Esquire Thomas Ford and Mary Jane Smart

Esquire Ford Family ~1906

(left to right)

Verna, Stella and Henry

Walter, Esquire and Mary Jane

Earl and Ervin (twins) and Bessie


Bertha (b. 1907) not pictured


Photo held and copy provided by Janet Demarchi, descendant.




Mary and Esquire Wed

On July 6 or 7, 1890, at the age of 23, Mary Jane Smart--oldest daughter of James and Margaret Smart--married Esquire Thomas Ford in Denton Co., Texas.

Esquire, less than a year older than Mary, was previously-married and had moved to Oklahoma from Jackson County, Tennessee where he was born on February 24,1866. [possibly born in 1863?]

History of Esquire Thomas Ford

Esquire Thomas Ford was born on February 24th in either 1861 [or 1866] in Madisonville, Kentucky [or Jackson co., TN] to Squire F. Ford and Elizabeth Floyd.

Esquire's Name

The exact name for Squire Ford has not been established. Some would call him Square T & others knew him as Squire Thomas or Seth Thomas. Recently I found the WWI registration card for Walter Clayton (his son) which states his father’s name as Esquire T. Ford. This is the best record I have come across regarding the true name of Squire (short for Esquire). On my records he will be listed as Esquire Thomas Ford. As for his death certificate, it has him as Square Thomas Ford—what I feel was a nickname the family called him—shortened “Square T”.

Source: Mary Ford
Esquire had previously married Mercilla Chambers on January 4, 1880 in Jackson County, Tennessee.

History of Mercilla Chambers

Esquire and Mercilla had a daughter together named Stella F.-born 15 Apr 1887 in Tn & died 14 Mar 1982 in Nashville, Davidson Co., Tn. There was a son (according to the 1880 census in Jackson county) named Walter A., but this child must have died as I was not able to locate him again. Stella never saw her father again after he left.

Mercilla (Chambers) Ford never remarried after Esquire left Tn. She died with the last name of Ford. It is on her headstone.

Very strange that Esquire & Mary named their first daughter Stella & one of their sons Walter, but they were not the same children.

Source: Mary Ford

Census Info for Esquire & Family


Justice Precinct 1,Hale,TX

Age 36 with wife Mary J. and 4 children. [Hale 006]
  • Square T Ford
  • Mary (wife)
  • Stella G (daughter)
  • Verna L (daughter)
  • Henry B (son)
  • Walter C (son)

These children all born in Tx

1910 Bailey, Texas Age 46 with wife Mary J. and 7 children. [Baily 120]
1920 Inez, Roosevelt co, NM Age 55 with wife Mary and 3 children. [Roose 279]
1930 Portales,Roosevelt co.,NM

Esquire’s name on the Census varied---Square T, Thomas S & S.T. Also, note on the marriage record there are 2 different versions of initials.

Mary Jane Finds Christ and the Fords Move West From Pilot Point

Mary Smart was converted to Christianity at the age of fifteen and joined the Baptist church.

Soon after they married (around 1890), the Fords left Pilot Point, Texas to strike out on their own. They moved west to Montague, between Dallas and Wichita Falls, Texas. Mary's family would remain in Pilot Point until her father died and the family moved to Oklahoma.

By 1900, they would be living in the Texas Panhandle at Hale, just southwest of Plainview--the very place where the Smart family once owned land but never settled. The Ford family drifted further westward over the years (as witnessed by the places their children were born and census records). Around 1905, they moved just across the Texas/New Mexico boarder--around Inez in Roosevelt County, not far from Plainview. The settled in Portales, New Mexico.

Children of Esquire and Mary Ford

Child Born Died Trails
Stella Grace

May 30, 1891 in Montague, TX

[on Gist Ranch about 1 mile from Era, Texas by Dr. Seagraves.]

March 30, 1951

Married Ozy (Otis) Brown on September 10, 1910.

Had 5 children. Died March 30, 1951 & buried in Mountain Air, NM.

