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Ward, Lester Frank (18 June 1841–18 April 1913), sociologist and geologist, was born in Joliet, Illinois, the son of Justus Ward, a mechanic, and Silence Loomis Rolph. His father was inventive as well as entrepreneurial and obtained contracts to build some of the locks on the canal that later would become part of the canal system connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River. Ward spent his childhood working, roving, and playing along the banks of the Des Plaines and Fox rivers in Illinois, moving with his family to new mill sites. This was still frontier country, and he was able to get only fragments of formal schooling. At the age of eleven he worked at the sawmill near the village of St. Charles....