Tuesday, January 8, 2019

James Ford Family Cemetery, Tolu, Kentucky

James Ford Family Cemetery located near Tolu, Ky, on the old home place of James Ford.  The land today is owned by the J. T. May family.  David May, son, gave permission for the clean up of the cemetery in 2011.

Who Is Buried Here? 

James Ford along with his sons, Phillip and William, and his daughter-in-law, Alma G.

There are most likely more unmarked graves that have never been located and are not on record.

James Ford's plantation home once stood a short distance from the cemetery, but it's location has not been

The story has been told down through the years that James Ford's boxlike sandstone tomb was undisturbed for many years, but a farmer who once owned a parcel of the land, used Ford's crypt and the crypt of other family members buried around him to cover some holes in a nearby pasture.

The fellow's cows started dying mysteriously after that and so did a child of his.  Thinking that his misfortune might have something to do with his taking the tombstones, he returned the stones to the family cemetery and just stowed them about.  Gladly putting them back where he got them, but the damage had been done to the little cemetery and it would never be the same.

 There the stones lie broken and off their bases, and leaving the actual grave site of each person unknown to man.  

Although the two large flat stones of the sons, William and Phillip, are in the cemetery, James Ford's stone has not been located.  It has been searched for for many years, but it is still lost to us history hunters. 

Who was James Ford, some may not know the history of this mysterious person.  

James Ford was a well known citizen of Crittenden County (at that time Livingston County) he served as a sheriff and was an entrepreneur running the Ford's Ferry and providing loans to his neighbors when money from traditional banking services was hard to get. 

Some sources also list him as a leader of the much talked about Fords Ferry Gang.  The Gang that was responsible for the robbing and deaths of many a westward bound settler who crossed the Ohio River using his ferry.

Others say people that owed him money helped to brand him as an outlaw and that he really wasn't the person behind the gang.  

Henry Shouse was formally charged with the murder of James Ford in 1833 in Livingston County, charges were later dropped.

Tradition has James Ford was buried head first in his grave, he was a large man, over 300 lbs at his death.  He was buried by slaves and Arthur Love during a thunderstorm.  Due to the weight of the casket and the slaves fear of Mr. Ford he was dropped head first and was wedged diagonally in the grave.

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