Ford's family moved to western New York in the 1780s. He attended Fairfield Seminary, studied law with Gaylord Griswold and Simeon Ford, was admitted to the bar in 1809, and commenced practice in Fairfield.
Ford was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Sixteenth United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1819, to March 3, 1821. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law, and also served in the judicial position of Master in Chancery. He was a Trustee of the Village of Watertown in 1827 and also served as District Attorney of Jefferson County.
He moved to Sackets Harbor in 1830, and died there on October 1, 1833. He was buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Sackets Harbor.
- United States Congress. "William Donnison Ford (id: F000269)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- William Donnison Ford at Find a Grave
- The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 70, 190, 192, 274; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
David A. Ogden
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from New York's 18th congressional district