Kate Bradley

Emma Ruth “Kate” Hobbs Bradley was born 13 October 1932 in Petros, Tennessee, a small Appalachian coalfield community in the Cumberland Mountains. Kate was the sixth of seven surviving children in her family. Her father was a coalminer. Kate married Jacob “J.W.” Bradley in 1951. They were married for 67 years, until Kate’s death on 29 July 2019. Together they raised three children: Connie, Chip and Faith.

 

Kate led many local efforts to make her community a better, safer and healthier place to live.  J.W. and Kate co-founded Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) in response to the strip mining that was devastating the area around their home. Around this same time Kate Bradley was working to secure land for what would become the Petros Health Clinic. The health clinic Kate helped open remained in Petros for many years. SOCM remains in effect, renamed Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment.

 

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Please share your memories of Kate Bradley

Please share your memories and reflections about Kate Bradley, or notes and condolences to the Bradley family, using the comment box below. Continued

Stories: Perry Steele on Summer 1972

[Contributed by Perry Steele, 15 May 2017]  I was finishing my sophomore year at Vanderbilt. Nixon hadn’t drafted me. For some reason Professor Scott suggested I could be a community organizer. Having no other plans for the summer, I was… Continued

Stories: “I will always be grateful for the gifts that the work and the people of those summers gave to me.”

[Story contributed by Angela Carroll Healy, M.D.] Dear All, Seeing the videos and reading the memories of other Coalitioners has made me want to share what working with the Student Health Coalition meant to me. I was a Brooklyn girl,… Continued

“Radical Hearts” and their dress code.

  Margaret Ecker reminisces with the Appalachian Student Health Coalition at a gathering in 2013.     Her story about the students’ dress code was influenced by the clip below of Kate and J. W. Bradley, where they discuss what their community said… Continued

“Later then, he sent me a check for $10,000”

An interview with Kate Bradley about how she received the money to build a health clinic in Petros, TN. Continued

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J. Thomas “Tom” John, M.D.

I am a bit late in getting my bio in, best done in the earlier stages of pending dotage. I am originally from Laurinburg NC a small farming and, then, textile community in the eastern part of the state. I… Continued

Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM)

Profile: SOCM began in 1971, under the leadership of J.W. Bradley who sought fair taxation of absentee land corporations. They appealed to the Tennessee government, and won their first battle. Bolstered by their success, the organization then hoped to help… Continued

Irwin Venick

Profile: Contributed by Irwin Venick, May 2016 I arrived in Nashville, Tennessee on a hot, humid day in August 1971 not really knowing what to expect. One thing for sure was that I was not in Kansas (meaning for me,… Continued

Joe Little

Profile: [Contributed by Joe Little, February 2016] “As with a growing number of past experiences, my recall is opaque and often self-serving. I don’t exactly remember how I was lured into the first summer of work in 1971 in East… Continued

Related Resources/Links:

Interview with Kate Bradley and J.W. Bradley by Evangeline Mee, 11 August 2012, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

This interview with J.W. Bradley and Kate Bradley is a follow up to interview U-0803. J.W. Bradley was born in Petros, Tenn., a coalfield community in the Cumberlands. He served as deputy sheriff in Petros. He was one of the… Continued

Interview with Kate Bradley and J.W. Bradley by Evangeline Mee, 29 May 2012, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Topics discussed in this interview with Kate Bradley and J.W. Bradley include: birth in Petros, Tenn.; life history overview; coal mining father; history of Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM); women’s role in SOCM; relationship of Vanderbilt University medical students; Student… Continued

Sue Love Student Health Coalition Meeting Photographs, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Sue C. Love participated in the Rural Student Health Coalition in the early 1970s as a medical worker and attended medical school at Vanderbilt University. At the same time, her future husband Cliff Love served as a community worker. Included… Continued

J.W. and Kate Bradley Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Records, correspondence, and printed material related to the involvement of J. W. Bradley with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM), an organization founded to support community issues arising from the increase in strip mining in Eastern Tennessee during the 1970s and… Continued

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