James Russell Ware (1870 – 1949)

Biography of James Russel Ware

by Mavis Ware Buchanan

BIOGRAPHY OF JAMES RUSSEL WARE By Mavis Ware Buchanan James Russel Ware was the son of Samuel Ware and Naomi Bigg. Samuel, in his early childhood, worked in a factory as a carder. At age 19, he became manager of that company. When the gospel was preached in the early days of the church in England, this Ware family heard and accepted it despite persecution. Samuel was baptized on July 27, 1841. He was very spiritual and his greatest desire was to have the gift of tongues, which, after much fervent prayer, he was blessed with. This made him very humble and full of faith that proved a blessing to him all his life. He was also blessed with the gift of healing. He never refused to go whenever the call came to administer to the sick. He witnessed many miracles. Before immigrating to Utah, he had buried his first wife, Hannah Shanks, and his first three children in England. One of the children was a child of his second wife. With his second wife, Alice Cosgrove, and their two children, his father, mother, two sisters and one brother, he started from their home in Lenham, Kent, England for Liverpool. From Liverpool they would begin their journey across the ocean to Zion. One of Samuel’s sisters, Mary Ware King, and her family had previous left for Utah. The baby son of Samuel and Alice took ill and died in Liverpool. He was buried there. In Liverpool, delays of over a month, before starting voyage caused their food to run low and they were short of funds to purchase more. Contrary winds caused them to drift far off course and created even more delays. On January 17, 1855, the “Charles Buck” sailed from Liverpool, England, with 403 saints under the direction of Richard Ballantyne. The company arrived at New Orleans about March 14th and at St. Louis March 27th. They suffered considerably from hunger and other privations. The party sailed by boat on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Atchison, Kansas, where Samuel’s father died of cholera. The Richard Ballantyne Company was organized in Mormon Grove, Kansas, with 402 members. The company was sponsored by the church and participated in the Perpetual Immigration Fund. The company left July 1, 1955 with 45 wagons and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 25th. Nine months and seven days after leaving their home in England they completed their journey to Salt Lake City, walking most of the way. The family moved to Kaysville in Davis County. Samuel endured the hardships of the Echo war and, after moving south to Ephraim, went through the horrors of the Black Hawk War. He was manager of the stone flourmill in Ephraim for a time and then moved to Manti. There he was the manager of a carding machine, making rolls of wool. In 1867 his wife, Alice, passed away leaving him with five small children, the youngest was a little girl of two. Soon he married Caroline Annetta Sorensen. Of this marriage, James Russel Ware was born, the second child of five and only son. He was born on Christmas Day, 1870. His mother died in childbirth when he was five. A kind stepmother, Anne Christine Jensen, raised him with other children from two families. Samuel was husband to four wives, who he outlived, and father to 17 children – 12 girls and 5 boys. Four of the children had passed away by this time. Samuel contributed to the construction of the Manti Temple. He contributed financially, with labor, and with food for the workers. He was an ardent temple worker. Samuel died at age 85 and was buried in the Manti Cemetery. He was a noble pioneer. James Russel Ware was born in Manti. His middle name, Russel, was the maiden name of his grandmother on his mother’s side. It was a name to be carried on into future generations. He grew up experiencing the duties of a farm lad. His father owned a farm located just below the Manti Temple hill, to the northeast. He had the educational opportunities which most of the pioneer settlers enjoyed – a few months attendance at school each year. However, in the school of experience, he learned many valuable lessons. He was employed as a miller and worked at the mill owned by his future father-in-law, Christian Willardson. Later in life he supplemented his early education with home study and attendance at night school. When he was twenty-five he married Annie Sophia Willardson, a lovely dark haired girl from Ephraim. They were married on April 22, 1896, in the Manti Temple, a day before her 22nd birthday. Their first home was just south of the Manti Temple. The home was on the east side of the road, the northwest corner of the first block as you start up Manti Main Street from the north. Their first child, Anne Leah, was born there. James helped his father in the farm. A couple of years after they were married, some of the Ware family decided to move over the mountain to Emery County into the Orangeville area. They wanted James and Annie to move with them. They made the decision to move to Brooklyn, a small settlement just south of Elsinore, Sevier County. Some of the Willardson family had moved there. Samuel Russel was born there January 1, 1900. The settlement at Brooklyn was an organized branch of the church presided over by a presiding elder. James was president of the Elders Quorum, president of the YMMIA and superintendant of the Sunday School. On December 31, 1900, this branch was organized into a ward and James was called to be 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric. He served two years. Eva Ardella was born in