The gentle town of Dearborn is misnamed. I propose that the city be re-named Henry Ford, MI as recognition of the contributions of Henry Ford to the nation and in particular to our city.
Instead, we have our city named after someone who never heard of it let alone ever stepped foot in it, General Henry Dearborn. Now he was a righteous dude, I will grant you and served our country well in the Revolutionary War and with a lot less distinction in the War of 1812, when he was basically fired from his position.
Now comes a true giant in American history, a man born within the city limits of our town, who built a mammoth enterprise here, kept it here and built his own family home at Fairlane.
Henry Ford changed America from this very spot. He was one of us. He lived among us and his company provided a tax base that any city would die for. Henry Ford's company provided excess funds for Camp Dearborn and a multitude of city services. Henry Ford's company donated land to all of us, the land of my high school, Edsel Ford, of which I was in the first graduating class. Henry Ford built that enterprise right here, a car company that needed no government bail out and a company that provided good jobs at the famous Rouge plant and today still headquarters itself at its Central Staff Building and other buildings that house engineering, styling, test track and divisional HQ's. He provided funds for one of the greatest museums in the world - the Henry Ford and Greenfield Village and these bring thousands of tourists every year to see these attractions and to begin a trip to see an automotive assembly plant.
Henry Ford had defects—so did General Dearborn. Henry Ford was an anti-Semite. He discovered very late the nature of the swine, Hitler, but he also produced a plant that produced over 400 B-24's/month in 1944 that help prompt Hitler to place pistol to his temple.
The name Henry Ford means something. Henry Ford means something to us, the people who live in his town, the people who work in and visit his town and yes, even to people like me who grew up here and moved away. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Henry Ford made this town.
This, the town of his birth and death, the town of people he loved. This most important person, a person who brought the automobile within range of everyone and a living wage to all who worked for him. The man who showed the world what modern manufacturing could attain lifting the living standards of millions.
This town is Henry Ford, Michigan. Leverage that name and let everyone know where he came from, what he did and what they can still see of the America he helped build in the Twentieth Century. Let the people debate this idea. Let them vote on it. Let them live in Henry Ford, Michigan. It is a proud name. It is an important name. It is our name. Henry Ford, Michigan, USA.