Architect and designer William Henry Ford was born in Melbourne, the son of Frederick and Charlotte. He was educated at Scotch College and University of Victoria. He was listed in practice at Coolgardie, Western Australia in 1897. Then in 1898 he formed a partnership with Edwin Summerhayes. He resided in Claremont while he worked with Summerhayes on the Coolgardie Exhibition Building and designed other goldfields buildings. He went to South Africa after the Boer War where he built many churches. He claimed to be the designer of the Coolgardie Safe.