James Britton Ware Sr. (1830 – 1918)

“Mr. James Britton Ware was born in Coweta, now Heard county, Georgia, June 16, 1830.  He was a son of John Mimms Ware and Mrs. Lucy Sturdivant Ware.  His father was a planter, and lived to be fifty years old.  His mother lived to be seventy-nine years old and did not remarry.  His parental ancestry was English.  Mr. Ware married Sarah Ann Simms, Ocetober 11, 1849.  She was a daughter of John Simms and of Mrs. Comfort Grace Simms, both of English decent.  Mrs. Ware died September 3, 1916.  Born unto this union were ten children, seven sons and three daughters.  The names of the sons in the order of their age are: John Fletcher, Alonzo Crawford, Albert Zolicoffer, Britton (deceased), Henry Hall,  Robert Housan, Rigdon Mimms.  The names of the daughters are: Alberta Virginia, Almira Elizabeth, Addie Glenn (deceased).

Mr. Ware lived on the same farm eighty-seven years.  The house in which he was born is on the same plantation, and it is in a good state of preservation.  He was a planter all his life, but operated a tannery in connection with his farm for thirty-six.  In 1851, in his twenty-first year, he was elected justice of the peace and served eight years.  In 1858 he was elected a member of the Inferior Court,and served ten years, to 1868, when the court was dissolved.  In October, 1859, he was elected to the Georgia Legislature and served two years.  He was elected Captain of Company G, Georgia Troops,Wilcoxon Regiment, General Iverson’s Brigade, 1863.  Though he was exempt from military service because of his office as a member of the Inferior Court, he entered service for six months, but was never in a battle.  In 1872 he was incorporated in the Jury Commissioners’ Bill , and was re-appointed to that position successively until 1904.  In 1874 he was elected to the Legislature, his opponent being Bob Smith, a Negro, whom he defeated by 500 votes, there being 700 votes cast in the county.  He served two years and then retired from politics until 1901, when he was elected justice of the peace. to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of his son, Henry Hall Ware.  He held this off until January 1, 1917.  In 1904 he was elected Senator of the 37th District of Georgia, and served two years.  While in the Senate he introduced and secured the passage of a bill making drunkenness on the public highway a misdemeanor.  Mr. Ware served as foreman of the grand jury for twenty-one times in Heard county.  During his term as State Senator he refused to accept free passes over the railroad, ans strongly favored anti-pass legislation.

Mr. Ware was converted in 1849, and joined Bethel Baptist church, Heard county, in1851.  He was baptized by Rev. Young Wood.  He confessed that he made a mistake by not joining the church at the time of his conversion.  Mr. Ware was elected a deacon of Bethel church June 9, 1860, and was ordained of Friday, September 7th, of the same year… Mr. Ware served Bethel church as an active deacon from September 1860, until 1917.  He never missed a communion service or a protracted meeting when not providentially hindered, and he was the custodian of the communion service for forty-three years.  He missed only about six conferences of his church from 1851 to 1917, and only z few sessions of the Western Association since 1856.  For many years he was chairman of the preaching committee of that body, and  served as  treasurer of the association forty years.  In 1909 he served as moderator of the Western Association at Elim church, where he was elected for the first time as treasurer.  He was arbiter in the settlement of many noted church difficulties.  Mr. Ware for more than sixty years was noted for his hospitality.  Perhaps no man in Heard county, or evn in the State of Georgia, entertained more friends and strangers than he.

In his personal appearance he was striking, being six feet four inches tall, and at eighty-seven years of age he was straight as an arrow, and weighed 175 pounds.  His average weight for many years was 200 pounds.  He had the distinction of having fifty-nine grandchildren, and forty-three great-grandchildren.

Soon after the death of his wife, Mr. Ware moved from his plantation in Heard county, where he had lived all his life, and made his home with his son, H.H. Ware in Hogansville, Georgia.  It had long been his custom to insist the Baptists should have their membership in the church of the community in which they lived. It had been the motto of his long life to practice the things he taught, and to practice them before teaching them when he had opportunity.  Notwithstanding he had never had his church membership anywhere else except Bethel, into whose fellowship he was baptized when a young man, and notwithstanding the ties of friendship in that church, he moved his membership to the First Baptist church of Hogansville a few months before his death.  It was his habit, in spite of the fact that he was in his eighty-eighth year, never to miss a regular service of his church.  No citizen in Hogansville had more influence over men of maturity than did Mr. Ware.  It was largely through his personal efforts that one of the substantial citizens of the community, who had not been accustomed to attend church in many yeas, was led to faith in Christ in the year of 1917 and to make profession of that faith by uniting with the church and submitting to the ordinance of baptism.

Early in January, 1918, Mr.Ware made his home with his daughter, Mrs. A.V. Orr, at Corinth.  On January 25th, 1918, his daughter-in-law, Mrs. H.H. Ware, passed away and her funeral was conducted on Sunday the 27th.  Mr Ware attended the funeral and was in his usual health.  On Wednesday afternoon following, while seated in his private chamber, he complained of feeling unwell,and in a few moments he threw up his hand and said: ‘I am gone.’  He passed away without long and painful illness.  In accordance with his expressed wishes, and his funeral was conducted on Friday by his pastor, Dr. B.J.W. Graham, assisted by his former pastor, Rev. F.J. Amis.

A volume might be written on the incidents of Mr. Ware’s life, may be said, in short, that he was every whit a Christian gentleman of the old school, whose sense of honor was keen from beginning to end of his remarkable career.  The posterity which he has left has received from him a rich heritage in the examples of a useful life.  And though he be dead, the influence of his life will continue to live.”


James Britton Ware, Sr
Added by: John Dickinson

Photo Source:  FindAGrave


Source:  Baptist Biography, Vol. 2, edited by B.J.W. Graham D.D., published by Index Printing Co., Atlanta, Georgia, 1920, pages 348-50


Ware Family Reunion 1903

Row 1: J. B. and Sarah Simms Ware; Row 2 (all rows L to R): Louisa Hanson Simms; Janey Ware (Cook); Sarah Ware (Sanders); Ione Ware (Askew); Pat Ware (Pinson); Margaret Snow (Brown); Elizabeth Snow (Smith); Vaughn Snow; Charles Ware; A. C. Ware, Jr.; Henry Hall Ware, Sr. holding Hall, Jr.;Albert Z. Ware; Row 3: John Dickinson Simms; Rev. Hammond; Rev. John Amis; Alberta Ware Orr; Almyra Poss Ware; Adelaide Ware Snow; Ethel Ware Stallings holding Sarah Stallings (Helms); Emma Ware; Annie Walker Ware; Row 4: Love Snow (Moncrief); Forde Darden (Hassan); Gibson Orr (Whitley); Sarah Snow; Olive Snow; George Snow holding Sarah Snow; Thomas Snow; Row 5: Goss Mattox; Jennie Orr (Arnold); Mary Orr Darden; Vallie Davis Ware; Robert Hanson Ware; Rigdon Mims Ware; Roop Snow; Wade Stallings holding Freeman Stallings; Croff Ware holding James Britt Ware II; Sally Kendrick Ware; Row 6: J. R. Pike; Tom Ware; Alva Ware; J. R. Ware; Mattox Snow; Robert Snow; John Snow; Myra Lou Ware (Williams); Veberta Snow (Moncrief); Lucy Ware (White); and Mrs. Amis.

Ware Family Reunion 1903

Source:  History of Heard Co GA on-line.  Supplied by Raymond Ware.


James Britton Ware Sr. (1830 – 1918) — 1 Comment

  1. This is a great tribute to a great man who not only was a tremendous public servant to mankind, but also to our Lord. I was especially moved by the part that he refused to accept free passes over the railroad and strongly favored anti-pass legislation. We need much more of this kind of legislation in our government today. Thanks,

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