By David Knopf/Richmond News
Charles McCorkendale, a Richmond resident and an avid student of history, has spent hours combing old newspapers and microfilm to learn more about Robert Ford and other topics of local interest.
But even with his ample legwork, McCorkendale said he doesn’t know why Ford’s graveyard plaque is engraved with a birthdate that so dramatically inaccurate.
Installed in 1971, the plaque cites the date as Dec. 8, 1841, when in fact Ford was born Jan. 31, 1862 – 20 years later.
“I’ve known it’s been wrong for a long time,” said McCorkendale, who provided the Richmond News with the dates of several newspapers from 1892 to 1987 that dealt with Ford, his killing of Jesse James and the aftermath. “The people who put it (the brass plaque) down, I don’t know when they were made aware of it.”
The plaque was a community service provided by the Xi Delta Kappa chapter of Beta Sigma Phi sorority in Hardin. The two women who represented the sorority at the laying of the stone are no longer alive, as is the case with Don Lauck, who was hired to order the plaque and install it.