Births Deaths Marriages, Land, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina

Dr. Ward’s empire.

Wilson_Advance__8_22_1889_DGW_Ward_estate_land_sale

Wilson Advance, 22 August 1889.

The Civil War set Dr. David G.W. Ward back, but not for long. When he died in 1887, he stood possessed of more than 1900 acres in Wilson and Greene Counties.

[As an aside, Ward’s administrator, Frederick A. Woodard, was elected Democratic Congressman to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1892. He lost his bid for re-election to George H. White, a visionary African-American who was the last black Southerner elected to Congress until the post-Civil Rights era. I attended a middle school named for Woodard.]

[As another aside — literally — I think it’s safe to say that Sarah Ward’s children received nothing from the doctor’s estate.]

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North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Dr. Joseph H. Ward

Pretty excited about this:

Wilson County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Blog

Lisa Henderson programOn Tuesday October 28 a local genealogy phenom (although she is now a lawyer in Atlanta) will present her findings on Dr. Joseph H. Ward, an African American doctor who was born in Wilson in 1870.   Although he began his life in Wilson, a place that at the time had few prospects for an African Americans, by the 1890’s he was in Indianapolis practicing medicine as a licensed physician.  Come and listen to Lisa tell how she untangled the complicated history of his life and family.

In the mean time get absorbed in her brilliant blog about the history and genealogy of the free and enslaved persons of color in North Carolina, Scuffalong: Genealogy

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Business, Newspaper Articles, Paternal Kin

Dr. Ward’s commendable enterprise.

In which we learn that “among the many enterprises which have come into life in this community, and which are doing as much so much to uplift the race, by giving employment to Colored youth; and by establishing ideals to which they may attain, none has been of better purpose than that recent established in our midst by our fellow-townsman, Dr. J.H. Ward.”

JH Ward Ind Recorder 8 7 1909The Recorder, Indianapolis, 7 August 1909.

 

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Births Deaths Marriages, Education, Migration, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

The rise of the Grand Chancellor; or “There was something unusual in that green looking country boy.”

In which the Indianapolis Freeman enlightens us regarding Joseph H. Ward‘s journey from Wilson, North Carolina, to Naptown:

Joseph H Ward Grand Chancellor Ind Freeman 7 22 1899

Joseph Ward early years 7 22 1899 Ind Freeman_Page_1

Joseph Ward early years 7 22 1899 Ind Freeman_Page_2

Joseph Ward early years 7 22 1899 Ind Freeman_Page_3

Indianapolis Freeman, 22 July 1899.

A few notes:

  • Joseph Ward’s mother might have been too poor to send him to school, but his father Napoleon Hagans, had he chosen to acknowledge him, certainly could have, as he sent his “legitimate” sons to Howard University.
  • The school in LaGrange at which he worked was most likely Davis Military Academy:  “By 1880 a second school for boys … Davis Military Academy, was founded by Colonel Adam C. Davis. “School Town” became La Grange’s nickname as the military school would eventually have an enrollment of 300 students from every state and even some foreign countries. The school also had a band, the only cadet orchestra in the country during that time. The school prospered, but an outbreak of meningitis closed it in 1889.”
  • Dr. George Hasty was a founder of the Physio-Medical College of Indianapolis, which Joseph Ward later attended.
  • Joseph graduated from High School No. 1, later known as Shortridge, an integrated institution.
  • A “tour of the south”? Really?
  • Do student records exist from the Physio-Medical College? The school closed in 1909.
  • Joseph’s first wife was Mamie I. Brown, an Indiana-born teacher. The 20 October 1900 issue of the Indianapolis Recorder reported: “Mrs. Mamie Ward, through her attorney O.V. Royal, was granted a divorce from her husband, Dr. J.H. Ward, in the Superior Court no. 1, and her maiden name was restored. Both parties are well known in society circles.” Four years later, Joseph married Zella Locklear.
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Business, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

What is Anti-Kink?

 

Gboro_Weekly_Argus_4_5_1900_Anti_Kink

Goldsboro Weekly Argus, 5 April 1900.

