This letter is one of a few letters in our possession in which Ernest’s rights to his adoptive father, William Ward's estate are challenged. Previous letters have been posted regarding his adoption by William and Hannah Ward of Nottingham. (Ernest Ward is my husband's grandfather.)
May 28th 1914
Attorneys at Law
I certainly hope that my letter will be of some help to you in helping Mr Ward to prove his true relation to Mr Ward his father now deceased. I have know(n) Mr Ward (Ernest) for many years also his mother and father. Our home was their home on many occasion. During the time they lived in Chicago we were more or less together as Mr. H. Ward was unemployed for some time and that made it so they were to my house considerably. We were always the best of friends and being of English birth we enjoyed each (of) them very much and exchanged our confidences with each other. Mr. H. Ward always spoke of Ernest as his son to everyone that I ever heard him speak to. Mr and Mrs Ward were devoted to their son Ernest. We were not friends of Mr Wards at the time he was adopted and I do not know the name of the town w(h)ere they were at the time.
I do know that Mr and Mrs Ward said it was a country town where they were and that Ernest was born there and finally they left that place and went to Eastwood his mother's home town and stayed there for a while and left there so that they might cover up the mistery of Ernest birth as His father and mother were very careful to have it known that Ernest was their child. Mr and Mrs Ward told me that they had papers written and all kept ready to give to Ernest when the proper time came. Mrs Ward told me that they had everything arranged so that if anything happened Ernest would have the letters and all that they had was to be Ernest.
Mr Ward took a trip to England several years ago and on his return he came to visit us in Kansas City and stayed several weeks just before he left he went to his trunk and took a chamois bag which contained the jewels of his dead wife and told me to take my choice of one of the things which I did and then he said what was left were to be for his son along with whatever other worldly goods
he possessed as Mother and I have worked hard for that boy of mine. In answering question (4) all I know which are facts enough in themselves are Mr Wards own words in speaking of Ernest as my son. Mr Ward was a devoted father to Ernest. I remember at the time they lived at Willow Springs Ills Mrs Ward told me it almost broke their hearts to have to tell Ernest he had been adopted I believe he was 18 years old then. I cannot express my self in writing as to their love and devotion to Ernest. I do wish you might get the letters and papers that Mr Ward had kept for Ernest as I am sure they would tell us everything we want to know Do you know whether the lady he married has the letters and papers which Ernest ought to have as his own property. I wish I were in England right now I know I could get all the information we need. I would go on to Eastwood and from one to another I would get the needed information.
They need a little more energy and get up to them if they had it would not take long to straighten this problem out. There are so many times I might relate to you as to how Mr Ward would say that boy of mine and the mother would just look with her sweet expression as though Ernest was the only boy in the world. Question (6) Mr Ward said that the reason they came to America was to stop the talking of a number of old women over there (England) as there was no telling what they might tell Ernest __ if there is to be any telling I want to be the one to tell it and who should tell it but his father and when he get ready to tell it he shall know it all even though he might suffer untold pain. At that time I did not pay much attention to that as I never thought anything like this might come to Ernest. I do hope you will be able to help Ernest in obtaining his rights as I am sure his father never intended that Ernest could not have what was intended for him. Would like to hear of a favourable outcome of this matter.
Yours respectfully Mrs. Thos. Smith,
Yours respectfully Mrs. Thos. Smith,
Have you written to Mrs Leivers at Eastwood she might be able to help in some way to get you in touch with she right person that could give the name of the town where Mr and Mrs Ward were at the time they took Ernest, but then all the people in Eastwood know Ernest as the son of Mr Ward. So I do not know wether it would be of much use to take up that time.
Mrs Thos Smith
119 E. 25th Street
I hope you will be able to understand my letter as it is somewhat disconnected.
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