William Stratton Ware comes from the "City of Brotherly Love," and all who know him well agree that he fully exemplifies in his life the beautiful interpretation of the word. He was born in Philadelphia, March 15th, 1851. His early years were spent on a New Jersey farm. He learned the carpenter's trade and became a successful builder. He remained in this business until 1882, when, in co-partnership with Mr. H. D. Stratton, he engaged in the manufacture of ice.
Previous to that time there had never been an ice machine in successful operation, but Mr. Stratton had for a long time been engaged in perfecting a machine that was destined to revolutionize the business of ice manufacturing. It was completed and put in operation at Charlotte, N. C., in 1887, but after a short time was destroyed by fire, a total loss. With unfailing courage these two men gathered their little earnins together and rebuilt. Like many other great inventors, Mr. Stratton was laughed at by the incredulous, but he persevered and the result was all he ever hoped for.
In 1885 Mr. Ware came to Jacksonville and established, in company with Mr. Stratton, the Jacksonville Refrigerator Ice Works, which had been a success from the start. These works have a capacity of forty-five tons per day, supplied with three separate and distinct machines. In summer they are all kept busy. They have other plants in this State at Pensacola, Waldo, and Cdar Keys, all in successful operation.
Mr. Ware is public spirited, energetic, and progressive, has long been a member of the Board of Trade, and one of its governors. He was married in 1878 to Miss Nellie L. Wooster, the daughter of a prominent farmer of Litchfield, Connecticut. They have no children of their own, but have adopted little Nellie and Harry Keller, children of Mr. Ware's deceased half-brother. A lovely and interesting pair they are, and the pride and delight of their adopted parents. Mr. Ware has just completed one of the handsomest residences in the City, at a cost of about $15,000. He feels additional pride in it because he built it himself, designed the architecture and superintended the construction. It is a home of comfort, elegance and refinement, and contains as happy a household, doubtless, as any in the State.
Mr. Ware's residence is brick veneered, with slate roof. The architecture is Gothic in the main, with original modern features. The dimensions are 38 x 74 feet. On the north and east sides are long, roomy verandas. The first floor contains the parlor, reception room, library, dining room, pantries, buttery, kitchen, and Mr. Ware's "den" or private office. The parlor and library are finished in polished sycamore with fine effect. These rooms have large, massive mantles with heavy ornamentation and tiled fireplaces. The reception room is finished in birch. The main hall and stairway are finished in quartered antique oak, with wainscoting and grillwork, and are lighted by large bulged stain glass windows. All the styles and coloring of finish harmonize delightfully and present a pleasing effect. The large open fire-place and massive mantle in the hallway are attractive features. The dining-room is semi-circle bay, extending almost the entire width of the room. It is finished in natural quartered oak and wainscoting. It has open fire-place and china closets. By means of large folding doors the library, parlor, main hall, and dining-room can be thrown into one large room. The "den" is finished in the famous Florida curly pine.
The second story consists of sleeping apartments, bath rooms, etc., with a hallway extending through the centre. Thse ae finished in pine, except the bath rooms, which are tile floored and wainscoted, with exposed plumbing of the latest designs. On the east side opening from the second floor is a shaded veranda directly over the port-cachere. The building is heated with hot water, and lighted with both gas and electricity throughout; electric bells in the rooms. The plumbing is of the most approved sanitary methods of the day. The plastering is adamant. Besides the regular water works a force pump in the cellar supplies the house with rain water from a large cistern. The house is complete in every detail.