Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Gerrit S. Ward Family Papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Gerrit S. Ward Family Papers,
Creator: Ward, Gerrit S.
Inclusive dates: 1820, 1965, and undated
Extent: 2.5 cubic ft. (in 4 boxes)
Abstract:
The papers include papers of Charles O. and Gerrit S.Ward, and the Ward and Ely families.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160
Email: clarke@cmich.edu
Website: http://clarke.cmich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 1001, 1164, 1302

Access Restrictions:

Gerrit S. Ward Family Papers are open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Gerrit S. Ward Family Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement

The collection is organized alphabetically by the name of the creator or miscellaneous, then alphabetically and chronologically.


History

Biography:

Gerrit Smith Ward was born in Floyd, New York, on July 9, 1842, the last of five children born to Austin and Phila Clark Ward. Austin’s older brother, Sardis Ward (1796-1874), had a daughter, Anna, who married Isaac Pierce. Pierce was a partner in the firm of Pierce, Hall, and Ward in Alma, Michigan. Gerrit moved to Alma before the Civil War to help his cousin.

Gerrit was commissioned as a Sergeant of Company A of the 144th New York Volunteer Regiment on October 30, 1862. On December 8, 1863, he was appointed Chief Principal Musician of the same regiment. On June 25, 1865, he was honorably discharged at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

On October 21, 1869, Gerrit married (Mary) Josephine Ely (April 7, 1853-December 9, 1939) in Alma, the daughter of Brigadier General and Michigan State Senator Ralph Ely (1819-1883) of Alma, whose papers are also housed at the Clarke Historical Library. Together Gerrit and Josephine had two children, Sarah Louise Ward (November 25, 1871-May 22, 1953) and Charles Ogden Ward (June 28, 1875-June 1, 1962). Sarah later married Walter C. Edwards (died May 23, 1940), with whom she had four children, Kathleen (November 5, 1904- ), Louis (January 3, 1907- ), Ruth (June 28-August 17, 1909), and Marjorie (August 16, 1917- ).

Gerrit worked as a cashier at the First State Bank of Alma, 1880-1883. He became a co-partner of the reorganized bank under the firm of W. S. [William Sisson] Turck and Company. In 1902, he resigned due to his health. In 1913, he was elected president, a position he held until his death in 1916.

In 1899, Gerrit served as Director of the Valley Telephone Company. He owned some Tennessee mines in conjunction with W. O. Johnson, J. O. Lumsden, F. H. Hamblin, E. B. Green, and H. J. Ward, 1886-1887. With his son, Charles, Gerrit, H. A. Edwards, and W. C. Edwards were involved with the Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company of Roanoke, North Carolina, 1907-1912. Gerrit also owned timberlands in Arkansas (1892) and land in Montcalm County, Michigan.

Gerrit died on June 9, 1916. He was survived by his wife, Josephine, who died on December 9, 1939.

Charles Ogden Ward (June 28, 1875-June 1, 1962) married Della Lucinda Sigsby (died March 21, 1963) on April 21, 1903 at Alma. Together, they had two children: Don Gerrit Ward (August 13, 1906-April 4, 1907) and Hugh Ely Ward (December 9, 1908- ).

During the Spanish-American War, he was appointed Chief Musician (cornet) of the 35th Michigan Volunteers on July 25, 1898. He was mustered out on March 31, 1899.

Charles worked as an assistant cashier (1902-1904) at the First Bank of Alma. He later served as Treasurer of the Roanoke Rapids Manufacturing Company, 1911-1912. Charles then became a real estate developer. In 1916, he joined two other men in forming the Michigan Avenue Heights subdivision of Pine River Township (Michigan) and Alma. The goal of the corporation was to buy, plat, and sell land in the subdivision. In 1920, he became a co-partner with three other men in forming the Shadow Lawn Realty Company in Alma, to buy, re-plat, and sell land in the old Fairground Plat subdivision in Alma’s Pine River Township. (This information for both men is from the collection.)


Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes genealogical materials for the Ward and Ely families of Alma, Michigan; Ward family photographs (19th-20th centuries), including some of Charles O. Ward in uniform and in local bands. The materials of Gerrit S. Ward include correspondence to/from Gerrit S. Ward to/from family, 1860-1897, and about his various business interests including banking, mines, and timberlands, 1886-1916; deeds and correspondence to Alma and Montcalm County lands, 1883-1911; Gerrit S. Ward’s estate records, 1916-1917 (copy, 1940); an annual report of the First Bank of Alma (illustrated with pictures of the bank and its staff and officers), 1916; legal papers, mostly regarding land, 1886-1910; Civil War artifacts and pension materials, 1862-1928; miscellaneous; and correspondence re: the Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company, 1907-1910.

Materials for Charles O. Ward include Spanish-American War military certificates, 1898-1899; correspondence, mostly between Charles and Gerrit S. or Hugh E. Ward, 1898-1960; and numerous deeds and related legal papers concerning his real estate businesses in Alma, 1887-1961.

The materials of Josephine Ely Ward include correspondence, 1916-1917; estate records, 1940; and the Ely family genealogy.

Also included is an 1820 certificate of military appointment for Sardis Ward as a cornet player for the 6th New York Cavalry.

Two Oversized scrapbooks complete the collection. Volume 1, 1885-1961, mostly consists of newspaper clippings on the Spanish-American War, 1898. It includes telegrams about Charles O. Ward’s health and hospitalization at St. Joseph’s hospital in Philadelphia, November 1898, with typhoid. Telegrams were sent between T.S. Ward, G.S. Ward, Charles Spicer, Sarah Ward, and Josie Ward.

Scrapbook Volume 2, 1885-1941, includes many articles on Charles O. Ward and his wife, and the Ely and Ward families. Two memorial booklets for William Sisson Turck, (August 7, 1839-September 19, 1912), Mason, Major of the 26th Michigan Infantry Regiment, Alma Supervisor, County Treasurer, Michigan Representative, President of Alma, and member of the Board of Managers of the Michigan Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids are also included. Volume 2 also contains an Alma College commencement program, June 22, 1888; Hugh Ward’s recital program, 1918; and a memorial resolution from the Alma Order of the Eastern Star for Electra Brewbaker (died November 20, 1932 at age 81).

