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Durbin Ward

Contributor::

Transcription contributed by Vivian Combs Moon 31 August 2003

Sources:
The History of Warren County Ohio
Part V. Biographical Sketches
Turtlecreek Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)
Related Links:
Biography Page, Lebanon Gazette Obituary, "History Of Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry" article by Dallas Bogan

Page
787

DURBIN WARD, lawyer, Lebanon. This distinguished lawyer and soldier was born at Augusta, Ky., Feb. 11, 1819. He is of English and Welsh extraction, his father and grandfather were both in the war of 1812, and his mother, Rebecca Patterson, was a daughter of a soldier in the same war. He was named in honor of Rev. Dr. Durbin, the distinguished Methodist preacher, who was a school mate of his mother's. When Durbin was about four years old, his father moved to Fayette Co., Ind. His early opportunities for education were limited, but such was his thirst for knowledge that he became an insatiable reader, and, when he was eighteen years old he had read every book he had ever seen. He has never lost his studious habits, and when at home he is most frequently found in his library, which contains the largest and best selected collection of books of the private libraries of Lebanon. After spending two years at Miami University, where he supported himself by his own exertions, and teaching school for a short time in Warren County; he studied law at Lebanon, first under the direction of Judge Smith, and afterwards of Gov. Corwin; he commenced the practice at Lebanon, and was for three years a partner of Gov. Corwin. In 1845, he became Prosecuting Attorney, and served six years. In 1852-53, he was a Representative from Warren County in the first Legislature held under the present Constitution of Ohio. Retiring from this office, he devoted himself to the practice of law, and established an office at Cincinnati, where he has had a lucrative practice; he retained his residence at Lebanon. About 1855, Mr. Ward abandoned the Whig party, which was then near its dissolution; since that time he has adhered to the Democratic party. He was the Democratic candidate for congress in 1856, and for Attorney General in 1858, but was defeated. In 1860, he supported Douglas for President. When the war of the rebellion broke out, he was, as is claimed for him, the first man in his Congressional District to volunteer; declining a captaincy, he enlisted as a private. He was a Major of the 17th Ohio, and took part in the battles of Spring Mills, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, Hoover's Gap and Chickamauga; at the last-named fight, he was shot through the body, and his left arm was disabled for life, and he carried it in a sling through the Atlanta Campaign. Having passed through the grades of Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, in November, 1865, he was brevetted Brigadier General, " for gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Chickamauga." In 1866, he was appointed by President Johnson, United States District Attorney, for the Southern District of Ohio, and in 1870 he was elected Senator in the General Assembly. Since that time, he has held no office and has devoted himself to the practice of law. Gen. Ward has delivered many addresses and orations, and he ranks among the most eloquent campaign orators of Ohio. A volume of his speeches is nearly ready for the press.


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This page created 31 August 2003 and last updated 8 March, 2009
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