“WARBURTON, EDMOND WARE, was born October 3, 1861, in James City county, Virginia, and his parents were Robert Warburton and Martha Ware, his wife. Both his father and mother came of families settled at a very early period in the colony of Virginia. His first ancestor on his father’s side was Thomas Warburton, who patented 200 acres, in 1664, on Powhatan creek in James City county. John Warburton, of James City county, a descendant, married about 1710 Frances Booker, daughter of Richard Booker, of York county, by Margaret Lowry, his wife, daughter of William Lowry, one of the magistrates of Elizabeth City county and Frances Purifoy, a granddaughter of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Purifoy, a member of the Virginia council in 1631, and who came of the Purifoy family of Leicestershire, England, one of whom was created a baronet in 1661. According to the family account, John Warburton, their son, married his cousin, Miss Barret, of Barret’s Ferry, and had two sons—John Warburton, who was a member, in 1774, of the James City county committee of safety, and Benjamin Warburton, who married Mary Cary Higginson, daughter of Robert Higginson and Mary Cary, of Warwick. Robert Higginson was a member of the committee of safety for James City county, in 1774, and was descended, it is believed, from Captain Christopher Higginson, ‘ a near kinsman of the Bishop of Ely.’ Their son, John Warburton, married Miss Cowles, and their son, John Cowles Warburton, married Mary E. Harris, daughter of Samuel Harris and Mary Travis, daughter of John Travis and Judith Langhorne, of Warwick, and they were the parents of Robert Warburton, the father of the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Warburton’s mother, Martha Ware, was daughter of William Walker Ware, of James City county, and Letitia Power Gregory, sister of Judge John M. Gregory, who was acting governor of Virginia in 1840. Among his ancestors on this side were Major Joseph Croshaw, a burgess for York county; Dr. Henry Power, of whom a long pedigree reaching far back in England is preserved; and Ralph Graves, who is still represented in Virginia by many respectable descendants of the name.
Robert Warburton, his father, was a man of marked energy and will power, and his occupation was that of a farmer and lumber merchant. The son was born in the country, was healthy and strong, and his amusements in childhood and youth were hunting and fishing. Owing to the war his education was confined to the country schools, which he attended till his nineteenth year. While thus engaged, he also assisted his father in farm work and in the lumber business.
At twenty-one years of age he began work on his own account, and, believing that the lumber business was both lucrative and interesting, he devoted himself chiefly to this pursuit. His strong practical good sense soon achieved a great success, and it was not long before he was regarded as one of the leading lumber men of the Peninsula. Since 1900 he has been president of the Virginia Cordwood association, and since 1903 vice-president of the Peninsula Bank of Williamsburg. In 1905-1906 he was president of the Williamsburg Knitting Mill company, and at the present writing he is president of the Williamsburg board of trade.
Mr. Warburton has been a faithful supporter of the Democratic party, having filled numerous local political offices. He was for a long time a member of the James City school board; from 1899 to 1904 he was a member of the Williamsburg city council; and at the present date he is mayor of that ancient city, a position to which he has been twice elected.
He is a member of the Westmoreland club in Richmond, and past master of Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, A. F. & A. M.
While not a member of any religious denomination, he prefers the Episcopal church in Williamsburg, of which he has been vestryman. He is fortunate in having a business that affords him plenty of exercise and amusement, but sometimes he resorts for special relaxation to fishing and hunting—the sports of his youth. He tells young men that the secret of success in life is ‘to stick to one’s purpose,’ ‘ select the business you like most and never give up.’ In estimating the influences which have most determined his success in life he puts, as first, contact with men in active life, as second, early companionship, as third, home surroundings, and, as fourth, school.
On January 27, 1887, he married Rosa L. Jones, of James City county, who died February 3, 1896, leaving four-children, who still (1908) survive.
His address is Williamsburg, Virginia.”
Source: Men of Mark in Virginia, Vol. 5, by Lyon G. Tyler, LL.D., President of William and Mary College, Men of Mark Publishing Company, Washington D.C., 1905, pages 438-442