Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the bottoms and 1/2 inch up the sides of three 5 3/4x3x2-inch loaf pans or a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the remaining 1 cup sugar, 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture.
In a medium bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Stir 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries into batter.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Top with the remaining batter.
To the remaining nut mixture stir in the melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup flour. Toss to mix and sprinkle on top of batter.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes for 5 3/4-inch pans, 60 to 65 minutes for 9-inch pan. It should be done when a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack before removing and slicing.