Jacob Ward is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Doniphan county of 1856, and is a highly esteemed resident of the community in which he makes his home. He was born in Knox county, Ohio, on the 7th of May, 1834, and is a son of William Ward, who was probably born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where he was one of the early teamsters and draymen. The father died in Fayette county, Indiana, in 1837, when about thirty-five years of age. He wedded Mary Smith and died in 1894, and the children of their union were: Benjamin, who went to California in the early days of the gold excitement there, but since 1856 has not been heard from; Elizabeth, wife of Peter Messer; Smith, of Fayette county, Indiana; Jacob; and George, a resident farmer of Fayette county.
Jacob Ward received but limited privileges or advantages in youth. He was not able to attend school after attaining his sixteenth year, at which time he was thrown upon his own resources and has since depended upon his own labors for all that he has enjoyed or acquired in life. The first money he earned was at corn-husking, for which he was paid twelve and a half cents per day. He came to Doniphan county, Kansas, in 1856, a young man of twenty-two years, without money or influence, in search of work. Entering the employment of J. P. Johnson, one of the prominent farmers of the community, he continued in his service four years and then removed to Brown county, where he worked as a farm hand for Henry Ulsh. He continued as a wage worker until about the close of the civil war when, having accumulated a small capital, he purchased two span of horses and began teaming. He broke prairie at four dollars per acre, hauled wood and did other work in his line until his retirement from business, in 1890. During the first ten years of his residence in Kansas he spent money freely, as young men are apt to do, and then, with the realization of the more serious side of life, he began the acquirement of property, purchasing land in Robinson, which he improved. His labors there led to the upbuilding of that section of the village, and thus he has not only provided for himself but has contributed to the material welfare of his town. He has now a very comfortable competence, which has come to him entirely through legitimate channels of trade. His family were all Republicans in political belief, but he supports the Democracy. In northeastern Kansas he is well known, and is one of the industrious, energetic and progressive men of this section of the state and well deserves representation in its history.