“Joseph P. Ware, of Mediapolis, Iowa, was born in what is now Yellow Spring Township, Des Moines County, May 30, 1844, and is a son of William and Sarah (Parrett) Ware. He was the eldest of his father’s family, and the care of the farm devolved largely upon him, he helping to transform the raw land into a finely cultivated farm. It was in the log school-house of the new county the education of our subject was received. At the age of nineteen years, in May, 1864, he responded to his country’s call to put down the Rebellion, enlisting in Company G, 45th Iowa Infantry, and was in active service for four months. Previous to this he had made three attempts to enlist, but on account of a full quota his services were not accepted.
Returning from the war Mr. Ware went to South Salem, Ohio, where he attended the Academy for one term, and also attended the Kossuth Academy. During the following summer he worked upon the farm, and in the winter of 1866-67 was engaged as a teacher in the township. Again, the next summer he worked upon the farm, followed by a winter’s term of teaching. One more summer of farm work, and then, Feb. 1, 1869, he went to Madison County, Iowa, in a wagon, there renting land, upon which he resided one season, returning to Des Moines County the fall of the same year. A part of his fathers’ farm was next rented, he residing upon it until the following winter, when he was united in marriage with Anna M. Black, daughter of Henry and Sarah (McCullough) Black, all natives of Pennsylvania. Their union was celebrated Dec. 28, 1871. Shortly after his marriage Mr. Ware purchased a farm in Yellow Spring Township, consisting of eighty acres, and there lived for three years, when his health failed. Renting his farm for a year he engaged as a salesman for a publishing house, during which time he sold his land, and Feb. 15, 1875, purchased the Mediapolis Hotel. It was enlarged to its present size under his management, and for seven years he was proprietor of the same, having in connection a feed and livery stable. Besides this he had the mail contract to and from Kingston, Kossuth and Northfield. On the 20th of December, 1882, Mr. Ware sold his hotel, and entered into partnership with his brother in the hardware business, though previous to this he was associated in the wholesale flour and feed business as jobber, in connection with J. E. Ware and C. H. Parrett. Mr. Ware was City Clerk for two years.
Mr. and Mrs. Ware have two children: Cora E. and Hattie May. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church, he having been a Trustee since its organization, and was one of the building committee. He takes an active interest in all Church work, and is Superintendent of the Sunday-school. Socially, he is a member of the G. A. R., and was sent as a delegate to the State encampment at Sioux City, in 1886. He is a Republican in politics.”
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Des Moines, Iowa www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~iabiog/desmoines/…/pba1888-w.htm