Eugene Fitch Ware


Eugene Fitch Ware, whose pennames were "Ironquill" and "the Philospher from Paint Creek," came to Kansas after serving in the Union Army and editing an Iowa Newspaper. He settled at Ft. Scott, studied law and later became a specialist in the fields of water rights and insurance law. Although Ware wrote several books on a wide number of subjects -- military history, water rights law, even a Latin translation -- his literary reputation rests upon his collection of poetry, Rhymes of Ironquill, which was revised and went through many editions. Ware first gained attention with "The Washerwoman's Song," which aroused a public furor because of its supposed atheism. Ware's Kansas poems earned him the unoffical title of the state's poet laureate, and he was favorably compared to James Whitcomb Riley, the well-known Indiana poet of the same period. "John Brown" and "Quiver-Kansas" are probably Ware's best-known Kansas poems, but The Kansas Bandit, or The Fall of theIngalls (1891), a privately published verse play that lampoons the Populists, may be his most entertaining work. Ware was undoubtedly the most widely read Kansas poet of the last century, and his influence on the state's poetry was considerable. Modern readers often find Ware's poetry out-dated and difficult to approach; Kenneth Irby, for example, describes it as "flapdoodle jingo verse." An excellent study of Ware as poet, thinker, lawyer, politician, and man is James C. Malin's Ironquill Paint Creek Essays (1972).

---Biography taken from The Kansas Experience In Poetry edited by Lorrin Leland


  • Roman water law. Translated from the Pandects of Justinian by Eugene F. Ware(Reprinted edition, University of Toronto Libaries, 2011)
  • The Indian War of 1864: Being A Fragment of the Early History of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming (Crane & Co, 1911)
  • Indian War and Civil War on the Western Frontier: The Indian War Of 1864 And The Lyon Campaign in Missouri in 1861 (2 Volumes in 1) (Maine Book Barn Publishing, 1907)
  • The Lyon Campaign In Missouri In 1861, Being A History Of The First Iowa Infantry (Maine Book Barn Publishing, 1907)
  • The Glan-Ik: A Trade Language Based Upon the English, and Upon Modern Improvements in Shorthand, Typewriting and Printing (1906)
  •  Some of the Rhymes of Ironquill (A Book of Moods) (Knickerbocker Press, 1902)
  •  Selections from Ironquill: Selected by W. M. Davidson, Superintendent of Schools of the City of Topeka (Crane & Company, 1899)
  •  Some of the Rhymes of Ironquill (5th edition, Crane & Co, 1896)


Eugene Fitch Ware

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