Emery Ward, Maine Game Warden
Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
A year before Millinocket was incorporated, Emery Ward came to town. It was June of 1900 and Emery, born in New Brunswick, had worked for a time in Old Town for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. In Millinocket, Ward was foreman for the roundhouse and car inspector for the B and A. He was happy to move to Millinocket as he had been coming to the area each fall to hunt. At that time, there was a sporting camp out near the tracks and the train only stopped when flagged.
Later, Ward became a Maine game warden and also served as a deputy sheriff and a town constable. He worked closely with Millinocket police chief Fred Gates. People called Ward “Old Emery” and Gates “Old Fred.” Ward’s knowledge of the woods around Millinocket was uncanny and often if people saw the two men start off together into the woods was that someone was lost or had failed to return from a fishing trip on time.
Information about Emery Ward came to the museum recently as a packet of photos and news articles from a grandson in Indiana, John H. Ward. Just a few weeks ago, another grandson, Donald Ward donated a relief model of Mt. Katahdin (made by Capt. Ellis Hall) to the museum. The quotes about Game Warden Emery Ward are from a weekly column in the Millinocket Journal by “Portia,” a popular writer for the paper. The article was published after Ward’s death in 1940.
As a game warden, these are some quotes about him in the article.
“Mr. Ward used good judgement and never made ‘mountains out of molehills.’”
When catching some boys fishing without a license and he knew the family dinner would consist of potatoes and salt, he would tell them, “All right this time because I want your mother to have her dinner, but next time I shall expect to see the license.” Ward loved to fish and if he had a good-days catch “all the largest and best fish would go to friends and neighbors while the smaller ones went into Mrs. Ward’s frying pan.”
There is no record, but (according to the Portia article), “he no doubt during his lifetime located more lost hunters, fishermen, berry pickers etc. and more bodies of downing accidents than any other person in this area. He also, on several occasions, miraculously escaped the loss of his own life, when vicious poachers took shots at him.”
John H. Ward, who sent the materials about his grandfather is seeking confirmation of a family story. Did Game Warden Emery Ward rescue Louis Sockalexis
following an accident somewhere in the area around Mt. Katahdin? It would have to have been late 1890’s to maybe 1910 when Ward was still a warden and after Sockalexis was back in the Bangor area after playing pro baseball for the Cleveland Spiders. If anyone has heard this story, please let me know!