Seabury Ford was born in 1801 in Connecticut. His primary education was undertaken by his mother in their home. At the age of 15, Ford was sent to public school. At the age of 18 Ford went to the "Academy", and in the period of two years he was ready for college. In 1821, he began his college career at Yale and graduated in 1825. He later studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1827. Ford moved to Ohio in 1835 and was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1841. Seabury Ford was elected to the governorship of Ohio in 1848.
John Henry Witt (Witte) was born in Indiana near the Ohio River town of Dublin, and during his youth worked as a machinist and Wagon Painter for his uncle's agricultural supply firm. Witt relocated to Columbus after a time of study with J.O. Eaton in Cincinnati, the year was 1862. J.O. Eaton had gained the reputation of being one of the most talented figures and portrait painting. John Witt was a very active artist in the Central Ohio, painting portraits of many of the leading families therein. He also was a noteworthy teacher, his students included some of the foremost regional artists of the day. Silas Martin, James Mosure, and Philip Clover were some of the standouts. Witt took an active role in the affairs of the Capitol city and is the artist of record for a significant number of the Ohio governor's portraits in this collection. The year 1873 finds Witt in Washington painting portraits of General Sherman, Senator Sherman, Judge Swayne, and Charles Sumner. He was a member of the Literary Club of Washington, D.C. In 1878 he moved to New York City where he was met with great success, becoming one of the top society artists of the day. Witt was enrolled as an associate member of the New York Academy of Art in 1887.