Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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WARD, Durbin, lawyer, born in Augusta, Kentucky, 11 February, 1819; died in Lebanon, Ohio, 22 May, 1886. He removed with his family to Fayette county, Indiana, where he was brought tip on a farm, entered Miami university at the age of nineteen, remaining two years, then studied law with Thomas Corwin, and, on being admitted to practice in 1842, became his partner. From 1845 till 1851 he was prosecuting attorney of Warren county, Ohio. He was elected to the first legislature under the present constitution in 1851, was defeated as a Democratic candidate for congress in 1856, also as nominee for the office of attorney-general of Ohio in 1858, and in 1860 was a member of the Democratic national convention that met at Charleston, South Carolina, and reassembled at Baltimore, Maryland, in which he supported the candidacy of Stephen A. Douglas. He enlisted in the National army as a private, served in West Virginia under General George B. McClellan, and subsequently took part in the campaigns of General George H. Thomas, being appointed major of the 17th Ohio infantry on 17 August, 1861, and lieutenant-colonel on 31 December, 1862. He received a disabling wound at Chickamauga and was mustered out without his knowledge; but he obtained the recall of the order, was made colonel of his regiment on 13 November, 1863, and with a crippled arm served through the remainder of the war, being brevetted brigadier-general on 18 October, 1865. In November, 1866, he was appointed United States district attorney for the southern district of Ohio, but he was removed when General Grant became president. He entered the state senate in 1870. The plan of the present circuit-court system of Ohio was drafted by him. General Ward was a political orator, and at the Democratic national convention of 1884 presented the name of Allen G. Thurman as a candidate for the presidency. He began, but did not live to complete, a work on constitutional law, to be entitled "The Federal Institutes." A volume of his speeches has been published by his widow (Columbus, 1888).
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