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Benjamin F. Ford


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 10:33:24

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
Benjamin F. Ford, who is engaged in farming on Section 28, Union Township, Van Buren County, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Wayne County, May 24, 1837. He is descended from good old Revolutionary stock, his paternal great grandfather, Henry Ford, having served in the War for Independence and died in Wayne county Ohio at the very advanced age of one hundred and fifteen years and fifteen days. The father of our subject, Jacob B. Ford, was born in Pennsylvania, May 27, 1804, and in his youth accompanied his family to Wayne County Ohio, where he formed the acquaintance of Miss Christina Fleck, whose hand he sought in marriage. They were joined in marriage in Wayne County, where the lady was born in 1807. Her parents were Germans by birth and could speak only their mother tongue. Having resided in Ohio until 1849, Mr. Ford brought his family to Iowa locating in Iowa County, but the following year he came to Van Buren County and settled near Winchester, where his wife, who was a member of the United Brethren Church, died in 1851. He afterward married Mrs. Sallie Barker by whom he had three children, two yet living. By his first wife he had nine children, four of whom are living. About 1870, Mr. Ford became a resident of Davis County Iowa, where he still makes his home. Politically he is a Democrat and in religious belief a Missionary Baptist.
In the usual manner of farmer lads Benjamin F. Ford spent the days of his boyhood and youth. His education was mostly acquired at his own fireside, his parents helping him to master the rudimentary branches of learning, for the schools in their neighborhood were few in number and often the teachers were very inefficient. On nearing years of maturity, he looked about him for some business he wished to follow, not caring to continue farming and his choice fell upon the blacksmith’s trade. After mastering that occupation, he carried on blacksmithing for a livelihood until 1864, when he drove some stock to California, returning the same year. He then opened a shop in Winchester, where for nine years he attended to the wants of the people in need of his services, doing a good business. Thereby he accumulated capital, which enabled him to purchase his present farm—a one hundred and seventy-two and one-half acre tract of good farming land, pleasantly situated about a half mile south of Winchester.
An important event in the life of Mr. Ford occurred on November 21, 1859, which day witnessed the celebration of his marriage with Elezan Calhoun, who was born in Holmes County, Ohio February 28, 1836. Her parents John and Isabel Jameson Calhoun, were natives of Pennsylvania, and in childhood immigrated to Holmes County Ohio, where they wee married. In 1841, they came to Iowa and spent the remainder of their lives in van Buren County. In their family were nine children, of whom six yet live. The father was a Democrat and died in the eighty-fifth year of his age, while his wife has reached the age of seventy-seven years at the time of her death. Two children came to gladden the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ford by their presence and the family circle yet remains unbroken. The daughter, however, has left the parental roof. She is now Mrs. Luella L. Bonnette, wife of Amos Bonnette, a resident of Union Township, Van Buren County. The son John H. is a farmer of the same township.
The upright lives of Mr. and Mrs. Ford have won them warm friends and secured for them a position in the ranks of Van Buren County’s best citizens. Both are active workers in the Methodist Church, Mr. Ford serving as Class Leader and Steward. He supports the Republican party but has never been an office seeker, preferring to devote himself to the interests of his family and his business. When he began life for himself he had but $14, but his efforts were successful and he was getting under fair way to become a prosperous citizen when he went to California, taking with him $1,000 of his earning which he there sunk. On his return good friends loaned him money wherewith to make a new start in life and by hard work, good management and perseverance he has again arisen.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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