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date: 25 February 2021

Ward, Aaron Montgomerylocked

(17 February 1844?–07 December 1913)
  • Alan R. Raucher


Ward, Aaron Montgomery (17 February 1844?–07 December 1913), mail-order merchant, was born in Chatham, New Jersey, the son of Sylvester A. Ward and Julia Laura Green. When Monty, as he was called, was eight or nine, his father sold the family farm and bought what was advertised as a well-stocked general store in Niles, Michigan, a boom town on the St. Joseph River. But when the family arrived in the town they discovered that the store had no merchandise. While his family had to live in their store, Sylvester Ward worked as a clerk in another shop. To help support the family, Monty quit school at fourteen and went to work for a while in a barrel-stave factory and later in a brickyard. In 1861 he moved to nearby St. Joseph, a larger and flourishing port town on Lake Michigan, and found work in a general store for $5 a month and board; three years later he became its manager at a salary of $100 a month....

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