Called Clayton, he was born on the family farm "near Fox", near Weatherford, Texas. ("Fox" is mentioned in J.N.'s biography in the Parker County History Book. However, "Fox" is not a town in Texas. What do they mean "near Fox"?)
From "BACK THEN, AND NOW", by Mary Elda Sewell Ward Ferrel:
"We (Mary Elda and Clayton) met in Austin in September of 1931 where we had both gone to work on advanced degrees in chemistry. He had received his BS in chemical engineering from A&M the previous June, and I had received a BA in chemistry from the University of Texas at the same time. Our first meeting was in an advanced organic chemistry laboratory where we were assigned desks in alphabetical order so that Ward was next to Sewell. I looked at the names on the reagent bottles when he was out of the room, and he did the same on mine.
As we started talking we found that we were from neighboring towns, Weatherford and Jacksboro. Then when he learned that I had been given a Chevrolet coupe upon receiving my degree, we talked about plans to come home together at the first break, Thanksgiving.
Clayton was trying to go to the University on a shoestring, and he had planned to finance his way by gambling, at which he was quite adept and had been successful doing this at A&M. Unfortunately, he had fallen in with some professionals, and, after losing his shirt, he decided to give it up. He and his roommate, Ralph, who had also finished at A&M, were both working on a master's degree in chemical engineering, and they had found a nice place to live, paying $10.00 a month, and a place to eat that was cheap.
From e-mail from Daddy, 10/19/2003:
CLAYTON (my father) was for a good part of his professional life, an oil and gas entrepreneur -- buying, selling, and dealing with oil and gas leases. This is where he made enough money to build the home in Jacksboro (of course, he borrowed from the D.R. Sewell Lumber Company).
OBITUARY from JACKSBORO GAZETTE NEWS, Tuesday, January 12, 1954:
John Clayton Ward, 45, oil and gas lease operator and stock farmer, was found dead at his residence here about 8 p.m., Sunday.
His wife, the former Mary Elda Sewell, found her husband's body when she and two children came home from church. A heart attack was listed as cause of death.
A native of Weatherford, Ward was a graduate of Texas A&M College. He did graduate work at the University of Texas. Prior to moving here several years ago, he and his family lived in Fort Worth where he was employed with the Sinclair Refining Co.
Ward was a director of the Chamber of Commerce and is credited with securing the Jacksboro Shoe Manufacturing Co. for Jacksboro. He has been instrumental in bringing a great deal of oil drilling activity to Jack County through his oil and gas lease operations.
Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Memorial Christian Church with Rev. Charles Jones and Rev. Norman Conner officiating. Interment was in the Oakwood Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Besides his wife, he is survived by one son, John C. Ward, Jr., student at the University of Oklahoma; a daughter, Mary Ann, and another son, Dan Sewell Ward, both of Jacksboro; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James N. Ward of Weatherford, and two brothers: Herbert Ward, Topeka, Kan., and Quincy Ward, Lacanada, Cal."
From Hawkins Funeral Home records, Jacksboro, Texas, 1954-1955:
Ward, John Clayton Born April 1, 1908, in Weatherford, Texas Married Mary Elda Sewell, July 23, 1933 in Jacksboro Died January 10, 1954, in Jacksboro, Texas Occupation: Oilman Sex: Male Race: White Father: James M. Ward (typo, should be N.) Mother: Elizabeth Carter Funeral Service: Memorial Christian Church, Jacksboro, Rev. Charles Jones officiating, Burial in Oakwood Cemetery Survivors: Mary Elda of Jacksboro, Daughter, Mary Ann Ward of Jacksboro, 2 sons: John C. Ward Jr. of Norman, Oklahoma, and Dan Sewell Ward of Jacksboro; His parents; Mr. & Mrs. James N. Ward of Weatherford, Texas; 2 Brothers; Quincy Ward of Topeka, Kansas and Hebert (spelled incorrectly) ward of La Canada, California.
Also have copy of "Complete Cemetery Census of Jack County Texas, 1855-1993", which includes listing of J. CLAYTON Ward, b. April 1, 1908, d. January 10, 1954.
More About JOHN CLAYTON Ward: Burial: January 12, 1954, Oakwood Cemetery, Jacksboro, TX. Graduation 1: June 1931, BS in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M. Graduation 2: June 1932, Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering, Univ. of Texas, Austin. Occupation 1: Bet. 1933 - 1940, Sinclair Refinery, Fort Worth, TX. Occupation 2: 1940, War Production Board, Fort Worth, TX. Occupation 3: Bet. 1941 - 1944, Civilian Consultant, 8th Service Command covering 5 states. Occupation 4: 1944, Betts Engineering, stationed in Fort Worth, TX. Occupation 5: Bet. 1944 - 1947, Dowell Chemical, Houston, TX. Occupation 6: 1947, MUD Co., oil & gas company in Wichita Falls, TX.
More About JOHN CLAYTON Ward and MARY ELDA Sewell: Marriage: July 23, 1933, Jacksboro, Texas.
Children of JOHN CLAYTON Ward and MARY ELDA Sewell are: