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  • Writer's pictureJeny Mueller

Barbara King

Born: June 5, 1922; Normal, McLean, Illinois

Died: March 1988; Dearborn, Wayne, Michigan


Father: Reuben Baines King (1892-1980)

Mother: Ada Adams (1891-1983)


Siblings: Only child


Spouse: Ralph McMillan Ware (1922-1994)


Children: David McMillan Ware (1944-living)


Janet Ware (1951? - living)


Bruce Elmer Ware (1956-living)



Education: Mt Clemens High School c/o 1940 or 1941?


Relationship: Justin Ware (my brother-in-law) paternal grandmother


Barbara King was born in June of 1922 in Normal, Illinois - 2 hours southwest of Chicago. Barbara's father, Reuben, was from a small rural village of Fairbury, Illinois - 40 minutes northwest of Normal. Barbara's mother, Ada, was from another small rural town of Downs, Illinois - 13 miles southeast of Normal.


When Barbara was born, her father, Reuben, was a manager of S.S. Kresge - a large variety "dime" store in Bloomington, IL. The department store chain was started in 1899 by Sebastian Spering Kresge in downtown Detroit. They had many locations - mostly in the midwest. In 1962, the president of Kresge opened the first Kmart store in Michigan and eventually all the Kresge stores in the country were replaced by Kmarts - hence the K on Kmart.


Addresses of the King family in Bloomington, IL from 1922-1924:

1922 - Bloomington/Normal City Directory

2019 Google Map image view of 820 E Jefferson

1923 Bloomington/Normal City Directory

2011 Google Map image of 56 White Place

1924 Bloomington/Normal City Directory

2021 Zillow image of 1119 E Monroe

In late 1925, Barbara's father accepted a job to manage another Kresge store in Lexington, Kentucky. Reuben, Ada, Barbara, and Ada's mother all moved to Lexington.

1925 Bloomington Newspaper

1927 Lexington City Directory

2020 Google Map image of 235 E Maxwell

In January of 1928, Barbara's father accepted another job offer with Kresge and the family moved to Columbus, Ohio.


Jan 1928 - Lexington, KY newspaper


1930 US Census - Barbara King and family

According to the 1930 US Census:

  • Barbara King and her family lived at 2202 Arlington Ave in Columbus, Ohio

  • The household consisted of: Barbara's father, Reuben (39 years old), Barbara's mother, Ada (38 years old), Barbara (7 years old), and Barbara's maternal grandmother, Mary Adams (64 years old).

  • Reuben and Ada got married when they were both 25 years old.

  • Reuben and Ada's parents were both born in Illinois.

  • Mary Adams' parents' (Barbara's great grandparents) were also born in Illinois.

  • The King family rented the house for $85/mo ($1,700 in 2022).

  • Reuben worked as a department store manager.

  • Reuben was not a veteren.

According to a newspaper article from 1932, the King family still lived in Columbus, Ohio. However, by 1935, the family had moved to Mount Clemens, Michigan - Barbara would have been about 13 or 14 years old.

Mount Clemens City Directory Index

18 Lodewyck - Mt Clemens, MI


1940 US Census - King family in Mt Clemens

According to the 1940 US Census:

  • Barbara King and her family lived at 18 Lodewyck in Mount Clemens, Michigan

  • The household consisted of: Barbara's father, Reuben (47 years old), Barbara's mother, Ada (48 years old), Barbara (17 years old), and Barbara's maternal grandmother, Mary Adams (74 years old).

  • Reuben and Ada highest received education was 5 years of college.

  • Mary Adams' highest received education was 8th grade.

  • Barbara was currently a senior in high school (4th year of high school).

  • Reuben, Ada, Mary, and Barbara were all born in Illinois.

  • The King family rented the house for $35/mo ($700 in 2022).

  • Reuben worked as a department store manager at S.S. Kresge Store

I'm assuming Barbara met Ralph Ware at Mt Clemens High School as they were both students at the same time. Barbara and Ralph were married in October 1943.


*The story of Barbara and Ralph Ware after 1943 is described in Ralph's blog post here.


1967

Barbara (King) Ware passed away in March of 1988 in Dearborn, Michigan.

1988 - Detroit Free Press

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U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index

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