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


Lewis Dies; The Foreman Claims His Death an "Accident"

Bradford spent three days in a coma, and died, never speaking another word to Ella. Ella is told he received a "cleverly placed blow to the head," with no outward sign of injury.

The workers at the Rouge glass plant, where Bradford had worked, made sure that Ella never went alone to the factory. They also took up a collection, and gave Ella $80, almost all of it in coin, and told her, "The boys at the glass-house wanted you to have this." Ella broke down completely. "I knew that it was a love offering which some of them could ill afford." (p. 3, Autobiographical Sketch written by Ella Bradford, given to Dr. Francis P. Jones, 1961). One worker shared that, "I was always a better man after I talked with Brad."

The foreman came to see the widow, bringing with him a 3-year old boy "as a screen". He said he saw Lewis hit his head upon the floor. "Did Lewis ever have fainting spells?" He added, "Everybody's gotta die some time." The foreman was very nervous as he spoke with her. "I had all I could do to keep from screaming at him hysterically, and tell him he was lying and he knew it." (p. 3, letter from Ella Bradford to daughter Helen, March, 1965).

The family knew from Dr. Sladen's comments that Bradford's injuries were not consistent with an accidental fall. However, the family never saw an autopsy report.

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