Alva Russell Ware (1889 – 1972)

Alva Russell Russ Ware

Alva Russell “Russ” Ware was born 19 Jun 1889, 1 mile east of Greentown, Howard, Indiana to Oliver Morton Ware and Aura Mary Price.

In some personal notes written by his mother Aura, she states Russ was born Wednesday, June 19, 1889 at 12 noon on the Jesse Ware farm 1 mile East of Greentown, Indiana. At birth he weighed 7 lbs 7 ozs.

Russ mostly grew up in Greentown. At age 16 (1905) he moved with his parents and siblings to Shelbyville, Indiana.

In September 1907, Russ was dating a girl friend named Maude Hasch who lived in Edinburgh, just 18 miles away. She became pregnant with his child the first week of November 1907. The baby was born August 4, 1908 and was named Leo Russell Ware, after his father. Russ and Maude never married.

Maude’s full name was Georgia Maude Hasch but she went by her middle name. She was born January 23, 1888 in Edinburgh, Johnson county, Indiana to her parents John H. Hasch and Lucinda Edwards. Both her parents were born in Taylor County, Kentucky and later moved to Johnson county, Indiana about 1882.

On January 19, 1910, Maude married Frank Cooper in Edinburgh. They had the following children:
Frank (Jr), b. Jan 1911;
Samuel, b. Dec 1911;
Agnes E., b. 1913;
June Madonna (Donna), b. 1918.

Leo Russ Ware also took the surname of Cooper while he lived at home with his mother and step-father. Later when he married and moved away he resumed using the surname of Ware.

In 1911 the Shelbyville, Indiana city directory lists Russ as living there with his parents and siblings.

The 1912 City Directory for Colorado Springs lists:
“Ware, Oliver M (Mrs Aura), r[esidence] 716 N. Tejon”;
“Ware, Jessie, b[usiness] 716 N. Tejon”;
“Ware, Paul, b[usiness] 716 N. Tejon”;
“Ware, Russell, b[usiness] 716 N. Tejon.” (U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, 1912, Colorado Spgs,

In order for the family to appear in the 1912 city directory, they would have had to have moved there sometime prior to the last half of 1911.

Sometime around the Fall of 1913 Russ moved with his parents and siblings to Los Angeles, California. They first lived at 1642 Girard St. in Los Angeles. The next year they were living at 1023 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles.

In 1914 Russ was living at 1642 Girard, Los Angeles, California with his mother Aura, sister M. Lorena, and brother Jesse L. (Clerk [of bicycle business]). Russ also had an additional entry: “Russell bicycle repair, 4273 S. Vermont Ave”, Los Angeles (U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989). Russ’ first business in Los Angeles was bicycle repair with his brother Jesse as clerk of the business. Russ’ brother Paul worked in a candy factory in 1914 and joined the family bicycle business the next year.

In the 1915 Los Angeles city directory, the three boys (Russ, Jess, & Paul) are listed in the bicycle business and give their home address as their residence 1023 W. 43rd St.

On June 5, 1917 Russ filled out a WW1 Draft Registration Card in Los Angeles, California. It read: Alva Russell Ware, single, living at 1023 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles, Calif. Born June 19, 1889, natural born in Howard County, Indiana. Profession: “machinist”, self-employed at 4275 So. Vermont, Los Angeles, Calif. He was of medium height, medium build, blue eyes, light brown hair, and no balding. The document stated he had no disabilities so the rheumatoid arthritis in his knees did not occur until after this date. He signed the card with his full name. The US Draft Board stamped and approved the registration.

Sometime after June 1917, Russ developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of the knees. He consulted doctors regarding possible cures. RA of the knees causes the joints to swell and become painful. The synovium secretes a liquid that keeps joints lubricated and when it becomes inflamed it leads to damage and permanent destruction of the knee joints ( He visited several medical facilities in the region for a solution to no avail. RA is an autoimmune disease and even today it is unknown why the immune system attacks the joints. And there is still no cure. To prevent further destruction of Russ’ knee joints the doctors chose to remove the inflamed liquid causing the damage. Russ had the choice of permanently being in a standing or sitting position. He chose sitting. This is why photos of Russ after Shelbyville are of him with his legs bent and sitting.

In 1918 the L.A. City directory has Russ living at 1023 W. 43d and a work location of 4275 S. Vermont Ave.

On 3 Aug 1919 Russ married Ida Ellen Drummond in Los Angeles, California. They had 2 children:
Jay Russell, b. 1921
Rose Elizabeth, b. 1924

In 1920 Russ and Ida lived at 972 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles, California with their two children: Jay Russell and Rose Elizabeth Ware. (1920 US census)

Between 1919-1933, Russ became involved in real estate and was listed as a broker in 1940. During this time he transacted over 63 real estate contracts. Ida appeared on 15 of them as “additional Grantee”. Ida was also “Grantor” on 3 real estate transactions with Russ as the “Grantee”.

During the first 3 weeks of September, 1930, Russ and his family were in Greentown, Indiana. His mother Aura was also in Greentown settling holdings of her late husband Oliver and visiting with relatives. The Kokomo Tribune for Friday, September 19, 1930, p. 3 says: “Russell Ware and family who have been visiting for several weeks left Thursday morning for their home in Los Angeles, California. They drove through.”

Russ passed away on 21 Feb 1972 in Los Angeles, California and was buried in the Inglewood Cemetery, 720 E. Florence Ave, Inglewood, CA.; Lot 100, Plot Myrtle. He was laid to rest next to his wife Ida who passed away the year before.

Bio written by Rich Ware, 14 Apr 2013.

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