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CrazyFruits » WELCOME TO CRAZY FRUITS BOOK CLUB » Brief Story of a cowboy legend John Ware

Brief Story of a cowboy legend John Ware

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John Ware (c. 1845 12 September 1905) was an African-American cowboy best remembered for his ability to ride and train horses and for bringing the first cattle to southern Alberta in 1882, helping to create that province's important ranching industry.
After the American Civil War he left the Carolinas for Texas where he learned the skills of a rancher and became a cowboy. Ware's great stature and dedication to hard work made him a natural and allowed him to work his way up to Canada driving cattle from Texas to Montana and then into the great plains that would eventually become Alberta.
Upon his arrival in Calgary he found work at the Bar U and Quorn ranches before starting his own ranch near the Red Deer river. By 1900, he and his wife, Mildred Lewis (1871-1905), had five children. He moved from the Calgary area to a spot northeast of the village of Duchess, Alberta. In 1902 his first home was destroyed by the spring flood. He rebuilt on higher ground overlooking a stream, now called Ware Creek. Three years later Mildred died of pneumonia in the spring; despite being a master horseman John was killed in the fall when his horse tripped in a badger hole crushing its rider and breaking his neck. Ware's funeral was reported to be one of the largest held in the early days of Calgary.
Like any folk hero there are a wide range of tales about his ability to eat, ride, shoot, and contribute to Western culture. It is said that he was never tossed from a wild horse and that he popularized steer wrestling, which would then become a highlight of the Calgary Stampede.

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