J. Blackburn Ware (1872 – )

J. BLACKBURN WARE has earned a deservedly high place
in the bar of West Virginia during the twenty odd years
he has practiced. At the same time he has exercised an
important influence in republican politics, has served as
mayor of Philippi, has labored consistently for educational
advancement, and at all times has endeavored to give of
his talents in proportion to his abilities.

Mr. Ware was born near Belington on a farm in Barbour
County, November 15, 1872. His grandfather was James
R. Ware, one of the strong and rugged citizens and char-
acters of his time. He was a farmer, a man of great
energy and endurance, and was described as "straight as
an Indian" when he died at the age of seventy-five. He
lived in Randolph and Barbour counties, and is buried near
Belington. He married Dorothy Mace, and they reared a
family of twelve children.

Ellihue Ware, father of the Philippi lawyer, was born
in Randolph County, grew up during the Civil war, and
consequently had a limited education in schools. For many
years he was a farmer in the Belington locality, but in 1895
moved into that town and was a merchant there until 1921.
He has been a good citizen, a republican voter and a mem-
ber of the United Brethren Church. Ellihue Ware married
Lucretia Booth, a daughter of James Booth, whose wife
was a Yeager. Mrs. Ellihue Ware died in 1890. Of her
six children only three grew to mature years: William G;
pastor of the United Brethren Church at Fairmont; J.
Blackburn; and Roxanna, who died in 1917, wife of Frank

J. Blackburn Ware laid the foundation of his education
in the country schools near his birthplace. He also at-
tended the old Normal and Classical Academy at Buckhan-
non, maintained by the United Brethren Church, and was
teacher after graduating. His last work as teacher was
done at Belington, where he was principal of schools. This
was followed by taking the law course in West Virginia Uni-
versity at Morgantown, where he graduated in 1897. Mr.
Ware was admitted to practice in Tucker County, and was
at Parsons as a spectator in the murder trial of Robert East-
man for the murder of Thompson. This was one of the
famous criminal trials in the history of that locality, and
there was an imposing array of counsel on both sides of
the case. In the spring of 1898, Mr. Ware established him-
self in practice at Belington, where he remained for ten
years. He began practice alone, and subsequently was asso-
ciated with J. A. Viquesney, under the firm name of Ware
and Viquesney, until that partnership was dissolved by the
appointment of Mr. Viquesney as game warden of West
Virginia. Mr. Ware then moved to Philippi, in 1909, here
he has enjoyed a busy career as a lawyer, not only in the
state and local courts, but in the Federal courts as well,
having been admitted to practice in the Federal courts soon
after his admission to the state bar. The greater part of
his law business has been in the civil, and in the criminal
law he has been associated chiefly in the defense, though in
one or two noted cases he was on the side of the prosecution.

Mr. Ware cast his first presidential vote for Major Mc-
Kinley, and for many years has helped hold the republican
party organization together in Barbour County. He has
attended several state conventions. One of these was the
exciting convention which divided into two factions, each
nominating a candidate for governor. Both these candidates
subsequently withdrew and Governor Glasscock was chosen
as the harmony candidate and elected governor. In 1920
Mr. Ware took an active part in building up support in Bar-
bour County for the present Governor Morgan. He believed
in Mr. Morgan's qualifications for governor, and he also
felt an additional interest in him since they were classmates
together in law school. Mr. Ware's service as mayor at
Philippi was rendered in 1910 and 1911, two terms. During
his term a large amount of street paving was done.

During the several years he was a resident of Belington
he was secretary of the Board of Education. At Philippi
his efforts in behalf of education have been directed chiefly
through his membership in the Kiwanis Club. He intro-
duced the resolution before that club to memorialize the
Legislature to pass a law permitting the city to vote a bond
issue of 5 cents on the dollar to build a high school and
grammar school combined. He prepared the bill, secured its
passage by the Legislature, and the city is now enjoying the
conveniences of this splendid building. Mr. Ware is a
prominent factor in the local Kiwanis Club, is vice president
and chairman of its committee on public affairs, and was
representative of the club at the International Convention
at Cleveland in 1921. He is affiliated with Grafton Lodge
of Elks, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Wood-
men of the World, and is deputy grand chancellor and has
attended the last five sessions of the Grand Lodge of the
Knights of Pythias. He is also a member of the Pythian
Sisters and the Rebekahs, and is a member of the D. O. K.
K., social order of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Ware is a
prominent layman of the United Brethren Church, and at-
tended two of the national conferences, one at Wichita,
Kansas, and the other, in 1921, at Indianapolis. His active
church work has been primarily in the direction of arousing
interest in the Sunday School, and he has spoken at a 
number of local conventions of Sabbath School workers.

At Parsons, Virginia, in March, 1901, Mr. Ware married
Miss Tillie Glenn. She was born near Terra Alta, March 7,
1880, daughter of Rev. C. E. Glenn, still living at Terra
Alta. Her parents have two daughters and six sons. Her
sister is Mrs. Forrest Trickett, of Elkins, West Virginia.
Her brothers are: Asa, of Clarksburg, Victor, of Terra Alta,
Walter, of Fairmont, Karl Glenn, of Grafton, Frey Glenn,
of Calloway, Ohio, and Jesse Glenn, of Belington.

The oldest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Ware is Paul
Blackburn, who has completed his sophomore year at the
University of West Virginia. James Ralph, the second
son, is a junior in the Philippi High School. Evelyn Glenn
is a sophomore in high school, Ruth Elizabeth is in the
eighth grade, and David Ray, the youngest, is in the sixth
grade of the local grammar school."

Source:  The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published
1923, The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New 
York, Volume III, pg. 336-337

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