Richard C. Ward III writes: John A. Ward, his wife Ewing, and his sons Clarence Ward and Richard C Ward Sr. came to Arlington from Abbeville,, Alabama in 1910 and started Wards Bonded Warehouse. All three of R C Sr’s sons worked there growing up. My first job was at the warehouse at the age of twelve in 1964. I worked there until I graduated from high school. Uncle Bruce was my boss. It was a great time in my life and very hard work. I mostly worked in the peanut seed sheller that Bruce and R C Jr (my daddy) owned.
How many people worked here when it was open?
What all did Ward’s do?
John A Ward, his wife Ewing, and his sons Clarence Ward and Richard C Ward Sr. came to Arlington from Abbeville Al in 1910 and started Wards Bonded Warehouse. All three of R C Sr’s sons worked there growing up. My first job was at the warehouse at the age of twelve in 1964. I worked there until I graduated from high school. Uncle Bruce was my boss. It was a great time in my life and very hard work. I mostly worked in the peanut seed sheller that Bruce and R C Jr (my daddy) owned. I bought my first motorcycle (1966 Honda Sport 65) with the money I earned working there. My daddy also owned Ward’s Jewelry and I worked there too.
Loved your comment, my brother!!! My memories are of riding around on skates or bikes in between the bails of cotton…hiding & just being kids!! Then sometimes going in to spend some quality time with Gramma Ward!!
Thanks, Richard, for sharing those memories! I will add this information to the website.
Ward’s Bonded Warehouse will not be in business for much longer, at most 5 years. In case you were wondering I am the daughter of Joy Ward Bowles and gran-daughter of Bruce E. Ward and Janis Ward (the current owners and runners of Ward’s Bonded Warehouse). For your information, Ward’s Bonded Warehouse has been passed down for generations and is currently being run by 86 year old Bruce Ward who has no one to pass it on to, his only son lives in Macon Ga. and cannot take care of it. BTW, Judi Brake is my mother’s cousin! How are you doing aunt Judi?
So sad to hear this, Molly, but Ward’s has had such a long and prolific history. Thanks for sharing this. It seems these places that were once centers of community life just disappear every week.
Hi Molly. I have not seen Joy in so many years and had no idea that I had a cousin named Molly. Sorry that we seemed to have drifted away from our loved ones in this “ever changin’ world”, as we’ve grown older. I was in Arlington Jul. 20th for the Family Reunion. Wish y’all had been there. Have you seen The Hub ? Richard and Alida have done a wonderful job showcasing memories from the Warehouse and other parts of Arlington. I am living in Newnan, Ga. and still working at the Atlanta airport. Been with United Airlines for 44 years. Maybe I will retire one of these days. Give Joy my love and I hope to meet you, maybe at the next reunion? Or before? Ward’s Warehouse might go away but it will always be in our hearts.
My Grandmother, Carol Ward, owned and operated Ward’s Warehouse. She was my Mother’s mother, both now deceased. My family spent our summer’s in Arlington. As children, we would sometimes play Hide-in-seek behind the bales of cotton, to pass the time. And we would sit and watch as the peanuts were being separated and cleaned, in one of the warehouses.
I was told that my Grandmother was the only woman-operator of a cotton warehouse in the world. We would also sit in her office and watch her work. One thing that I admired about her was that she never let a person’s color stand in her way. She was a very trusting person and believed in offering credit for those that could not pay. One of her son’s, Bruce Ward, helped her run Ward’s Warehouse until she became ill, at which time he took over with his wife, Janis.
Arlington, Georgia was always considered my second home. I still have many relatives still living in Arlington.
That is a fascinating story about your grandmother, Judi! I bet she was the only woman cotton warehouse operator in the world…would love to know more about her. She sounds like she would have been a wonderful person to know…