In 1885, we visited the site of what is now the thriving town of Ford, on the Kentucky River, in Clark County. The improvements then consisted of an old frame house on the west side of the railroad and a small sawmill on the east side. Last week we visited it again.
On the east side in place of the little saw mill are the extensive works of the Ford Lumber Company, under the management of Capt. J. M. Thomas. Acres of lumber stacks cover the bottom, with the planing mill in full operation near the base of the bluff. On the bank of the river one mill is running, cutting logs, while another is under construction. This company also runs a general store in one of the most convenient rooms that we have ever seen.
On the west side, the Burt and Brabb Company have their plant, the largest of the kind in the state. They are now constructing what is practically a new mill for cutting logs. The planing mill and box factory are both running. This company also has a general store that would be called a department store in a larger place. C. W. Curt is manager, with C. E. Gibbons at the head of the store, and M. W. Lepp, head bookkeeper.
The Ford Supply Company, John W. Howard, manager, has a general store. Mr. Howard claims that there is nothing in the way of merchandise he cannot furnish. J. W. Morton has a general store. He, with his wife, a daughter of the late Judge Mastin, of Powell County, know how to keep store. They have a large trade. W. H. Rich keeps a livery and does a good business. We noticed some hats, bonnets, and feathers in a show window, but did not go in, because we don't know anything about such things and always feel embarrassed in the presence of strange ladies.
James Durham, a Negro, conducts a barber shop, with plenty to do. Nearby we heard sounds like pool balls knocking together, but as that is another thing that we know nothing about we passed on.
There is an excellent school and comfortable places in which to worship.
Judge Emmerson keeps a hotel. We have traveled over nearly every part of this country and nowhere have we found its equal for the price. The judge and his family know how to make one feel at home.
When working a full force the mills employ 700 men, who make a living for at least 3,000 people, though all of their families do not live at Ford, but many of them do. A large part of the mill product goes to foreign countries. The B. and B. Company has an office in London, England. Where barren fields and stunted bushes were 15 years ago are neat cottages, well-kept and inhabited by contented and prosperous people.
A loafer in Ford would be awfully lonesome. Take it all in all there is no better town of its size and no people more clever in the world. They have no special need for a town government. But E. L. Ellington is judge, and J. A. Epperson, marshal, so that if any outsiders should come in and raise a disturbance they will be attended to. There are two doctors; one runs a drug store, and the other writes prescriptions to be filled at the drug store. Both doctors seem to be doing well, and the patients are satisfied with the medicine.
The following subscribers to the Sentinel get their mail at the Ford Post Office. There are others who work at Ford, but get their mail at Boonesboro and other points: Geo. Bell; J. M. Belcher; G. N. Blakemore; J. T. Blackwell; Duck Bailey; Anderson Clay; Rice Deatherage; J. C. Domore; D. B. Darlington; Jas. Durham; Dave Dewitt; O. C. Dougherty; Tip Ewings; Mrs. Lula Evans; Judge Ellington; Robert S. Elkin; Fuller French; Ford Lumber Company; Mahlon Flynn; W. F. Gregg; C. E. Gibbons; Jno. N. George; Jordon W. Howard; Frank Hodgkin; J. H. Hall; Jno. W. Howard; F. E Hubbard; Wm. Hisle; Chas. Jones; John Johnson; Acquilla Johnston; Henry Lee; M. W. Lepp; Jas. Lovitt; Bob Miller; L. T. Mead; Dock Miller; J. W. Morton; J. R. Morton; J. R. Neff; L. H. Osborne; Dave Oldham; G. W. Odgen; Wm. Pommerville; Alfred Parton; Sidney Pence; W. S. Richards; W. H. Rich; Tom Rich; O. F. Rood; W. R. Stevens; Sid Smith; Jno. Stewart; Frank Thomas; Jno. Talbert; R. H. Thomson; Geo. T. Vivion; Chas. Williams; Tom Waller; Lam. Williams; and Chas. Watt. Mr. Jordan W. Howard is our regular correspondent to whom all items of interest should be reported. Mr. Chas. Williams is authorized to represent us in business matters.