December 30, 1928
Edsel Ford, who earned a number of literary honors and established a reputation as a regional poet, was born in Eva, Alabama, to a family of cotton farmers. After moving to New Mexico for a few years, the family relocated to Avoca (Benton County) to become chicken farmers. Ford graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he won a Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas award. After military service and a period of working for a petroleum company, Ford tried making a living from poetry but found that difficult and returned to live at his family’s farm. He edited a poetry column and published some of his original works. At the time of his death in 1970, Ford was beginning to earn national literary attention.