“James Ware Gardiner was a native of Louisiana, having been born in Avoylles Parish on July 15, 1878, a son of Samuel Walter and Eugenia (Coco) Gardiner, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Avoyelles Parish.
There is and interesting bit of family history in connection with Mr. Gardiner’s life. His father was the only child of Enoch and Josephine (McPherson) Gardiner. After the death of Enoch Gardiner his widow married Dr. James Ware, and this couple, having no children of their own, took the boy `Jimmie’ Gardiner and brought his up as though he were their son, and it is due to this circumstance that Mr. Gardiner acquired his middle name. Dr. Ware was born in Ohio, but removed to Louisiana some years before the war. He became a southern gentleman in sentiment and when the war broke out he enlisted in the Confederate service as surgeon of the 16th Louisiana Volunteers.
In 1888, when Mr. Gardiner was but ten years of age, his foster parents removed to Lake Charles, taking him with them. Here he attended the public schools until he was 16 years of age, when he entered the Calcasieu National Bank in a minor position, but performed his duties so satisfactorily to his employers that two years later he was promoted to the responsible position of teller, and at the age or 21 became assistant cashier, which position he held until 1904, when at the age of 25 he was elected clerk of the 15th judicial district court of the state; clerk of the circuit court of appeal , and ex-officio recorder of the parish of Calcasieu.
That his work commended him to the people of the Parish is evidenced by the fact that in 1908 he was re-elected by a substantial majority. He was a member of the Roman Catholic church. Mrs. Ware, the grandmother and foster mother of Mr. Gardiner, died at Lake Charles on February 17, 1907. Her husband did not long survive her, as he passed away on May 10, following her death. The loss of these two people so near together was a severe blow to Mr. Gardiner, for no boy had more indulgent and devoted parents than they had been to him, and he tried to reward them by being a dutiful and obedient son.”
Source: Judy C. Ware