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WARD, David [1822-1900] -- American timber baron

Relationship to me: 6C6
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Self-made millionaire. Born in 1822 in Essex County, New York, Ward moved with his family in 1836 to a farm on the St. Clair River near Newport, Michigan, and spent the next thirteen years working at a variety of jobs while recovering from respiratory ailments. Trained by his father as a surveyor, he used his skill to benefit himself and others, laying claims to the best stands of Michigan pine as soon as they became available. By the late 1850s, he had run his own lumbering operation in Sumner township on the Pine River (where he served as town supervisor), and set up residence in Saginaw with his wife, Elizabeth Perkins Ward, and their children. In 1863, when his vigorous prosecution of "log thieves" caused his children to be harassed, the family moved to a farm at Orchard Lake (Oakland County), near Pontiac, and lived there year-round until business responsibilities obliged them to winter in Detroit. From this new base, Ward began lumbering on the Tobacco and Chippewa rivers and, later, the Manistee. He expanded his forest holdings in Wisconsin as well as the Upper Peninsula and served for two years as president of the First National Bank of Pontiac. During the 1870s and 1880s, Ward traveled extensively, describing his impressions of West Coast forests, and journeying to the Southern Appalachian region where he purchased land containing forests and coal and iron deposits. He also purchased extensive stands of California redwood. In his later years, he continued to make trips into the woods and actively supervised such operations as grading railroad beds for lumber transport. Throughout his career, Ward had to contend with sharp business practices and unscrupulous associates -- some within his family. [American Memory]  -30-
 

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