Search billions of records on


E. R. Zellar is a retired farmer owning one hundred and eighty acres of rich and productive farm land, from which he derives a very satisfactory income.   He was born September 14, 1836, in Oneida county, New York.   His father, Jacob Zellar, was a native of Herkimer, New York, and died when about eighty-five years of age, while his wife passed away when about seventy-four years of age.   They came to the middle west in 1863, settling in DeKalb county upon a farm on section 6, DeKalb township.    Mr. Zellar energetically took up the task of cultivating the land and as the years passed met goodly amount of success in his work.   After several years spent upon the farm he removed to the city of DeKalb, where both he and his wife    spent their remaining days.   Mrs. Zellar surviving her husband for about two years.   In their family were five children, three of whom reached adult age.   William Zellar, a brother of our subject, was killed at Ressca, Georgia while serving his country in the Civil war, and a sister, Mrs. Zenas Oaks, is now living in DeKalb.

E. R. Zellar spent the period of his minority in the east, remaining in Jefferson county, New York, until 1857, when at the age of twenty-one years he sought a home in the middle west, locating first at Plano, Kendall county, Illinois.   There he worked at the carpenter’s trade until 1861, when   in response to his country’s call he offered his service to the “government, joining Company E,” Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry under Captain Charles D. Fish and Colonel Nicholas Grensel.    He served for three years and participated in the battle of Pea Ridge, March 6 and 7, 1868, Perryville, Kentucky, and Stone River, where he was taken prisoner but was soon paroled.   At the battle of Mission Ridge he was wounded, a bullet passing through his right side, while his right arm was shot off.   He was then discharged.   He made great sacrifices for his country and the nation owes to him a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

Following the war Mr. Zellar removed to a farm on section 6 in DeKalb township, where he remained until 1892, carefully and systematically managing his farming interests, his excellent methods bringing to him a measure of success that now classes him with the men of affluence in his community.   In 1892 he left the farm and removed to Malta, where he has since resided in the enjoyment of a well earned rest.   He owns a fine residence in the village and also one hundred and eighty acres of fine land in DeKalb township.

Mr. Zellar has been married twice.   He first wedded Mercy Ann Ferguson, who was born in St. Lawrence county, New York in the year 1838 and gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Zellar, on the 26th of March, 1866.   There was one son born of this union –  Marvin Zellar,   who is now living on the old homestead farm in DeKalb township and who married Miss Delia Butler, by whom he had one son.    Mrs. Mercy Zellar passed away in DeKalb county, September 10, 1892.    More than seven years later Mr. Zellar was married to Mrs. William C. Pierce on the 13th of February, 1900. She was born in Jefferson county, New York, and came to DeKalb county after her marriage.

Mr. Zellar was in very limited financial circumstances when he came east in his lot with the citizens of Illinois, but he possessed what is better than capital –  a strong purpose and determined energy.   He worked hard year after year until his labors brought to him a very desirable competence, now enabling him to live retired in the enjoyment of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.   He is, moreover, an honored veteran of the Civil war and in days of peace has been   equally loyal to the country, manifesting the same spirit of fidelity which he displayed when on southern battlefields he followed the old flag.   Wherever known he is held in the highest respect and his long residences in DeKalb county has brought him into contact with many people.

From Past and Present of DeKalb County, Illinois, 1907. Prof. Lewis M. Gross, Pioneer Publishing Company, Chicago.