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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 5 of 10: Grafton and Kingwood

You are vieweing item 22 of 40 in this tour.

Ada Enid Haldeman Ford was an advocate for women's suffrage in the town of Grafton, West Virginia. She founded the Taylor County Women’s Suffrage League, was involved with the West Virginia Equal Suffrage League, and was active in the Democratic Party after 1920. This house was the home of Gene W. and Ada Enid Halderman Ford from 1926 to their respective deaths. 


Home of Ada and her husband Gene Ford, February 22, 1941

Building, Window, House, Door

Haldeman family home, c. 1906: "Sitting in the yard, left to right: Jim, Lucy, George Colebank, Ada, Danny, Dorrey Holden and "Ran". Standing on the porch, Ellie."

Photograph, Plant, Dress, Adaptation

Ada Enid Haldeman, c. 1908, prior to her marriage to Gene W. Ford

Clothing, Face, Outerwear, Sleeve

Ada H. Ford, c. 1912

Chin, Hairstyle, Sleeve, Picture frame

Ada and Gene Ford, n.d.

Hat, Tree, Plant, Headgear

West Virginia Argus, August 28, 1914

Font, Screenshot, Handwriting, Paper

Ada H. Ford at age 32, ca. 1915

Forehead, Hair, Chin, Eyebrow

The Fairmont West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, April 10, 1915

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Material property

Pioneer Press, Martinsburg, WV, April 17, 1915.

Font, Number, Symmetry, Document

The Sunday Telegram, Clarksburg, WV, November 7, 1915

Organism, Font, Newspaper, Number

The Sunday Telegram, Clarksburg, July 25, 1915.

Newspaper, Publication, Font, News

The Daily Telegram, Clarksburg, WV, August 3, 1916

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Newsprint

The West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, November 21, 1917

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Rectangle

The Independent-Herald. Hinton, WV. July 31, 1924.

Font, Newspaper, Rectangle, News

Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, March 15, 1928

Newspaper, Font, Material property, Monochrome

Clips from "State List of Candidates" in the Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, April 30, 1924. The list starts on page 1 and Ada H. Ford is listed for the Eleventh District on page 4.

Newspaper, Font, Material property, Publication

Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, December 24, 1929.

Font, Circle, Number, Paper

"Ada H. Ford at home New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 1952, wearing the orchid given her by Layne H. Ford [her son] for Christmas, Pruntytown Road, Grafton, W. Va.".

Wood, Dress, Heat, Gas

Ada Enid Haldeman Ford headstone at Bluemont Cemetery

Plant, Cemetery, Headstone, Rectangle

Taylor County Assessor's Office Map Card

Brown, Rectangle, Font, Material property

Ada Enid Haldeman Ford was born in Minneapolis in 1883 and came to West Virginia in 1889. She attended Fairmont Normal School where she received an elementary teacher's certificate. Ada married Gene Ford, a prominent lawyer of Grafton, in September of 1909 at her parent's home in Thornton, West Virginia, just outside of Grafton. The couple had one son named Layne H. Ford.

She primarily did her work in the town of Grafton, West Virginia. She founded the Women's Suffrage League in Taylor County and later became the President when it was reorganized into the Taylor County Equal Suffrage Association. This group was modeled after other current groups in cities and other states. One of the common reasons against women's suffrage in Taylor County was that if a woman joined the suffrage movement she would be less of a "womanly woman." In other terms she would not be as good of a homemaker and or housewife. Many of the women who contributed their time and effort for women's suffrage in the town of Grafton, West Virginia did so out of their own time since there were little rewards as the organization struggled for money.

Ada often hosted important state and national leaders in her home and was active in the West Virginia Equal Suffrage League. Ford was chosen to be a WV delegate to 1917 the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Washington, D.C. She was one of the five women on the State Campaign Committee to work to secure the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Ada continued her political efforts after ratification and extended past the town of Grafton into sections of Blueville, now a subdivision next to the local Walmart, Knottsville, Flemington, and elsewhere. In the 1920s she was active in the Democratic Party and was chosen as vice chairman of the Taylor County Democratic executive committee in 1929. 

Ada Enid Haldeman Ford died January 22, 1979 and is buried in Bluemont Cemetery in Grafton, WV. 

Ford, Ada Enid. The History of Woman Suffrage Movement and Taylor County's Part Therein. Grafton, West Virginia. Ada Enid Haldeman Ford, 1940.

Gene W. Ford Home, U.S. Rt. 50, Grafton, W. Va., West Virginia Regional History Center. Accessed September 29th 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039827.

Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, December 24, 1929. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Pioneer Press, Martinsburg, WV, April 17, 1915. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Portrait of Ada Enid Haldeman of Taylor County, W. Va., West Virginia Regional History Center. Accessed September 29th 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039814.

The Daily Telegram, Clarksburg, WV, August 3, 1916. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

The Fairmont West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, April 10, 1915. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

"The Sunday telegram. [volume], July 25, 1915, Image 11." Chronicling America. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85059732/1915-07-25/ed-1/seq-11/#date1=1910&index=0&rows=20&words=Ford+Gene+Mrs+W&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1963&proxtext=Mrs+Gene+W+Ford&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, November 21, 1917. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Wiley, Kaitlyn, "West Virginia Women and Their Battle For Suffrage", 30 April, 2019.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"Gene W. Ford Home, U.S. Rt. 50, Grafton, W. Va." West Virginia OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039827.

"Old Haldeman Homestead, 'Scatter Smiles and Sunshine', Northwestern Turnpike, W. Va." West Virginia OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039829.

"Portrait of Ada Enid Haldeman of Taylor County, W. Va.". West Virginia OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039814.

"Portrait of Ada Enid Haldeman Ford , Grafton, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039815.

"Ada and Gene Ford, Preston County, W. Va." West Virginia OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039838.

"West Virginia argus. [volume], August 27, 1914, Image 2." Chronicling America. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092245/1914-08-27/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1910&index=1&rows=20&words=Ford+Gene+Mrs+W&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1963&proxtext=Mrs+Gene+W+Ford&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

"Portrait of Ada Enid Haldeman Ford at Age 32, Grafton, W. Va." West Virginia OnView. West Virginia Regional & History Center. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039824.

The Fairmont West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, April 10, 1915. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Pioneer Press, Martinsburg, WV, April 17, 1915. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

The Sunday Telegram, Clarksburg, WV, November 7, 1915. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

"The Sunday telegram. [volume], July 25, 1915, Image 11." Chronicling America. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85059732/1915-07-25/ed-1/seq-11/#date1=1910&index=0&rows=20&words=Ford+Gene+Mrs+W&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=West+Virginia&date2=1963&proxtext=Mrs+Gene+W+Ford&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.

The Daily Telegram, Clarksburg, WV, August 3, 1916. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

The West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, November 21, 1917. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

The Independent-Herald. Hinton, WV. July 31, 1924. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, March 15, 1928. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, April 30, 1924. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

Hinton Daily News, Hinton, WV, December 24, 1929. Accessed through Newspapers.com, February 11, 2022.

"Ada Enid Haldeman Ford at Home, Grafton, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia Regional & History Center. Accessed February 11. 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/039819.

"Ada Enid Haldeman Ford." Find A Grave. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/60601153/ada-enid-ford.

Taylor County Assessor's Office Map Card Viewer. District 05-Courthouse; Map 0001; Parcel 0027-0000. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://taylor.wvassessor.com/mapcards/mapcardviewer.aspx?parid=05%20%20%201002700000000.