Rufus Ward



Native of Columbus, MS and resides in West Point and Columbus, Mississippi

Wife Karen- retired Social Worker/Adoptions  with Miss Dept Of Human Services

Daughter Sarah Hoffman, son-in-law Aaron and grandchildren  Harper and Sykes live in Alexandria, VA

Son: Bailey lives in Gulfport, MS

Dog: Lillie a "Llewellin" English Setter

Education and Professional

BA in Educationl Ole Miss 1972 (attended MSU during summers)

Juris Dr. Ole Miss 1974

Completed Education for Ministry Program, University of the South (Sewanee), School of Theology.

Retired Clay County Prosecuting Attorney





The Tombigbee River Steamboats, The History Press, 2010.

Columbus Chronicles, The History Press, 2012.

A Guide to the Use of 19th Century Court Records, (Digital) Billups-Garth Archives, Columbus Lowndes County Public Library, 2009.


By the Flow of the Inland River, A History of Columbus, Mississippi To 1825, With Sam Kaye and Carolyn Kaye, Snapping Turtle Press, 1992.

Contributing Author:

After Removal, The Choctaw in Mississippi, Wells and Tubby Editors, University Press of Mississippi, 1986

A Very Remarkable Bluff, Harry L Sherman editor, MUW Plymouth Bluff Center, 2007.

Journal articles:

English Earthenwares Associated with Early 19th Century Choctaw Sites,  Mississippi Archaeology Vol 18(1),1983

19th Century Choctaw Indian Reservation Sites in Lowndes County, Mississippi, Mississippi Archaeology 19(2), 1984

The Tombigbee Crossing of the De Soto Expedition, Mississippi Archaeology 21(2), 1986

Reconstructing the Topography of Protohistoric Aboriginal Sites, Mississippi Archaeology 22(2), 1987

Shell-Edge Decorated Ceramics, Mississippi Archaeology 32(1),1997

Magazine and newspaper:

Columnist for Columbus Commercial Dispatch (circulation 14,500) 2010 to present with over 475 columns published on local and regional history.

Author of numerous articles on regional history for other newspapers and magazines 1984 to present.


Public presentations:

Lecture on Tombigbee River steamboats for Mississippi State University's Distinguished Lecture Series in 2010.

Lecturer for Mississippi University for Women's Life Enrichment Program, 2010 - 2018

Lecturer for EMCC's LION (Learning in Our Neighborhood) Program, 2019.

Since 1980 many presentations have been made on Southern history and culture to groups ranging from  area schools and universities to civic organizations in Mississippi and Alabama.



In 1994 and 2010 received The Calvin Brown Award from the Mississippi Association of Professional Archaeologists " in recognition of service by an amateur archaeologist in aid of historic preservation in the State of Mississippi"

In 1997 received a Resolution of Commendation from the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives & History for "contributions and commitment to the preservation and interpretation of Mississippi History."

The restoration of "Ole Homestead" my ca. 1825 home in Columbus received the 2014 Trudy Allen Award for residential restoration in Mississippi from the Mississippi Heritage Trust.

The Ole Homestead has been designated a Mississippi Landmark by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Honorary Commander 43rd Flying Training Squadron, Columbus Air force Base



In 2009 about Southern History by Michael Feldman on National Public Radio's "Whad 'ya Know" program.

A feature on the history of Memorial Day appeared in the May 27, 2012, New York Times and included an interview with and photo of Ward.

Other interviews have appeared in Southern Living and many regional magazines and newspapers.

Also frequently interviewed by area television stations on Southern History.




Chairman of the Billups-Garth Foundation, Columbus, Mississippi

Chairman, Board of Directors of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Museum

Board of Directors Northeast Mississippi Red Cross Chapter, Tupelo, Mississippi

Board of Directors of the Regional Foundation for Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities

Board of Directors of Prairie Belt Blues Foundation, West Point, MS

Licensed diocesan lay reader, Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi

Board of Managers Gray Center Episcopal Camp and Conference Center, Way, Mississippi


Represented Mississippi for maximum term 9 years on the Board of Advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and served as Board Secretary for the Southern Region of the United States.

Former Board of Directors of Magowah Gun & Country Club

Former state alumni president Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity

Former secretary of the Mississippi de Soto Trail Commission.

Former board member of Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District

Served 5 terms on Board of Directors of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association and former president of the Clay County Bar Association