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Hall County Historical Markers

Henry O. Ward

  • Source: Buz Hopper
  • Marker: Henry O. Ward
  • Location: Jesse Jewell Parkway (GA 369) at Henry Ward Way next to the Gainesville City Hall

HENRY O. WARD 1926-2000

Henry O. Ward earned the singular distinction of serving both as Mayor of the City of Gainesville and the Chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

The youngest son of H. Bryce Ward and Sadie Bell Braselton Ward of Braselton, he spent his childhood in Gainesville where he attended the city schools and graduated Gainesville High in 1944. He attended Presbyterian College on a football scholarship. He returned to his beloved home to own and operate Ward’s Funeral Home with his brother for thirty-five years.

Ward, a legendary storyteller and historian, had a great love for the community and its people. Elected Corner for Hall County for twenty-for years, he was also elected to the Gainesville City Commission (1963-72). During his term as Mayor, he hosted President Lyndon B. Johnson on this site where more than 50,000 people attended. He was elected Chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners in 1979 and served through 1984.

A lifetime member and officer of the Gainesville First United Methodist Church, a member and director of the Kiwanis Club and avid supporter of Gainesville High athletics, he also donated countless hours to the American Red Cross.

Coupling his love for people and the storied history of the community, Ward utilized his knowledge to benefit all who called upon him in business, government or family matters.

Sustaining his memorable legacy and acclaimed service to his beloved community, the Gainesville City Council named “Henry Ward Way” on August 15, 2006. The street connects the seats of the city and county governments.