Henry Ford


Aged unknown

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, business magnate, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production. By creating the first automobile that middle-class Americans could afford, he converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into an accessible conveyance that profoundly impacted the landscape of the 20th century. His introduction of the Ford Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the Ford Motor Company owner, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism", the mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout North America and major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to permanently control it. Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and for promoting antisemitic content, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, through his newspaper The Dearborn Independent, and the book The International Jew.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Texas Historical Marker #05426

The Settlement of Williams Ranch. Once a prominent frontier town, Williams Ranch grew up around the homestead of cattleman John Williams (1804-1871), who came to this area in 1855. The community flourished during the Civil War (1861-1865) because of trade with Mexico and by 1874 had stores, saloons, a hotel, mill, and blacksmith shop. In 1875 Henry Ford and J. M. Parks bought most of the land in the village and platted a townsite. They proposed the name "Parksford" but "Williams Ranch" prevailed when the post office opened in 1877. The community was a stage stop and a roundup point on the western cattle trail. It claimed the first hotel, newspaper, telegraph, and public school in Brown and Mills counties. In 1881 it was one of the towns considered as a site for The University of Texas. Williams Ranch reached its peak of activity in the early 1880s, with a population of over 250. The settlement began to decline when the railroad bypassed it in 1885. An outbreak of mob violence was quelled by the Texas Rangers in 1887. By 1892 the post office and all businesses had closed. Today the site is marked by the natural springs that attracted the original settlers and by Williams Ranch Cemetery, burial place of many pioneers and their descendants. #5426

US 84, Mullin, TX, United States where they owned land (1875)