Joseph O. Ward

JOSEPH O. WARD, M. D., is a physician and surgeon of Horton whose work and attainments have brought him increasing reputation for skill and ability. Doctor Ward is a native of Kansas, was a successful teacher before he took up his preparation for a medical career, and has been in practice now for almost twenty years.

His father, M. Ward, who is still living at the venerable age of eighty-four, has had a most interesting career and one that has brought him in close contact with pioneer conditions of the Middle West. Born in Ireland in 1833, he came to this country at the age of fourteen. He made the passage across this ocean as a stowaway, and was put off the boat at New York City with only twenty-five cents in his pocket. That was seventy years ago. Time has brought many changes and his has been a record of steadily growing prosperity. He now lives at Larkin, Kansas, and is owner of a body of 900 acres of farming land in that vicinity.

From New York City he journeyed westward to Chicago and still later to St. Joseph, Missouri, and in 1862 became a pioneer at Larkin, Kansas. His main business in Kansas has been farming and stock raising. During the Civil war his Irish ardor prompted him to enlist, but he was rejected as too light for regular military service. However, he managed to get himself enrolled with the Home Guards and helped repel Price's raid in Kansas. Patriotism and Americanism have been matters of intense conviction with him always, and in recent years he has expressed great indignation over what is aptly called hyphenated Americans. He is a democrat, a member of Horton Council No. 834 of the Knights of Columbus, and has always been loyal to the Catholic Church. He married Mary B. Larkin. The Town of Larkin, Kansas, was named in honor of her brother Michael Larkin, a prominent pioneer there. She was born in Ireland in 1841 and died at Larkin in 1913. Among the many successes that have attended the career of M. Ward he deserves credit for rearing a large family and giving them liberal opportunities such as he himself did not have. A brief report of his children is as follows: John, a mail clerk living at Atchison, Kansas; Dr. Joseph O.; George, who has a government position in the Interior Department at Washington; Catherine, unmarried and living on the old home farm; Robert, a farmer at Larkin; Edward, who is reporter on the San Francisco Call at San Francisco, California; Frank, a farmer and auctioneer at Ness City, Kansas; Rutherford, a farmer at Larkin; Harry, a farmer at Mayetta, Kansas.

Dr. Joseph O. Ward was born on the old homestead at Larkin, Kansas, November 3, 1864. As a boy he attended the public schools of that locality, subsequently for three years was a student in the State University at Lawrence, and then entered the State Normal School at Emporia, where he was graduated in 1886. Doctor Ward was a teacher for about ten years. He was principal of the schools at Muscotah, Effingham and Everest for varying lengths of time, and in 1895 took up the study of medicine in the Medical Department of the Kansas University. He was graduated M. D. in 1899, but has never ceased being a thorough and methodical student of everything pertaining to his professional work. In 1912 he took post-graduate work in the University of Kansas, and in 1910 was in the Policlinic of Chicago. Doctor Ward had his first experience in practice at Kansas City, Kansas, where he remained eight months and in November, 1899, removed to Horton, where he has since had a general practice in medicine and surgery. His offices are on East Front Street and he owns a comfortable home on North High Street. For several terms Doctor Ward was health officer of Horton. He is a member of Brown County and the State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association. In a business way he was the first president of the Citizens State Bank of Horton, and was one of the organizers of that institution.

Politically Doctor Ward is a democrat, is a member of the Catholic Church, and his fraternal relations are with Horton Council No. 834, Knights of Columbus, Magic City Camp No. 535, Modern Woodmen of America, Horton Lodge No. 241, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Horton Council No. 37, Knights and Ladies of Security, Kickapoo Tribe No. 28, Improved Order of Red Men, Horton Eyrie Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Mystic Workers and the Royal League.

Doctor Ward married at Larkin, Kansas, in 1893, Miss Grace L. Stoddard, daughter of John and Mattie (Pickett) Stoddard. Her mother is still living, a resident of Muscotah, Kansas. Her father was a farmer but lived retired several years before his death. Doctor and Mrs. Ward have one daughter, Marjorie, who is now a student of music in the noted conservatory of Lindsborg College at Lindsborg, Kansas.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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