The history of Radley Electric, Inc. begins with its founder, Ernest Elmer Radley. Always the hard-working and honest-dealing man with a big smile, Ernie—as he was called by his siblings and close friends—never met a stranger and never failed to help anyone in need. Ernie carried his good nature into all aspects of his life and was always willing to provide work or a loan of his hard-earned money to folks in need, regardless of ethnic background.
Ernie’s career began when he was a young man. Filled with self-determination and drive, he learned electrical work while helping his father, Jess Radley, who was a carpenter and a builder of churches before skill saws or laser levels were invented. In the early 1920s electricity was a relatively new convenience, and as a young man, Ernest was hired by Gulf Sates Utilities Company as a helper in a line crew building power lines throughout east and central Texas. He observed the linemen as they went about working at the lofty heights of ninety-foot tall power poles,
Soon afterward one of the linemen was dismissed and Ernie filled the man’s place on the poles.In later years, Ernie was elevated to District Electrician of the Liberty District, serving Raywood, Daisetta, Hull and Batson and eventually transferred to serve Sour Lake, Nome, China, Batson and Saratoga. In those days GSU performed free maintenance for oilfield and residential customers. Free appliance repairs was also a standard service. When he was done reading meters and chasing power outages, he repaired toasters, electric skillets and clothing irons that had been left at his office, or he made hous