This Month In County History

College founder born in 1820

August 28, 2005

August 21, 1820 - James Thomas Ward, first president of Western Maryland College, is born at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Ward became a preacher for the Methodist Protestant church in 1840. He traveled throughout Western Maryland and parts of Virginia preaching. Ward retired from preaching in 1860 due to health problems. He settled in Westminster - one of the towns he frequently visited while on the preaching circuit. The idea of Western Maryland College was first brought to Ward's attention after Westminster teacher Fayette R. Buell purchased a tract of land for the school. Ward became one of the school's earliest supporters.

Source: History of Western Maryland, Volume 2 by J. Thomas Scharf p. 933-934 and McDaniel College's website:

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