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Title: Retiree uses 'God given mind'
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PENCE - Ten years after the town of Pence was platted, a young man opened a veterinarian service there. Today, shortly after he decided to retire, Dr. H.B. Ford holds court at his kitchen table, spinning tales of the days when his practice spanned the long miles from Boswell, Ind., to Potomac, Ill.
"Sixty-one years as a vet gives you a variety of experience to recall...let me tell you," the spry, quick-witted and sometimes sharp-worded 94-year-old veterinarian said.

Meet opportunities

"If there is anything I can't stand, it's a dumb person - or, worse yet, a person who acts dumb. No one has to go through life like that if they will just meet opportunities head-on," he added.
"Using the mind God gave you" is one of the themes for his life and what he recommends for others. He proves he has used this belief by quoting long poems, remembering telephone numbers....... and quoting Bible passeges.
Reading the Bible is a relative new experience for "Uncle Doc" as some of the townspeople call him. "When I was about 80, my 5-year-old niece questioned me about going to church. Well, when a little child tells you, you are going to hell, it makes you give it some serious thought.
"I started going to church and pretty soon I was teaching Sunday School Classes at the Methodist Church in Judyville. Now, I feel lost if I don't study the Bible," he added.
Dr. Ford's parents died when he was very young and his grandparents took over the rearing of him. After they died, he was reared by two bacheolor uncles. They resided about six miles southeast of Pence.
It was one of these uncles who talked him into, and helped fiance, his becomming a veterinarian.

Starts practice

"When I started my practice, back in 1912, Pence was a big, busy town and horses were the important...... A lot of people would call a vet before they would call a doctor for a sick child.
"Back when I started, you learned more from the mistakes you made that you did from any schooling. You had to learn fast though because there was an awful lot of work to be done. I got about an everage of 22 calls a day to take care of sick animals. A lot of horses got lockjaw back in those days...and if one horse got it, you had to be very careful that other horses or horses or other animals did not contact it also.
"At one time, we had two telephone exchanges here in Pence. Central would take my calls for me and then when I got back to town from one call, I'd have several more to go on. Central helped me out like a secretary does for doctors now.
"This was a real booming town at one time...well, from about 1903 until the automobile took over. The hotel fed 85 transients in one day. Can you imagine 85 transients here in one day.
"Now, if any one comes to Pence it is because they really have reason to... no one comes here 'just passing through' anymore. It's a good town though. There are no bad kids; never have been. Good, stable families make for good kids and we have good kids here. I love them all.
"I like having lived all my life in Pence...well almost all of it anyway...I'm the oldest guy in town. I know everybody and everything about everybody because I have seen them grow up.

Still drive auto

"Jennie (his wife of 55 years) and I both still drive and we can go where we please, but we don't get away from Pence for very long at a time. We go to church and do a little shopping, but the rest of the time we enjoy just being here.
"Pence wasn't always like this. It used to be, on Saturdays, that traffic was so heavy you couldn't get through. Why, at one time this town even had a house of protitution. Can you believe that?" The wiry gentleman said as he removed his work cap, and scratched his snow white hair in a gesture that said maybe he wasn't really sure he could believe it himself.

Date: 10/6/1976
Origin: Wabash Valley News
Author: Louise M. Osgood
Record ID: 00002102
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Pence
Entered By: Margaret J. Fink

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