Ruth Carol Sykes Ford

 Historian, Author

Born:February 16, 1892, Washington, DC
Died:December 27, 1987, Madison County, Alabama
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Alabama
Wife of:Earle Raymond Ford, Sr.
Mother of:Ralph Hunter Ford


•  In the Introduction of "A History of the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville, AL 1808-1983" Elmer C. Johnson writes (in 1958): "Mrs. Earle R. Ford, the author of this volume, has presented the history of this church in a most interesting and authentic way. Her tireless research and continued interest in the church for the past forty-three years have qualified her to undertake this task. Members of her husband's family have been connected with The First Methodist Church for four generations, beginning in 1895 and continuing to the present." - Ford & Van Valkenburgh

•  In the mid-1920s: "Mrs. Earle Ford was president of the Woman's Missionary Society for the two years the annex was being built. During this time the women contributed $9,100 to the expense of the building. This amount was, of course, the result of work done over a period of twenty-five years, when the annex was only a dream in the minds of the women of the church." - Ford & Van Valkenburgh

•  Mrs. Earle Ford, Sr. worked on a project to put stained glass memorial windows in the Chapel of First Methodist Church. The windows were installed in 1965. - Ford & Van Valkenburgh

•  "Mrs. Earle Ford, Sr. was named Historian Emeritus in 1979. The position was established at the request of the Work Area on Education (John R. Purdy, Chairman) because of the many years of work Mrs. Ford had dedicated to preserving the history of the church. Largely due to Mrs. Ford's work, First United Methodist Church received a certificate from the Commission of Archives and History recognizing that the church was preaching the gospel before Alabama became a state. By February of 1983, the Work Area on Worship had taken a leading role in planning for the 1984 Bicentennial Celebration of the United Methodist Church." - Ford & Van Valkenburgh

•  Ruth was appointed to serve on the committee to make suggestions for the Constitution and By-Laws for the newly forming (1955) Huntsville Rotaryann Club. - Eastering

•  Charter member of Huntsville Rotaryann Club, May 25, 1955. - Eastering

•  Ruth Ford was one of eight charter members of The Writers Group of Huntsville, AL. The Writers Group of Huntsville was organized in October, 1951. The purpose of this club is to further the study of all phases of writing, particularly Poetry, Articles, Short Stories or Books." - Taylor

•  Written of her in 1955: "Ruth Ford writes short stories which have been published in The Christian Herald, The Christian Home Magazine and The Villager. She is currently working on a history of the Methodist Church." - Taylor

•  "The History of the First United Methodist Church, Huntsville, Alabama, written by Ruth Sykes Ford in 1958, updated in 1983 by Nancy Wilkinson Van Valkenburgh, is available for purchase in the church office. It tells many of the ways the church has served throughout the early years and, with God's help, will continue to minister 'In the heart of the City in the Name of Christ' to influence the community to know Him and to carry his message of God's love and Salvation throughout the World." - Huntsville First

•  Children of Earle and Ruth Ford:
     Laura Alice Ford Baxter (1917-2007)
     Earle Ford Jr. born about 1915
     Ralph Ford, born about 1916 in Alabama
     Frank Hodges Ford, born July 16, 1926, Huntsville, AL and died April 1999
     Carol Ford Jackson, born about 1925 in Alabama - Daughter's obit

Related Links:

•  1930 Census - This version can be viewed only through an paid subscription. (Originally found at

•  Amazon - Her book can be ordered here. (Copies may also be available at the office of Huntsville First United Methodist Church)

•  Daughter's obit - At Find A Grave with family information. The page was created by Heather.

•  Eastering - 75 Years of Service: A History of The Huntsville Rotary Club, by Bill Easterling, 1992, page 57.

•  Find A Grave - Page created by Bobbie Christian and maintained by Gene Hill

•  Ford - Article titled "North Alabama college 1858-1864, The Non-Existent School" by Mrs. Earle R. Ford for Huntsville Historical Review, Volume 15, #1 & #2, 1985, Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, pages 21-25.

•  Ford & Van Valkenburgh - A History of The First United Methodist Church of Huntsville, Alabama 1808-1983 by Ruth Sykes Ford and updated by Nancy Wilkinson Van Valkenburgh, 1984.

•  Huntsville First - Web page for Huntsville First United Methodist Church. Originally had a short history of the church.

•  Roots Web - Death record

•  Taylor - Commemorative Album, Celebrating our City's Sesquicentennial of Progress, Huntsville, Alabama, by James E. Taylor, General Chairman, 1955, pages iv, 82, 107, 157, 160, 208, 343, 344, 346, 358.

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Earle Raymond Ford, Sr.
•  Ford
•  Ralph Hunter Ford
•  Taylor