Frank Edwin Ward (1872-1953), was an organist, composer and music teacher at Columbia University. His father, Cyrenus Osborne Ward (1831-1902), was a social reformer, historian, and author of The Ancient Lowly and other books on the history of labor. The papers include personal correspondence, coded research notes, and miscellaneous family and genealogical papers
Biographical/historical: Frank Edwin Ward was born in Wysox, Pennsylvania on October 7, 1872, the son of Cyrenus Osborne Ward and Stella Owen Ward. He was educated in music at Columbia University and served as University organist from 1902 to 1913. He also played the organ for Temple Israel and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity. He held the latter post for forty years (1906-1946). Ward also wrote organ and choir music, and taught music theory at Columbia. He was married to May Corby Ward; they had no children. Mrs. Ward sang soprano in many of the choirs led by her husband.
Ward was greatly interested in the history of his own family, including his uncle, the sociologist Lester Frank Ward, and his own father, Cyrenus Osborne Ward. Approximately half of the present collection comprises the papers of the father collected by the son.
C. Osborne Ward was born in western New York on October 28, 1831, the son of Justus and Silence Rolph Ward. When he was a small child, his parents moved to Illinois, where Cyrenus, the seventh of ten children, worked on the family farm until he set off on his own in 1848. Cyrenus Ward traveled much and studied much, both in the manual trades and in the humanities. He taught himself music (he played violin professionally), and studied history, botany, geology, and modern and ancient languages.
Rejected for service in the Civil War, Ward took a job in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he became interested in organized labor. He began to write pamphlets and speeches, and traveled widely abroad, meeting such important international socialist leaders as Karl Marx, and researching the history of primitive laborers. In 1884, he was hired by the United States Geological Survey, and then by the Bureau of Labor, where he worked as a translator and librarian. He wrote several books, the most important being known variously as A History of the Ancient Working People and The Ancient Lowly, privately published in 1887. Long hours, extensive travel, and arduous labor in preparing a second volume wore him out, and he died in Yuma, Arizona, where he had gone for his health after the publication of volume 2 of The Ancient Lowly in 1900.