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Clara Bryant Ford

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Clara Bryant Ford
Clara Jane Bryant

(1866-04-11)April 11, 1866
DiedSeptember 29, 1950(1950-09-29) (aged 84)
(m. 1888; died 1947)
ChildrenEdsel Ford

Clara Jane Bryant Ford (April 11, 1866 – September 29, 1950) was the wife of Henry Ford. She was an active suffragist and was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

Early life[edit]

Clara Jane Bryant was born on April 11, 1866, to Melvin S. Bryant, a farmer, and Martha Beach in Wayne County, Michigan, at the intersection of Grand River Road and Greenfield Road. The third of ten children, she was baptized on April 19 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Detroit. In 1870, her family moved about half a mile north to another farm in Wayne County. She attended Greenfield Township District No. 3 School.[1]

Later life[edit]

Clara was married to Henry Ford from April 11, 1888, until his death on April 7, 1947, four days shy of their 59th wedding anniversary. They had one child: Edsel Ford (1893–1943). Their son Edsel died in 1943.

She was with Henry Ford upon his first test of a gasoline engine on December 24, 1891.[2]

Ford was an active suffragist, often holding meetings at Fair Lane. In 1918, she was named vice-chair of the Dearborn branch of the Equal Suffrage League of Wayne County. Three years later, she served on the board of directors of the Michigan League of Women Voters.[3]

Ford was also president of the Woman's National Farm & Garden Association (1927-1934)

Ford died on September 29, 1950, at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.[4]

Fair Lane[edit]

The Rouge River side of Fair Lane

Fair Lane was the estate of Henry and Clara Ford, in Dearborn.[5][6] A statue of Henry and Clara Ford stands in the Rose Garden of Fair Lane.[7]


  1. ^ Bryan 2002, p. 15.
  2. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (2005). The Cars That Henry Ford Built. Automobile Heritage Publishing & Communications. p. 14. ISBN 9781596130135.
  3. ^ "Clara Bryant Ford". Michigan Women Forward. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  4. ^ Wilson, Brian (June 2011). "Clara Ford Estate records series, 1947–1955" (PDF). Benson Ford Research Center.
  5. ^ Grese, Robert E. (1992). Jens Jensen: Maker of Natural Parks and Gardens. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 50, 100–102, 159–160, 164–165. ISBN 0-8018-4287-5.
  6. ^ "Fair Lane (Henry Ford Estate)". National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-01-31.Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.
  7. ^ Rahal, Sarah (2018-06-13). "Henry and Clara Ford 'return home'". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2019-01-31.