Verna Lee

May 22, 1893 in Montague, TX

[on a ranch halfway between Archer City and Wichita Falls, TX. Midwife attended] >

Married Will Hall on June 5, 1910 and had 2 children.

Married Gainer/Garner (3 children: Everett, Billie, Vernon). >

Letter from her aunt, Frances Folsom Smart Pafford, to family members, dated 1956 noted the following: "One of Aunt Mary's girls lives in Modesto or near there. She is Mrs. Verna Lee Garner..."

Old address: 11951 Sherman Rd. Space 35, No. Hollywood, CA

Henry Baxter

February 14, 1895 Montague, TX January 12, 1933

Married Myrtle Wagnon in Inez, Roosevelt Co., NM and had 8 children.

Buried between Logan and Tucumcari, New Mexico. This is Janet Demarchi's line? >

Walter Clayton



Walter Clayton's web page

Jessie Earl "Bud"

March 6, 1902 Plainview, Hale Co., TX June 15, 1972 in Portales?

Married Ester Mac Gahey in 1932 at House, NM and had a daughter named Patsy.

Buried at Portales, Roosevelt Co., NM >

Old address: 731 W. 17 Lane, Portales, NM

Rolland Ervin (Ronald)

March 6, 1902 in Plainview, TX >March, 1945 in Portales > Married Quincy Gravlee on April 23, 1924 in Portales and had 5 children, one of them being Arthur Ervin.

Buried on March 28, 1945 in Portales.

Bessie Mae October 1, 1905 at Inez, New Mexico January 21, 1929 at Portales Married Frank Bohn and had 2 children.
Bertha Lucille March 28, 1907 at Inez July 17, 1996 in Clovis

see obit. below

Old address: 504 Prince, Clovis, NM


Bertha Louise Freeman, 89, died at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis

July 17, 1996

Mrs. Freeman was born in Inez on March 28, 1907 to Mary and Squire Ford. Her family moved from Inez into Portales before she was old enough to begin school. She attended school in Portales. She became acquainted with Walter Lee Freeman when he moved to Portales shortly after finishing barbering school. They were married in Portales in 1926. After their marriage they moved to Texico where she lived until 1963. Since that time she had been a resident of Clovis and for the past few moths she had been a resident of the Buena Vista Nursing Home in Clovis. She was a longtime member of the Texico Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by here parents: four brothers: Henry Ford, Walter Ford, Earl Ford and Ervin Ford and three sisters: Stella Brown, Verna Hall and Bessie Bohn. Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Col. Bill Freeman, USA Ret. and wife Peggy, of Albuquerque; two grandsons: Dr. Belvin Freeman II of Ashville, NC. and Michael A. Freeman of Gillete, NJ and two great-grand-daughters: Katherine Rose Freeman and Leah June Freeman

Grave site services for Mrs. Freeman will be held in the Portales Cemetery on Saturday at 11 a.m. with Rev. Kenneth Dunsworth officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be all her nieces and nephews.

Mary Jane Passes

During her last days, on a trip from Portales, New Mexico to the mountains in search of health, Mary Jane Ford passed away on August 25th, 1927 while stopped for a few days visit and rest with her daughters and son at Spring Lake, Texas.

She may be buried in Spring Lake, Texas? She was 60.

Esquire Passes

Esquire Thomas Ford [named Square on DC] died April 26, 1944 at the age of 83 at the hospital on East Funston St., in Portales, New Mexico from a stroke due to arterial sclerosis and high blood pressure. Esquire had lived there since 1905.

The interment was performed by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales on April 28, 1944.

[according to his Death Cert., he was born February 24, 1861 in Madisonville, Kentucky.]

Ford Family References

Much of the information on the Ford family has been made possible by the hard work of Lorene Scarbrough who spent many hours researching them. Sadly, my research began after the passing of Lorene and I never had the honor of meeting her. Her daughter Glenda was gracious enough to share her Mother’s research with me so I can share it with others. Mary Ford -

Documents used are embedded/linked.