Hon. Darwin Erastus Ware, A.M. (1831 – 1897)

“HON. DARWIN ERASTUS WARE, A.M.

BY

JAMES BRADLEY THAYER.

Darwin Erastus Ware, elected a Resident Member of this Society on the twenty-fourth of January, 1893, was descended from Robert Ware, one of the early settlers of Dedham, Massachusetts, who received a grant of land there on the sixth of February, 164243. He was thus allied to the family of the distinguished divines, Henry Ware, father and son, who came from the same ancestor.

Mr. Ware was born in Salem on the eleventh of February, 1831, the son of Erastus and Clarissa-Dillaway (Wardwell) Ware. In 1833 his father bought a large farm in Marblehead, on the seashore and near the boundary line of Salem, and there he always afterwards lived. Ware attended school in Salem until he entered Harvard College in 1848. He graduated there with distinction in 1832, taught for a year in the school of Stephen M. Weld at Jamaica Plain, and then, in 1853, entered the Harvard Law School. He took his degree of LL.B. in 1855, but remained a member of the School until 1856.

After studying, for a time, in the office of Charles Theodore Russell in Boston, he began the practice of law in that city. Mr. Ware was associated with Horace L. Hazelton until 1866; then with John T. Morse, Jr., until 1872; then with George S. Hale until 1874; and then with Peleg W. Chandler and John E. Hudson until 1878. After that time Mr. Ware practised alone, having his office at No. 63 Devonshire Street, Boston. As a member of the Bar he was learned, honored, and successful.

During the year 1868,1864, and 1865, Mr. Ware was a member of the Legislature of Massachusetts, — for the first year as a Representative from the town of Marblehead, and, for the second and

third years, as a member of the Senate from the district to which that town belonged. His legislative service was an honorable one, and he was chiefly instrumental in giving the election of the Overseers of Harvard College to the Alumni, — a reform of the utmost importance to the College.

In 1860 Ware was a member of a Commission for revising the United States’ customs, revenue, and shipping laws. From 1866 to 1874 he was a member of the Massachusetts Board of Harbor Commissioners. From 1866 to 1878, and again from 1879 to 1881, he was a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College. He was at one time President of the Boston Civil Service Reform Association, and was the Treasurer and a Director of the Associated Charities of Boston from the year 1881 until his death. Of many other Societies, also, he was a valued member or officer.

On the twenty-sixth of May, 1868, Mr. Ware was married, in Washington, D. C, to Miss Adelaide Frances Dickey, of Veazie, Maine. He had but one child, a son, Richard Darwin Ware, of Boston, a graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1890, and a member of the Bar, who succeeds to his father’s business.

Of Mr. Ware’s remarkable and interesting character, the writer of this sketch hoe already spoken at length, at the Stated Meeting of the Society in April, 1897. It has seemed best, therefore, to limit the present sketch to a simple record of the leading events in his life.

He died on the second of April, 1897. Of a vigorous physical constitution, he was in his usual strength when he last went to his office, on the morning of Tuesday, the thirtieth of March. Before the middle of that day he was attacked by violent pains which he supposed, at the time, to be symptoms of an epidemic then prevailing, known as the grippe, and he soon found it necessary to go home. A physician was summoned. The attack grew more severe, and soon it was pronounced a case of cerebro-spinal meningitis. It was impossible to arrest the disorder, and soon after midnight on the following Friday, all was over. And thus, suddenly and without any warning, our Society and this community lost one of their most valued members, — one who from the beginning had been a pillar of strength to those who had known and loved him.”

Source:  Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Vol. 5, Published by the Society, Boston, 1902, pages 38-9


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