Brooklyn on May 3, 1902. That same year James and Annie moved to Monroe to pursue the grocery business. James was in this business most of his life, along with owning and operating a farm. In those days the stores were often attached to homes. Annie could wait on customers and still care for her home and children while James worked on the farm. The first store they owned was in the location where the Monroe Market later stood. Another store they operated, beginning in 1913-1914 was located north of the city park on the southeast corner. Before Vashti was born on December 20, 1904, they moved into a two-story red brick home in northeast Monroe. This home is located two blocks north of the old high school, and later after the high school was torn down, the location of the middle school. The day before Christmas 1907, James left for a two-year mission to Norway. Annie was left with four small children. Annie faced her new responsibilities. She didn’t have the store to take care of, but she milked cows, summer and winter, she sold cream and butter, she roomed and boarded schoolteachers, and she shared her home with another family. On his mission James labored in the Christiania conference. Most of the time he served as president of the Christiania Branch. He returned home in January 1910. After James returned from his mission, Anetta was born on June 12, 1911. He relieved his faithful wife of the agricultural duties, but it wasn’t long before he suffered from inflammatory rheumatism. He was bedfast for a year. It became necessary to hire help for the farm work. He served as town marshal for two years. It was at this time they had the store across the park. James also organized the Farmers Cooperative Milling Association. He erected a fifty-barrel flourmill. He operated and managed the mill as president of the company. In about 1916-1917, they built a new home on their farm, south of Monroe, within the city limits. Calvin was born in this home on February 22, 1918. It had been a number of years since they had a baby in their home and they were happy, not only for a baby, but for another son. By this time, Russel was 18 and his life’s ambition was to be a farmer. The farm was turned over to him on a sharecrop basis. This made it possible for James to pursue the mercantile business again. He bought a building where the post office later stood. He operated the store there, expanding to sell coal and gasoline. The store was later used as a post office and he moved to the back of the building, operating the store on a smaller scale. There was land on the side and the back of the building where he planted a large beautiful garden. Throughout the years he was always active in church and civic duties. After moving to Monroe, he held many church positions. He was a counselor to the bishop in the newly organized North Ward, president of the YMMIA, in the South Ward. Later he was a Bishop for six years. He was a counselor to the Stake President of the South Sevier Stake, then a temple worker in the Manti Temple. He was a faithful ward teacher and at least two of his grandsons, Lowell and Vahl had the opportunity to serve as his ward teacher partners. He was one of the organizers and directors of the Monroe State Bank, was instrumental in the construction of the improvements of the Monroe water system, and was the Treasurer of the South Bend Canal. In 1928, James succeeded President J.E. Magleby as President of the South Sevier Stake. During the nine years he was stake president many of the General Authorities of the Church, with their wives and sometimes children, stayed in their home. It was customary at that time for the conference visiting authorities to come on Friday and stay until Monday. Annie was a perfect hostess and served delicious home-cooked meals and still managed to attend the meetings. They entertained many who were, or would be, Presidents of the church including Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee. Scores of other church leaders were also visitors in their home. He was a friend and benefactor to all. In his mercantile business groceries were available whether customers paid cash or needed to charge their purchase. Their lovely home was available to friends and family. The family looked forward to holidays and any event when everyone could get together, especially Christmas Day, which was also his birthday. A Sunday afternoon was occasion enough for a family to get-to-gather. Their family honored James and Annie on April 23, 1946. The occasion was their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Thirty-fur members of their immediate family were present consisting of six children, their spouses, sixteen grandchildren, two of their spouses, and two great-grandchildren. Throughout the day, many friends and other relatives attended the open house to show their love and respect. James Russel Ware passes away after a six-month illness. He died peacefully in his home, December 28, 1949. He had just passed his 79th birthday. Important Dates and Events in the Life of James Russel Ware: Birth: December 25, 1870 in Manti, Sanpete, Utah Baptized: May 6, 1878 by James Crawford Deacon: May 1884 Elder: April 22, 1906 by John B. Maiben Endowed: April 22, 1896 Married: April 22, 1896 to Annie Sophie Willardson in the Manti Temple High Priest: May 20, 1900 by Francis M. Lyman Bishop: June 1919 by Anthony W. Ivins Death: December 28, 1949 in Monroe, Utah Buried: December 31, 1949 in the Monroe Cemetery.

Source:  Family Search Memories


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