Aged Woman Refuses to be Called Old
Admits Her Years, But Doesn't Need Help In Walking or Dressing -
Tramps All Know Her
Mrs. Margaret Ward, known for the kindness of her heart and the bigness of
the meals she served to the hungry, is almost as active at 94 as she was
when she kept a hotel in Waldo, this state, and fed every tramp that came
"My mother used to sit on the steps of the hotel and invite every down and
outer to come in and get a good meal," says Michael Ward, her son, whom she
is visiting on the Blue Mound rd. "Why, she was known to every tramp in the
state, and it finally got so that tramps would go three or four miles out of
their way to get a 'feed' at Ward's. Then, when mother moved into
Milwaukee, she still kept up her good work of feeding the tramps at her
hotel on Fourth-st., until she had lost $4,000. Then she quit the hotel
business. She has just returned from Oregon, and while she had a nice trip,
she is glad to be back in Milwaukee again."
Walks Up Mountain Side
Mrs. Ward talks interestingly of her Oregon trip. "Just before leaving
Portland," she said, "we took one last trip up the mountains. Did I walk?
Of course I did. It was only half a mile up to the mountain park that we
visited. I didn't mind that trip at all, but I did not like the ones we
made in cars. Climbing up a mountain in cars isn't as pleasant as riding in
cars traveling on a smooth surface."
"How did I manage on the train coming back? Very well. The dressing is a
little harder because you're forever lurching from one spot to another, but
I managed to get my clothes on fully as well as in my own room at home.
When we boarded the train someone had kindly furnished an invalid's chair
for me, because they heard I was 94, but I made them take it away. I'm not
at all ancient just because I'm 94. I don't intend to use an invalid's
chair for some time to come.
What do I think of automobiles? They're wonderful, no doubt, but I'm not
passionately fond of them. I don't enjoy being bumped up and down during an
entire ride. I prefer a horse and carriage though, if course, I do my share
of auto riding. One simply can't escape that nowadays it seems.
Always Eats A Midnight Lunch
"My mother was up and around all four days of our trip home," said Miss Rose
Ward, who is her mother's constant companion, "and the only thing she
allowed me to do was to dress her hair. She dresses alone; we can't do that
to suit her.
"My brother's business keeps him up late and as we always stay up until past
midnight mother insists on staying up too. It's a regular thing for her to
have a sandwich and a cup of coffee a little after midnight, and then
"It certainly is," smiled the white-haired, well-groomed old lady, "and I
sleep better for it. I just can't go to sleep without that little lunch.
It has become a habit, I guess. It hasn't done me any serious damage so
far, so I think I can safely continue it."
Mrs. Ward was born in Ireland, but spent her entire girlhood in England
where she was married. She came directly after to America, reaching here
just at the close of the Civil war. Of a family of twelve children, five
are living. She says her only regret is that she can no longer go horseback
riding, of which she had been very fond.
"Really, I wouldn't be afraid to try it," she laughed, "but I hate to think
of what my sons and daughter would do to me."
Copyright 1997 - 2005 by Debie Blindauer
All Rights reserved
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids