Veterans Day is approaching and it is time to honor the soldiers in our families. Perhaps you have someone to write about, too.
Frank Hadden Ware was born October 11, 1893 in Sommerville, MA. His parents John (Jack) and Lulu Ware had moved to Massachusetts from Paducah, Kentucky, because Jack worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in Boston. Lulu’s sister, Emma and her husband Franklin E. Wolfe lived nearby.
Two other children, Marguerite and Aileen were born in Sommerville before Jack was transferred to California to open the Met Life office in San Francisco. Later he was transferred to Los Angeles. When Jack was offered a more lucrative position as a manager on an oil lease for Cleveland Oil, in Fellows, CA, the family split up, dividing their time between Fellows and Los Angeles. Frank and Marguerite were enrolled in Hollywood High School and lived with the Wolfe’s at their home in Coal Grove. (Coal Grove became part of Los Angeles.) Franklin Wolfe was managing editor for the Los Angeles Herald.
Frank was a fun loving and talented young man. He played the violin.
Jack Ware died in Fellows in June of 1913. Frank became the man of the house, except there wasn’t one. All these years, the Wares had rented homes (see story of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake) or been guests of the Wolfes’.
Lulu used Jack’s life insurance money to buy 4 lots in the Hollywood hills above Vine St. and built a large two story duplex. (An apartment was later added for Frank when he married.)
Frank worked as a “printers devil”, (an apprentice who mixes the ink or fetches type) for his uncle at the Herald. After the bombing of the Los Angeles Times, Franklin Wolfe wrote and directed a movie about it. Both Frank and Marguerite has small parts in the silent film.
December 15, 1917, Frank enlisted in the Army at Ft. McDowell, CA. Initially he was assigned to the camouflage unit and was sent to France. He transferred to the Signal Corps and was assigned to the 16th Balloon Corp. There he participated in the greatest air battle of the War during the St. Mihiel Offensive. His term of service expired Dec 3, 1918 and he was honorably discharged.
No one in the family was happier upon his return, than his mother, Lulu. She had made a promise to dedicate herself to taking care of the sick and dying, if God would return her son safely to her. She volunteered at the Sawtelle Military Hospital in Los Angeles. She looked upon every mother’s son as her own and literally became their mother, providing loving care on a regular basis for years. She celebrated their birthdays with parties, took them on outings and picnics, organized dances and baked cookies and cakes. She wrote letters home to their families. And she was there when a soldier was dying.
Frank began his career after the War as a film editor and worked on such films as “The Haunted House” (1928), “Broadway Babies,” (1929), “A Notorious Affair,” (1930) and “42 Street,” (1933).
On April 25, 1923, Frank married Jeanne Spencer, a Kentucky girl, who had come to Hollywood with her family to enter a beauty contest. Jeanne got a job working as a screen writer and later wrote novels.
In late November of 1932, Frank was taken to the hospital complaining of terrible pain in his abdomen. Driving over a railroad track his appendix burst and he died of complications November 30, 1932.
My Uncle Frank had died before I was born. My mother spoke of him often and I learned about him from her. I am certain he was loved by all he knew.