SIMPSON STEPHEN FORD. Forty years a resident of Cleveland, Simpson Stephen Ford in that time has gained many
of the honors and other rewards of a sound and able lawyer, is still in active practice and an official in a number
of business organizations. His most distinctive public service was rendered during the twelve years he sat on the
bench of the Court of Common Pleas.
Judge Ford was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, October 7, 1854, son of William and Eliza J. (Frederick) Ford. His
early environment was the country and his opportunities those of the district schools until his ambition and energy
could provide better mental training beyond his immediate horizon. He grew up at the little town of Richmond. His
primary education was acquired in public schools there, and subsequently by teaching he increased his individual
mental and character training. During 1873-74 he was a student in Richmond College. Those were years of earnest
concentration and work, striving to rise above the necessities of earning a living while acquiring an education
and preparing himself for a profession. After a period of teaching and other work, he entered Allegheny College,
at Meadville, Pennsylvania, one of the country's best colleges of that time, and in 1881 he was graduated Bachelor
of Arts and honored as orator of his class. After graduating he returned to Richmond College, taught there for
a time. Both while teaching and for some time prior thereto he had been pursuing the study of law and on June 4,
1884, he was admitted to the bar. Subsequently he was admitted to practice in the Federal courts. Judge Ford located
at Cleveland and elected to compete with a bar whose members were recognized as among the ablest of any in the
country. Possibly he had his "starvation period" as is usually the case with beginners, but he succeeded
and soon became known as an able lawyer and a forceful advocate. His energy and ability brought him not only a
large practice, but honors in public and business affairs.
From 1892 to 1896 Judge Ford was a member of the Cleveland Board. of Education. In 1920 he was president of that
body. From 1895 to 1897 he was second assistant to the director of law of Cleveland, and was first assistant director
from 1897 to 1899. In 1899 he was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and by reelection served twelve years.
There has been no judge of this court who has had so few decisions reversed as Judge Ford. Judge Ford was widely
known because of the patient courtesy, kindness and ability of its presiding officer. He retired from the bench
with the golden opinion of the bar and the public.
Since leaving the bench Judge Ford has continued in private practice. He has served as president of the Guarantee
State Savings and Loan Company, as president of the Underwriters Mortgage and Investment Company. as president
of the Rapid Transit Company, of the Cedar Heights Land Company, of the Ford Realty & Construction Company,
of the Indian River Company. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Cleveland Athletic Club, Tippecanoe Club,
the Colonial Club, is a member of the Cleveland and American Bar Association, and in politics a republican. He
is a member of the college fraternity Phi Kappa Psi and Phi Beta Kappa, the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta and
has been a member of the board of trustees of Allegheny College.
October 5, 1887, Judge Ford married Miss Altai Marie Scott.
A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924
Cuyahoga County, Ohio Biographies
Names A to G
Names H to P
Names Q to Z
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