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Mildred Lewis Ware, 1871-1905
Mildred Lewis married John Ware, an ex-slave, helped him run a large ranch, and raised their five children. She packed a lot of living into a short span, dying of pneumonia.
Born in Toronto in 1871, she moved to Alberta in her late teens. There she met John and married him in 1892. Ware had worked for the Bar U and the Quorn Ranches and was well-known for his skill with horses. He already had a ranch on the headwaters of the Sheep River, running 200 head of cattle, when they married. The Wares moved to a new ranch in the Rosebud area in 1902, but their first home was destroyed by the flooding of the Red Deer River. The family barely escaped in the night. Mildred and John prospered though, and their herd increased to 1,000 head. Mildred did the bookkeeping for the ranch and taught her family to read and write. The children went to Blairmore for school, staying with Mildred's mother.
In 1905 Mildred died of pneumonia. When John died shortly after, the Ware children were raised by their grandmother. The Wares' Rosebud log house is now at Dinosaur Park, preserved as a tribute to one of Alberta's noteworthy ranching families.
Excerpted from 200 Remarkable Alberta Women by Kay Sanderson with permission from the Famous Five Foundation