My Recollection of Ward – By Sally Drake (4)

{This is the final of 4 installments – reprinting this story exactly as it appears in the 2001 Ward Community Reunion Book…}

Please click here to see the beginning of this story

My mother’s best friend at Ward was Frances Akers.  They lost track of each other for years but curiously one of my high school teachers sat on a Greyhound bus with Frances and they talked and connected Ward and Oak Hill and so began a renewed friendship of two good friends.  Wayne Akers was the husband of Frances, and I am pretty sure he had been manager of the Company Store at some time.  If anyone has any information about Frances please contact me.

On two separate occasions in the mid 1950’s I met the Norman Johnson and Marshall families on the street in Oak Hill.  They had been our next-door neighbors at Ward and were only up there for a Sunday drive.  It seems unusual though, since we had not seen or heard from them since around 1948.  These unusual occurrences have happened to me my entire life.

In writing this story, there have been many tears wept and many emotions felt, but I am very glad to have shared my memories with those who still remain.

Ward was home for many poor and struggling people.  They were strong, industrious people, doing the best they could for their families.  It wasn’t easy for anyone, and they had to be a special breed to live and endure those difficult times.  Nothing was ever given to them and little we know the extent of their suffering.  Though most of the ones I knew seemed to be very cheerful and happy people and they were always helping someone in any way they could.

Sadly the world, the people and all things are no longer the way they used to be.  Our once thriving town of Ward is no longer there.  But for those of us who lived any part o f our lives, up that winding road, between those beautiful mountains, we won’t forget our days at Ward.  We will always remember…

At this moment, I can remember being 9 years old, riding my little red tricycle up and down the sidewalk as I did many times, anxiously waiting for my daddy to come home from work…He loved Ward too…

Dedicated in remembrance of Ward, WV and the people of Ward, January 1st, 2001.

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  1. Olive Young

    Sorry to say my Uncle Jack (my dad’s brother) passed away. He also wrote a book about his experiences while at Ward.

  2. Lisa

    Hi Olive, Thanks for visiting the blog. Are there any copies of Jack’s book in existence? It would be nice to offer excerpts from it here on this blog.

  3. Lillian Pittman

    My cousin Hilda Peters lived in Ward WV and had a 5th grade school teacher named Mrs. Fletcher. This was in the late 30’s or early 40’s. She moved from Ward to Cabin Creek. Her dad was Henry Peters, they were very big on gosple music, and loved to get together with friends and sing from the Stamps Baxter song books. Anyone remember them or Mrs. Fletcher ? Write me at
    Lillian Pittman

  4. Joanna Lanham

    Hello, My mother was born in Ward in 1938 and lived there until she was a teenager. Then my mother’s family moved to Shrewsbury, WV. My grandfather and grandmother’s names are Clarence (Fats) Franklin Persinger and Rhoda Edna Higginbotham Persinger. My mother’s name Frances Irene Persinger (Daniels) Crowder. My uncle’s name is John Franklin Persinger. Also some of my great aunts and uncles lived in Ward for a time. Their names are Nora Higginbotham, Dora Higginbotham Whitley, Bob (Robert) Higginbotham. If any one knows my family I would love to hear stories from you.
    Thank you so much.

  5. Debbi Hager Williamson

    What are the dates for the reunion this year?

  6. Lois Bannister Moon

    Re: Joanna Lanham. I went to school (CGHS) with your mother Frances & your Uncle John. I am also from Shrewsbury. My mother Maude Gunnoe Bannnister lived in Ward for several years, settling there from Boone County. And your Aunt Nora Higgenbotham was one of my mother’s best friends. We used to go to her home in Dickenson frequently as she was a remarkable seamstress.
    Made several things for me. Whatever she made it looked better than anything in a department store. I did read sometime this year that Nora, “Doddle”, is what we always called her, passed away. She was a wonderful & kind person.Just recently found a card from Doddle to my Mom when going through my mother cards,etc after she died. Friends to the end.

  7. jerry reed

    Is Clarence Franklin “Fats” Persinger still living?

  8. don hill

    my mother and aunts uncle and grandmother and grandfather was all from ward . my grandfather was a coal miner at kellys creek he died there and my grandfather and grandmother are buried in ward cemetery.i can remember walking down the railroad tracks with my grandfather to go to the company store.i also remember the old coal mine houses in the hollows .my grandfather name was dewey silman,my grandmother estelle silman ,maiden name was estelle leffingwell . my mothers name was bonnie silman.sisters avline,ruth anne ,wilma mae,darlene, and one brother bill silman.


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