Ward Hall is located at 1782 Frankfort Road (US 460 W) in Georgetown, KY. Click the "Directions" button above for more specific directions.
can be directed to
the Ward Hall Preservation Foundation, Inc. at
502-863-5356 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Mailing Address
Ward Hall Preservation Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1957
Georgetown, KY 40324
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Ward Hall serves as the stage for the panoramic story of the greater Robert and Jemima (Suggett) Johnson family, from Orange County, Virginia, which in time became one of the most powerful political and economic dynasties in mid-nineteenth century America, and certainly in Kentucky and throughout the lower Mississippi Delta. Johnson was a Colonel in the Virginia Militia, a member of the Virginia Legislature and a participant in the Kentucky Constitutional convention. Jemima was the heroine of the Battle of Bryan Station.
The Johnsons acquired several thousand acres of land near the Great Buffalo crossing on the Elkhorn near Ward Hall in Scott County, Kentucky, and by 1783 they had established a stockade fort at that location called Johnson's station.
They and their children all prospered. Betsy married Gen. John Payne who initially commanded the Kentucky troops in the War of 1812. James was Kentucky's leading promoter, owner and developer of shipping, stagecoach, and rail lines, representative, congressman and leader of Kentucky troops at the Battle of the Thames. William operated the family mills, producing flour, lumber, paper and gunpowder. One of his children was G.W. Johnson, Confederate Governor of Kentucky. Sallie married Col. William Ward, their son Junius built Ward Hall, and their son Robert was the father of the famous southern belle, Sallie Ward.
Richard Mentor Johnson was representative, senator, vice-president, and hero of the Battle of the Thames. Benjamin was appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court, and also served as Federal District Judge. John Telemachus was aide to Gen. Wm. Henry Harrison and was in the legislature, congress, new court of appeals and became a minister and was involved in the movement to unite the Campbellites and the Christian churches led by Barton Stone. Joel, moved to Arkansas where he became the largest landowner, and his son built Lakeport Plantation. Henry became the wealthiest.
After the 1820 treaty of Doak's Stand, vast areas of Mississippi previously occupied by the Choctaw Indians became available for settlement. The Johnsons and grandson, Junius Ward, were among the first to settle these lands near Lake Washington, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas. Junius Ward, Henry Johnson, Edward P. Johnson, and Samuel Worthington were absolutely the first planters to reach Washington County. Ward built a settlement cabin there.
By 1828 three flatboats laden with a year of supplies, slaves, oxen, and horses began the long journey along the Ohio down the Mississippi to what would later be known as the Kentucky bend of the great river. Fifty years of pioneering in Kentucky allowed this family to apply its resources to this new endeavor.
Simultaneously, Junius Ward's father, Col. William Ward, the Choctaw agent for the Mississippi Territory along with his brother-in-law Richard Mentor Johnson, enabled him to have the unique opportunity to take advantage of these new lands which benefited the entire Johnson family.
One aspect of the Doak's Stand treaty was the establishment of schools for the education of the Choctaws. And, Richard Mentor Johnson established such a school or academy just a mile from Ward Hall in Scott County, Kentucky. As many as two to three hundred Choctaws attended the school in 1825.