ILLINOIS ROOTS

Ware Family Origins
Obadiah Ware: First Generation in Illinois
Jan 2, 1795 – Sep 24, 1876
by Emily Osborn

Captain Benjamin Ware’s oldest son, Obadiah, pictured above, was the first of the New Hampshire Wares to settle in Illinois. He started his journey to the west in the fall of 1821, shortly after his marriage to Electa Post of Addison, Vermont. He farmed for a brief time near St. Louis, in Greene County, Illinois. While living in Greene County, Obadiah explored land further to the east in central Illinois.

During the first couple of years that Obadiah lived in Illinois his next younger brother, Benjamin Ware, Jr., left Indiana, where he had resided for a few years, and joined Obadiah and Electa in Illinois. On April 20, 1824, both Obadiah and Benjamin were granted land patents for land in Section 15 of Township Nine North, Range Four West of the newly created Montgomery County. Part of the land they chose was situated on a high ridge running north and south, most likely formed by a retreating glacier. In 1827, Benjamin married Sarah Slayback, who was living with her uncle, Israel Seward, also one of the earliest settlers of Montgomery County.

Over the next twenty to thirty years, the Ware brothers were joined in Montgomery County by their sister, Huldah, who married Calvin Mack of Gilsum, New Hampshire; by their sister Rebecca Ware, who married Rev. John Clark Kendrick in Gilsum, New Hampshire in 1828; by their half-sister, Martha Harriet Ware, who married John Clinesmith, a Pennsylvanian, in 1844; and, for some period of years, by their half-sister, Maria Taylor Ware, who married Rev. Daniel Lee, a missionary she met in the Oregon territory in 1840.

In addition, a number of Benjamin Ware’s grandchildren came to Montgomery County, Illinois, following in the footsteps of aunts and uncles, leaving their parents behind in New Hampshire. These included David Smith Ware (son of David, the Captain’s third son), who married Lestina Brigham of New Alstead, New Hampshire; Mary Louise Ware (daughter of Enoch, the Captain’s fourth son), who married Norris Richmond; Lucius Ware (also a son of Enoch), who married Hannah Adelaide Mack; and Dora Augusta Ware (daughter of Enoch) who married Granville Pierce of Litchfield, Illinois. Descendants of Benjamin’s daughter Elvira Ware, who married Hiram Baldwin, settled in Decatur, Illinois. Some descendants of Benjamin’s daughter Betsey Calista Ware, who married Bradley Britton, settled in Chicago, Illinois.

Sources: Ware Genealogy: Robert Ware of Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts and His Lineal Descendants by Miss Emma Forbes Ware, and Ware Genealogy in Two Parts by Amelia C. Westcott of Montgomery and Cook County, Illinois.

 Obadiah Ware as well as many of our Illinois forefathers are buried at Ware’s Grove Cemetery in Montgomery County, Illinois.