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From left, Sara Sims, Erin Loveland, Laura Simon, Gary Sims, Sandi Lanning and Anna Byers gather recently at the Artesia Public Library for the presentation of a $1,500 donation from J.S. Ward & Son Inc. to the Friends of the Library.  Courtesy Photo

From left, Sara Sims, Erin Loveland, Laura Simon, Gary Sims, Sandi Lanning and Anna Byers gather recently at the Artesia Public Library for the presentation of a $1,500 donation from J.S. Ward & Son Inc. to the Friends of the Library. Courtesy Photo

By BEVERLY KODESH
Special to the Daily Press
Fourth of July, our country’s celebration of independence. Four generations. Fourth Street. What’s the tie? It’s J.S. Ward & Son celebrating its 90th  year as an independent insurance agency in Artesia.
In April 1925, J.S. “Fritz” Ward set up shop in a building just west of Guy Chevrolet’s current location. Next door was the office of Martin Yates Jr.’s fledgling petroleum company. One of Ward’s early customers was a classmate, Charles R. Martin, whose initial framed policy No. 8 hangs on the wall of the company’s current office in the Ward Building on Fourth Street. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.