A C. Ford, of Ft. Worth, Tex., president of the Thompson & Ford Lumber Company, of Ft. Worth, Tex., and active in the management of several other lumber companies which will be duly mentioned in their order and in their place, is a South Carolinian by birth, born in Marion, that state, August 16, 1870. His father was, before the war, a planter in that portion of South Carolina, and was the captain of a company of Confederate soldiers, which he organized and led throughout the entire war between the states.
After the war the elder Mr. Ford engaged in the mercantile business in the town of Marion, and in 1876 moved to the upper part of South Carolina, locating at Williamston.
A. C. Ford received an ordinary common school education at the country schools in Williamston and Anderson, S. C., and when 14 years old he was sent to the Bingham School, in North Carolina, where he stayed two years, and at the age of 16 he entered the freshman class of Vanderbilt University at Nashville, Tenn. In the spring of 1891, at the age of 20, young Ford took his A. B. degree at Vanderbilt University. He came to Texas that autumn with his classmate, the now prominent and well known Horace Bemis, of Prescott, Ark., and entered the employ of the Jefferson Lumber Company as bookkeeper under his friend Bemis, who was at that time manager of that plant.
Mr. Ford stayed with the Jefferson Lumber Company three years and then moved to Cleburne, Tex., in the spring, 1895, and entered the retail lumber business under the name of the A. C. Ford Lumber Company. In the autumn of 1895 he married Miss May Ward, of Jefferson, Tex.
In 1900 Mr. Ford formed the wholesale firm of Ford & Isbell, with T. P. Isbell and moved to Ft. Worth shortly afterward.
In 1901 A. C. Ford and T. P. Isbell organized the Palmetto Lumber Company and went actively into the manufacturing business. Mr. Isbell's health failed in 1902 and he had to go to southwestern Texas to live, locating at Uvalde. The Ford & Isbell Lumber Company was then reorganized by taking in W. B. Ward, who was previously in the wholesale grocery business in Ft. Worth, and a brother-in-law of Mr. Ford. The reorganized company then went actively into the retail business in southwestern Texas, with general headquarters at Ft. Worth and local headquarters at Uvalde, where Mr. Isbell was living.
In 1904 A. C. Ford moved to the mill of the Palmetto Lumber Company and lived there two years, and it is from this active, practical time at the mills that Mr. Ford is prone to date his first success. The Palmetto Lumber Company was made into a good, strong mill of the first class, and has made money.
In 1906 Mr. Ford invested in timber in Liberty and Hardin counties, Texas, and organized the Frisco Lumber Company, of Sour Lake, Tex., and prepared to erect a single band mill at that place.
In the spring of 1907 J. Lewis Thompson became interested with Mr. Ford and together they organized the Thompson & Ford Lumber Company and bought 30,000 additional acres of land from the Star & Crescent Lumber Company, a Shreveport (La.) corporation owning this land, advantageously located close to the Frisco Lumber Company enterprise.
Mr. Ford moved back to Ft. Worth in 1906, built a home near the interurban railway which runs between Ft. Worth & Dallas, Tex., and has since lived there.
Besides his connection with the Thompson & Ford Lumber Company, of which he is vice president (by virtue of this he is associated with this exploitation of the other Thompson interests), Mr. Ford is also treasurer of the Ford & Isbell Lumber Company, a concern with $100,000 capital, operating a line of yards in southwestern Texas and conducting an extensive wholesale business out of Fort Worth, marketing the entire output of the Palmetto Lumber Company and a portion of that of the Thompson & Ford Lumber Company; treasurer of the Ford-Osborn Lumber & Mill Company, capitalized at $50,000 and engaged in the manufacture of sash, doors, blinds and mill work; president of the Palmetto Lumber Company, capitalized at $400,000.
Mr. Ford has three children, two boys and a girl, the former aged respectively 10 and 4 and the latter aged 7.