The Forbes family has been a part of the automotive history since the beginning with the involvement of Automotive pioneer Russell Arthur Forbes. In 1915, at the age of 18, Russell Arthur Forbes became employed by the “Ford Nickel and Dime Bank” in Dearborn Michigan. During the next 12 months, Russ had the pleasure of dealing with Mr. Ford regularly as he made his daily deposit to his Bank, and this lead to Henry recruiting Russ to serve on Mr. Ford’s secretarial staff.
While in this capacity, Russ was given the responsibility to be the Manager of Mr. Ford’s newspaper “The Dearborn Independent” and then he worked with Mr. Ford on his first housing subdivision development, also in Dearborn. Russ’s final duties before leaving the Ford Motor Company were as Henry’s personal assistant.
Of special interest, was the involvement of Russell Forbes with Mr. Henry Ford during the million-dollar libel suit against the Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1919. At the time, Russell Forbes was Mr. Ford’s personal Business Manager, and Mr. Ford, to avoid being subpoenaed to appear in court, had a train car fitted as an office that constantly was being moved. If they could not find Mr. Ford, they could not serve Mr. Ford to appear in court. Russell Forbes secretly met with Mr. Ford every evening at a different location, to bring the business of the day to Mr. Ford. Ralph Forbes, Russell’s youngest son, remembered accompanying his father, as a small lad, to these meetings and recalled sitting on the train car steps as his father and Mr. Ford conducted the day’s business. Mr. Ford eventually won his suit again to the Chicago Tribune and was awarded only six cents as damages.