Pages 495-496, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




MRS. MARY FORD, of Marmaton township, one of the pioneers of that portion of Allen county, is the widow of John O. Ford who settled on the wild waste of land in the, then, new township, in the year of 1876. Her husband died in November 1877 and she was left with a family of young children to battle with the difficulties incident to the settlement of a new country.

This prominent and worthy family emigrated from Peoria, Illinois, where John O. Ford had grown up from his fifth year. The latter was born in Devonshire, England, in 1841, and his wife in the same shire October 14, 1848. Each came to the United States with their parents, the former in 1855 and the latter in 1850. Both families located in Peoria county, where their children were reared on the farm. Mr. Ford's father, William Ford, had four sons, one of whom, Henry Ford, still resides in Peoria county. Mrs. Ford's parents were Thomas and Sarah (Fewins) Torrington. Mr. Torrington died in 1864 and his widow is the wife of


Richard Bailey, of Allen county, Kansas. Mrs. Ford and Mrs Thomas Woods, of Marmaton township, are the sole survivors of the Torrington family of six children.

John O. Ford brought his effects to Allen county in a chartered car. He was a gentleman with much hope and ample industry and it must have been a source of gratification to himself to locate in a new country where all were poor alike and where each possessed the same advantage with his neighbor. Of his five children the eldest, at his father's death, was twelve years. These children are all married and reside within reach of their mother. They are, William T., who married Florence Lamb and has five children: Blanche, Harry, Edna, Leta and Raymond Ford; Charles Ford who is married to Maggie Davis, has two children. Eugene and Leslie Ford; Anna, wife of Neal Ford, of Allen county, has two children, Marie and Nina Ford; Laura, wife of James Robb, has five children, Mildred, Alice, Agnes, Philos and Arthur Robb; and Mabel, who is the wife of Albert Smith.

Mrs. Ford gave her children a common school education in the home district and reared them all to become useful and honorable men and women. The earlier years of their lives were something of a struggle against adversities but as the children approached man and womanhood their labors were rendered with telling effect and their homestead, instead of dwindling below its original size doubled it and Mrs. Ford owns one hundred and sixty acres in each of sections fourteen and twenty-two.

In public affairs and in party affiliations the Fords are Republicans. The young men are among the substantial young men of their township and it is much to the credit of the family that their neighbors and friends hold them in the highest esteem.

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