Lewis M. Ward Glass-plate negatives,   circa 1905
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History

Biography:

Lewis Maxwell (Max) Ward was born on October 9, 1881, in Isabella County, Michigan,, the eldest of seven children born to Henry Edward Ward and Clara Rosanna Hager Ward. Max and his brothers and sisters grew up on their father’s farm just east of the Deerfield Township town, then known as Caldwell, on the River Road. Henry Ward’s farm was known as Cherry Hill Farm according to the 1915 Plat Book of Isabella County, Deerfield Twp., Section 5. Today it is a faded little settlement known as Two Rivers, close to the confluence of the Chippewa River and the small Coldwater River.

When still young, Max saved his money and bought a camera. He went all over his neighborhood taking photographs of people and places. He photographed life on the farm; harvest, horses, cattle, and sheep. He documented the raising of barns and captured proud residents and their homes. He traveled to New York (State) to visit relatives and photographed Niagara Falls. He later took photographs of his children and family gatherings.

The Ward Brothers, Max, Clayton, Charles, and Martin, grew up and learned farming skills on their father’s farm. They had three sisters: Ethel, who died in childhood; Bertha; and Celia.

Max married Carrie Louisa Vowles on September 15, 1910. The Vowles were neighbors who lived just a mile east of the Wards on the Will Vowles Farm, Section 9. Max and Carrie farmed there for 50 years. Carrie died on November 6, 1961. Max died on August 23, 1972, less than two months shy of his 91st birthday. Both are buried in the Vowles family plot in Riverside Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. (This information is from donor.)