The 1852-1902 Ward Books are a collection of real estate appraisals done by the county auditor for taxation purposes.
Ward books are useful for property research, both to determine when a house was constructed (usually a large jump in value will result or the assessor will make a note) or who the property owners were at the given time.
Each ward book covers four years, with an initial appraisal and the subsequent changes or increases being marked in the ledger each year. Each book is organized by wards, with an alphabetical street index at the start of each new ward on the microfilm. The ward book entries list the address of the property, the owner, and the assessments for each year.
1852-1902 are available on film in the SC Room, and there is finding aid available with examples of data from the books.