Thomas Jefferson Ward
Thomas Jefferson Ward (1833-1921) was born in Alabama, the son of Thomas Henry and Edna (Pool) Ward. He was in Greene County, Ark., (now Clay) at least by the late 1860s when his first child was born. He seems to have been skipped on the 1870 Census, and is first recorded in 1880. He was first married to Martha Jane Meharg and had these children—Martha Elizabeth 1867, Mary Sarah 1869, Louisa Jane 1871, Minnie Gertrude 1872, George Edward Culine 1874 and Dottie Lee Ward 1876. (The children are being named with each marriage, according to the dates of the marriages.)
Thomas Jefferson Ward's second marriage was to Mrs. Josephine (Winford) Keller in 1879 and her children were-Thomas Benjamin Ezekiel Ward 1879, Kattie Rosetta 1880, Effie Ellen 1882, Bessie Atwood Ward 1884, Georgia Ann Victoria 1886, John J. Ward 1886, Mattie Birdie 1887, Jonathan Jefferson 1888 and James Madison Ward 1890. Josephine had been married to a Keller and had these children-Martha Birdie Keller 1874, Joseph Pinkington 1875, Pinkney 1877-1880) and James Madison Keller 1877.
Thomas Jefferson Ward's third marriage was to M. Martin, 22, of Dexter, Stoddard County, Mo., as recorded in the Piggott Courthouse, Feb. 26, 1901. (Other marriage records likely burned in the courthouse fire of 1893). Tom at this time was 66.
Thomas Jefferson Ward's fourth marriage was to Mrs. Ida May (Gassaway) Gaulden (1878-1930) and they had no children. She had a child by her first marriage, William “Willie” Lee Gaulden (1901-1974). She later married Robert J. Williams in Piggott on July 26, 1923. She is buried in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
T.J. Ward, whose wife was Ida M. Ward, of Clay County, Ark., applied for a Civil War pension from Clay County and was approved on Aug. 7, 1916. He had served with the 6th Alabama Infantry, Company H. He was a soldier under Jackson and Lee. He died April 3, 1921. Dr. Simmons verified that he had two gunshot wounds, one of the abdomen and one in the arm. Proof of indigence was given by G.W. Ferguson, Howard Allen, M.L. McCrady and W.B. McCrady. Proof of service was given by E.E. Magourik of Holcomb, Mo. Ida applied for a pension in 1922.
The Rector Vitascope ran a picture of Thomas Jefferson Ward sometime in the early 1900s and stated that he lived two and one-half miles from Rector. He came from his native state of Alabama and settled on his present quarter section 47 years ago. The land cost him $400 and is now worth in the neighborhood of $16,000. In his home there have been born 21 children, 20 of them in one house. Three times he has been married (another time after the article was written), and the 21 children—13 of whom are still living, and 11 married, are the children of two women. He had grown his own children, grandchildren, and others, in all 35, to grown manhood and womanhood.
Information was only found for some of the children and they are named as follows-
Mary Sarah Ward (1860-) married John W. Longworth in February of 1893 in Hot Springs, Garland County, Ark., and they had seven children. Mary was listed as a widow on the 1930 Census.
Louisa Jane Ward (1871-1920) married Martin Luther Byers and they had seven children. She is buried in Pemiscot County, Mo.
Minnie Gertrude Ward (1872-1942) married W.W. Cowns, George E. Myers, Joe Fred Harris and C.J. Southern. She had several children and is buried in Kennett, Mo.
Georgia Ann Victoria Ward (1886-1964) married William Edward Berry in February of 1903, in Clay County, and they had nine children. She is also buried in Kennett, Mo.
Dollie Lee Ward (1876-1947) married Edgar Adam Nichols and had eight children. She is buried in Hot Springs, Ark.
Katie A. Ward (1880-) married W.J. Lancaster in Clay County and they had Homer F., Ethel, Sterling and Thomas.
Effie Ellen Ward (1882-1964) married Fred G. Holcomb in 1901; Cyrus W. Kemper in 1906 in Michigan; and Reuben Jury in 1943, also in Michigan. Children by Holcomb were Jennie J. and Clarence A. Holcomb. She was buried in Michigan.
Bessie Atwood Ward (1884-1965) never married and lived with different family members. She is also buried in Kennett, Mo.