GREENVILLE – The Indiana Historical Bureau has approved the application from the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission for a state historical marker to recognize John Baptiste Ford.
Ford was an influential American industrialist in the 19th century, who came to Greenville in the 1820s as a saddlery apprentice, according to a press release. While in Greenville, Ford founded many different businesses including supplying equipment to the federal government during the Mexican-American War.
“The citizens of Greenville and Floyd County are the real winners in this announcement. While we have a tremendous amount of historic events, people, and places in New Albany, this marker is significant in recognizing John B. Ford for what he did in Greenville, and helping establish commerce and entrepreneurship in that community in the years leading up to the Civil War," said Matt Uhl, chairman of the Greenville Historic Preservation, in the release. "I can’t wait to share his story with our youth, our fellow citizens, and other interested parties.”
Greenville's application was accepted out of the 34 submitted for the 2018-19 program. Only 10 markers or less are approved during the application period. This will be the first state historical marker outside of New Albany to be approved in Floyd County.
“The fact that our research on Ford was accepted out of 34 applicants is monumental for Greenville," said Andy Lemon, Greenville Town Board member, in the release. "It's a pretty competitive process. This will be the only specific John B. Ford historic marker in the U.S., the rest of them reference mainly his business impacts with Pittsburgh Plate Glass and other endeavors.”
The Historic Preservation Commission has planned an event to install the marker in early 2019, along with celebrating Floyd County’s Bicentennial. The marker is set to be installed at the First Harrison Bank location along U.S. 150 in Greenville near the historic Station Building that Ford operated businesses from prior to moving to New Albany in 1854.
The Greenville Historic Preservation Commission also announced that a nearby town street would be named “John Baptiste Ford Drive,” according to the release.
The applicants are responsible for funding the markers, which cost $2,950.
— NEWS AND TRIBUNE