John Ware, Lewis family fonds
1887-1960, predominant 1892-1917, 1956-1960
2 cm of textual records. -- 15 photographs
John Ware, ?-1905, was born in the USA, possibly in Fort Worth, Texas. He worked as a cowboy from his youth, and drove cattle in Oregon, and into Canada for the Bar U Ranch ca. 1892. He worked for the Bar U west of High River, Alberta and on other ranches, and became Alberta's most famous black cowboy. He began his own ranch on the north fork of Sheep Creek in 1888. In 1892 he married Mildred Lewis, 1871-1905. Mildred's parents, Daniel V. and Charlotte, had come from Whitby, Ontario. John and Mildred had six children, Amanda Janet "Nettie", 1893-1989, Robert Lewis, 1894-1980, William Henry, 1898-1934, Mildred Jane, 1898-1988, Arthur Nelson, 1900-1989, and Daniel Lewis, 1901-1904. In 1902 the Wares moved to the Red Deer River, north of Brooks, to ranch. After the death of their parents the Ware children were brought up by Daniel and Charlotte in Calgary. John Ware School in Calgary was named in his honour in 1968. For further information see John Ware's Cow Country / Grant MacEwan. - Edmonton : The Institute of Applied Art, 1960. See also David H. Breen's entry, "John Ware", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XIII. - Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1994, p. 1074-1075.
Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of account of John's life based on an interview with Nettie (1956); reminiscences about John by S. Marsden; John's agreements of sale of land (1901) and cattle transfer (1887); newsclipping of marriage announcement (1892); letters from Nettie Ware about the opening of the Ware cabin in Dinosaur Provincial Park (1959-1960); and photocopies of letters from John and Nettie (1898, 1899). Also consists of photographs of the Lewis and Ware families and Ware ranches (1896-ca. 1900); the Lewis' legal agreements (1911, 1912) and a statutory declaration (1917).
Source of Acquisition:
Gifts of Janet Ware, Robert Ware, Spencer Lewis, and Harry Fowler, 1960-1997.
The material is in English.
Originals and Reproductions:
Originals of the photocopied letters are at the Brand Office, Stettler, Alberta.
Due to fragile condition of John Ware's agreement of sale (1901), a photocopy is available for research purposes.
No finding aid.
View finding aid / scanned documents:
An interview with Nettie Ware is available at the Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Memorial Foundation Library & Archives.
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M 1281, M 1283, M 2597, M 4215, NA 262, NA 263, NA 266, NA 2566