• Shown here is a file photo from 1994 of Stephens County Justice of the Peace Veva Ford announcing her retirement.

Stephens County’s first female justice of the peace looks back before 90th birthday

Like many women her age, Veva Ford has lots of stories to tell, but the story of how she became the first female Stephens County Justice of the Peace remains relevent even today.

Ford worked odd jobs around Breckenridge until eventually taking a job as a clerk for justice of the peace Sid Rhodes, but before completing his 10th year  Rhodes decided to retire, foisting Ford into public service and finish Rhodes’ term.

“They appointed me because I was the only person that knew about that office in the whole county I guess,” Ford said.

Despite having no formal legal background, Ford pressed for an updated version of the Texas penal codes after discovering the codes the county used had been decades out of date. Eventually she turned to Garry Trammel for help and, although their roles have changed over time, Ford said she still relies on him to assist in legal matters.

“I finally sat down the Gary Trammel and said ‘If you ever want to be county attorney, then you got to help me,’” Ford said. “I kind of bribed him, but he was my biggest helper when it came to knowing the law.”

When Ford ran for re-election, she was not as wealthy as many of the attorney’s she faced, but made it her mission to visit as many homes in Stephens County as possible.

“God wanted me in there for a reason,” Ford said. 

Ford will celebrate her 90th birthday from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23 at the People’s Church 515 N. Graham in Breckenridge. 

Ford said the entire community is invited and enjoy the festivities.

The Breckenridge American

BRECKENRIDGE OFFICE

114 East Elm Street

PO Box 871

Breckenridge, Texas 76424

Phone: (254) 559-5412
Fax: (254) 559-3491