Coming Home

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Sons and daughters of Ford-Broadus families return to Owen County

By The Staff

Descendants of Frank and Sallie Morton Ford gathered recently for a family reunion in Owenton. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ford were the builders of the Ford home on South Main Street in 1870. Current occupant is Peggy Sue Ford, widow of Dr. Charles R. Ford.

The families of two of the Ford’s five children were represented: their daughter Sallie Ford Broadus (1860-1949), and their son, Col. Robert Carrick Ford (1862-1941).

Family members first met at the Elk Creek Winery restaurant for a delicious lunch; many toured the grounds and winery. The group then went to Jane Ford’s house on South Main for desserts, refreshments and plenty of conversation. Many tales were told.

Those in attendance included four students who grew up in the Ford home: Frances Ford Hills of Wilton, Conn.; Alice Ford Stein of Atlanta, Ga.; Sarita Ford, Mulberry and Florida and Elizabeth Ford Tanner of Cynthiana. They were accompanied by Lynne Hills (Frances’ daughter), Ray Stein (Alice’s husband), and Dr. George Tanner (Elizabeth’s husband). At one time, Dr. Tanner practiced medicine in Owenton.

Other family members present included: Kay Potaczala of Winterhaven, Fla., and Beverly Mitchell, Ph.D. of Woodstock, Ga., daughters of the late Missy Ford Mitchell. Beverly is a trustee of Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. Lucy Ford Sutherland, another Owenton native, her husband Jim of Williamsburg, Va., and their son Jimmy, his wife Susan and granddaughter, Katelyn, all from Owenton were there. Lucy and her aunt, Elizabeth, helped organize the reunion. Lucy’s sister, Betsy Ross Ford of Owenton, brought her friend, Amy Arnett Sword, who fit right in. Betsy regaled her audience with stories about growing up in Owenton. She also claimed to be the youngest of her generation of the Ford and Broadus families. There was no argument on the claim.

Jane Rodman Ford, who has homes in both Owenton and Anderson, Ind., was a most gracious hostess. Her friend, Jan Downey, also from Anderson, was a welcome addition and a co-hostess. Ray and Kathy Phillips, longtime friends, were also in attendance.

Relatives from the Broadus side included sisters Jeanne Broadus Smith of Louisville, widow of Owenton native J.W. Smith. Suzanne Broadus Howell of Houston, Texas, and their brother, John R. Broadus III of Charlotte, N.C. All grew up in Owenton. John was a member of the first class to go all four years when Owen County consolidated its high schools.

Sue Ellen Broadus Ackerson of Louisville, was at the reunion. Her sister, Sallie Anne Broadus Hannagan was planning to attend and visit with all of the relatives, but became ill quite suddenly and died May 25. All expressed regret at her passing and talked about what a wonderful person she was. Carolyn Jo Broadus True, a native of Owenton who is now living in Lexington, and her husband, Gayle True, were welcome additions. Gayle was glad to see his cousin, Kathy Phillips, at Jane’s home (small world). Her brother, Frank Broadus Jr. was unable to attend but sent his best wishes. Frank has owned a farm on the old New Castle road for a number of years and serves as a board member for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He is married to the former Martha Jane Smith, an Owenton native.

Finally, cousin Lou Trost (son of Robert Ford Broadus Trost), Oklahoma City, Okla., countered Betsy Ross by claiming to be the oldest Broadus relative. No one wanted to argue that claim either.

It came time to say goodbye, and after many hugs (and perhaps a few tears), the family members left Jane’s house and went to their various destinations. Some dropped by the Owenton Cemetery to pay respects to departed ones.

It is certain that Owenton pioneers Frank and Sallie Morton Ford, who started this family many years ago, would be pleased with their descendants.