Francis Ledoit Ward

Francis Ledoit Ward was born on January 9, 1843, in Orange, Franklin County, Massachusetts, the son of Edward Francis (1818-1896) and Harriet (Stratton, 1822-1854).

Massachusetts natives and first cousins Edward Francis and Harriet were married in 1842 in Athol, Worcester County, Massachusetts. They settled in Orange, where Edward’s family lived and where he worked as a lumberman and furniture manufacturer. In 1850 Francis or “Frank” (known as “Ledoit”) was attending school and living with his family in Orange. Harriet died in 1854 in Orange and in 1857 Edward remarried Orange, Massachusetts native Tryphenia C. Harrington (b. 1835 or 1840) in Orange. The family soon moved west, settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan by the spring of 1858. Frank’s father worked as a furniture manufacturer. By 1860 Frank was an apprentice sash-maker apprenticed to Warren Rindge, a harness-maker in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward.

He was 18 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. At some point Frank was transferred to the Band, and discharged on August 13, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing “as a member of the Band and not as a musician.”

In any case, after he left the army Frank eventually returned to Grand Rapids.

He married Michigan native Etta M. Robinson (1844-1917), on January 9, 1865, in Greenville, Montcalm County and they had at least five children: Winifred (b. 1867), Arthur (b. 1868), Lula (b. 1872), Frank (b. 1878) and Orin (b,. 1880).

They soon settled in Grand Rapids (all of his children were reportedly born there). In 1870 his father (who owned $14,000 worth of real estate) and stepmother were living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward. In any case, Frank reportedly worked for some years as a music teacher in Grand Rapids, and by 1880 Frank was working as a music teacher and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward. (His parents were living in the Fourth Ward.) Frank probably lived the rest of his life in Grand Rapids.

Frank died of “throat trouble” on November 27, 1881, in Grand Rapids, and was buried in Greenwood cemetery, section E, lot 21. According to both the cemetery burial records the DAR transcriptions online. The DAR also reports that buried with Frank is his wife (?) Etta and a son (?) Arthur (1868-1917).

In April of 1890 his widow was living in Grand Rapids when she applied for and received a pension (no. 280579).