Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Wilbur Edwin Ford  

Wilbur Edwin Ford was the second of the five sons born to Edwin Holton and Elizabeth (Neff) Ford of Hartford City and Wabash, Indiana. He received his early education in the Hartford City Schools and graduated from Wabash High School in 1915. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1919.

He was a World War I veteran.

He was the president and chairman of The Ford Meter Box Co. He succeeded his father as president in 1933 and was named chairman emeritus when he retired in 1964. While he was president, the company moved from South Carroll Street to its present location on Manchester Avenue, remodeled and expanded older industrial buildings, built new buildings and made provision for the expansion that is going on today. Other Ford family members played a significant part in the firm's growth, but his brother John called Wilbur "the guiding spirit of Ford Meter Box." He was a mechanical genius; his brothers always said they would come to Wilbur with ideas and he would turn them into designs and viable products for the company.

Wilbur helped organize the First National Bank in Wabash in 1933, served on its first board of directors and was board chairman for 16 years. He retired as a director in 1976. He served Wabash Community Service as a director and president, helping to persuade Mark. C. Honeywell to build the Honeywell Center for Community Service activities. While president of the Honeywell Foundation for 25 years, he supervised construction of the Honeywell swimming pool and buying the properties that now comprise the pool site.

He was named "Distinguished Citizen" by the Wabash Area Chamber of Commerce in 1956. He was prominent in the First United Methodist Church as a Sunday School teacher, chairman of the board of trustees and numerous other positions. He served as a Scoutmaster and as president of the area Boy Scout council. He was a member of the Wabash Board of Public Works and Safety. A Kiwanian for 65 years, he was a past president. He also was a member of the Hanna Masonic Lodge No. 61, F.&.A.M., and the American Legion.

In 1970, Mr. Ford was appointed to the board of governors of the James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association. He was named to the Indiana Academy in 1977. The Academy honors living and deceased Hoosiers whose ties with Indiana have brought national recognition to the state. The honorees are honored for their contributions to culture, science, literature, civics, religion or education. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Manchester College in 1978. He was a life member of the Associated Colleges of Indiana. He served on the American Red Cross board and the advisory board that planned additions to Wabash County Hospital. In 1988 he was honored by the Indiana Dental Association with the Special Service Award for his support of a comprehensive dental program in the Wabash schools.

Wilbur was married on June 27, 1925 at the First Congregational Church in Indianapolis to Miss Florence Gertrude Jeup was the daughter of Barnard J. T. and Emma (Dithmer) Jeup of Indianapolis, Indiana. They had four children: Virginia (1926), Stanley Wilbur (1928-1978), David Jeup (1929-1979) and Richard Edwin (1939) Ford; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Wilbur was a grandson of Dr. James and America (Holton) Ford of Wabash.

Children: Virginia Ford (1926 - 2014)

Birth: Jun. 3, 1928Wabash Wabash County Indiana
Death: Jan. 25, 1978 Wabash Wabash County Indiana
Burial: Falls Memorial Gardens Wabash Wabash County Indiana
married Marilyn Ford in 1957 and had 3 sons.
Stanley Wilbur Ford (1928 - 1978)

Birth: Nov. 2, 1929 Wabash Wabash County Indiana
Death: Feb. 27, 1979 Wabash Wabash County Indiana, USA
Burial: Falls Memorial Gardens Wabash Wabash County Indiana
    David Jeup Ford was the third of four children born to Wilbur Edwin and Florence Gertrude (Jeup) Ford of Wabash, Indiana.

    He graduated from Wabash High School in 1947. In 1951 he received a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and was a member of Acacia fraternity and Tau Beta Pi engineering fraternity. He attended Culver Military Academy summer school.

    David joined the Ford Meter Box in 1961 and had been a company officer since 1964.

    The Wabash Area Chamber of Commerce named David its 1964 Distinguished Citizen. He was the third member of his immediate family to receive the honor. Called a community spirited person, David anonymously donated the new all-weather track at Wabash High School. He was responsible for having the organ at the First United Methodist Church renovated and gave his own personal electric organ for the church chapel. When he purchased the Eagles Theater organ, he had it reconditioned and gave it to White's Institute.

    A musician, David played the piano, organ, flute and piccolo. Always interested in young musicians, he accompanied many Wabash High School students in state music competitions. Among them was Crystal Gayle. Though he had been in ill health, he made a special effort to take part in the Crystal Gayle celebration in Wabash in December 1978. He played in the Wabash Community Band, the Wabash Community Service Orchestra and the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists.

    David had been director of the Wabash Valley Dance Theater since its inception. He had served as treasurer, was technical director and took part in its productions. He also accompanied the ballet to conferences. He was a member of the Wabash Community Theater and carried roles in some of its productions.

    He had been active in sports and while a student at Wabash High School received the annual Gridiron award. He was an avid sports spectator. He donated his eyes to the Indiana Lions Eye Bank. His youth work included helping coach the high school track team, aiding the Wabash Country Club swim team and heading an Explorer Scout troop. He used his own bus to transport Scout troops and students in out-of-town athletic events.

    He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and his work there included high school Sunday School class teaching, board of stewards, ushering, Sunday School superintendent and providing music. Active in Republican politics, he served two terms as a Wabash City councilman. He was a member of the Lincoln Club.

    He was a past president of Wabash Area Chamber of Commerce and its Industrial Division. He was a past president and honorary member of Wabash Exchange Club. He was a member of the Wabash Quarterback Club, Wabash Country Club and Columbia Club, Indianapolis. He formerly served on the Wabash Community Service Foundation and was a past president of the Wabash Valley Civic Music Association.

    In 1964 he organized Explorer Post 29 and served many years as its leader. He also had been a United Fund worker.

    David served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1951 to 1953.

    He did not marry nor have children.

Richard Edwin Ford (1939 - 2014)

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