FORD, EDWARD. - The English contingent in Springfield, while not so large as in some other cities, has produced some of the best business men of Sangamon County. A notable example of this class is Edward Ford, a native of America, but born of an English father. Mr. Ford was born in Ducktown, Tenn., February 23, 1864, a son of Thomas and Catherine Ford, natives of Cornwall, England, and Ireland, respectively. The father was a worker in coal, lead and silver mines in his native land, but believing that better opportunities were afforded in this country, came to America, and for twenty years prospected in California and Colorado. Finally, in 1869, he came to Springfield, where he still carried on his mining operations and conducted a boarding house. He was one of the most solid and reliable men in his line of business, and when he died, in 1898, the community mourned his loss. His wife passed away two years before him. Thomas Ford was a member of the A.O.U.W. While a Democrat in a political belief, he never aspired to office, and was a man of a retiring disposition. Liberal in religious views, he gave to others the freedom of thought and action he asked for himself. Six children were born to him and his wife, four sons and two daughters, but one of the sons is now deceased.
Edward Ford attended the Converse School in Springfield until he was sixteen years old, when he left to work in a coal mine. He also farmed and did teaming, until he was able, in 1886, to start into business for himself. Since then he has been engaged in the same line and has been very successful in what he has undertaken. For four years prior to his death Thomas Ford was a partner with his son in the present enterprise.
On April 28, 1886, Mr. Ford was married, in Springfield, to Ellen Brennan, born in County Mayo, Ireland, daughter of Patrick Brennan, who is deceased, but whose widow survives him and resides in Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Ford have had nine children, seven of whom survive: May, wife of William Grehn, of Springfield, one child, Eddie; Annie, Nettie and Edward H., at home; Thomas, with the Illinois Watch Co.; Harry and George, at home. Mr. Ford is a Republican with regard to national matters, but locally is an Independent. Like his father, he has never desired office. Fraternally he is a member of the American Order of Eagles and the Original Order of Owls. He is liberal in his religious views, and is connected with no religious denomination. He is an excellent business man, whose honesty and integrity have won the confidence of his associates.