Joseph Bruff Ware (1860 – 1931)

JOSEPH BRUFF WARE was born in Butlerville, Indiana, May 8, 1860. In 1869 came to Michigan, locating on a farm in Kalamazoo county, and in 1873 removed to Grand Rapids, where he was educated at the city schools of Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids; taught school one year in Nebraska, and on returning he in 1879-80 attended tho Michigan Agricultural college; left college to engage in shingle manufacturing, and in the wholesale and retail of lumber and shingles. In 1882 he married Dora Mary Foote (1860-1893). The couple had two children, Ellen Elizabeth (born 1883), and Joseph Emmor (born 1885). J.B. Ware organized the Michigan retail lumber association, and was two years its secretary; vice president, in 1891 and president in 1892 of the builders and traders’ exchange. He was elected representative to the Michigan State House of 1895-96 on the general legislative ticket of the City of Grand Rapids. Mr. Ware was one of the pioneers in the Independent telephone movement, and was a prominent figure in all the advances made by the industry in his own state as well as playing an important part in national matters. He became interested in the Citizens’ Telephone Company of Grand Rapids at its inception, and served as business manager of the corporation from its organization in 1895 until 1901, when he went to Detroit to take charge of the Everett-Moore telephone interests there. In 1897 Mr. Ware was one of the chief leaders who organized the Michigan Independent Telephone Association at Detroit, being elected its first president. He was re-elected as the head of the Michigan organization every year until 1903, when he became associated with the Consolidated Telephone and Telegraph Company. In January, 1908, the International Independent Telephone Association elected Mr. Ware as its secretary.  He died on September 9, 1931, and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Grand Rapids, MI.


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