Without a doubt Col. Ward Schrantz was the leading authority on the history of Jasper County. He authored Jasper County in The Civil War that had a copyright in 1923 and was reprinted in 1988 by the Kiwanis Club. He was also a veteran, serving in WW I and WW II, as well as the Mexican border conflict and another book, Guarding The Border: Military Memoirs about that conflict, was edited by Jeff Patrick and original historical research done by Patrick was also added.
Born in 1890, he came here from Ohio as a small child with his parents and made this his home. His Military career spanned many years and his awards were numerous including medals for the European, African Middle East Theater, a Bronze Star, The American Theater Campaign and a Silver Star. He also was awarded Missouri’s highest military award, the State Meritorious Military medal in 1946. His love of the Military led him to develop the war museum at Memorial Hall. His war artifacts are also on display at the courthouse and the Jasper County Records Center.
His newspaper career began when he was a carrier for The Carthage Press and through the years he held many titles at the Press. At his death he was the editorial and features writer. In the post war era he wrote features, primarily historical in nature for The Press. He served on the Press Board of Directors as Vice President. His knowledge of our history made him a sought after speaker on historical topics. And it was not uncommon for school children to seek him out for help with their history projects.
He served as a City Councilman, an Elder in the Presbyterian Church and was always willing to serve if he thought he could help the cause.
He suddenly dropped dead at the corner of Lyon and Fourth St. on July 3, 1958 and it was presumed he had suffered a heart attack.
He had married Delphia Hoover and they were the parents of two daughters who survived him.