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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Henry Ford


The New York Times
December 10, 1922

Says He Posed as Relative of Automaker in Wooing Her.

DETROIT, Dec. 9.—Mrs. May Ford, charged with hiring a detective who posed as a gunman to kill her husband, Ray Ford, and held in jail here in default of $25,000 bail, stated today that at her trial she intended to tell the jury, "everything about my unhappy married life and let that story be my defense."

Mrs. Ford says she first met Ford when she was employed in a Toledo beauty parlor.  "Mr. Ford wrote to the manager of the place, said he was a near relative of Henry Ford, that he had great wealth, was generous, and desired a wife," Mrs. Ford said. "The letter was turned over to me and I answered it.  Immediately I received a reply in which the matter of riches and relationship to Henry Ford was enlarged upon.  He came to see me and we were married.

"Ford took me to his farm at Dearborn to live.  I found a house that had been a bachelor's quarters for nearly seven years.  I asked for money to buy dishes and was given $5.  I papered the house, varnished the floors, and cooked for ten or fifteen men during the harvest season.

"And then I learned that if my husband was related to Henry Ford, it would take a genealogist to discover it.  My husband did not even know Henry Ford to speak to him.  The latter passed our place, looked curiously at the name on the mail box, and drove on.  My husband called me 'Fat Tub' and spoke to me like he did the heifers on his farm.  My twin brother, a big business man from Fort Wayne, is coming here to help me.  We have money, friends, everything.  It will be a great trial."

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