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Joann Buckley and W. Douglas Fisher

physician, military officer, hospital founder and administrator, and community leader, was born in Wilson, North Carolina to Napoleon Ward, a freeborn man of color and Mittie Roena, originally a slave to David G. W. Ward.

In 1885 Ward was thirteen and illiterate when he left home for Indianapolis. He found work there cleaning stables. He was fortunate to meet Dr. George Hasty, founder of the Physiomedical College of Indiana. Hasty hired him as his driver and servant. According to David Bodenhamer's Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, Hasty actually moved him into his house where he learned to read and write. Ward went on to graduate from Hasty's Physiomedical College of Indiana in 1897 and opened his own medical practice.

By the mid-1890s the Indianapolis Freeman the city s leading African American newspaper described Ward as a very promising young physician of this city a man of ...