ISAAC D. ELLISON, a highly respected farmer living in Mound Valley township, Labette county, Kansas, in section 21, township 32, range 18, was born in Stark county, Ohio, January 24, 1833, in the village of Marlboro, and is a son of Samuel and Anna (Jones) Ellison, who were of Scotch-Irish descent.
Samuel Ellison was a native of Virginia, and his death occurred in Ohio, at the age of eighty-two years. His wife was a native of Georgia, and died, in Ohio, at the age of sixty-five years. They had nine children, namely: Elizabeth (Allmon), who died in 1885, aged eighty-two years; Anna (Pennock), whose death took place in 1898, at the age of eighty-two years; John, who died, in 1860, in Alliance, Stark county, Ohio, aged fifty years; William, deceased at the age of fifty years, in Janesville, Wisconsin; Samuel, aged, eighty-seven years, who lives at Greenleaf, Kansas; Dempsey, aged eighty-one years, of Yukon, Oklahoma; Margaret (Fulton), who died in Dayton, Ohio, aged sixty years; Deborah (Fulton), who died in 1889, aged sixty years; and Isaac D., the subject of this sketch.
Isaac D. Ellison was reared in the town of Marlboro, Ohio, where he remained until his marriage, in 1854. He married Martha Orr, who died in 1864, leaving five children, three of whom died in childhood. The others were: Flora (Hoover), of Cleveland, Ohio; and Mrs. Cora Brown, who died in Denver, Colorado, in the fall of 1900, leaving five children. Mr. Ellison and his wife were engaged in the hotel business at Alliance, Ohio, for a period of three years. He was, next, in the railroad business for two years, after which he removed, with his family, to Chicago, in the fall of 1865. There he conducted the hotel known as the Central House, at Nos. 82 and 84 East Randolph street. This was a five-story building, and was destroyed by fire in 1871. In 1870 Mr. Ellison sold this hotel, and concluded to try his fortune in the West. He bought a stock of fine whiskies, brandies, and other liquors, and went to Utah, intent upon making his fortune. In this he was greatly disappointed. He settled at Promontory Point, Utah, where the golden spike of the Union Pacific Railroad was driven. Mr. Ellison was obliged, to sell his stock at a great loss, as he found, competition was too great. He then went to Texas, where he bought a herd of cattle, which he brought to Labette county, thinking he would take a claim in Mound Valley, where he would have abundant range for the cattle to graze in the vicinity. But in this he was also disappointed, as the country very soon became settled. Thus, he was obliged to begin life over, as a poor man, comparatively, but, nothing daunted, he set out with renewed energy, and is now one of the most prosperous and successful farmers in his section of Labette county.
Mr. Ellison bought the northwest quarter of section 21, township 32, range 18, in the spring of 1871, for the small amount of $400. Then, after six years of litigation with the railroad company, he finally acquired title to the farm. He first broke eight acres of the land, and planted sod-corn, and later broke all of the home quarter-section. He now has 300 trees bearing fruit, these trees having been bought from Mr. North, who kept a nursery in this part of the county, and supplied all of the orchards in the vicinity. When Mr. Ellison settled on this land, there was only a shanty, 10 by 12 feet in size. This he soon replaced by a modern house, which sits on a mound, some distance back from the road, and thus affords a splendid view. He also bought 80 acres of land on the west side of the road and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 16, township 32, range 18, making a farm of 280 acres. This he deeded to his sons. Mr. Ellison carries on general farming. He raises corn, hogs and cattle, and last year sold $1,800 worth in one season. He prefers thoroughbred Poland-China hogs, and has several of them. Mr. Ellison is a self made man, and deserves great credit for the manner in which he confronted adversity and struggled on until success was again his.
Mr. Ellison formed a second marital union, in Illinois, by wedding Sarah E. Howe, who was born in Akron, Ohio. She is now fifty-eight years old. Six children have been the result of this marriage, whose names are as follows: John, who married Pearl Stevens, and who lives near his father; Charles, who is at home; Lorena (Larrabee), who lives in Blackwell, Oklahoma, and has one daughter, Bessie; Hattie (Norton), who lives on a farm in Osage township, and has one son, Harry; Maude, who is at home; and Walter, aged seventeen years, who is also at home. Mr. Ellison was formerly a member of the Old Settlers' League, and relates many interesting experiences of the happenings incident to the settling of this county.
Mr. Ellison has always voted the straight Republican ticket. Fraternally, he is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. lodge, of Cherryvale, although he joined this organization in Ohio. His family attends the Methodist church. They are well and favorably known in the county, and Mr. Ellison has the respect and esteem of all his fellow citizens.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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