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Bradley family papers, ca. 1839-1962, 1903-1925 (bulk dates)

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Bradley family papers, ca


1839-1962, 1903-1925 (bulk dates)


University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Materials not arranged.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Bradley family papers, ca. 1839-1962, 1903-1925 (bulk dates), 1M87M64, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


4 cubic ft.


Katherine Stout Bradley and Eugene Bradley were the children of John Nicholas Bradley, professor of Latin at Georgetown College, lecturer on Baptist theology, farmer, horse breeder, and businessman, and his wife Belle. Katherine was closely involved in efforts to clear Caleb Powers, convicted four times of conspiracy to assassinate William Goebel in 1900. Powers was twice given life sentences, and once was sentenced to death before being pardoned by Governor Augustus Willson in 1908. He was elected to Congress in 1910 and served four terms. Katherine Bradley coordinated fund-raising efforts while Powers was imprisoned, shipping books and copies of his speeches and keeping accounts. Powers wrote to her often, first as a grateful friend, then in a more romantic vein. Their relationship cooled after Powers' release and election to Congress, although they continued to exchange friendly letters for some time.

Eugene Bradley graduated from Georgetown in 1912 and received a master's degree in art from Yale University in 1913. After service in the photographic division of the Signal Corps during World War I, he returned to Georgetown and established a photography studio in conjunction with Katherine. They became known as Kentucky's leading photographers. Katherine later worked for several years as a court examiner in Scott county and became very involved in historic preservation projects.

Scope and Content

These are primarily the papers of Katherine Bradley, although the collection also includes some of her father's papers and a few of her brother's. Katherine Bradley's papers include many letters written to her by Caleb Powers; most of these letters date from 1903 to 1912, but a few are dated later than that, including one written just before Powers' death in 1932. Many of the Powers letters concern fund-raising for his defense in his numerous trials and appeals. Other materials include postcards Katherine saved and papers concerning preservation projects in which she was interested. The collection also includes 33 stenographic notebooks of shorthand notes, which probably date from her years as a Scott county court examiner.

The collection includes some letters from Caleb Powers to Eugene Bradley, usually about land and property rights to Kentucky land owned by Eugene and Katherine. Also included are correspondence and business papers of John Nicholas Bradley, most concerning the buying and selling of horses, and information on their pedigrees. Other correspondence concerned the elder Bradley's career at Georgetown and Baptist education in general, and there are some love letters written by John and Belle in the early years of their marriage.


  • Bradley, Eugene, 1891-1962.
  • Bradley, Katherine Stout, d. 1940.
  • Bradley, J. N. (John Nicholas).
  • Bradley, Belle Stout.
  • Goebel, William, 1856-1900--Assassination.
  • Powers, Caleb, 1869-1932.
  • Georgetown College (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Republican Party (Ky.)
  • Assassination--Kentucky.
  • Baptists--Education--Kentucky.
  • Historic buildings--Kentucky--Conservation and preservation.
  • Horse industry--Kentucky--History--19th century.
  • Photographers--Kentucky.
  • Trials (Conspiracy)--Kentucky.
  • Kentucky--Politics and government--1865-1950

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.