Hiram Valentine Ware (1838 – 1926 )

“Acquiring his first knowledge of Colorado in 1864, after making a trip to the territory overland with ox teams from Omaha, in which the progress of the train of one hundred wagons which he was attached was stubbornly resisted by Indians, and helping to fight a way through them, and then finding the conditions of life so entirely to his taste here that he has been since he has longed for them again, Hiram V. Ware of near Newcastle, Garfield county, returned to the state in 1881 and has since made it his permanent home.

He is a Viriginan by birth and rearing, having been born in Randolph county of the Old Dominion on August 17, 1838.  His parents, William and Matilda (Ware) Ware, were also Virginians, as their forefathers had been for many generations before them.  The father was a planter there, a prominent man in local affairs, a Democrat in politics and a Freemason in fraternal life.  Both parents were members of the Methodist church, dying many years ago in full sympathy with the organization.  Five children were born to them, of whom only Hiram and his brother William, of their native county, are living.

Mr. Ware was educated at subscription schools to a limited extent, receiving life for himself made his own living in various occupations until he reached the age of twenty.  He then learned the carpenter trade and afterwards worked at it for a period of about twenty-five years. In 1876 he engaged in the grocery trade in St. Louis, at the corner of Market and Twenty-second street, in partnership with F.E. Bush.  They continued in the business until 1878, when Mr. Ware disposed of his interest and again came to Colorado, locating at Leadville in 1881.  Here he followed carpenter work for a year, then moved to Grand river and located his present ranch, a pre-emption claim of ninety-two acres, eighty-seven which are under cultivation, producing good crops of excellent hay and supporting his large herds of cattle.  He also has ten acres of the tract in fruits and its products are large in quantity and superior in quality.  Grain and potatoes are also grown in a small way.  The water supply is sufficient for ample irrigation, he being a stockholder in the first ditch built from Elkcreek, two miles west of Newcastle.  He is so well pleased with Colorado that he says he would not live in any other state.  He takes a cordial interest in the affairs of the state, in politics being an unyielding Democrat.

In 1857 he was married to Miss Jennie Westfall, a native of Virginia, by whom he had four children.  Mary lives in Denver: Sophronia B. at Sacramento, California, where Leonora (Mrs. Taylor) and John H., the youngest son, also live.  Their mother died on December 27, 1865, and on December 14, 1867, the father was married to Miss Rebecca Jones, also a native of Virginia.  The had one child, Rueben E.  His mother died December 28, 1873.  Nearly two years afterwards, on September 13,1875, Mr. Ware married his third and present wife, Miss Alice Markley, who was born in Carrol county, Illinois, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Durfee) Markley, who were born in Ohio.  Of their marriage four children were born, all of who are living; George W., at Leadville; Josephine (Mrs. Frank Siefert), at St. Louis; Irene (Mrs. Deprey), at St.Louis; Mrs. Ware, of this state.  Her father was a successful farmer who died on June 18, 1902, since which time her mother has made her home with  Mr. and Mrs. Ware.  They have six children; Allie, Maud and Delia have died, and Josephine (Mrs. Paul Greenwood), of Newcastle, Garfield county, and Irene and Earl are living.

Mr. Ware is accounted one of the most substantial and representative citizens of the county, or even the whole Western slope.  He is enterprising and progressive, with a breadth of view and energy in reference to improvements in his section that has been productive of much good to its people, and a pleasing and entertaining manner that wins him general popularity where he is known.”

Source:  Progressive Men of Western Colorado, A.W. Bowen and Co., Chicago, 1905, pages 58-9


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