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OH161 Henry Ward Oral History

Address Information

Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071

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(270) 809-6152
(270) 809-4295
FAX (270) 809-6153

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Henry Ward Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Politics and Government

Series Number: OH161

Interviewee: Ward, Henry Thomas

Interviewer: Hammack, James W.

Date interviewed: February 19, 1974

Processed by: Processed by Dieter C. Ullrich on February 8, 2012.

Date processed: February 8, 2012

Description: 6 sound discs (251 minutes)

Abstract: Henry Ward discusses his political career and public service in the State of Kentucky from the 1930s to the 1970s. He describes his work with significant Kentucky politicians including Earl C. Clements, Happy Chandler, Lawrence Weatherby, and Keen Johnson. He discusses his Kentucky gubernatorial campaign and defeat in 1967 and his career as highway commissioner. Throughout his recollections he recounts upon major decisions and legislation he partook in and the political wrangling surrounding those issues.

Biographical / Historical note: Henry Ward was born on June 20, 1909 at New Hope, Kentucky. He attended public schools and graduated from Tilghman High School in Paducah in 1928. After graduation Ward began writing for the Paducah Sun Democrat and later became city editor of the newspaper. He entered politics in 1934 and served five consecutive terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He became House Majority Leader in 1942. He campaigned for the Democratic Party's nomination for lieutenant governor in 1943 but lost in the primary. In 1945 he was elected to the Kentucky Senate. Five years later, Ward became Commissioner of Conservation and was instrumental in expanding the State's park system. In 1956 he became the top aide for Senator Earle Clements and four years later became Commissioner of the Highway Department. He ran for governor in 1967 but lost by a slim margin to Louie B. Nunn. He returned to Paducah after the election and served as the publisher of the Paducah Sun Democrat until his retirement in 1974. He died on October 8, 2002.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Ward, Henry Thomas, 1909-2002

Kentucky -- Politics and government.

United States – Politics and government.

Democratic Party (Ky.)

Kentucky. Bureau of Highways.

Kentucky. Department of Parks.

Highway planning – Kentucky.

Parks – Kentucky.