William Franklin Ware (1895 – 1959)

“William Franklin Ware was born in the Grant Hotel, Guthrie, KY on Dec. 17, 1895,the second child of Edmund Jasper Ware, grandson of the Pioneer Edmund Ware and Allie Grant Rogers (daughter of Alexander Franklin Rogers and Tennessee Virginia Grant).  He was raised with two sisters: Elizabeth Virginia Ware and Bessie Rogers Ware (Schield), and one brother, Edmund Rogers Ware.

The family moved to Trenton when he was quite young.  He graduated from Trenton High School and attended Sewanee University as well as the old Bethel College in Russellville.  He originated ‘streaking’ as he streaked across the campus of Bethel College on a dare.  He served in WWI in the Air Corps.

Early in his life he became interested in leasing land for oil exploration and he leased deeds around Scottsville, KY.  In the 1940’s and 1950’s, he leased holdings in Todd County which produced a small oil well on the George Kennedy farm near Hermon.

An avid hunter and fisherman, Mr. Ware shot the first deer in Bernheim Forest Reservation when it was opened for hunting in 1946.  It was broadcast over the radio and his son William E. Ware living in Colorado heard the news.

Mr. Ware’s greatest and most successful business was growing, contracting and processing of popcorn.  He was first handler of large quantities of popcorn south of the Ohio River; he was a Charter Member of the Popcorn Processors Association, Chicago, IL.  He started his popcorn business in the early 1930’s.  The brand called the ‘Kentucky Kernel’ was processed and packaged at the Trenton plant and shipped by rail and truck to movie houses all over the southern United States.  The processing plant operated from the middle 1930’s until 1950 when it burned down.  His son Robert F. Ware still runs the family business (W.F. Ware Co., Inc.) and continues to contract popcorn in Todd County and many of the surrounding counties.

On Jan. 2, 1922, he was married to Martha Graham Ramsey (daughter 0f Robert Treenary Ramsey and Rosa Lizzie Baker Graham) who was born in Elkton, KY on Sept. 8, 1905…

Their children were William Edmund Ware, Robert F. Ware, and Rosamond Ware (Damron).  William F. Ware passed away May 20, 1959 of an apparent heart attack and Martha Ramsey Ware passed away Dec. 16, 1990 following a long battle with Alzheimers’ disease.”

Source:  History of Todd County, by Turner Publishing Co., Paducah KY, 1995, page 305


William Franklin Ware (1895 – 1959) — 1 Comment

  1. Dear Sir, After reading the above history i discovered the name Allie Grant Rodgers and Her parents of which her mother Tennessee Virginia Grant and traced back to the Grant Hotel in Guthrie. In the 1880 census my Great Grandmother Sammie Grant is listed as a niece of Martha Grant who ran the hotel. Her father Samuel B. Grant Jr. Had a 1/2 sister Tennessee Virginia (Rodgers) Allie Rodgers Mother. Thanks for the time.

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