Brady Standard, 19 February 1971
J. D. (Demp) Branscum, 1956 recipient of the McCulloch County Distinguished
Service Award, and longtime resident of Brady, died at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday
in Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital after a long illness. He was
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday (today) in Wilkerson Memorial Chapel with burial in Rest Haven Cemetery.
Born Jan. 19, 1877, Brown County, he had been a resident of Brady for 72 years.
Orphaned at an early age, Mr. Branscum started out at age 11 as a mason. In addition to helping to build the present McCulloch County courthouse, he worked on the building which is now Rudder Drug and the old Central School.
Mr. Branscum came to Brady in 1899, shortly afterwards he and his brother, Henry, opened a "photo gallery" on the east side of the square.
A couple years later he sold the photo gallery to Bud St. Clair and opened a tailor shop-the first in Brady. Except for a grief period, that was to be his trade the rest of his life, and until his death he was known as "Demp the Tailor."
In receiving the DSA Mr. Branscum was noted for his concern of patients at Brady Hospital. For a number of years, he called on 10 to 12 patients every night and sometimes as many as 30. He visited with those he knew and those he didn't know, joking with them, cheering them and giving words of encouragement and sympathy.
Mr. Branscum was known for helping people. He aided numerous persons get started in life.
The late Dr. J. S. Anderson, a longtime friend of Mr. Branscum, presented the DSA to him at the annual Chamber of Commerce membership dinner and banquet in 1957.
Plus his visits to the hospital, Mr. Branscum won admiration at the first Baptist Church and at funerals.
Some people say he makes every funeral held in Brady, but he said he is sure he misses a few.
The late Roy Wilkerson, founder of the funeral home, used to say, "If as many people come to your funeral as you've been to other people's, this hill won't hold them all."
He had been in failing health the past three months and had moved to the Brady Hills Nursing Center. He entered Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital on Monday,
Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Clyde Maner of Brownwood, and a number of nieces and nephews.