Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

James T. Ford

JAMES T. FORD, whose life since early boyhood has been spent within the limits of Wichita County, is a successful merchant at Leoti. He is a printer by trade, and in former years was connected with several of the newspapers published in this section of Kansas.

He was born at Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois, July 14, 1876, and came to Wichita County with his parents in 1887. His father, the late John C. Ford, was a native of Ohio and of Irish stock, his grandfather having immigrated to the United States from Ireland. John C. Ford grew up around Galesburg, Illinois, and for a time was a student in the college at Monmouth. His father died early and the mother kept the family together and saw to their education. The Fords were substantial farming people in Northern Illinois. John C. Ford enlisted for service in the Union army, was a private soldier and though wounded in the second battle of Bull Run he continued his service until the end of the war. On coming to Kansas he spent two years at Wellington, where he was in the real estate and abstract business with the firm Fultz & Millard. On removing to Wichita County in 1887 he resumed the same line of work, and spent a large part of his subsequent years at the courthouse in some capacity. He was elected and served five years as county treasurer, and on retiring he took up merchandising actively. He had previously established a store under the name Ford & Coats, and he remained a merchant at Leoti until his death on March 16, 1915. He was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, always interested in politics, and was a republican of the stand-pat class. He also believed in and supported churches.

John C. Ford married Margaret Henderson. Her father, W. D. C. Henderson, came out of South Carolina and was active in public and private life in Illinois. He was a warm friend of Lincoln and after the war was in the United States revenue service in Illinois. Mrs. John C. Ford is still living at Leoti. Her children are: William L., of St. Joseph, Missouri; Jessie L., wife of Sylvester Coats, of Leoti; James T.; and Clifford, who died in childhood.

James T. Ford was eleven years of age when brought to Wichita County. After leaving the Leoti public schools he found a place in the office of the Leoti Transcript, then conducted by Mr. Cline. On that journal and on other papers he learned the trade of printer and also of a general newspaper worker, and for a time was foreman for the Standard and the Western Kansan. He gave up his active work as a printer to enter the merchandise business with his father. He became half owner of the store and since his father's death has succeeded to the entire business. In 1911 Mr. Ford graduated from the Southwest Optical College of Kansas City, Missouri, and he now practices his profession as an optician.

Besides his business his contribution to Leoti's development has been the erection of a comfortable home. Mr. Ford is a republican, was elected trustee of his township but resigned the office during his first term. He is a past master of Leoti Lodge of Masons and has served in three sessions of the Grand Lodge. He and his wife are active Methodists and he is one of the trustees of the local church.

At Leoti June 18, 1902, Mr. Ford married Miss Stella M. Brooks, daughter of Henry and Emma (Vinson) Brooks. Her father spent his life in Cantril, Iowa, near where he was born. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks had three children: Glenn, of Eldon, Iowa; Mrs. Ford, who was born September 22, 1881; and Dale, of Eldon, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Ford have a son, Edgar Brooks Ford.