Husband of Prudence (Simpkins) Ware and son of Louisa (Cheesman) and John Ackley Ware. John was born on his fathers farm in Gloucester Township, old Gloucester County, now Camden County. John got into an argument with his sister Patience over an argument that Patience was having with her mother. John always stuck up for his mother while Patience was on her fathers side. During this argument John tried to hit his sister and her husband George came to her aid. John and George got into a fist fight with George getting the better of John. John was so mad that he ran and grabbed a loaded gun that was standing by the door and chased after Patience and George firing the gun at them. They ran down the street and ran into her father who told them that he would take care of his son. John, the father, told his son to put the gun up and the son replied that he would kill his father if he didn’t give him all the money in his pockets. The father had about 200 dollars in his pocket which was considered a lot in 1870. The father refused and took one step toward his son who opened fire and killed his father on the spot. He then took all the money and ran off into the woods. Later that day he made his way to Berlin and took the train to Camden City. In the mean time the sheriff notified other areas about the murder and to be on the look out for him. A sheriff in Camden City spotted him and took him into custody without a struggle. John was tried twice and found guilty of 1st degree murder. He was hung in Camden Court Yard in front of over 100 people. In 1870 the law for murder was changed to 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree and John Ware was the first person in the tri-state area to be tried under the new law. It was such a big deal in 1870 that they made a book on the trial and execution and the book is in the Library of Congress, local Colleges and the New Jersey State Library in Trenton. After the hanging the body was given to his mother and she in turn had him buried at nite in the old Methodist Cemetery in Williamstown in the family plot. She buried him at nite because the murder created so much tension she didn’t dare bury him in the day time.
Williamstown Old Methodist Cemetery
New Jersey, USA
Plot: No Grave Stone
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