Bessie Anna (Brown) Bell Ford

Bessie Anna (Brown) Bell Ford
My mother's 8th grade graduation picture

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

FORD family line: Second generation back:

Everett Lee Ford was the son of Jesse Lee Ford and Elizabeth Jane (Bias/Baylous) Ford. He was born in 1886 in a log cabin outside of Winfield Putnam WV and was the third of four children. His older brother died at the age of 2 of diphtheria, both sisters lived to adulthood.

Everett Lee moved from WV around 1890. The family traveled by boat along the Ohio River to Cave-In-Rock Hardin Illinois. An uncle on his mother's side had moved there earlier and both families stayed there except for Everett Lee.

Everett was a wanderer, moving to several different areas in Illinois and Iowa. He was a salesman, mostly in insurance.

His first wife and my grandmother was Mary (Debord). She was born 1896 in Winterset Madison Iowa. Together they had eight children, 7 living to adulthood.

The children were:
Everett Edward Ford 1915-1997
Melvin Curtis Ford 1916-2008
Burton Harold Ford 1918-1963
Florence Madeline Ford 1920-2001
James Paul Ford 1921-1997
William Wayne Ford 1927-1997
Amanda Jane Ford 1930-1930
Robert Gene Ford 1932-

Amanda Jane was named after her mother's sister, who had raised her after her mother's death. Most of the brothers stayed in the Illinois area most of their lives except Everett E., who inherited his father's wanderlust. Burton Harold was a policeman in Moline Rock Island Illinois and died of brain cancer fairly young. Cancer was widespread through the family, most of the brothers and sister died of either cancer and/or diabetes. James Paul worked for Social Security, Melvin worked for International Harvester, and Robert was an air traffic controller. William was the only one to follow in Everett Lee's footsteps, making his living as a salesman.
Their mother, Mary (Debord) Ford Fry was a cook in the Manhattan restaurant for 20 years.

Everett and Mary were divorced after the youngest son was born. Both remarried. Everett to Elva Emma Combs. Mary married Christian "Chris" Fry.

Everett lived with his daughter in Colorado for a while before his death in 1973, but was buried in Riverside Cemetery Moline IL. Mary was divorced from Christian Fry after 5 years of marriage. She lived with a son in later years and died in the Chicago area in 1959. She is buried in Greenview Memorial Gardens in Moline Illinois.
Both parents also died of diabetes and cancer.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Madness Monday: My father Everett Edward Ford

My FORD family line is one of my few Southern lines and one of the hardest to research.

First Generation backward:
My father:
Everett Edward FORD was born 1915 in Silvis Rock Island IL. His parents were Everett Lee Ford and Mary Debord. He was the oldest of 8 children, all of whom are now deceased except the youngest son. One sister (there were only 2), Amanda Jane, died 8 days after birth. She was born prematurely and kept alive with a small spoon and breast milk for 8 days. A remarkable accomplishment for 1930.

Everett Edward was a ham radio enthusiast and that was what he did in the military, as well as drive heavy machinery. He was in the Army Air Corp and Air Force for 15 years. He served during World War 2 and the Korean War.

After being discharged from the military as a result of his drinking problems, he became a restaurant cook. He was a good cook but pretty unstable, so he cooked in many restaurants in the Western Kansas, Southern Nebraska, and Eastern Colorado areas. While cooking in Goodland Sherman Kansas, there were many truck drivers who drive out of their way, sometimes hundreds of miles out of their way, to eat his biscuits and sausage gravy. In his younger days, he was a cab driver in Chicago IL, a truck driver, and a service station attendant in Goodland before moving to California.

Later in life, his stepson, Herbert Harry Bell, moved him and my mother, Bessie Anna (Brown) Bell Ford, to Santa Clara California, where they remained for most of the remainder of their lives. He spent many years driving errands for Herb and earned his nickname, "Fast Eddie".

Everett Edward Ford was married three times:

His first wife was: Thelma Mary Hancock married 8 Sep 1942 in East St Louis MO.
Unfortunately, that is most of what I know of her. They had no children. I am still looking for a marriage license and divorce record.

His second wife was Evelyn Joy Rock. They were married 13 Jun 1946 in Davenport Iowa. They had 3 children, all girls, and were divorced a few months after their youngest daughter was born. One daughter, Mary Lou, who was the oldest, was placed for adoption with a local Methodist pastor, Rev. Cedric M Powell. He later relocated the family. Unfortunately, that is all I know of her as well. The other two daughters eventually came to know him. Evelyn is still alive. I haven't gotten their marriage or divorce record, either.

His third and last wife and my mother, married 03 Dec 1950 in Colorado Springs El Paso Colorado, was the mother of 3 children by him. One daughter, the eldest, and 2 son's. All were born in Colorado Springs El Paso Colorado and eventually raised in Goodland Sherman Kansas.

Toward the end of his life, he moved my mother and himself to Stockton San Joaquin California, where one of his daughters from his second marriage and his youngest child, a son lived. My mother died in Dec 1995 and he followed her 2 years later, in July 1997. His body was cremated at his requested and scattered on the Mississippi River by his step-son, Herb.