David E. Ware (1850 – 1935)

David E. Ware

         The first David E. Ware in Kansas staked a claim in Howard County near Grenola. David Edwin” Ed” Ware was born in Piketon, Ohio August 23, 1850 .  He came to Kansas in 1871 with his sister, Mr. D.J. Bishop and family, with whom he made his home until he was married. According the family stories, the Ware family lived near the Ohio River.  Not wanting to experience flooding, Ed perched his house near the top of the tallest hills on his homestead. 

               In 1886, he was married to Sarah E, who had come to the area with her parents, Thomas and Lydia Gobble as a small child.

In the Grenola newspaper of May 19, 1892, we read that a son had been born to Mr. and Mrs. D.E. Ware.  His name was Charles W. and called “Charley”.  In 1894 another son, Frank E. was born,

The two daughters were Harriet, who married the son of Samuel and Elva Snodgras.  They had one daughter, daughter, Vera Berneice. Lydia Alice Ware married Charles Tomlinson, a teacher, in 1927. 

Frank Ware married Glee Wilbur, they had no children, but lived on the home place after Ed and Sarah moved to town in 1919. 

         In the museum is a display of a telephone switchboard that is similar to the one used early in this community.  On it is this story about the beginning of the telephone system in Grenola.      

“The Ware-Sherwood telephone line was started in 1901, when F.H. Bert Sherwood and D.E. “Ed” Ware built a barbed wire line north of Grenola, connecting their homes from the Capp Best farm to the Ware homestead.  Bert Sherwood had gained his knowledge of telephone service from his brother-in-law in Jefferson County, Kansas, who had connected his home and his wife’s family, then developed the telephone system for the town of Winchester.

         While Bert and Ed were finishing the line O.P. Adams and C.A. Meek asked to be included so that the Meek ‘s could call the Adam’s to announce the birth of their first child- a grandchild for the Adams grandparents.

         It wasn’t long until other neighbors became interested and asked to be connected, and before long the line became overloaded, making it necessary to install a switch at the Ware residence, dividing the Caney Valley folks from the Independent district.

         In 1907, L.Q. Adamson installed the central Telephone Exchange in Grenola.  He built lines for a few rural customers, but the line “over the hill” and the town system continued to operate independently.  In 1909 Ed Ware visited with Bert about buying out Mr. Adamson and taking over the Grenola exchange, with Bert assuming the management of the office and the extension and maintenance of the telephone lines.  Thus began the lifelong friendly partnership of Bert and Ed, a partnership that lasted for 40 plus years. 

         After the death of Mr. Sherwood, his wife managed the company for a number of years.  In December 1942, Mrs. Sherwood settled with Mrs. Ware to dissolve the partnership and was able to sell shortly thereafter.”

Mrs. Sherwood sold the company to the Mikesell family of Clearwater, who continue to provide service known as Southern Kansas Telephone or SKT.     

Ed died at the age of 82 in 1935.  When Sarah died in January of 1943, she was one of the oldest settlers remaining.  Both their funerals were held at the Methodist Church in Grenola and burial was in the Greenlawn cemetery.” 
Source:  Grenola Families N to Z on-line

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