Benjamin Taliaferro Ware (1853 – 1937)

Benjamin Taliaferro Ware
Added by: Rhondelle Blankenship

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“WARE, BENJAMIN TALIAFERRO (1853-1937).  Benjamin Taliaferro (Tol) Ware , banker and rancher, son of Benjamin and Mary Jane (Price) Ware, was born on November 10, 1853, in Rome, Georgia.  The Ware family plantation was among those devastated during the Civil Ear by Sherman’ March to the Sea in 1864.

When he was in his early teens Ware moved with his family to Texas, settling near Dallas.  Before he was twenty-one, he and his brother Charles established  a store in what later became Brown County; they later opened a similar operation in Colorado City.  Both stores became important supply centers for various ranching outfits, including the JA Ranch.  In 1879 Ware married Mary Hooper, also from Georgia.  They had four children.  In1887 he decided to more to California for his health.  Friends urged him to try the climate in the Panhandle, and as a result he and his family spent time in Amarillo in 1889.

Ware was employed by the Smith and Walker mercantile firm for one year before his election as Potter county treasurer in 1890.  He later became the representative of Panhandle cattlemen in commission houses at Chicago and Kansas and handled some of the largest cattle transactions in the region.

In the meantime Ware bought the MK and Cross C ranches in Borden County, running as many as 45,000 cattle on them.  He also leased the Flying Pan Ranch west of Amarillo in 1895.  In 1899 he moved to Forth Worth to oversee his ranching  operations but returned a year later and bought the Amarillo Bank.  Ware operated the bank until 1906, when he sold sis stock and bought Channing Mercantile and Banking Company and organized the Western Bank and Trust Company.  In 1909 he repurchased the Amarillo National Bank which he merged tith Western Bank and Trust; he served as its president for the remainder of his life.

Though he never ran for public office, Ware was a strong supporter of Democratic Party leaders.  He was a trustee of the Amarillo Public Schools in 1899 and 1905; served as vice president and director of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce in 1912; and was on the board of directors of the American Red Cross after its organization in Amarillo in 1917.  He was a Baptist and an active Mason.

On September 7, 1937, he died at his home in Amarillo after an attack of indigestion.  He was buried in the Llano Cemetery.”

Source:  The Handbook of Texas Online

Biography written by H. Allen Anderson from various sources.


Benjamin Taliaferro Ware (1853 – 1937) — 1 Comment

  1. Another great example of the opportunities in our country. Successful rancher becomes banker and community leader. Great article Vicki,


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