HARRY B. WARD
is the able and efficient postmaster of DuQuoin, having held this position through the official lives of three presidents. He is a native of the city of DuQuoin, having been born in this city on the 30th of July, 1871. He received his education in the public schools, later attending the Illinois College at Jacksonville, and completing his studies with a business course in Bryant and Stratton's Business College in St. Louis.
The active business career of Harry Ward began when he entered the employ of the Blakeslee Manufacturing Company of DuQuoin, as book-keeper and cashier. Later he went into business with his father, operating a retail shoe store. It was while he was interested in this that he first got a taste for politics. He was nominated by the Republican party in Perry county for representative to the lower house of the Fortieth General Assembly in 1896 and was elected on the ticket with President McKinley. He served one term in this law-making body. This election had the effect of giving him recognition later as one of the party managers in his county. In 1900 he was chosen chairman of the county central committee and has filled that post continuously ever since. In 1898 his faithful services were recognized in his appointment by President McKinley as postmaster.
Mr. Ward is a son of the late teacher and successful educator, John B. Ward, who died in DuQuoin, in July, 1908. The latter was born in Caynga county, New York, in July, 1836. His parents moved to Clermont county, Ohio, when he was a small child and he grew up there. His father was Alva Ward, who spent most of his life in the mercantile business, dying at DuQuoin at the age of sixty-nine years. His mother was Miss Priscilla Branch and John B. was one of their family of seven children.
John B. Ward lived in the days when a college education was a rarity in his section of the country, and he secured the more advanced parts of his education by delving into the books for himself. He was
a man of close application and possessed the ability to concentrate his mind on the subject in hand, both attributes of the true student, and his years of study resulted in giving him a wide knowledge of many subjects and a firm grasp on the relative values of things. When he was twenty-two years old he began his pedagogical career, entering upon the work with greater vigor and enthusiasm. He came to Illinois in 1858. In 1861 he was chosen principal of the DuQuoin schools. He remained in this position for some thirty years, his administration being most efficient and his patrons most appreciative, which is evinced by the “John B. Ward” school building, standing as a monument to his loyal service and in a local way doing honor to his memory. The people may rest assured that in no cither way would John B. Ward have felt more fully repaid, for the advancement of the cause of education lay close to his heart. He was a Republican, but had little active interest in politics, his sole official counection with the party being in the capacity of county superintendent of schools, which office he held for three successive terms.