Marcus L. Ward was born in Newark, New Jersey on November 9, 1812. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. He went to work in his family’s candle manufacturing company, where he eventually was made a partner. He also was involved in the banking industry, as well as taking an active part in the founding of the Newark Library Association. Ward first entered politics as a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention, a position he held again in 1864. After an unsuccessful bid for the governor’s office in 1862, Ward was elected to the governorship on November 7, 1865. During his tenure, prison reform was implemented; and a public school act was sanctioned. After completing his gubernatorial term, Ward continued to stay active in politics. In 1873 he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held for two years. Governor Marcus L. Ward passed away on April 25, 1884, and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
New Jersey State Library (pdf)