White Pine County
Teamsters working for the Toano-to- Pioche stage line were searching for lost cattle when they stumbled onto a rich silver vein in 1872. This find would eventually become the successful Paymaster Mine. Ward boomed from here. By 1875, Ward was a massive town. It reached a peak population of 1,500 to 2,000 residents by 1877. Ward contained all of the businesses of a big town, to include breweries, a Wells Fargo office. Ward also had a hook-and-ladder company and a city hall building. Other mines included the Young America, Fourth of July, Cow, Ready Cash and many others. Ward also had two separate newspapers. The Ward Reflex and the Ward Miner. By 1878 the ore was declining. By 1880, Ward was down to 250 residents. New booms at places like Taylor and Cherry Creek drew residents away. A massive fire destroyed much of downtown Ward in 1883, to include the city hall building. By 1885, the population was down to 25 residents. A revival occurred in 1906 and brought a few dozen residents back to town. The last shipment of ore went out in 1920 and Ward was again a ghost town. Like many other western camps, in its heyday, Ward had a 601 organization. This was a group of vigilantes. Many believe that it stood for Six Feet Under, No Juries, One Rope. Crime was almost non-existent in Ward. In the 1870's, a man shot a local merchant to death in the street. He was later founded hanged from a tree. You can look at the Ward Cemetery page and the Ward Charcoal Kilns page on this site as well.
It's hard to believe that this place was one of the larger mining towns in Nevada. At one time, it was the biggest town in White Pine County. There really isn't much here at all to suggest that this place was ever even a real town.
Post Office: January 2, 1877 to September 7, 1887.
Fraternal Societies: Masonic Association. There was not an official lodge here. They organized an Association to evaluate Masonic interest. The boom was gone before an official lodge could open.
Visited/ Road Conditions: April 2016. The road going up to the cemetery and old town site was decent. Not horrible, but not great either. It was late and it started snowing, so I didn’t continue up the canyon to see anything else.