Eber Brock Ward (1811-1875)

Captain Eber B. Ward, of Detroit, Michigan; "Steamship King of the Great Lakes"

Associated Houses

Eber B. Ward Mansion


Emily Ward Mansion


He was described as an, "Industrial Colossus" and was said to have had "no business peer in the Northwest". The son of a Lighthouse Keeper, he became a major industrialist, nicknamed "the first of the Iron Kings" and the "Steamship King of the Great Lakes". From acquiring land for timber, he expanded into iron ore, copper and silver. Relentless in his scope, he then branched into newspapers, railroads, banking, shipping, and insurance. He was Detroit's first millionaire (leaving a fortune of $6 million at his death) and the wealthiest man in the Midwest. Despite his good fortune in business, nearly all his family by his first wife were plagued with insanity. His daughter by his second marriage was the extraordinary and stunning Clara Ward who became the Princess de Caraman-Chimay before running off with a Gypsy. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 07/11/2019 and last updated on 15/11/2019.
Image from the Detroit Public Library Collections; A Case Without Parallel”: The Sensational Battle over Eber Brock Ward's Will and Subsequent Legacy of Detroit's First Great Industrialist, by Justin Wargo for the Michigan Historical Review, 2013; Eber Brock Ward, Midwest Captain of Industry, Bayviewcompass.com; Eber Ward MostlyDetroit Blog