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Appanoose County >> 1913 Index

Past and present of Appanoose County, Iowa: ... 
L. L. Taylor, editor.  Chicago : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1913. 


Unless otherwise specified, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

George C. Elliott, serving for the fourth term as clerk of the courts of Appanoose county, has a record as a public official which any man might well envy, for in his long connection with public office capability, efficiency and promptness have ever characterized his service. He was born in Drakesville, Davis county, Iowa, in May, 1874, his parents being John and Nancy (Morgan) Elliott. The father was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, September 30, 1837, and the mother's birth occurred in Switzerland county, Indiana, March 25, 1845. With his parents John Elliott removed to Davis county, Iowa, in 1851, and there learned the carpenter's trade, which he afterward followed until the outbreak of the Civil war. He enlisted as a member of Company A, Third Iowa Cavalry, and was at the front until the close of hostilities, participating in many hotly contested battles, in which he proved his loyalty to the old flag. When the war was over he returned to Davis county and settled upon a farm downed by him and a brother. He then turned his attention to the nursery business, which he conducted for six years, and on the expiration of that period removed to Drakesville, where he engaged in the lumber and grain business, which he carried on with substantial success until 1882. He then sold out and came to Centerville, accepting a position as traveling salesman with the Osborn Machine Company, which he represented for some time. He next turned his attention to the sale of nursery stock, in which business he continued for a considerable period, after which he was called to public office, being elected county clerk of Appanoose county. He filled that position capably for four years and following his retirement was elected and served as mayor of Centerville for two years. Soon afterward he was elected to the office of justice of the peace and served for two years. He likewise filled the position of councilman for several terms and in that connection exercised his official prerogatives in support of many progressive public movements and reforms. Entering the insurance field, he followed that business throughout his remaining days, passing away March 9, 1908, at the age of nearly seventy-one years. His widow is living in Centerville with her son and daughter at No. 530 North Eighth street. In the family were four children: Jennie, who was born in 1867 and died in 1873; Allie, who was born in 1870 and is at home with her mother; George C., of this review; and Stella, who was born in 1875 and is the wife of J. P. Mason, who is traffic superintendent for the Bell Telephone Company at Des Moines.

George C Elliott began his education in the schools of his native city and when but a boy came with his parents to Centerville, where he completed his public-school course. He was eighteen years of age when his father appointed him to the position of deputy county clerk and he thus obtained his initial experience in the office which he is now filling. With his father's retirement from the position of clerk four years later George C. Elliott entered the abstract business, in which he continued for a year, and was then appointed deputy county treasurer under Noah M. Scott, with whom he continued for four years, and was then again appointed to the position under J. T. Sherrard. After eight years' service in the treasurer's office Mr. Elliott became delinquent tax collector and so continued for several years. Prior to entering the treasurer's office he was appointed county clerk to fill an unexpired term of a year. When he left the position of delinquent tax collector he was once more deputy county treasurer under J. A. Moss and on his retirement from the position was elected county clerk. Since that time he has been thrice reelected - a fact which stands as incontrovertible proof of his capability and fidelity. He was called to the position for the fourth term in November, 1912, so that he will remain the incumbent in the office until 1915. Mr. Elliott has almost continuously filled public positions since eighteen years of age and over his record there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil. He also has business interests, being secretary and treasurer of and owner of a fourth interest in the Appanoose Abstract & Title Company of Centerville. He has never faltered in his allegiance to the republican party and has always kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day, so that he is able to support his position by intelligent argument. He is well known in the membership of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, of which he is a worthy representative. He was reared in the Methodist faith, his father having joined the church in 1868, becoming a most active and earnest worker therein.

William Morrison Ellis

William M. Ellis Mrs. M. A. Ellis

Upon the roll of Appanoose county's honored dead appears the name of William Morrison Ellis, who is held in loving and grateful remembrance by his many friends in this section, although thirteen years have passed since his death. He was for a long period one of the substantial and progressive agriculturists of this section of the state and through the years of his honorable and upright career he gained the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. Mr. Ellis was a native of Kentucky, born on the 13th of January, 1830, his parents being Marcellus and Nancy Ellis, both natives of Kentucky. The father farmed in that state for some time but eventually came north and settled in Indiana, whence in 1855 he came to Caldwell township, Appanoose county, where he purchased land and engaged in general agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his life.

William M. Ellis acquired his education in the public schools of Kentucky and of Harrison county, Indiana, and grew to manhood in the latter section. He left Harrison county about the year 1850, trading his property in that state for a land warrant for forty acres in Sharon township, Appanoose county, to which he added eighty acres entered from the government. For a number of years he concentrated his attention upon the improvement and development of this farm, making it in all respects a model agricultural enterprise. When he left Sharon township he moved into Caldwell township, purchasing eighty acres, and upon this property he carried on general agricultural pursuits. His intelligently directed energies brought him success and he continued to cultivate his farm until his death, which occurred in 1899. His widow now lives upon the homestead, which for some time she rented out but which her grandson Vernie L. Ellis is now operating for her.

On the 25th of December, 1849, Mr. Ellis was united in marriage, in Harrison county, Indiana, to Miss Margaret A. Ellis, a daughter of Daniel and Mary Ellis, natives of Kentucky, whose ancestors came from Virginia and were originally of Dutch, Irish and Welsh extraction. Daniel and Mary Ellis went from Kentucky to Indiana and spent the remainder of their lives on a farm in Harrison county. The mother died in 1851, after which Daniel Ellis married Mrs. Patsy Bunch, of Harrison county, who has passed away.

Mr. and Mrs. William M. Ellis became the parents of six children. The eldest, America, passed away at the age of fifteen. Perry, a farmer of Vermillion township, married Violinda Eddy and they became the parents of eight children, Lloyd, Floyd, Ella, Bessie, May, Alta, and William and Russell, both of whom have passed away. Jesse, the third child born to Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, is a farmer in Vermillion township. He married Belle Grimes and by her has six children, Lonnie, Maude, Pearl, Hazel, Hygene and Fitz. Laura married Clint Toney, a farmer of Sublett, Missouri. They have seven children, John, Hazel, Pansy, Ivy, Nora, Marion and Arthur. Millard is a cement worker in Centerville. He has been married three times, his third wife being Miss Rose Hitchcock. By his first union he is the father of five children, Ernest, Clyde, Vernie, Ethel and Shirley, and by his third marriage has one son, Harold. The youngest child born to Mr. and Mrs. Ellis is Cora Della, who married Harry Bennefield, a stockman in Oklahoma, by whom she has four children, Otis, Blanche, Elsie and William. Mrs. Ellis has now reached the age of eighty-two years but is still active and vigorous and enjoys the best of health. She comes of a long-lived family. Her grandfather, John Ellis, lived to be one hundred and one years old and then met his death by accident, having been thrown out of a buggy and killed. Her great-grandfather was struck by lightning and killed at the age of one hundred and two years.

William M. Ellis was loyal in his support of the men and measures of the democratic party and, although he was no office seeker, he was nevertheless identified with many local enterprises and was known as a cooperant factor in many measures that directly benefited the community. He was for several terms director of the school board and fraternally was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He gave devout adherence to the doctrines of the Christian church, exemplifying in his upright life the principles in which he believed. Those things which are most worthy and commendable in life made strong appeal to him and the standards of honorable manhood found worthy expression in his career, gaining for him widespread respect and esteem and many friends.