Ward Mill Site / Ward Building Site
Ward Mill Site
In 1845, Joseph M. Ward (1822 -1902) joined William Fargo in a livery and freight business, located on the corner of State and Jefferson streets. In 1849, Ward bought an interest in a woolen mill on the nearby creek, which he operated until 1860. The next year he converted the mill to flour production. Ward's son Frank (1860 - 1936) and E.C. Hinman (1852 - 1906) took over the business in 1882. Hinman left the business in 1888, and Frank Ward moved to Detroit in 1897. Joseph resumed control of the business until his death.
Ward Building Site
In 1905, Frank and Charles Ward erected a six-story steel and masonry building here, on the site of the Ward flour mill, in memory of their father, Joseph M. Ward. The Battle Creek Sunday Record quoted authorities at the Michigan Commercial Insurance Company who stated that the "Ward Skyscraper" was the "only absolutely fireproof office building in Michigan." It housed many prosperous businesses, a business school and the Athelstan social club. The Ward Building was razed in 1987.