from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Oliver Samuel Ellis, closely connected with many corporate interests of Oskaloosa has be- come one of the valued factors in business cir- cles here, for he belongs to that class of repre- sentative men whose activity, enterprise and adaptability enable them to produce results and add to the general prosperity as well as to indi- vidual success. He was born in Mount Pleas- ant, Iowa, April 14, 1865. His father, Fernan- das Ellis, a native of Ohio, was of Scotch and German, ancestry and in early life studied pho- tography. About 1860 he came to Iowa, set- tling in Mount Pleasant, and in 1866 removed to Oskaloosa. He married Harriet J. Thomp- son, a native of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and was an exemplary follower of the Ma- sonic fraternity, while his political allegiance was given to the republican party. He died in 1867, when thirty-two years of age and later Mrs. Ellis became the wife of Samuel D. Knowlton, now deceased, who was a farmer and at one time a business man in Oskaloosa. In his last years he lived retired in New Sharon, his death occurring there, Mrs. Knowlton, however, yet resides in New Sharon, and is sixty-two years of age. By her first marriage she had two sons, the younger being Walter F. Ellis, who is manager of the Sioux City Iron Works, at Sioux City, Iowa. Oliver S. Ellis is indebted to the public- school system of Oskaluosa for the educational privileges which he enjoyed in his youth. He was brought to this city when only about a year old and attended the primary, grammar and high schools, thus becoming well qualified for the practical duties of a business career. At the age of fourteen years he entered the wholesale grocery house of Wright & Spencer, now the H. L Spencer Company, as office boy and gradually won promotion which came to him in recognition of his capability, untiring devotion to the firm and his unremitting dili- gence. He was made successively shipping clerk, house salesman and traveling salesman and in the early part of 1900 became, general manager for the H. L. Spencer Company, wholesale grocers, which is his present con- nection with the house. He has been identified continuously with this commercial enterprise since entering business life, and no higher testi- monial of capability could be given than this fact. He has, however, extended his efforts to other lines, becoming financially interested in various important business concerns which con- tribute to the commercial and industrial activity of Oskaloosa. He has for ten years been treas- urer of the Green & Bentley Drug Company, wholesale and retail dealers in drugs. For sev- eral years he was president of the Last Creek Coal Company, of which he is now director and he is a director in the Rex Fuel Company of Durfee, Iowa, and has an interest in, National Grocery Company, of Chicago, owns and controls thirteen different houses. He is likewise a director in the Western Company, owning and operating six places of business, and he has various commercial and mining interests. In 1887 Mr. Ellis was united in marriage to Miss Edith Parkhurst, who was born in Mahaska county, near New Sharon, in 1867 and is a daughter of Henry C. and Matilda (Fox) Parkhurst, the father a retired farmer now living in Oskaloosa. Mr. Ellis is a valued member of various societies, belonging to then Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the Knight Teniplar degree, and also to the Elks lodge. He votes with the republican party. He and his wife occupy a beautiful home at the end of Second avenue, East, called Old Orchard Place, and its hospitality is one of its most pleasing and attractive features, making it the center of a cultured society circle. Honored and respected by all, there is no man who occupies a more enviable position in business circles than does Oliver Samuel Ellis, who has spent almost his entire life in this city and whose prominence is not alone the result of his success but also has come by reason of the straightforward business methods that he has ever followed. He has been watchful of opportunities and in matters of business judgment is rarely at fault, so that he has made judicious investments that have returned a gratifying income.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy