beginning in 1951.

His brother, James, started with the city’s water department in 1949 and worked there for 33 years, and another brother worked for Lewisburg Gas for 43 years.

There are still Bradfords at the gas department so the family tradition won’t end anytime soon as they close in on almost 200 years combined of service to the city and its residents.

Asked what had changed the most over 50 years, Bradford said that it had been the introduction of electronics and computers.

He recalled the days when water meter readers took a cup with them after it had rained in order to bail out the in-ground meters so that they could read the numbers.

He read meters for several years and loved talking to the people on the routes as he worked, even though sometimes it slowed him down.

“Tony is an incredible asset,” said Water Department General Manager Trigg Cathey. “He knows where everything is because he has done most of it himself over the years.”

“I’m going to retire someday,” said Bradford. “It’s not too far away.”

He said he wanted to spend more time with his wife Debra K. and the hot rod truck that was only lacking upholstery before being finished.

Not that he will get to rest too much.

“My wife will find me plenty to do around the house,” he said.