Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


James Ward

[p. 533] a respected citizen of New Castle, formerly engaged to a large extent in the iron manufacturing business but now occupied in acting as attorney for the William H. Brown estate, was born May 17, 1842, in Pittsburg, Pa. He is a son of James Ward and grandson of William Ward. William Ward and his wife Sarah were born in Staffordshire, England. Our subject's father, James Ward, Sr., was born near Dudley, Staffordshire, England; when he was four years old his parents immigrated to Pittsburg, Pa., bringing him with them. His education was limited, and concluded when he was thirteen years old. He then began life's work in earnest, his first vocation being the assisting his father in the manufacture of wrought iron nails. This he continued until the age of nineteen, when he began the study of engineering, and remained in that profession until 1841. In 1842 he moved to Niles, Ohio, and became interested in the rolling mill business, and under the firm name of James Ward & Co. continued to roll metal until his death, July 24, 1864. Even from the time when he was a boy, he was looked upon by the business men as possessing all the elements suitable for the vocation in which he was finally engaged. By his ability and faithfulness to his business he became a man of first rank in his chosen occupation, and filled out such a career as had been predicted of him. He was married in 1853 to Miss Eliza Ditridge, daughter of William and Elizabeth Ditridge, natives of Staffordshire, England. Seven children were born to them, all of whom are dead, excepting James Ward, Jr., the subject of this sketch. He was the first man to practically use pig iron made from raw coal, and was also the first to use black band ore. The furnace built by him in 1859 is still in use. There were none who knew Mr. Ward but respected his name and appreciated his character. Energetic and forceful in business, he also was known for his strict integrity and honorable dealings with whomever he came in contact.

Upon the death of James Ward, Sr., his son, the subject of this sketch, took charge of his business and managed all the iron interests. He built two more mills at Niles, and one at New Philadelphia, Ohio. In 1884 his interests in the iron industry were relinquished, and in 1886 he moved to New Castle as the attorney of the William H. Brown estate, in which capacity he still continued to labor.

Mr. Ward was married in 1863 to lizzie L. Brown, daughter of William, H. Brown of Pittsburg, and they have had a family of six children, namely: James, Jr., now in Pittsburg; William H., also a resident of Pittsburg; Charles S., who died at the age of twenty-one; Mary, who married Jonathan Warner, manager of the Sheet Iron Mill at Strouthers, Ohio; Elizabeth, who died at the age of fourteen years; and a daughter, who died in infancy. We are pleased to be able to present on a previous page a portrait of Mr. Ward, that is an important addition to our pictorial gallery.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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Updated: 14 Jul 2001