Harry L. Ware (1873 – )

“HARRY L. WARE, general manager of the Detroit store of Frank & Seder, the largest exclusive ready-to-wear mercantile establishment in Michigan, has been a resident of Detroit only a comparatively short time, but in this period he has attained a foremost position in mercantile circles.  Mr Ware was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, December 11, 1873, and is a son of Clarkson M. and Mary Elizabeth (Steir) Ware, the father being a retired merchant.

Harry L. Ware was educated in the public schools of Oskaloosa.  Upon leaving the high school he began his business career in the employ of the Sam Baldauf Dry Goods Company, thus entering upon a line of business to which he has since devoted his energies and achieved such marked success.  His original position was a minor one, but industry and fidelity won promotion for him from time to time, and he remained with his first employer for four years.  He then went to Des Moines, Iowa, where he became a member of the firm of Younker Brothers Company, the largest department store in Iowa, and acted as merchandise manager.  His connection with this firm covered a period of seventeen years, when he resigned to accept the position as merchandise manager for the Emery, Bird & Thayer Dry Goods Company at Kansas City, Missouri.  He remained here for three years.

Each change in Mr. Ware’s business career has marked a step forward and it was in 1917 that he came to Detroit to become general manager of the Emporium.  During the three years that he was the managing head of this establishment, his progressive spirit, splendid managerial ability and strong personality quickly won recognition and it was only  natural consequence that the opportunity for further advancement in the mercantile fired should be offered to him.  In 1921, when Frank & Seder, the remarkable merchandisers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, decided to open a store in Detroit, they followed their well know policy of procuring the ablest executives by offering the position of general manager to Mr. Ware.  The firm of Frank & Seder is one of the largest organizations in the United States dealing in ready-to-wear apparel for men, women and children, and their business in Detroit is incorporated under the laws of Michigan with a capitalization of three million dollars.  Their store, with a frontage of one hundred and eighty feet on Woodward avenue, in heart of the retail district, and their building of eight stories, is all devoted to merchandising.  In April, 1921, the first unit of the store was opened and it can truly be said that it marked s distinct epoch in merchandising in Detroit.  Many characterized it as a sensation.

Mr. Ware’s long experience in connection with merchandising and his intimate and comprehensive knowledge of the business, well qualifies him for the direction of this mammoth commercial concern.

On the 4th of May, 1893, Mr. Ware was married to Miss Cora Woods of Oskaloosa, Iowa, a daughter of Hon, James K. Woods of that city.

From the coming of Mr. Ware to Detroit he became a forceful factor in commercial circles and is recognized as a citizen of most progressive and loyal spirit, whose aid and cooperation can at all times be counted upon further any plan or project that tends to advance the welfare of the city.  He is a member of the Detroit Board of Commerce, the Retail Merchants’ Association, and also holds membership in the Bloomfield Hills Country Club.”

Source:  The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Vol. 5, by William Stocking and Gordon K. Miller, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Detroit – Chicago, 1922, pages 502-3


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