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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory


William Barber Ellis


Elk Township


     William Barber Ellis, deceased, was one of the pioneer agriculturists of Elk township and a man uniformly respected for his many sterling qualities of mind and character. He was born in Castile, Genesee county, New York, January 9, 1827, and was one of a family of four children whose parents were Thomas and Hannah (Barber) Ellis, who spent their entire lives in the east. The educational opportunities of the son were meager, but in the school of experience he learned many valuable lessons and became recognized as a practical business man of sound common sense and keen discrimination. He remained a resident of the east until 1853, when at the age of twenty six years he made his way westward to Iowa and on the 15th of August of that year entered a quarter section of land in Elk township, Delaware county. He then returned to the east but in 1856 took up his permanent abode in this county, remaining within its borders thereafter to the time of his death.
     Mr. Ellis was twice married. On the 10th of October, 1857, he wedded Miss Cordelia Walton, whose birth  occurred in Ohio in 1839 and who passed away August 16, 1865, leaving four children, as follows: Isabel, now the wife of T. M. Smith of Sioux City; Cora, who died on the 21st of May, 1890; Mary, the wife of Edward Cook of Manchester; and Rosetta J., whose demise occurred July 25, 1897. On the 1st of October, 1866, Mr. Ellis was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Julia Evans, who bore the maiden name of Julia Charles and by whom he had five children, namely: Kitty, who died December 7, 1912; Peter, of Honey Creek township; Remington, who passed away December 19, 1890; Ella; and Jerusha, who died December 4, 1868. Mrs. Julia Ellis passed away July 25, 1876, and her death was deeply regretted by all who knew her, for she possessed many sterling traits which endeared her to those with whom she came in contact.
     Mr. Ellis long survived, passing away March 9, 1905. He was a successful farmer and stock raiser and by his well-directed business affairs became the possessor of two hundred and eighty acres of fine land in Elk township, which he brought to a high state of cultivation and to which he added many modern improvements. He gave his political support to the republican party and was a stanch advocate of its principles, yet never sought nor held office, preferring to confine his attention to his private interests. He was essentially a home man and found his greatest happiness at his own fireside. He was a great reader of current publications and kept in touch with the questions and problems of the age. He deserved much credit for what he accomplished and his many sterling traits of character made him a citizen whose worth would have been acknowledged in any community. He had many friends and the staunchest were those who had known him longest --- a fact that indicates the uprightness and integrity of his life.


~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 15-16.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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