Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 573-74.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  William Ellrich

William Ellrich, following the occupation of farming on section 22, Newell township, has also been identified with community interests and in the various public offices to which he has been called he has proved a most competent and trustworthy official.  He was born in Beardstown, Cass county, Illinois, July 8, 1858, and is a son of Adam and Margaretta Ellrich, both of whom were natives of Germany.  The father, born October 18, 1826, came from Hessen-Darmstadt, and died August 27, 1897.  He was a farmer by occupation and remained a resident of Germany until 1850, when he crossed the Atlantic to New York city, where he resided for two years.  He then removed westward to Beardstown, Illinois, and in the vicinity of that place purchased a farm of fifty acres, which he continued to cultivate for a number of years.  In 1865 he sold that property and removed to Macon county, Illinois, where he purchased eighty acres, to which he afterward added forty acres.  He was an energetic, industrious farmer, and his sterling worth was recognized by all who knew him.  He lost his first wife in 1865 when she was but thirty-six years of age.  Both were consistent members of the Lutheran church.  For his second wife he chose Miss Barbara Ellrich.  By his first marriage the following children were born:  Theressa, wife of Fred Selle, of Champaign county, Illinois; William; Mary, the wife of Christopher Furstenburg, of Christian county, Illinois; Adam, who is living in Moweaqua, Illinois; Elizabeth, the widow of John S. Ritter and a resident of Blue Mound, Illinois; Caroline, the deceased wife of Christian Hempstead; Henry, of Blue Mound, Illinois; and Wilhelmina, who died in infancy.  There were also two daughters by his second marriage:  Minnie, now the wife of Milton Robbins, of Labette county, Kansas; and Annie, the wife of John Miller, of Shelbyville, Illinois.


William Ellrich, whose name introduces this record, was reared in Macon county, Illinois, and is indebted to its public-school system for the educational privileges he enjoyed.  He was reared upon the home farm, where he remained until he attained his majority.  He then began working as a farm hand by the month and was thus employed for five years, during which time he saved his money until he felt he was justified in beginning farming on his own accord.  He occupied one place as a renter for sixteen years, and in 1895 he removed to Iowa, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Newell township, Buena Vista county.  To this he has since added eighty acres, so that he now owns two hundred acres, constituting a valuable and well improved farm which is neat and thrifty in appearance and indicates his careful supervision.  He uses the latest improved machinery in carrying out the work of the fields, rotates his crops and does everything possible to keep his farm in a condition of improvement that will make it profitable.


On the 6th of November, 1879, Mr. Ellrich was married to Miss Etta Goldenstein, who was born in Oestfriesland [sic], Germany, July 24, 1855.  Her parents, who were also natives of that country, died during her early girlhood.  Mr. and Mrs. Ellrich have become parents of nine children:  Ora, the wife of Frank Barker, of Clarion, Iowa, by whom she has two children, Glenn and Guy; Raymond, at home; Fara, the wife of Peter Larson, of Newell, by whom she has one son, Harold; Elmer, Fama, Homer, Eva, Willis and Andrew, all

yet under the parental roof.  During his marriage of twenty-nine years Mr. Ellrich has never had a doctor in his house, excepting once for surgical work, nor a light burning through the night nor lost an hour's sleep from any illness of the children.


The parents are members of the Methodist church and are interested in its work.  Mr. Ellrich belongs to Royal lodge, No. 428, A. P. & A. M., and gives his political support to the republican party.  He was school director in Illinois for nine years and for three terms in Iowa, and the cause of education has always found in him a warm champion. He has also been trustee in Newell township for six years, has been most faithful in the discharge of his duties and was reelected November, 1908.  He has made a creditable record in the business world by his honorable labor and well directed efforts and is today one of the prosperous farmers of the county, which shows what may be accomplished by perseverance and untiring industry.