Who Was John Ware?

JOHN WARE WITH WIFE MILDRED LEWIS WARE, DAUGHTER NETTIE AND SON BOB

JOHN WARE WITH WIFE MILDRED LEWIS WARE, DAUGHTER NETTIE AND SON BOB

Who was John Ware?

He arrived in the southern foothills of Alberta on a warm fall day - September 25th 1882 - on the first major cattle drive from Texas via Idaho. Unknown factors persuaded him that southern Alberta was the place he wanted to spend the rest of his life. Within days of his arrival the weather changed suddenly and dramatically, catching him and a dozen other cowboys far from shelter in a blizzard. To save their lives, the cowboys abandoned their cattle and fled to the warmth and safety of the ranch house, with the exception of John Ware, who failed to return to the Bar U. He was given up for dead. Four days later, the ranch boss was astonished to find him hundreds of miles to the south, warming his hands over a fire, herd intact. This act of survival and determination in hostile territory was the first in a series of exceptional acts that launched his seemingly immortal legacy. There are many tales of his uncanny abilities and preternatural strength that stray into the realm of mythology. What emerges out of the folklore, however, is that he was the most skilled horseman around, a pillar of the ranching community,an innovator and a sly wit. Bold and smart, he was at the vanguard of the industry that drove Canada’s early economy. He stood out then, not just from other Black men of his time, but from all men of his time. He stands out still. There are seven geographic locations named for him in Alberta.

On February 29th, 1892, John Ware married Mildred Lewis, the oldest daughter of Charlotte and Daniel Lewis, who had come west from Toronto. John and Mildred had six children: Nettie, Bob, Arthur, William, Mildred and Daniel (who died in infancy.) After both John and Mildred died in 1905, the children were raised by Mildred’s parents.

ARTICLE: Freed slave who became Alberta rancher to be featured in National Film Board production

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/john-ware-rancher-freed-slave-film-1.4247426

WARE’S FAMILY: John Ware, Lewis family

http://www.glenbow.org/collections/search/findingAids/archhtm/ware.cfm#series1

Cheryl Foggo discusses her fascination with Alberta cowboy John Ware

http://www.leaderpost.com/Cheryl+Foggo+discusses+fascination+with+Alberta+cowboy+John+Ware/10131227/story.html

Mildred Family

http://ww2.glenbow.org/search/archivesPhotosResults.aspx?XC=/search/archivesPhotosResults.aspx&TN=IMAGEBAN&AC=QBE_QUERY&RF=WebResults&DF=WebResultsDetails&DL=0&RL=0&NP=255&MF=WPEngMsg.ini&MR=10&QB0=AND&QF0=File+number&QI0=pa-4011-1:pa-4011-16

Ware’s Ranch and Dog

http://ww2.glenbow.org/search/archivesPhotosResults.aspx?XC=/search/archivesPhotosResults.aspx&TN=IMAGEBAN&AC=QBE_QUERY&RF=WebResults&DF=WebResultsDetails&DL=0&RL=0&NP=255&MF=WPEngMsg.ini&MR=10&QB0=AND&QF0=File+number&QI0=na-266

Nettie Receiving an Honorary

http://ww2.glenbow.org/search/archivesPhotosResults.aspx?XC=/search/archivesPhotosResults.aspx&TN=IMAGEBAN&AC=QBE_QUERY&RF=WebResults&DF=WebResultsDetails&DL=0&RL=0&NP=255&MF=WPEngMsg.ini&MR=10&QB0=AND&QF0=File+number&QI0=pa-4011-52:pa-4011-54