George R. Ford
George R. Ford, a manufacturer and financier, succeeded his father, Edward Ford, as treasurer and general manager of the Toledo branch of the Edward Ford Plate Glass Company. It was the largest plate glass works in the world, and was located in Rossford, Ohio.[Harvey Scribner, ed., Memoirs of Lucas County and the City of Toledo, vol. 2 (Madison, Wisconsin: Western Historical Association, 1910), 186].
Ford was born July 25, 1882, at Creighton in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward and Carrie J. (Ross) Ford. Carrie was born in Zanesville, Ohio on June 28, 1853. She was the daughter of George S. Ross and Laura Hampton. Carrie married Edward Ford on 8 October 1872 and it was not until 1898 that the two moved to Toledo. Edward bought a large tract of farmland and on this he established the Edward Ford Plate Glass Company and developed the town of Rossford. Carrie died in 1936 was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.(Ibid).
Ford was first educated in Allegheny County, then went to Detroit to attend a manual training school. When he left school he started work at his father's plate glass company where he spent four years learning the skills of the trade for making glass. Soon after he began working at the company he became the treasurer and general manager. When his father died in 1920, Ford became president of the company.
In 1907, Ford married Grace Williams Miller of Detroit. Her father was involved in the D.M. Ferry Seed Company and the Royal Manufacturing Company. Grace had attended and graduated from Miss Liggett's School of Detroit as well as Miss Morgan's boarding school in New York City. The Fords had three children, George R., Jr. (1909), Grace (1910), and Felia (1920).[John M. Klllits, ed., Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio 1623-1923, vol. 2 (Chicago & Toledo: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1923), 274-77.]
George R. Ford was involved in banking, acting as president and director of the Rossford Savings Bank, and director of the First National Bank of Toledo, Summit Trust Company, and the Michigan Alkali Company. He was also stockholder in the Atwood Automobile Company which was located on Madison Avenue in Toledo.
George and his brother-in-law, W.W. Knight, purchased 75 acres of land overlooking the Maumee River in Oregon Township. Here they built two summer houses (Scribner, 186). The home on East River Road was the largest in Northwest Ohio at the time, containing 57 rooms. The G.R. Ford mansion was built in 1923 by A. Bentley and Sons Company. It had a ballroom in the basement, a two-story pipe organ, caretakers house, gatekeepers house, a guest cottage, 11 bathrooms, and 13 fireplaces. Upon his death on 2 September 1938, George's estate was valued at $4,585,384.(Toledo Biography Scrapbook, George Ross Ford, Local History Room, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.)
George R. Ford's grave
(Photography of Woodlawn Cemetery by Josef Schneider.)