Both scrapbooks are quite acidic, but Volume 2 is very acidic, fragile, with detached covers and spine.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Ward, Gerrit S.
    • Ward, Charles O.
    • Ward, Josephine Ely.
    • Ward, Sardis.
    • Turck, William S.
    • Ward family.
    • Ely family.
    • Valley Telephone Company.
    • Shadow Lawn Realty Company.
    • First State Bank of Alma.
    • Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company (N.C.)
    • United States. Continental Army. New York Cavalry, 6th (1820)
    • United States. Continental Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 144th (1862-1865)
    • United States. Continental Army. Michigan Infantry regiment, 35th (1898)
    • Mineral industries--Tennessee.
    • Land subdivision--Michigan--Alma.
    • Soldiers--Michigan--Correspondence.
    • Mines and mineral resources--Tennessee.
    • Spanish-American War, 1898--Sources.
    • Alma (Mich.)--History.
    • Alma (Mich.)--Genealogy.
    • Gratiot County (Mich.)--History.
    • Gratiot County (Mich.)--Genealogy.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Gerrit S. Ward Family Papers are open for research. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Genealogical Materials, Ely Family Tree, 1956, 1965, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Genealogical Materials, Certificates and Ward Family Tree, 1868-1926, undated
    Box   1 F   3
    Genealogical Materials, Funeral Cards and Newspaper Clippings (Copies), 1903-1957, undated
    Box   1 F   4
    Charles O. Ward, Certificates, Military, 1898-1899
    Box   1 F   5
    Charles O. Ward, Correspondence to/from C. O. W., 1898-1960 (Scattered)
    Box   1 F   6
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Binkowski Land [Riverview, Lots 13-14], 1951-1961
    Box   1 F   7
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Butcher Land [E 2 Lots 4-5], 1945-1950
    Box   1 F   8
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Derushia Land [Elmwood Park Subdivision, Lots 1-192], 1916-1922 (Scattered)
    Box   1 F   9
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Hole Land [Rt. SW of NE 3-11-3], 1887-1938
    Box   1 F   10
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Kingsbury Land [SW 3 Section 35], 1911-1918
    Box   1 F   11
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Michigan Avenue Heights Subdivision, 1916-1940 (Scattered)
    Box   1 F   12
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Riverview Addition, Alma, 1917
    Box   1 F   13
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Shadow Lawn Realty Company, 1917
    Box   1 F   14
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Turck Land [Riverview, Lots 17, 32, 65], 1917-1953 (Scattered)
    Box   1 F   15
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Wagner Land [Lot 5, Block, 3], 1916-1939 (Scattered)
    Box   1 F   16
    Charles O. Ward, Deeds and Related Legal Papers re: Watkins Land [S. 23, Lot 3, Block 28], 1950, 1952
    Box   2 F   1
    Gerrit S. Ward, Certificates, Military and Pension, 1862-1928
    Box   2 F   2
    Gerrit S. Ward, Correspondence to/from G.S. W., 1860-1897
    Box   2 F   3
    Gerrit S. Ward, Correspondence to/from First Bank of Alma, 1893-1916
    Box   2 F   3
    Gerrit S. Ward, Correspondence to/from Tennessee Mines (To G.S.W. and H.F. Hamblin), 1886
    Box   2 F   4
    Gerrit S. Ward, Correspondence to/from Tennessee Mines (To G.S.W.), 1887, 1898
    Box   2 F   5
    Gerrit S. Ward, Correspondence to/from Timberlands in Arkansas, 1892
    Box   2 F   5
    Gerrit S. Ward, Deeds re: Hattie E. Nesbitt Land (Alma Building and Loan Association), 1890-1896
    Box   2 F   6
    Gerrit S. Ward, Deeds re: Kress Addition to Alma, 1886-1911
    Box   2 F   7
    Gerrit S. Ward, Deeds re: Montcalm County Land, 1883-1906
    Box   2 F   8
    Gerrit S. Ward, Deeds and Correspondence re: Faughner Mill Property of Gerrit S. Ward, 1897-1900
    Box   2 F   9
    Gerrit S. Ward, Drawing of Tennessee Mining Property (on back of map of S.W. Railway System, 1883, in 2 pieces), circa 1887?
    Box   2 F   10
    Gerrit S. Ward, Estate Records (Death Certificate, Probated WIll),1916-1917 (Copy, 1940), 1940
    Box   2 F   11
    Gerrit S. Ward, First State Bank, Alma (Annual Report, 1916, Illustrated), 1880-1916
    Box   2 F   12
    Gerrit S. Ward, Legal Notes, undated
    Box   2 F   13
    Gerrit S. Ward, Legal Papers, Miscellaneous, 1899, 1910
    Box   2 F   14
    Gerrit S. Ward, Legal Papers, re: Chandler Farm Sales, 1900-1902
    Box   2 F   15
    Gerrit S. Ward, Legal Papers, re: Tennessee Mines, 1886-1887
    Box   2 F   16
    Gerrit S. Ward, Passes to Senate and House of Representatives, December 8, 1898
    Box   2 F   17
    Gerrit S. Ward, Roanoke to Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company, Records of G.S. Ward, 1907-1910
    Box   2 F   18
    Gerrit S. Ward, Roanoke to Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company, Records of C.O. Ward, 1911-1912
    Box   2 F   19
    Josephine Ely Ward, Correspondence, 1916-1917
    Box   2 F   20
    Josephine Ely Ward, Estate Records (Probated Will), 1940
    Box   3 F   1
    Miscellaneous, Certificate, Military, of Sardis Ward, 1820
    Box   3 F   2
    Miscellaneous, Photographs, Charles O. Ward, undated (19th-20th Centuries)
    Box   3 F   3
    Miscellaneous, Photographs, Della Sigsby Ward, undated (19th-20th Centuries)
    Box   3 F   4
    Miscellaneous, Photographs, Gerrit S. Ward, undated (19th-20th Centuries)
    Box   3 F   5
    Miscellaneous, Photographs, Hugh Ely Ward, undated (19th-20th Centuries)
    Box   3 F   6
    Miscellaneous, Photographs, Josephine Ely Ward, undated (19th-20th Centuries)
    Box   3 F   7
    Miscellaneous, Photographs, Ward family (Groups), undated (19th-20th Centuries)
    Box   4 F   1
    Ward family, loose Scrapbook materials, 1885, 1961
    Box   4 F   2
    Ward family, Scrapbook Volume 1 (smaller), 1885-1961
    Box   4 F   3
    Ward family, Scrapbook Volume 2 (larger), 1885-1941