William W. Ward was a master stonemason, sculptor, architect, and painter. He was born in 1827 in Leicester, England, where he began his training under his father’s direction. He later apprenticed to an architect who worked in the English Gothic tradition. When Ward converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immigrated to America, he worked on the baptismal font of the Nauvoo Temple before coming to Utah with the pioneers. In Utah, he assisted Truman O. Angell, the Church architect. In his work, Ward also sculpted stone and painted murals. Ward carved the lion that originally graced the entrance to Brigham Young’s Lion House. The lion was modeled after one similarly placed on a prominent home in Young’s native Vermont. He also designed a significant amount of the Salt Lake City Endowment House.
Ward also carved tombstones, most notably the one honoring Thomas Tanner, superintendent of the Public Works Blacksmith Shop, who died in an accident.
According to the Ensign magazine, “What is perhaps Ward’s finest remaining piece is the elaborately carved stone sent from Utah for the Washington Monument in 1855. It skillfully expresses the rich symbolism of the early Restoration.”
He died in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1893.