VERSAILLES – On Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m., in conjunction with the Versailles Bicentennial celebration, Fort GreeneVille Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution will be holding a gravesite dedication for American Revolutionary War soldier David Ward at Hoover Cemetery. Also there will be an additional dedication for one of the first settlers in this area, David Ward. Although both named David Ward, they are uncle and nephew.
American Revolutionary War soldier David Ward was born in Hampshire County Virginia in 1761 and died 1837 in Versailles (Jacksonville), Ohio. In the spring of 1777, he enlisted in the Virginia militia and was a Private.
David enlisted in the service of the United States and the War of the Revolution for six months. Later, thanks to sworn testimony from his nephew David Ward and Reverend John Wintermute, Private David Ward was able to collect a pension.
David volunteered in the company commanded by Captains James Parsons and Robert Cunningham and Lieutenant Adam Fisher Ensign of said Company. They marched from Hampshire County in the State of Virginia to Pittsburgh and Wheeling at which places they were stationed at different times as frontier posts. They were stationed there and at other places to guard and protect the frontier settlements against the Indians. According to his great niece Rhoda, “David was serving with General Anthony Wayne. He was present at the storming of Stony Point, and when Wayne having secured, through various disguises, valuable information as to the strength of this fortress, asked the American commander for five hundred men with which to undertake the capture of the fort. He was one of the first to volunteer, and the fifth man to scale this supposedly impregnable position.”
During the last days of his life David made his home with nephew, David, and here he died, being-buried in the old Baptist Cemetery near the mouth of Swamp Creek, Hoover Cemetery.
Younger David Ward was the son of George and Margaret (Swacsac) Ward and was born in Hardy County Virginia on April 9, 1785. David died on November 25, 1879 and also is buried at Hoover Cemetery, outside of Versailles.
David’s father George died in mid-life and left his wife Margaret with three young children; David, George and Mary. Later at a neighbor’s home, they were attacked by Indians. His sister Mary was killed by a tomahawk and David had a tomahawk wound to his head that left him with a scar for life. Thanks to the bravery of his mother, David and his brother George survived.
David emigrated to Montgomery County with his mother and brother around 1790. In 1805, David married Elizabeth Taylor in Montgomery County. Their first child Anna was the first white child born in Madison Township, Montgomery County.
In 1815 after the birth of their seventh child, who was only one day old, David rode to Chillicothe to the U.S. Land Office and entered a quarter section of land, being the SW quarter of section 17, town 10, range 4 east in Wayne Township, Darke County, Ohio. He built a home for his large family of 15 children and settled on the quarter section he had purchased on Swamp Creek, Wayne Township, Darke County.
Fort GreeneVille Chapter is honoring the Wards in conjunction with the year of the Versailles Bicentennial. Also, this Aug. 28 dedication was chosen to also honor Silas Atchinson.
Atchinson was one of the first four settlers in the area, and on Aug. 28, 1819 he platted the village of “Jacksonville” on the south side of Swamp Creek. Jacksonville consisted of 20 lots within three blocks.
The Versailles Color Guard will also be assisting in the dedication. Please plan to attend the ceremony at Hoover Cemetery on Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Fort GreeneVille DAR is grateful to our founding Patriots who fought and sacrificed for our freedoms we have today and to our local founding fathers.