William Ward was born on March 19, 1886 in Illinois to Martha Bloodworth and Burrell F Ward.
In the 1900 Census he is living with his family in Goreville, Johnson County, Illinois.
In the 1910 Census he is a 24 year old man living in Stokes, Union County, Illinois.
On February 2, 1911 he married Zora Catherine Smith in Pleasant Grove, Illinois. Zora's 1 year old son, Doyle, took the last name of Ward. Zora and William added 6 more children to their family.
In the 1920 Census the family is living in Perks, Pulaski County, Illinois.
Ward, William, 38, able to read and write, born in IL, farm laborer, renting a home
, Zora C, wife, 27, able to read and write, born in IL
, Doyle J, son, 9, attended school
, Edith M, daughter, 7, attended school
, William E, son, 6, attended school
, Levi P, son, 4,
, Flora C, daughter, 2
, Lendel A, son, 5 months
All of the children had been born in Illinois.
Note: Sometimes the "Z" in Zora is transcribed as a "C" for Cora.
In the 1930 Census the family is living in Anna, Union County, Illinois. Not much had changed. He was still worked as a farm laborer and she kept house.
Ward, Will, 44
, Zora, 39
, Doyle, 19
, Edith, 17
, Earl, 16
, Paul, 15
, Flora, 12
, Lindle, 8
, Dolly, 6
, Lavern, 4
Note: Zora's name is transcribed as "Jora." Doyle's name is transcribed as "Dagh."
On August 18, 1955 he died in Cairo, Illinois. He and Zora were living in Olmstead, Illinois. According to his daughter, William was hit on the head by a Mr Harner ( a pastor) because they had a disagreement over a rose bush. There was also a disagreement among William's children about if there should be an investigation. According to several sources and family lore, Doyle's sibling decided that since he wasn't really his son that his vote did not count. In an interview with his granddaughter in 2002 she said she never knew who said this about Doyle and it was quietly hushed up. She believes all of the brothers/sisters looked up to Doyle, because he was the oldest. They all attended his funeral in 1972. To my understanding there was not an investigation but I have not looked for any records.
William is buried in McGinnis Cemetery, Union County, Illinois.
resources: census records, marriage records, gravestone, interview and email with daughter D. Mitchell and granddaughters L. Miller and D. Moreno