Allison Burr Ware (1847 – 1914)


Hon. Allison B. Ware, who is one of the best known and most eminently successful lawyers of the bar of Sonoma county, has been a resident of the city of Santa Rosa since taking up his location in California over thirty years ago, and during all this time has been identified with the best interests of city and county in addition to his successful prosecution of his profession. He has enjoyed a liberal and high-class patronage, and throughout his long and varied practice in local courts and the courts of appeal he has exhibited an ability and high-minded integrity that have well won him the esteem and trust of his fellow men. He has been honored with offices of trust and responsibility, and his career from his entrance into responsible activity has been highly creditable to himself and useful to the community.

Mr. Ware was born at Fort Covington, New York, in 1847, and in that state grew to manhood and received a liberal education. At the age of twenty-one he came to California, and his principal interests have been identified with Sonoma county ever since. He was admitted to practice before the supreme court of the state, and, a short time after, was elected district attorney for a term of two years, from 1880. He filled that important office with marked ability and absolute fearlessness. He has enjoyed a large general practice almost since the inception of his legal career, and has given his best efforts to the work. He was at one time also president of the Santa Rosa National Bank.

Mr. Ware followed teaching for several years in his young manhood, and has accordingly been able to give an intelligent interest to educational affairs. He has served as president of the city board of education and also of the county board of education, and has done much for the schools and the advancement of the standard of education. Mr. Ware is a Knight Templar Mason, and has been frequently honored with high offices by that order. He has been exalted ruler of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks ever since its establishment in Santa Rosa.

Mr. Ware married Miss Lilla Werlein of New Orleans, and they are the parents of seven children: Allison, the oldest son, now twenty-three years old. is a graduate of the University of California, and is now an attorney-at-law; he is a married man. Philip McG., the second son, aged twenty-one, graduated from the Santa Rosa high school, and is now engaged in stock-raising in Mendocino county; Charles M., aged nineteen, married Grace Elizabeth Berry. Miss Lilla, aged seventeen, was graduted from the Santa Rosa high school June 17th, 1904. Miss Margaret is also attending high school, as are also Mabel M., fourteen years old, and Wallace L., youngest of the family, aged twelve.”

Source:  A History of the New California; Its Resources and Its People, Vol. 2, by Leigh Hadley Irvine, The Lewis Publishing Co., New York and Chicago, 1903, pages 553-4

“The law was his great love and he applied himself so assiduously to his studies that he was admitted to the Bar in 1870. He was elected District Attorney in 1879; and it was while serving his second term in office that he met my mother.

She was Dean of Music in the Pacific Methodist College at 1050 College Avenue, Santa Rosa. A daughter of Philip Werlein, a young German immigrant who founded the Philip Werlein Music House in New Orleans during the pre-Civil War years, Lilla Werlein was sent to Europe to study music. My father was so impressed with this comely girl at one of her piano recitals that he marched up to her when the concert was over and introduced himself.

‘Madam,’ he said, ‘I’m Allison Burr Ware, District Attorney of Sonoma County, and your playing was exquisite. You, Lilla Werlein, are going to be my wife!’

‘You’re a goose!’ the pianist said, gathering up her music. ‘Before you talk to me about matrimony, buy me that lovely house Ludwig is building across the campus at 1041 College Avenue.’

‘Exquisite lady,’ Pa rejoined. ‘Tomorrow is Saturday – college is at rest where will you be?’

‘At Fine’s Lodging House, College Avenue at Mendocino.”

‘At 10 a.m. I will be there.’

Early the next morning my father was extremely busy; but at the appointed hour he presented himself in his best suit.

‘Please come in and wait, Mr. Ware,’ the landlady bid him. ‘There will be a slight delay.’

When my mother appeared, her toilet suitably arranged for the occasion, my father bowed and presented her with a long white envelope. From this her trembling fingers extracted the deed giving title to Lilla Ware to 1041 College Ave.

‘Allison Burr Ware,’ she said, ‘You’re a man of your word. I accept your proposal!’

Source:  From the book, “The Unforgettables” by Wallace L. Ware comes the story of how Allison Burr Ware met Lilla Werlein.


Jeanie Leete  Record added: Aug 29, 2008


Allison Burr Ware (1847 – 1914) — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Judy,

    Allison is my great grandfather. His son Phillip is my grandfather who died in Chico in 1961. His only child my father Phil passed away in Sacramento 2004. Interesting information. i have 2 copies of the Unforgettables.
    Stephanie Zimmer

  2. Hello Judy:

    Allison Ware was my great grandfather’s maternal grandfather. My father George Gillette was born in Rochester, New York and moved to Southern California in the 1950’s. I live in Sonoma County and have visited the Ware plots in the Rural Cemetary in Santa Rosa.

    Darcy Reinier

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