About Wards Store ...
Martin and Thomas Ward founded Ward & Company in 1884 and in 1890 Ward's Store was est. In Dec. 1903 Martin purchased Tom's share of the business. In 1901 Martin built a new building that is 50'x100', a brick structure, two stories high with a full basement which Ward and Company owned. The main floor of 5000 sq ft would become the General Store which was called Ward's Store. The second floor of the new structure was to be used for offices and rooms for the help on the west side and the east side has higher ceiling in the north part that would be used as a meeting hall.
Martin was the business manager and assisted by his sons Edward and James until 1926, when they purchased the business from their father.
On Nov. 27, Ed and Jim dissolved their partnership. The Ward Family leased the building to Mr. Bouchard he opened Bouchard's Department Store. Ed opened his own mercantile company on the north side of Main Street. The Bouchard business was damaged by fire in May 1930 and it closed. The fire damage was repaired and the building restored by July 1930. On that date Ed moved back into the building with a general merchandise business.
After his discharge from the Army in 1952, Bill Ward returned to help his father Ed operate this store. On Jan. 1, 1962 upon Ed's retirement, Bill purchased Ward's Store from is father. He became the third generation to own and operate the business in that location. Bill managed the business with the help of his wife Kathleen and his seven children until his death on Aug. 13, 1985.
Kathleen (Bertrang) Ward became the first woman in the 101 year history of the business to own and operate the store. Her son Daniel who operates a construction company in Bryant assisted her in the operations. On Feb. 1, 1995 Kathleen retired and Daniel purchased the business from his mother. That makes Dan the fourth generation to own and operate the business.
Dan his wife Mary (Horner) Ward now own and operate the business. They have two children, the fifth generation Melissa and Jonathan which help in the business. We still operate out of the same building.
Since Dan took over the business it has changed, 3 motel room were added and the name changed to Wards Store & Motel 3. 'We'll leave half a light on for you' is are slogan. Two years later 2 more room were added. The store has a complete kitchen, fresh meat counter, groceries, fishing tackle, bait, hunting supplies, trapping supplies and licenses.
When Jonathan finished technical school in 2007. He has helped start the on-line store WardsStore.net.
Jonathan has help in Dan's construction Company with that knowledge he has with the help of Dan put stairs to the upper level on the outside and since made 7 apartments and his office where he does laser engraving.
Also the Store has a new product Whiz's Pizza. Mary's dad started and ran Whiz's Pizza in Watertown, SD and since the passing of her brother Craig who took over when Whiz passed away brought the family recipe for the pizza to the Bryant Ward's Store. Now it is the New Home of Whiz's Pizza.
With Dan retiring from Construction some. Jonny has been helping out with the Store/ Bar/ Grill. He runs and owns the rental property on the upper level and will probably take over the Store making him the 5th generation owner.
Dan has been doing more of the online sales and has sought out the help of his younger brother Rich Ward as he knows the ins and outs of computers.
We have been doing some remodeling in the bar area of the store bringing back the old stamp ceiling. We will keep you updated on this and will add some pictures of the store.
Thanks for your business and we will see what the future holds for us.