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Springdale Cemetery Tombstone Gallery 3  tks 10m dwnld ovr slw net connection wk'g on Nov 4 evening...2009

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Springdale Cemetery, Peoria Co., IL

Frances "Fanny" Ford wife of Governor Thomas Ford

Governor Thomas Ford


thomas Ford tombstone photo by Steve Slaughter, Peoria IL

Thomas Ford
Governor of Illinois 1842 -1846
erected by the State 1896

Location: Rose Hill, Lot 170

thomas Ford tombstone photo by Steve Slaughter, Peoria IL

Thomas Ford
Governor Of Illinois
Born Dec 5, 1800
Died Nov 3, 1850
Frances, wife of Thomas Ford
Died Oct 12, 1850 aged 38 years
Julia E., their Daughter
Died Dec 30, 1862-- Aged 21 years

Govnor Thomas Ford-- author of "History of Illinois for Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847" (1854) d Nov 3, 1850; Peoria, Peoria Co., IL Interment at Springdale Cemetery, Peoria, Ill. Ford County, Ill. is named for him. Thomas Ford (1800-1850), was born near Uniontown, Fayette, Pennsylvania on Dec 5, 1800. After spending his early childhood in Missouri, he came to Illinois in 1805, with his six years older half-brother, George Forquer (Farquhar). Thomas received a year's education at Transylvania University in Kentucky and then studied law. After being admitted to bar in 1823 Thomas practiced law at Waterloo, Illinois and later, in partnership with George Forquer, at Edwardsville, Madison, Illinois. He married Frances "Fanny" Hambaugh (Himbaugh) there on June 12, 1828. They had five children.

From 1829 to 1835 he served as prosecuting attorney for all of the state west and north of the Illinois River. On January 14, 1835, the state legislature elected Ford judge of the sixth judicial circuit, which then included all counites in the northern quarter of the state. Soon after that date and until he was elected governor, Ford made his residence in Ogle Co., Illinois. He became the judge of the Chicago Municipal Court on March 4, 1837. In 1839 he was elected judge of the ninth circuit, comprised of nine counties between the Rock and the Fox and the Illinois Rivers. In 1841 a Democratic-controlled state legislature enlarged the Supreme Court to nine men, who doubled as circuit judges. Ford was named to the court and reassigned to the ninth circuit. He sat on the bench in Oregon, Ogle Co., Illinois during the last days of a band of outlaws called the Banditti of the Prairie.

Ford was elected Democrat governor on August 1, 1842. When he took office in December, he faced a critical state debt and the Mormon troubles. He refused to repudiate the debt and secured adoption of a plan to liquidate it. Both before and after the murder of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, Ford called out the militia to preserve order between Mormons and the anti-Mormons of Hancock Co. Jailed under his promise of protection, Joseph Smith, the Mormon leader was assassinated in Carthage Jail, causing his followers to suspect Ford of complicity in the deed. Between 1844 and 1846 he attempted to keep the Mormons and anti-Mormons from clashing, once calling out the militia to protect the Latter Day Saints at Nauvoo and thus causing the non-Mormons to suspect him of siding with their enemies. At the end of his term Ford resumed the practice of law in Peoria, where he and his wife both died in 1850. His History of Illinois was published posthumously for the financial benefit of his children.

from: "The National Cyclopedia of Biography" vol. 11, p. 46:

Ford, Thomas, seventh governor of Illinois (1842-46), was born near Uniontown. Fayette co., Pa., Dec. 5, 1800, son of Robert and Elizabeth Logue (Forquer) Ford. His father probably a native of Delaware, was of English descent; his mother was the daughter of Hugh and Isabella (Delany) Logue, natives of Ireland. Elizabeth Logue was married to a Revolutionary soldier named Forquer (Farquliar), by whom she had several children one of whom, George, became attorney-general of Illinois.

Her second husband, Robert Ford, died about 1802, leaving the family very poor, but she was a woman of extraordinary courage and enterprise, and when the governor of Louisiana territory offered lands free to actual settlers in what is now Missouri she started west, with her eight children and a few friends, in 1804, only to find on arriving at St. Louis that the United States had purchased Louisiana territory and that lands could only be had by paying for them. The Fords thereupon settled at New Design, then in Randolph (now Monroe) co., Ill., and rented a farm. Young Thomas studied at home, attended Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., for one year, studied law, and in 1828 was admitted to the bar. For six months, in 1824 he aided Duff Green in editing a newspaper in St. Louis, which advocated the election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency.

In 1825 he joined his step-brother, George Forquer, in practice, at Edwardsville. The following year he removed to Galena, but in 1829 settled at Quincy. In the latter year he was appointed state attorney by Gov. Edwards and was reappointed by Gov. Reynolds in 1831, his circuit, the 5th, comprising fifteen counties. A new circuit, the 6th, embracing Peoria and all north thereof, was created in 1835, and he was appointed its judge. When the municipal court of the city of Chicago, having the same jurisdiction as a circuit court, was created in 1837, he was elected judge, and in 1840 he was placed on the bench of the supreme court. Though not an active politician he received the Democratic nomination for governor in 1842 in the place of Adam W. Snyder, deceased, and was elected by a majority exceeding 8,000 over Joseph Duncan, the Whig candidate. His administration was characterized by vigor and independence, and he distinguished himself by his successful stand against the policy of repudiation of the state's indebtedness. which was advocated in the legislature as the only way to free the people from financial distress. So important were his services in this crisis that in a speech delivered years later by Judge Caton, of Chicago, he was spoken of as one of the three men (the others being Abraham Lincoln and Gov. Coles) to whom Illinois was especially indebted. Under his successor and in accordance with the constitution of 1848 an annual tax was levied, applicable especially to the payment of the state debt, which was finally liquidated. During Gov. Ford's administration the Mormon war, so called, took place; the prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother, Hyrum, lost their lives, and their enthusiast were removed from the state.

The Mexican war also began, and largely through Gov. Ford's influence Illinois had a prominent part in that contest. He took an active interest in the measures for internal improvement, especially the completion of the Illinois and Michigan canal. Congressman John Wentworth said of him that he had more than any other man contributed to the allaying of sectional prejudices within the state. He left the governor's chair a bankrupt and resumed the practice of the law at Peoria, but his later years were chiefly spent in writing his "History of Illinois, From Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to l847." This work edited by Gen. James Shields, and published in 1854 for the benefit of Gov. Ford's family, is still one of the best authorities on the history of that particular period.

Gov. Ford was married at Edwardsville, Ill., in 1828, to Frances Hambaugh, by whom he had two sons and three daughters. His wife  died at Peoria Oct. 12, 1850; his own death occurred at that place, Nov. 3d, 1850. A handsome monument to his memory was elected by the state in 1896, in Springdale Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois.


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