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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 295


Francis ELLIS, Francis ELLIS, proprietor of the Ellis House and livery stables in Mount Ayr, is a native of Virginia, born March 31, 1832, a son of Francis ELLIS. His parents were natives of Ireland, immigrating to America about 1825 when they located in Virginia, where the father followed mercantile pursuits. When our subject was two years old, his parents removed from Norfolk, Va. to Coshocton County, Ohio, where the father followed farming till his death. The mother also died in that county, at the advanced age of 93. They were the parents of ten children, of whom four are yet living.

Francis ELLIS, the subject of this sketch, passed his youth in Coshocton County, receiving his education in the district schools. At the age of 19 years, he went to Davis County, Iowa, with a 160 acre land warrant his oldest brother gave his life for in the city of Mexico.

In 1854 [January 31, Pulaski, Iowa] he was married to Miss Susannah W. YOAST, a native of Ohio but at the time of her marriage living in Davis County, Iowa, with her father and mother, and teaching district school. They have 2 children - Truman C., and Mary Olive, wife of W. A. REGER. Truman graduated from Medical College at Iowa City, and is now a practicing physician of Bethany, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. ELLIS have lost 3 children by death.

After his marriage Mr. ELLIS settled on a farm in Davis County where he followed farming until 1859, when he engaged in the hotel business, and also bought a steam saw-mill which he operated a year. In 1860 he went to Pike's Peak, Colorado where he engaged in mining but did not meet with much success. He returned to Davis County, and from there went to Wayne County, Iowa, when he came with his family to Mount Ayr, and again engaged in the hotel business, keeping the Mount Ayr House commencing on but $400 capital and from the small beginning he built up a large business, and after running the hotel for 9 years he retired with $28,000. He then purchased 1,010 acres of land, and engaged in general farming and stock-raising but instead of making money in this enterprise he lost, owing to the prices of stock going down as well as all farm products.

He soon abandoned farming and returned to Mount Ayr, purchasing his present hotel which is the leading house in the city. It contains 45 rooms, which are all well furnished and fitted up for the comfort of his patrons, all the accommodations being first class, and in connection with his hotel he runs a livery, well supplied with good horses and vehicles of different kinds, and is well prepared to accommodate the traveling public and by his genial and accommodating manners he has made a success of his hotel, and gained the respect of all who know him.

NOTE: Susannah W. (YOAST) ELLIS was born January 1833, Stubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio, and died November 6, 1892. Francis ELLIS died in 1925. Francis and Susanna were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 295, 1887.

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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