Ware, a Hogansville native and one of largest landowners in U.S., dies at age 82

Published 11:19 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Holland Ware, one of the largest landowners in the United States, passed away on Oct. 24.

He was 82. Ware left behind a legacy of charitable giving in the West Georgia area and beyond.  

Ware, a Hogansville native, was ranked as the No. 21 largest landowner in the country by The Land Report 100’s Winter 2018 issue. He was listed as owning 534,900 acres of land across multiple Southern states ­— more than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who was at No. 28 on the report.

However, Ware might have been more well-known for his philanthropic spirit, which was the focus of the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation. 

“Holland Ware’s life was about giving, taking care of the animals and making sure that the quality of life for both humans and animals was made better by research and action,” said Brenda Thueson, foundation executive director and trustee. “The Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation will continue on exactly the same. We will honor his life by continuing his legacy. The world is a better place because he was here. The Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation will continue to be a strong force for good in Georgia. Everything we do will bear the mark of Holland Ware’s generosity. Making sure he lives on in the work we do is our primary responsibility.”  

In December, Holland and Faye Ware, contributed $2 million to establish the Holland M. Ware and Faye Hendrix-Ware Advanced Care Unit at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. In addition, they contributed approximately $1.5 million to cancer research at Emory and $500,000 to Piedmont’s Breast Health Center. 

Over the years, Holland and Faye helped pay for the construction of the LaGrange Animal Shelter and Auburn University veterinary clinic. They were also large contributors to Puppy Pipeline, which saves animals from shelters and sends them to areas of the country where adoptions are needed.

Holland made his wealth in the timber business.

“I soon realized that the land that I was buying for $10 per acre had more timber value than that, so I would buy the tracts, cut part of the timber, then use the land as collateral to buy the next tract,” Holland said in a LDN interview in January.

Holland graduated from Hogansville High School in 1955, according to previous reporting by The LaGrange Daily News.

Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz said he met Ware shortly after moving to Hogansville in 1999. Even though they spoke on many occasions, the mayor did not know the extent of Ware’s generosity until recently.  

“His philanthropic work, in terms of taking care of animals and cancer research, it was spread all over.  It wasn’t limited to Hogansville,” Stankiewicz said.  

“The ICU and the cancer unit [at Piedmont Newnan] are named after him, but we didn’t even know about it. I had surgery in April, and as they took me into ICU, I saw the sign on the door. I didn’t know until they wheeled me into it.”

“He’ll be missed,” Stankiewicz said. 

Piedmont Newnan Hospital CEO Mike Robertson has also issued a statement on Ware’s passing.

“We would like to extend our greatest sympathies to Faye Hendrix-Ware and the entire Ware family on the recent passing of Holland Ware. The incredibly generous gifts made by the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation to Piedmont Newnan Hospital will benefit untold numbers of patients in our growing community,” Robertson said. “The state-of-the-art 18-bed Advanced Care Unit, which opened less than a year ago, has allowed the hospital to serve more critically ill patients close to home. Additionally, it is well-known that 1-in-8 women nationally will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives and so the High Risk Breast Clinic at the Faye Hendrix-Ware Breast Health Center will help this population in-need. Through a gift that Holland and Faye helped to fund in 2018, more than 6,000 women already have been screened through our telegenetics program. Holland strove to improve the quality of life for both humans and animals. He actively supported research and action groups focused on the prevention of animal cruelty, the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases, and providing support for the less fortunate. Holland, through his passion and generosity, made our world better. Piedmont Newnan and the local community owe a great debt to Holland Ware and mourn his passing.”

There has been no obituary issued by family or funeral home, and any services were private.