DR. EDWARD C. ELLET, who for thirty years engaged in the practice of medicine in Bunker Hill but is now living a retired life, was born on his father's farm near Bristol, Bucks County, Pa., September 25, 1819, and is one of fourteen children who were born unto Charles and Mary (Israel) Ellet. His father, a native of Salem, N.J., born March 4, 1777, was descended from an old English Quaker family, tracing his ancestry in a direct line back to Samuel Carpenter, who was the private secretary of William Penn. He was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends but by his mode of life severed himself from that body. When a young man he went to Philadelphia where he established a hardware store and married Miss Israel, who was descended from Hebrew ancestry on the paternal side and was of Irish lineage on the maternal side. After several years they left Philadelphia and removed to Bucks County, Pa., where Mr. Ellet purchased a farm near the old homestead of William Penn. However, he did not dispose of his home in the city of Brotherly Love and after some years returned to Philadelphia, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1847. His wife long survived him. She was born Jun e17, 1780, and died November 3, 1870, at the age of ninety years and six months. Both were members of the Universalist Church and were highly respected citizens. Of the family only three are now living. Two brothers of our subject served in the late Rebellion; Charles Ellet, Jr. was a Colonel of Engineers and had command of the ram fleet which collided with the Rebel boats off Vicksburg. The collision proved very destructive and in the melee which followed Col. Ellet received a wound in his knee which caused his death. Alfred, his brother, also became a Lieutenant-Colonel and was second in command of that fleet.
We now take up the personal history of the Doctor, who since 1839 has resided in Illinois. In that year he located about ten miles north of Bunker Hill, where he and his brother Alfred, although neither were then of age, established the village which was called Plainview. They lived in true pioneer style in that wild and unbroken region, giving their time and attention to agricultural pursuits but Edward followed this business only as a means for preparing himself for the practice of medicine, which he determined to make his life-work. As soon as he had accumulated sufficient funds he entered the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in 1849. Immediately thereafter he opened an office in Bunker Hill, where he continued practice for the long period of thirty years. He associated with himself Dr. E. Howell and their connection continued for twenty years, proving mutually profitable and pleasant to them. Dr. Howell is still living at the age of eighty-two years, now making his home in McLean County. After their partnership was dissolved Dr. Ellet continued business alone until his retirement from active life. His skill and ability soon won him a liberal patronage and gained him a high rank among his professional brethren such as he justly deserves. His practice extended over a wide range of territory and he never refused to respond to the call of the sick and suffering, but often at great personal inconvenience he would drive for miles across the country to relieve some one in need of medical aid. The poor found in him a friend and his pleasant and genial presence was very welcome by the side of the sick bed, where his cheery sympathy often proved a great help to the medicines which he had ministered.
In February, 1850, in Bunker Hill, Dr. Ellet was united in marriage with Miss Lydia Little, who was born in Freehold, Monmouth County, N.J., November 19, 1824. While yet a young maiden she came to Bunker Hill, Ill., on a visit to friends. Her father, William Little, was a native of New Jersey and there spent the greater part of his life and died at the age of forty-seven years. He wedded Mary Knott, who survived him some time but passed away in 1856, dying in the faith of the Methodist Church, in which she was a firm believer. Mrs. Ellet by her graces and many excellent characteristics soon won her way to a proud position in the social world and gained for herself many valued friends. The marriage of the Doctor and his wife was blessed with five children but three died in youth - Charles, Alfred and Mary. Anna is now the wife of A. R. Robinson, who is a commercial traveler for a Cincinnati clothing house but resides in St. Louis; and Lily E. is the wife of E. M. Dorsey, who formerly traveled for life insurance companies in Texas, but now is engaged in the coal business in Alton, Ill.
In political sentiment Dr. Ellet is a stalwart Republican but has never sought public office, preferring to devote his attention to his business interests, which he has done with excellent success. About twelve years ago he retired from active practice, having by industry and close attention to his business secured a large and lucrative practice which yielded him a sufficient income to keep him comfortably throughout his remaining years; in addition to that he has fallen heir to different legacies through his father, mother and an aunt on his mother's side, she being the widow of Col. Davenport of Philadelphia. His long residence in the community has made him widely known and no one is held in higher regard. Although now seventy-two years of age time has left few marks upon his countenance. His fine, yet prominent features are not marred by the ravages of age and his snow-white hair seems to rest as a halo upon his brow.