Marcus L. Ward was a member of one of Newark’s oldest families. He was the 21st governor of New Jersey from 1866-1869. He also spent a term in Congress from 1873-1875. He was instrumental in securing state passage of both the thirteenth and the fourteenth Amendment, with its Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. During the Civil War he was the New Jersey State paymaster for the Union Forces. The Ward’s ancestral home stood on Washington Park. The original Newark Museum building now occupies the site.
On May 16th, 1941 the Schoolmen’s Club of Newark, New Jersey and the Newark Museum dedicated a plaque to Marcus L. Ward in the museum’s Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Garden. The commemorative souvenir shown here included an original check signed by Marcus Ward.
I would be remiss not to give a brief description of the Schoolmen’s Club. The Schoolmen’s Club was formed by a group of men who taught in the Newark Public Schools. Initially social in nature they began a new tradition on Newark Day in May 1911.With the assistance of the pupils from the Newark Public Schools they commissioned and placed bronze plaques throughout the city. These plaques commemorated significant events and outstanding individuals in the rich history of this city founded in 1666. Sadly, many of these plaques have been stolen for their scrap value.