Cowboy John Ware was best known for his ability to ride and train horses as well as bringing the first cattle to southern Alberta in 1882. He helped to create the ranching industry in the province.
John Ware was born into slavery in South Carolina. However, after the American Civil War, he left the state for Texas where he learned his skills as a rancher and later became a cowboy. He was a natural and worked hard to further perfect his skills. 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, Ware and his wife, Mildred, began growing their family. In 1902, Ware joined the exodus. He sold his foothills property and, for $1,000, purchased an isolated homestead on the Red Deer River, where he could expand his herd and better support his growing family.
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 worked his way to being one of the most well-respected figures in frontier Alberta, crossing racial lines due to his hard work and skills.