"He would be in the top five or ten (all time most significant Midlanders)," Bradford said. "When you say 'First National Bank,' most people say 'CJ Kelly.' He was a bigger-than-life figure; diminutive in size, but big in actions. What John Butler was, was the quiet sunshine. He was just there ... every ... day. And like the sunshine, you could depend on him; he had a purpose; he always met his purpose and just quietly continued along the same path. He didn’t change his methods no matter how tough the economy got or how hard it got. He never changed his method, and that is this: you support local people.
"What John Butler told me early on was really kind of the basis for what I did. He told me that our community needs things to survive. I said, 'OK, I give, what? We've got water, food, we've got the oil industry.' Mr. Butler said, 'To survive we have to have good transportation, shopping, a vibrant medical community. And we have to have a dental community, and we have to have entertainment. I started thinking about it, and first I thought ... that's the oddest thing anybody ever told me. But later it would dawn on me that what he just described is what makes up the social fabric of the community."
Shortly thereafter, Butler would send the young banker to bigger cities where he would recruit doctors, dentists, and other professionals to head west, to the desert. When it was over, Butler's vision would ultimately yield people like Dr. John Young and Dr. Bobby Henry, both of whom moved to Midland after being recruited by Bradford. Even Southwest Airlines and others came to Midland as a result of Butler's recruiting dreams, and many of them because of Bradford's legwork in fulfilling those visions.