Who was Rev. Bradford?
"The Forgotten Man's Hour"
Father Charles Coughlin
The Ford Hunger March
The River Rouge Plant
African Americans and the Success of the CIO
Lewis Bradford
Harry Bennett
The Battle of the Overpass
Layoffs and Intimidation
Muriel Lester
Lewis is Attacked
Lewis Dies
Locating the Autopsy
A City Mourns
Who Knew?
UAW Wins at Ford


Just who was Reverend Bradford?

He was the odd one, some family members said. He was one of five cousins, all ministers - but it was Lewis who, in the middle of the Great Depression, left his job as minister of a church, with its guaranteed income. He felt that his calling was with poor and working people who were being hit so hard. But this decision was tough on his own family. One daughter, "Little Ella", had a serious medical condition, and needed surgery. A sympathetic doctor in Detroit, Dr. Frank Sladen, who also happened to be the head of the Henry Ford Hospital, offered to help, and the family moved to that city.

Barely keeping hunger away from the door himself, Bradford began working for the Detroit Department of Public Welfare, where he visited Hoovervilles, and saw how the layoffs were destroying lives, and how hunger stalked the city. At one hospital in Detroit, a physician reported that four persons a day were dying, "Too far gone from starvation for their lives to be saved." (p. 57, Working Detroit, by Steve Babson, Ron Alpern, Dave Elsila, and John Revitte, 1984).

Bradford's family recalled how one day on his way home from work, he gave away his last dollar, only to come home to find there was no food in the house. (Interview June 11, 2001, with Lewis Bradford's son-in-law Dr. Robert Loftfield, and granddaughter Lore Loftfield, Kensington, MD).

Clip from "You're Gone Again", soloists: Sarah Ecton and Mike Thornton.

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