Click on the links in the text below to view the pages of the Autograph Book.
1888: Teacher, O. C. Ford, was the proud owner of an Autograph Book signed by his students. The autograph book opens with:
April 7th 1888
O. C. Ford, Teacher
In remembrance of your kindness and faithful instruction, we will humbly write our names in tokens of love, (True friendship never dies.)
~Sida Soule [Page 3]
The book is signed on individual pages by: Katie Krier, Elizabeth Krier, Clara Krier, Florence Peron*, George Hansen, Peter Krier, Alice Peron, Dennis Sager, Hattie Peron, Purley Mary Dean*, Marion Sager, Mabel Soule, Daisy Soule, Millard (or Willard) Sager, Florence Sager (forget me not), Ora Sherill, Eva A. Nash (We Hope), A. M. Nash (My Love), Robert K. Greton, Altana A Greton (with regard), Eli Sager, Ira Sager, Jessie L. Greton (My kind teacher), (Remember me) Sida Soule, (I will miss you), Herbert Soule, (O C F March 14, '91 your Friend) Roy Kinzey*, (Mch 14, '91 the world is round, the sea is deep, my love to you is great as a sheap, your friend) Claud Kinzey*, (O. C. Ford, March 14, '91 your friend) Benjamin E Kinzey*.
[Page 4] * [Page 5] * [Page 6] * [Page 7] * [Page 8] * [Page 9] * [Page 10]
The autographs span 1888 to 1891. (28 students signed in the autograph book but it is over several years.) Those marked * are relatives and some others may be upon further research.
[Page 11] * [Page 12] * [Page 13] * [Page 14] * [Page 15]
The last page says "In Loving Memory of My Dear Grandfather Ozias Ford, Died Feb. 13, 1937, age 74 yrs." (Written by my mother many years later). He died and is buried in Kaycee, Wyoming.
His daughter and my Grandmother, Faith Hope Ford Cornelius, wrote an article about her life. In it she says he taught school in Leeds the year she was born Dec. 1894. Grandma was born in Banner when her mother, Huldah Dean Ford, returned home to care for her father, Samuel W. Dean, who had broken his back. Ozias remained in Leeds to teach.
He taught until he went to work for the Northwestern Robes and Tanning Company. I have another old photo of students in front of a blackboard that has Jr. II Grade 1913 written in chalk. I assume it is his class in Leeds. I have other photos of relatives in front of a building. One of the photos claims it is the Springdale school but doesn't say if that is where he worked or if it was just a good spot to take a photo.
I think he may have taught in the James school from 1885 to 1891, then in Leeds until about 1913 but I really have no solid evidence. The census never lists him as a teacher. I'll keep looking.
Census Records for O.C. Ford
1885 - Single - Lincoln - Works on Farm
1895 - Married - Banner - Farmer
1900 - Married - Leeds - Blacksmith
1905 - Married - Leeds
1910 - Married - Leeds - Laborer Odd Jobs
1915 - Married - Leeds - Tannery
1920 - Widower - Wyoming - Farmer
~All of the above information about the history of the Autograph Book and the history of the life of teacher, O.C. Ford contributed by family researcher, Jeff Deitchler
~More explanation: the autograph book is actually Lincoln # 3. Hinton, did not have rural mail delivery until 1903. Lincoln Twp. mailing address was James, Iowa. All of the students that signed Ozias Ford's book are Lincoln #3 students and all of their farms surrounded the area. They were in the heart and soul of Harrisonville family settlement. And every student listed in there is part of my Harrison kin. Ozias Ford, actually lived with the William and Mary Jane Peron family.