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  • Writer's pictureJeny Mueller

Ralph McMillan Ware

Born: April 26, 1922; Mount Clemens, Michigan

Died: February 26, 1994; Caledonia, Michigan

Father: Ralph George Ware (1888-1928)

Mother: Helen McMillan (1891-1986)

Siblings: Marion Janet Ware (1916-2005)

Spouse: Barbara King (1922-2005)

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?

Military: World War II - 16+ months in Philippines with the 41st Field Hospital as a Medic

Rank: 1943 - Private; 1945 - Sargent

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

Ralph McMillan Ware was born on April 26, 1922 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. At the time of his birth, his father (Ralph G.) and mother (Helen McMillan) had been married about 6 years and had one daughter, Marion, who was born in December of 1916. The Ware family lived at 85 New St in downtown Mount Clemens. Their residence was home of McMillan Furniture business that his grandfather, Richard McMillan, started.

Mount Clemens City Directory - Index List

Mount Clemens City Directory - Index List

In June of 1928, Ralph's father, Ralph George, passed away of angina pectoris - (angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease. Angina feels like squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness, or pain in the chest. It can be sudden or recur over time). Ralph G was 39 years old - leaving behind his wife and two children - Marion who was 12 and Ralph M who was 6.

1928 - Ralph G Ware's Death Certificate

According to an article about Helen Ware (Ralph M's mother; Justin's great grandmother) from 1980, Helen said after her husband died in 1928, which was right before the Great Depression. The Ware family lost everything and Helen had to start working and she found a job as a housekeeper in a hotel to support Marion and Ralph.

1980 - newspaper article about Helen Ware

In 1930, Helen and her two children, Marion and Ralph, moved from New Street into a house on North Gratiot in Mount Clemens - just a couple miles away.

1930 US Census

Mount Clemens City Directory Index for 1929, 1930

According to the 1940 US Census, in 1935, Helen and Ralph lived in Traverse City - most likely they lived with Helen's sister - Maybelle (Beers) and her family. Helen's sister and her husband had lived in Traverse City for many years prior to 1935. Ralph's sister, Marion, lived in Detroit in 1935.

In 1940, Ralph's mom, Helen, bought a house at 69 Lincoln in Mount Clemens and Marion and Ralph lived with her.

1940 US Census - Helen, Marion, and Ralph G Ware at 69 Lincoln in Mt Clemens

Information from the 1940 Census:

  • Helen M. Ware owned the house

  • The house value was $4,600 ($91,000 in 2022 currency)

  • Marion and Ralph also lived with Helen

  • Helen was 49 years old, widowed, and her highest education was 2 years of college

  • Marion was 23 years old, single, and her highest education was 4 years of high school

  • Ralph was 17 years old, single, and was currently in school as a senior

  • Helen, Marion, and Ralph were all born in Michigan, and Helen and Ralph lived in Grand Traverse in 1935 while Marion lived in Detroit

  • Marion worked 40 hours a week as a secretary in an office and her income for 1939 was $300 ($6,000 in 2022 currency)

The house at 69 Lincoln was a late victorian Queen Anne style home, and was originally a single family residence when it was built in 1894/95. But by the time Helen bought the house in 1940, the house was split into multiple apartments and Helen rented them out. One of the apartments was rented by Helen's mother, Ralph's grandmother (Justin's great great grandmother) - Jessie McMillan (Taylor). Jessie's husband was Richard McMillan - founder of the McMillan furniture business.

In 1940, Jessie was 73 years old, widowed, and her highest education was 1 year of high school. She rented the apartment at 69 Lincoln for $20/month - $400 in 2022 currency.

The other apartment at 69 Lincoln was rented out to two public school teachers - Miriam Moorman and Winifred Fueril. They paid $45/mo to Helen Ware for rent - $900 in 2022 currency.

69 Lincoln - Mt Clemens

Ralph M. Ware graduated from Mt Clemens High School either in 1940 or 1941 then attended Edison Institute in Dearborn.

June 1942 - random article from the Detroit Free Press about Edison Institute





April 1943 - Mrs Ned Hand is Ralph's sister - Marion Ware


On October 30, 1943, Ralph M. Ware married Barbara King in San Antonio, Texas.





1942 - Ralph Ware's WWII Registration Card

According to Ralph's WWII Registration Card (above), his mailing address in Dearborn, Michigan was 22700 Alexandrine Street. The house at 22700 Alexandrine was owned by Frank and Minnie McDonald. Frank McDonald passed away in 1931, but Minnie remained in the home until she passed in 1963. I'd assume that Minnie rented bedrooms to students of the Edison Institute - which was only 3 miles away.

1931 - Frank McDonald Obit - owned of the house where Ralph Ware lived in 1942-1943

1963 - Minnie McDonald Obit - owned of the house where Ralph Ware lived in 1942-1943

House at 22700 Alexandrine






1944 - birth of David Ware; *Kentucky not Virginia



After the war, Ralph and Barbara Ware moved to Willow Run, Michigan and Ralph graduated from University of Michigan. Then in 1952, the Wares moved to Dearborn, Michigan. In 1953, the Ware family lived at 22434 Columbia and Ralph worked as an assistant manager at Electrolux - a vacuum company. In 1956, Ralph Ware was a service man for Electrolux.

1953 Dearborn City Directory

1956 Dearborn City Directory

22434 Columbia St Dearborn Michigan

Random Electrolux newspaper ads from 1953:

1953 - Electrolux Ad

1953 - Electrolux Ad

1953 - Electrolux Ad

In 1958, the Ware's still lived on Columbia St but Ralph partnered with Harvey Lyons to open their own business - Lyons & Ware TV Sales & Service. In 1958, the business was located at 22967 Outer Dr in Dearborn.

1958 Dearborn City Directory

1958 Dearborn City Directory

1958 Dearborn City Directory - Ralph's business partner

1965 - Detroit Times ad

22967 Outer Dr - Dearborn, MI - via Google Maps 2021

1995 - Ralph Ware's address/phone number

24300 Cherry Hill St - Dearborn

Ralph McMillan Ware passed away on February 26, 1994.

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