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Biography of William Brooks Ward

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William Brooks Ward will be readily called to memory as a leading resident of Plainfield. He was born in Groton, Mass., May 8, 1818, son of William and Rebecca (Barrett) Ward. The father, who was a prosperous farmer in Plainfield, was twice married. His first marriage Rebecca Barrett, and the maiden name of his second wife was Rebecca Boynton. His children, three by each marriage, were: William B., Rebecca, Sarah, Benjamin F., Alfred, and Cyrus. Rebecca married Norman Smith, a tanner of Lempster, N.H., and had two children. All the members of this family are now deceased. Sarah is the wife of George C. Freeman, a successful farmer of Plainfield, and has three children living. Benjamin F. successively married Edna Davis and Lizzie P. Spaulding. His second wife had one son, Fred S., who is a physician in New York. Alfred, who wedded Mary Burnap, of this town, and was a farmer in a Western State, died some two years ago, leaving one child. Cyrus, who formerly conducted a bakery, and retired from active business some time since, wedded Martha Thornton, of Springfield, Vt.

William Brooks Ward was graduated from the Kimball Union Academy. He then engaged in educational work, and taught school in Louisville, Ky., for nine years. Returning to Plainfield, he purchased his father’s farm, in the management of which thereafter he proved himself an industrious and capable farmer. His natural ability and fine scholarly attainments made him especially eligible for the public service. He was a member of the Board of Selectmen for one year. He was several times a candidate for Representative to the legislature, but his party was in the minority. Much interested in military matters, he was Captain of a Plainfield company of militia. An esteemed member of the Baptist church, he sang in the choir for many years. Mr. Ward married Maria P. Fuller, who was born in Plainfield, November 9, 1833. Her education was completed at the Kimball Union Academy, and previous to her marriage she was very successfully engaged in teaching school. She has had six children, as follows: William H., born June 15, 1855; Arthur F., born June 26, 1856; Fred B., born October 3, 1858, who died in infancy; Herbert E., born February 4, 1862; Benjamin F., born February 28, 1865; and Julia M., born March 15, 1872. The five surviving children were educated at the Kimball Union Academy and other well-known schools. William H., who is now a milk dealer in Boston, married Alice Delancey, and has one daughter, Gladys N. Arthur F. resides at the homestead, and carries on the farm. Herbert E., who was graduated from the academy in 1881, after pursuing a course at Eastman’s Business College, Poughkeepsie, taught school for some time, and about ten years ago became an employee in the well-known jewelry store of New York City conducted by the Messrs. Tiffany, where he is now the superintendent. Benjamin F., who was in the meat business, died of consumption, March 29, 1890. Julia M. is now the wife of William H. Skinner, of Windsor, Vt. The father, William Brooks Ward, died September 18, 1892, at the age of seventy-four years.

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