Copyright 2000-2020 John N. Lupia, III

Dedicated to Br. Guy Consolmagno, S. J.

Henry August Ward (1834-1906), was born on March 9, 1834, son of Henry Meigs Ward and Eliza Chapin Ward in Rochester, New York.

He studied at the Middlebury Academy and at the Paris School of Mines.

He was a collector of geologic and meteoritic specimens from around the world during his studies.

In 1860, he returned to Rochester determined to establish a natural history cabinet for the public.

Henry Ward and to the right towering Buffalo Bill Cody.

In 1861, he was appointed Professor of Natural Science and taught geology at the University of Rochester.

In 1862, he began Ward's Natural Science Establishment exhibiting paleontologic, geologic, and taxidermic specimens, as well as plaster castings of Greek and Roman sculptures.

Ward stimulated the hobby of collecting specimens of all kinds including stamps and coins in the early 1860's in the city of Rochester where many collectors and dealers have spawned for well over 160 years making it one of the most important cities in American numismatic history.

In 1875, he entered partnership with Edwin Eugene Howell (1847-1911), for selling mineral specimens under the name Ward & Howell as seen on his trade card and postal cards like that below.

In 1884, Ward appointed his cousin Frank A. Ward to be the manager of the Museum allowing Henry Ward to be free to travel and explore looking for specimens and to promote his Museum.

Thanks to Br. Guy Consolmagno, S. J., director of the Vatican Observatory, and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation for pointing out the receipts from Ward in the Adrien-Charles, Marquis de Mauroy (1848-1927) collection now in the Vatican Meteoritic Collection.

Henry Ward's correspondence was rather frequent with Henry Chapman, Jr., since they both dealt with natural history and numismatic specimens. Above, one example postmarked September 28, 1888 regarding shells. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

In 1891, Edwin Howell dissolved his partnership leaving to establish his own museum in Washington, D.C., Howell's Microcosm.

Sometime around 1903, Frank A. Ward, became president of Ward's Museum and Henry retired.

The Ward-Coonley Collection of Meteorites (1904)

In 1905, Ward's Museum purchased the collection of mineral dealer George L. English at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He died on the 4th of July from injuries sustained from a speeding automobile in Buffalo, New York, in 1906. He is the first auto fatality of record for the City of Rochester.

His ashes are kept in Mount Hope Cemetery.

In 1922, George L. English is hired to manage the Mineral Department.

In 1927, Frank A. Ward died and the management returned to the Ward family which no one was equipped to handle.

In 1928, the Ward family donated the Museum to the University of Rochester.

In 1930, a fire destroyed many of the records and specimens.

During the 1930's the University looked for a manager for the Museum and hired Dean Gamble, vice-president of General Biological Supply Company, Chicago, Illinois.

In 1940, the University sold the Museum to Gamble and Frank A. Ward's son Frank Hawley Ward. The company since developed into a large educational supply house for schools.


Thanks to Br. Guy Consolmagno, S. J. for pointing out the receipts from Ward in the Marquis de Mauroy collection now in the Vatican Meteoritic Collection.

Bibliography :

WILSON, Wendell E. (2020) Mineralogical Record Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com