Finding aid for the Abington Foundation Records

Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: Abington Foundation
Title: Abington Foundation Records
Dates: 1983-2004
Extent: 17.00 linear feet (19 containers)
Abstract: The Abington Foundation (f. 1983) was created by David Knight Ford (1894-1993) and Elizabeth Kingsley Ford (1896-1990) to support organizations, generally in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, dedicated to promoting education, health care, economic independence, and cultural activities. The foundation's grant-making philosophy was devised by Mr. Ford and his four sons who comprised the original board of trustees. Each funding area had a particular focus. The educational focus is pre-primary through higher education, and thus the foundation has supported a vast array of educational institutions and programs such as Early Childhood Options of University City, museums (e.g. Cleveland Museum of Natural History), historical societies (e.g. Moreland Hills Historical Society, and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad) and universities, including Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University Foundation, Inc. The foundation's healthcare focus is on geriatrics and nursing with grants going to the Eliza Bryant Center, Senior Citizen Resources, Inc., The Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, American Red Cross, and many others. Economic independence with a focus on the promotion or sustaining of individual and family self-sufficiency has led the foundation to give grants to organizations such as the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, Ohio Hunger Task Force, People's Emergency Shelter, and Habitat for Humanity. In promoting local culture with an emphasis on arts education and historic preservation, the Abington Foundation has made grants to artistic enterprises and groups such as Art House, Inc., Beck Center for the Arts, The Holden Arboretum, Cleveland Public Theater, and Musical Arts Association. The Fords wished to serve their country and community, and dedicated their lives to doing so. David Knight Ford was a captain in the United States armed forces during World War I, joining shortly after graduating from Yale University. After the war, he returned to school and earned a law degree from Western Reserve University. His wife, Elizabeth, volunteered with the Red Cross as a nurse during the First World War, as well as a volunteer nurse's aide during the Second World War, and founded the Ohio League for Nursing (originally the Cleveland Area League for Nursing). Elizabeth earned the Margaret Ireland Award for Civic Achievement in 1973 from the Women's City Club for her works. They married in 1920 and remained so for 70 years until Elizabeth's death in 1990. David's business acumen led to the founding of the Lubrizol Corporation, and later the Lubrizol Foundation. He donated the family farm (originally settled by his great grandfather) situated on land now part of University Circle to help develop Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals. Parts of the farm became the sites of the Case School of Applied Sciences, Western Reserve College, and University Hospitals. Named for the area of New England where David Ford's ancestors settled, the Abington Foundation has continued after the deaths of its founders, providing assistance through 2012. Though both the elder Fords have died, family members continue to serve on the Board of Directors. The collection consists of correspondence, financial records, grant proposals, minutes, newspaper clippings, and receipts.
MS Number MS 5137
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English