J. E. Jellison is the man chiefly responsible for
giving Auburn one of its thriving industries, the
Auburn Broom Company, of which he is one of the
proprietors. Mr. Jellison is a broom maker of wide
experience, and is a man of affairs generally. He
is well known as a public speaker, having gained
his early reputation as a schoolboy orator, and is
frequently heard in democratic party campaigns, his
services in that line being much in demand.
Mr. Jellison was born in Randolph County, Indiana, May 17, 1879, a son of Joseph and Mary
(Cullen) Jellison. His father was also a native of
Randolph County, and when eight years old ran
away from home to join the army in the Civil war.
While he was much too young for active service
the company managed to keep him as a sort of
mascot until the close of the war. His wife, Mary
Cullen, was born on Kelly's Island near Sandusky,
Ohio, and came to Indiana when nineteen years of
age, her father being a man of wealth at Union City,
Indiana. After the war Joseph Jellison entered
the railroad service, helped grade the Panhandle
Railroad, was a brakeman for some years and later
a conductor of the Big Four. He was a Catholic
and a democrat. There were five children in the
family: Florence, deceased; J. E.; Alice, wife of
O. C. McLaughlin, of Dayton, Ohio; Leo, who is
married and lives at Dayton; and Marie, unmarried
and living at Portland, Indiana. The father of these
children died March 7, 1907.
J. E. Jellison spent three years of his early life at
Indianapolis, but secured his education chiefly at
Portland and Union City, graduating from the
Portland High School in 1898. While in high school
he represented the Town of Portland in an oratorical
contest held at Richmond and was awarded third
honors. For a time he was a drug clerk, was with
the Adair Brothers in the drug business from 1899
to 1901, and in the latter year became a broommaker
at Ridgeville, Indiana. After three years he returned
to Portland and bought a drug store, which he conducted for two years. He resumed the broom making
business at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he remained three years, was similarly
engaged at Richmond, Virginia, for two years, and then returned to
Ridgeville and was secretary of a broom company
there and later its sales manager. Mr. Jellison came
to Auburn in 1916 and has built up the plant and
industry of the Auburn Broom Company and made
it one of the flourishing concerns of DeKalb County.
In April, 1901, he married Miss Blanche Burke, of
Clay County, Indiana. She is also a graduate of the
Portland High School. They have three children:
Guinevere, born in November, 1903; Gareth, born
in May, 1905; and Francis, born in January, 1908.
Mrs. Jellison is a member of the Presbyterian
Church, while he was reared a Catholic.
("History of Northeast Indiana: LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties," Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1920)
This website created October 17, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
© Indiana American History and Genealogy Project