Walter G. Ward Papers

1850, 1893-1915
Manuscript Collection #464
Ward, Walter G., 1878-1961
Physical description
0.22 Cubic Feet, 210 items , consisting of correspondence, receipts, post cards, advertisements, and miscellaneous published materials.
Preferred Citation
Walter G. Ward Papers (#464), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1850, 1893-1915) including correspondence, receipts, post cards, advertisements, references of social activities, letters and miscellaneous.

Biographical/historical information

Walter G. Ward (1878-1961) was one of six children of Joseph and Martha Speight Ward. He attended school in Wilson, where his mother operated Ward's Hotel. By 1897 Ward had taken an accounting position in Spring Hope, N.C. In 1898 he attended Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Ward then took a position as cashier in a bank in Greenville, N.C. In 1907 he returned to Spring Hope, where the following year he married Margarette Morton Dillard. In 1925 Ward, his wife, and two daughters settled in Greenville, where Ward operated a mercantile business and ginned cotton.

Scope and arrangement

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between Ward and family members and friends between 1893 and 1915. Correspondence between Ward and his mother reveals aspects of turn-of-the-century Wilson. Her letters reflect concern at being a widow and trying to raise and educate her sons (Jan. 24, 1897), manage her hotel (Sept. 13, 1898), and operate a farm in the county. References are made to various social activities, including a traveling freak exhibit (Nov. 14, 1897).

Additional correspondence pertains to several educational institutions. Letters of Needham Ward note aspects of life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Of particular interest are references to baseball games (Mar. 21, 1897; Apr. 9, 1897), attitudes of upperclassmen toward freshmen (Sept. 12, 1897), the construction of an Alumni Building (Oct. 24, 1897), the novelty of women in post-graduate work (Oct. 8, 1897), and courses offered (Oct. 8, 1897; Sept. 18, 1898). Also of interest are letters pertaining to N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (Dec. 13, 1893); Massey Business College, Columbus, Georgia (Aug. 4, 1897); and Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (1898).

Miscellaneous correspondence includes a letter from Weigand, Nebraska, describing the climate and topography of the state, crops grown, native trees, and winter blizzards (Feb. 8, 1896). Letters from collectors contain listings of "curiosities" for sale (1894-1896). Also of interest is a letter from the Typewriter Exchange in Chicago, Illinois, which contains samples of typewriter print and their prices (Apr. 5, 1897).

Post cards, including one depicting early twentieth-century Greenville; advertisements; and receipts comprise the collection's miscellaneous items.

Administrative information
Custodial History

March 3, 1983, 155 items; Correspondence (1850, 1895-1908), of Nash County, N.C. resident. Gift of Mr. Willis Stancill, Greenville, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. Willis Stancill

Processing information

Processed by E. Scott, September 1983

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Ward, Walter G., 1878-1961
Corporate Names
Eastman National Business College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Massey Business Colleges
North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
University of North Carolina (1793-1962)
Hotelkeepers--North Carolina--Wilson (Wilson County, N.C.)
Merchants--North Carolina--Greenville
Women--North Carolina--Wilson (Wilson County, N.C.)--Social life and customs--19th century
Women--North Carolina--Wilson (Wilson County, N.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Wilson (Wilson County, N.C.)--Social life and customs--19th century
Wilson (Wilson County, N.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century