Born at Sunbury, son of William and Annie McIntosh Ward. She was the daughter of Lachlan Mclntosh, and sister of Commodore James McKay McIntosh, and Maria McIntosh. John Elliott Ward became an attorney and established a law practice in Savannah, Georgia. In 1836 he became solicitor of the Eastern Judicial Circuit. He was appointed U.S. Attorney in 1838. He resigned from that position when he was elected a state representative, and served in that position again in 1845 and 1853. During the latter term he was elected speaker of the house.
In 1854 he was elected mayor of Savannah, Georgia. He presided over the Democratic National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1856 when James Buchanan was nominated for and later elected president of the U.S. He was elected a state senator in 1857, served as president of that body, and was at one time lieutenant governor of Georgia. He resigned as state senator to accept a federal appointment as the first U.S. Minister to China.
He married Olivia Buckminister (1819-1890) of Boston, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1839. She was the younger sister of James Swan Sullivan, a physician in Savannah, Georgia. His wife died in New Jersey, while John Elliott Ward died in Liberty County, and is buried in Midway Church cemetery. He was survived by two daughters and one son. Two of his kinspersons in Liberty County when this book was published were Cordella Jones Browning of Riceboro, and Major General (U.S. Army-Retired) James Francis Cochran III of Hinesville.
From "Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia" by Robert Long Groover; Appendix Number #, Page(s); Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office