An ex-slave from Texas, John Ware followed the expansion of the cattle ranching industry westward until in 1882. He found his way to the foothills while driving 3000 head for the North-West Cattle Company. There, his prodigious strength and remarkable horsemanship won him a reputation as a cowman who drove himself as hard as his cattle, and whose friends claimed no horse could throw. Eventually settling on his own ranch, Ware established himself as one of the best-loved and most-respected frontier pioneers. During his lifetime, the face of the prairie changed; the year of his death more than 30,000 homestead entries were made in the newly created province of Alberta.
With his talent for ranching, he built up a sizable cattle operation of his own and eventually became one of the most famous cowboys in Canadian history. In September, 1905, John Ware was killed when his horse stumbled and fell on him, killing him instantly.