Sunday, August 23, 2015
The Great Believer
Although Henry Ford and Clara Bryant grew up within eight miles of each other, they first met at a New Year's Eve Ball when Clara was 18. They spoke for only a few minutes, but Henry Ford would always recollect that he knew Clara was the girl for him right away. Henry Ford, who loved dancing, attended many more dances that season, but it was nearly a year before he saw Clara again. The young couple soon became engaged and were married on April 11,1888, the bride's twenty second birthday.
Henry Ford often referred to his wife as his great believer. Clara always showed faith and confidence through all the years of hard work and challenges.
Her support was rewarded. After living in a total of ten rental homes, Henry's dream of success finally came true. They bought 2,000 acres along the Rouge River in Dearborn, and Fair Lane, the home where Clara and Henry would live the rest of their lives, was constructed.
In Dearborn, Clara and Henry would entertain friends and family at Fair Lane. The Fords also continued to enjoy dancing; Henry saw to it that Fair Lane had a large dance floor and that it was regularly used.
In a 1938 issue of The New York Times Magazine, Henry Ford was quoted as saying, "The greatest day of my life was the day I married Mrs. Ford." Apparently Henry Ford was a great believer,too.