Martha E. Ware

Ware, Martha E., who has been identified with many public interests in St. Louis since 1863, was born in New England, daughter of Joseph B. Young, and a descendant of Scotch and French ancestors. One branch of the family to which she belongs, has however been indentified with the history of New Hampshire for two hundred years, while the representatives of another branch of the family were numbered among the earliest Massachusetts Bay colonists.

In her early childhood, Mrs. Ware entered a school in Boston and she was graduated in the first class which went out from the Roxbury High School. After that, she pursued a course of study at the Massachusetts State Normal School, and in 1859, became, first, assistant principal in a grammar school in New Haven, Connecticut, and later assistant principal in the West End school of Boston. Afterward, she was for two and a half years a teacher in the Massachusetts State Normal School, coming, at the end of that time, to St. Louis, where, for four years thereafter, she occupied a prominent position in the Normal School of this city, doing much to advance its standing among educational institutions of this city. In 1870 she founded a club of Mary Institute graduates for special study, and this club, which continued in existence for seven years, proved an incentive to the formation of other clubs of the same character which prosecuted their researches under the leadership of various professors in St. Louis. She was a charter member of the Wednesday Club and was its first treasurer, and for the first four years of its existence was chief manager of the Fresh Air Mission, funds for the maintainance of which were furnished by a committee of gentlemen. During the organization of the association which built the Martha Parsons Hospital and while that institution was in process of erection, Mrs. Ware was president of the Board of Trustees which had charge of the work of building up this institution, then known as the Augusta Free Hospital for Children. She also enjoys the distinction of having been the first lady Sunday-school superintendent in the West, she having served in that capacity for two terms—the first of which began in 1878—in the Sunday-school connected with the Church of the Messiah. In 1897 she was nominated as a candidate for member of the Board of Education.of St. Louis on the ‘Reform ticket’ of that year, but on account of intended absence in Europe, she declined the nomination, although assurances of support came to her from various political organizations and from many professional and business men who recognized her capacity for reformatory work and her ability to advance the educational interests of the city. A member of the old Philharmonic Singing Society of St. Louis when it was under the able management of Prof. Sobolewski, she was an ardent lover of music and did much to promote musical culture in the city until other affairs absorbed so large a share of her time and attention that she was compelled to forego, in a measure, her labors in this field. In the various movements set on foot for the higher education of women in this city which has so long been her home, she has been recognized as a capable and efficient leader, and her efforts and influence have been prolific of good results. It was at her home that a small number of people, mostly teachers, met in 1879 with an inclination in the direction of serious reading and the study of philosophic questions, and formed an organization which spent one afternoon of each week in discussing a chapter in some masterpiece of speculative philosophy. This little club continued in existence for sixteen or seventeen years and not only broadened the intellectuality and added to the accomplishments of its members, but stimulated the formation of several similar clubs in the city, all of which have served an excellent purpose as educators. In the organization of the Missouri State Federation of Women’s Clubs, Mrs. Ware took a prominent part, having served as a member of the original committee which proposed and consummated the Federation.

She married William E. Ware in 1867”

Source:  Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis, Missouri, Vol. 4, by William Hyde and Howard Louis Conard, The Southern History Company, New York, Louisville, St. Louis, 1899, pages 2446-7


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Martha E. Ware — 1 Comment

  1. God Bless the teachers of the past, present and of the future. They are an extremely valuable asset to our nation regardless of those who want to tarnish their images, spirit and most of all – cut their WAGES!

    Wayne said that.

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