The Wares of Conway, Massachusetts, 1767-1917

HISTORY OF CONWAY.

Halfway up this little hill, west of the old first meeting house, we come to a house notable for the many valuable workers who have gone out from it. First let us speak of the early family of Wares living there. The father was a physician. His son, Rev. Samuel Ware, won the title of D.D. Bethiah Ware became the wife of Moses Miller, long the minister of Heath, Mass. Sally Ware married Rev. William Bonney, and Elizabeth, Rev. Theophilus Packard, for a long time pastor in Shelburne, the next town north of us. I remember well hearing him on exchange, and thinking him a forcible preacher. After moving West his wife was quite carried away with the “Woman’s Rights” movement, published some books, gave addresses, and carried the idea so far that she ceased to be helpful in her own home and parted from her distressed husband.

After the Wares left, my uncle, William Avery, sold the old John Avery farm on Cricket Hill…

Roads.

The tracks at first were marked with a purpose to reach and connect the settlers’ houses. The houses were on hills, where the soil could be most easily worked; and not in swamps and gullies. So the roads kept well on the uplands. Here, too, they were made with less work, required fewer bridges, and were for these days really better roads than valley roads could have been. Though these highways were at first mere paths for horses and men, and next no more than cart tracks, yet the amount of hard work done upon them within twenty years from the occupation of the town must have been prodigious. They seem to have been early put in creditable shape for the country and the time. It is related that when Dr. Samuel Ware came to Conway, about 1770, his wife, struck with the good appearance of the roads, remarked that “there might some day be chaises in this town”; a womanly fancy which her husband rebuked as wild and extravagant.  Not far from the same time Dr. Ware built the first single sleigh or “cutter.” Before then the lively young people went sleighing upon wood sleds, or haply on a “pung”; saving that it was more fashionable to go horseback.

Professional Men.

The physicians living and practicing in Conway have been

as follows: …Samuel Ware …

Destructive Fires.

Dwelling houses have been burned belonging to the following persons: …Samuel Ware …

Business and Industry.

Deacon Jonathan Ware and his sons carried on the manufacture of combs at the place now occupied by William Warriner.

Higher Education.

Conway has been represented at Amherst by the following graduates: …Joseph K. Ware in the class of 1824.

Ministers Born In Conway.

Congregational.–Joseph K. Ware, Samuel Ware, William Ware.

Ministers’ Wives Born In Conway.

Bethiah Ware married Rev. Moses Miller, Cong.; Elizabeth Ware married Rev. Theophilus Packard, Cong.; Sally Ware married Rev. William Bonney, Cong.

Other Marriages.

Southworth Howland married Polly Ware

Lucinda A. Clark married Ralph Ware

Isaac Rice married Anna Ware

Bethiah Avery married D. Samuel Ware

THE CIVIL WAR.

Fort Sumter capitulated on April 14, 1861. The following day President Lincoln issued a call for troops. Governor Andrews of Massachusetts had been anticipating for weeks some such emergency and within three days dispatched three regiments to Washington. Town meetings were held everywhere as soon as they could be legally called. In Conway the selectmen posted warrants on the 23d of April and the meeting was duly held on May 1st. Dr. E. D. Hamilton was chosen moderator and, according to the purpose of the meeting, a committee was appointed to secure the enlistment of soldiers.

31st Regiment.–Sylvester M. Ware

1st Massachusetts Cavalry.—Samuel Ware

The cost to the town for the enlistment and equipment of soldiers during the war was $9,350. The aid furnished to the families of soldiers, afterwards refunded by the state, was $5,228, making $14,578 actually raised and expended for the expenses of the war. In addition to this the Ladies’ Aid Society sent supplies for the army and the hospitals to the value of $4,600. This large contribution in money must have seemed trifling, however, in comparison with the contribution in men. The following died upon the field of battle or of wounds and disease contracted in the service: …Samuel Ware …

Source:  History of Conway, Massachusetts, 1767 – 1917, by the People of Conway and Rev. Charles Stanley Pease, A.M., Springfield Printing and Binding Company, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1917


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