This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia G. Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Charles Ells

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


CHARLES ELLS, a worthy and prominent resident of Champaign Township, first opened his eyes to light in New England, being a native of Blandford, Hampden Co., Mass., and was born on the 30th of March, 1819. He is the son of Joseph ELLS, a native of Stonington, Conn. The first representative of the family in America was Maj. Samuel ELLS, an English officer of Cromwell’s army, who came to this country in the seventeenth century and settled in Connecticut. There were preachers in each of the six succeeding generations, who faithfully and intelligently expounded the doctrines of the Congregational Church in New England.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was a farmer by occupation, and his son Joseph, the father of our subject, also followed that calling, after his marriage, in Hampden County, Mass., being located near Blandford, where he resided until 1835. In that year he emigrated to Ohio, locating near Norwalk, where he purchased a home and dealt in stock in a small way, and where he spent the remainder of his life. The mother of our subject before her marriage was Miss Elizabeth WARNER, who was born in Connecticut, and died there in 1822. The parental family consisted of nine children.

The subject of this history was but three years old when he was deprived by death of the tender and affectionate care of his mother. He then became the especial charge of his elder sisters, and remained under his father’s roof until he was sixteen years old, when, going to Windsor, Conn., he commenced working on a farm in summer and attended school during the winter. Two years later he removed with his father to Norwalk, Ohio, where he lived two years, then, going to the city of Dayton, he engaged as clerk for his cousin in a book-store. After one year he commenced in the book business on his own account, in which he was occupied for six years following, in Dayton, and then, adding pianos and other musical instruments to his stock, continued in this branch of trade until 1864. He then came to Illinois, and deciding to change his occupation purchased the farm which he now owns and occupies, and has since devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits.

The marriage of Charles Ells and Miss Mary STANAGE was celebrated on the 24th of November, 1859. Mrs. E. was born in West Liberty, Ohio, and is the daughter of James and Sarah STANAGE, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Virginia. Of this union there have been born two children: Carrie May, the wife of Irving HODGES, lives in Diller, Neb; Harry is a resident of Champaign County, this State. Mr. and Mrs. E. are prominent members of the Presbyterian Church, to the support of which they contribute liberally and cheerfully, and our subject is in all respects the friend and encourager of every enterprise calculated to increase the intelligence and welfare of society at large. During his early life he was a Whig, politically, but since the abandonment of the old party by the organization of the Republican he has cheerfully endorsed the principles of the latter, with which he uniformly casts his vote.

The homestead of Mr. Ells joins the city limits of Champaign, is finely located on section 13, and one of the most desirable farms in this county. The residence is a commodious and tasteful frame building, situated on a rise of ground, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. Mr. E. has given much time and attention to the beautifying of his home, and in all its appointments it indicates the care and supervision of the intelligent and progressive modern farmer, who still has time from his manual labors to devote to the improvement of his mind and the cultivation of naturally fine tastes.

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