Mercifully, I didn’t find a single relative of mine among folk giving testimonials for Smith’s Anti-Kink. (However, on a very different note, Dr. Joseph H. Ward, son of Napoleon Hagans and first cousin of my great-great-great-grandmother Louvicey Artis Aldridge, was the personal physician to Madame C. J. Walker, pioneer of the modern cosmetics industry. See A’Lelia Bundles’ engaging On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker for details of Walker and Ward’s relationship.)

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Enslaved People, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Appie Ward Hagans.

I’ve talked all around Apsilla (or, perhaps, Apsaline) “Appie” Ward Hagans here and here and here. So here she is:

Aspilla Ward Hagans

Appie and her twin Mittie Roena Ward were born 19 April 1849 near Stantonsburg, Wilson County, to David G.W. Ward and Sarah Ward, an enslaved woman. They likely spent their early years in and around this house. How and when Appie met her husband, Napoleon Hagans, who lived in northeast Wayne County perhaps 7 miles from the Ward plantation, is unknown. I have not located their marriage license. Appie and Napoleon had two sons, Henry Edward Hagans (1868-1926) and William Scarlett Hagans (1869-1946).

Appie left little trace in official records, appearing in two census enumerations and on a couple of deeds with her husband. She died 12 April 1895 and is buried near their home in northern Wayne County.

Photo courtesy of William E. Hagans.

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Enslaved People, Land, North Carolina, Other Documents, Photographs

Dr. Ward’s house. And me.

After my recent rediscovery of a Confederate map that revealed the locations of several plantations significant to my genealogical research, I began searching for more information about John Lane, Silas Bryant and David G.W. Ward‘s landholdings. Pretty quickly, I found a link to a copy of a nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places Inventory, submitted for the Ward-Applewhite-Thompson house near Stantonsburg, North Carolina. This Greek Revival house, dating back to about 1859, was owned and occupied by several of the area’s leading planters — including “country doctor” D.G.W. Ward, who purchased it in 1857 — and it and its outbuildings are little changed from their antebellum forms.

As I read the detailed architectural description of the house and its setting, a tiny kernel of recognition began to form in the back of my mind. A big, white, two-story house? Set well back from the road? Just outside Stantonsburg? Could it …?

I scoured the maps attached to the nomination form, trying to lay them over the current topography. State Road 1539 … that would be Sand Pit Road today …  just east of a fork in the road and just north of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad (which was not there in Ward’s time) … and there it is, just like I remember.

sand pit road

Yes. Like I remember.

I’ve BEEN in this house. Many times, though long ago.

Growing up, my sister and I were very close to my father’s sister’s daughters. Our local family was quite small, but my cousin’s father came from a big family with deep Wilson County roots. Her grandmother had nearly a dozen siblings — whom we also called “aunt” and “uncle” — and we were often invited to attend their family gatherings. I remember best the delectable Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners gathered around tables groaning with food, but there were also the annual 4th of July family reunions at Aunt Minnie’s out in the country near Stantonsburg. The Barneses were tenant farmers for an absentee landowner and rented his large two-story house. We’d pull off the road into a sandy circular drive and park under the trees alongside cars with New York and New Jersey plates. I vividly remember my cousin’s great-uncles and cousins tending a barbecue pit in which a split pig roasted, chickens strutting among them.  A screened side porch protected platter after platter of home-grown, home-cooked goodness.  My memories of the interior of the house are vague: a central staircase, two large front rooms, the kitchen in back. (The staircase I remember mostly because, carefully tending a tall glass of lemonade, I missed a riser and slid down their length, smacking my ribcage against the steps and knocking the wind out of myself.)

I couldn’t believe it. It is exciting enough to identify D.G.W. Ward’s house and find that it is still standing, but to realize that I knew the house at which Appie and Mittie Ward had lived and worked as the enslaved children of their own father was uncanny.

IMG_4960Ward-Applewhite-Thompson House today.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2014.

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