NameFrancis Allen Ellis 2
Birth1 Sep 1876, Mahwah, Bergen, N.J.
Death24 Dec 1950, Royal Oak, Oakland, Mi.
Burial26 Dec 1950, Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, Oakland, Mi.
OccupationClothing Salesman
EducationHigh School and Detroit YMCA Accounting course.
FatherGeorge Abbott Ellis (1844-1896)
MotherEmma Newell Gould (1849-1938)
Misc. Notes
Sources & Information:
Francis Allen ELLIS, son of George Abbott ELLIS and Emma Newell GOULD, was born on Sept. 1, 1876, Mahwah, New Jersey. Certification found in old family bible and his fathers original letter to Adeline A. (Hurlbutt) Gould reporting the arrival of Francis. See reference of this letter in George Abbott Ellis review. The family apparently did not stay in New Jersey very long as mother at age 31, sister's Edith & Florence ages 6 and 5 respectively and Francis age 4 moved to Michigan. One interesting fact, yet unexplained and new to me, is the appearance in the J. B. Simpson, Inc., a clothing company, stating that Francis Allen Ellis parents had supposedly moved from New Jersey to Jackson, Michigan. If this should be correct, the stay at Jackson was of very short duration.
Our story about Frances Allen Ellis really gets underway in Detroit, Michigan, since he arrived there at the age of four. His education was obtained in the City of Detroit. He was first employed at age 16 in 1892 by The Michigan Farmer, as office boy. That job continued until his later employment with the Russell Wheel and foundry Co., Hamtramck, Michigan, as office boy, at $4.00 per week. He was subsequently promoted to Timekeeper and Paymaster, to Chief of the Cost Departmnt, to Welfare and Employment, then to Foundry Superintendent for six years and then to Advertising Manager and Chief of Factory sales. Mr. Ellis spent 29 years with this company or until about 1928.

The City of Detroit Directories further indicate the following. In 1899, Francis A. Ellis, time-keeper, living at 1209 Jos Campau. It is at this address that his father George A. Ellis passed away. Francis had developed a very interesting penmanship early in life and it was used in a description of this location and home environment. The original document is found in the Ellis family records and is transcribed below.
"Four miles from city hall. About twelve minutes walk west of your new factory (not sure who this was directed to). Two blocks from electric car line with six minutes service and two blocks west of Boulevard. The street is being paved with block on concrete. Cement walk past front of houses and one and three quarter inch board around to shed in rear. The house was newly painted this summer. Is one and three-quarter story frame building very well built and of a very good quality of lumber. Open plumbing throughout, with hot and cold water upstairs and down.
The cellar is one of the best in the city. We never have to get ice in summer. A large porch in front of house. Downstairs - Parlor, reception hall, sitting room with closet under stairs, dining room, with china closet, with shelves and drawers. Kitchen, hardwood floor, hot water tank and drawers. Upstairs Three large bedrooms and large bathroom with tub, wash bowl and closet. Wainscoting in bathroom about five feet high. Four closets and store room. House is tinted through out except kitchen which is papered. The property is in a desirable position for your employees and is an excellent home. Object for selling is to get nearer our friends, and church on the other side of the city."
The City Directory continues as follows, his sister Edith A. Ellis is indicated as a milliner, at 1209 Jos Campau. In 1903, Francis A. Ellis, Clerk, Russell Wheel & Foundry Co., still at same address. There is another address for Francis A. Ellis, 54, Philadelphia Ave., Detroit, Michigan, found on a receipt to The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia, dated February 11, 1907. In 1914, Francis A. Ellis, same Co., but residence now in Walkerville, Ontario, Canada. In 1917, Francis A. Ellis, Advertising Manager, Russell Wheel & Foundry Co., with residence as 616 Wabash Ave., Detroit. In 1918, Francis is further noted as Advertising Manager, Russell Wheel & Foundry Co., and having residence in Royal Oak, Michigan. During the period of employment with Russell Wheel, Francis participated in a business venture with a Charles Barclay. Known as ELLIS & BARCLAY, Wholesale and Retail, importers, blenders and manufacturers of Teas, Coffees, Spices, Extracts and Baking Powder, located at 299 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, Michigan. My recollection is that Mr. Barclay ran the business while Francis continued working at Russell Wheel. What actually happened to this business is not known.

In a publication of the Who's Who of the City of Detroit
is found the following:
"Francis A. Ellis. In business circles of Detroit Francis A. Ellis is well known as Advertising manager and welfare officer of the Russell Wheel & Foundry Company, [Chene St. and Belt Line Crossing, Detroit] one of the oldest and most substantial manufacturing enterprises of the city, with which he has been identified for a period of twenty-seven years, entering the employ as the firm in a humble capacity and advancing with the development of the business until he now occupies a position of trust and responsibility. A native of New Jersey, he was born at Mahwah on the 1st of September, 1876, his parents being George A. and Emma N. (Gould) Ellis, the former a native of Rindge, New Hampshire, while the latter was born at Newbury, Vermont. They were married in the Green Mountain state and in 1877 took up their residence in Detroit, where the father continued to follow the machinist's trade, with which he had previously been connected in various manufacturing centers in the east. He passed away in this city in 1896. The mother is still residing here. In their family were three children: Mrs. Herbert J. Conn, whose husband is the president of the Peninsular Screw Company of Detroit; Mrs. Hugh McNeal, who is the wife of the president of the Detroit Metal & Steel Works; and Francis A., of this review. Mr. Ellis acquired his education in the Grammer and high schools of Detroit and in 1894, when eighteen years of age, he secured the position of office boy with the Russell Wheel & Foundry Company. He bent every energy toward learning the business, faithfully and efficiently performing each task assigned him, and his efforts were rewarded by promotion from one position to another of greater responsibility until he was made advertising manager in 1909, while in the same year he was also appointed welfare manager. Through his enterprising and aggressive business methods the sales of the company have been greatly augmented and in his capacity as welfare officer he is capably looking after the interest of several hundred employees, securing their cooperation and efficiency in the operation of the plant, which is one of the largest of Detroit's industries. In this city, on the 27th of June, 1903, Mr. Ellis was united in marriage to Miss Kathryn B. Giddings, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Giddings, well known residents of Macomb County, Michigan.
Mr. Ellis gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak, where the residence of the family is maintained. He is chairman of the Foundry-men's Division of the Employers' Association and is a member of the Adcraft Club, Order of Odd Fellow. He is a man whom to know is to esteem and honor. He has eagerly grasped every opportunity which has come his way and step by step has advanced. His career has been actuated by a spirit of progress and he deserves classification with the self-made men and valued citizens of Detroit, in which city practically his entire life has been spent." End of Article.

An original letter dated November 4, 1917, from Brattleboro, Vermont, to Kathryn tells of Francis visiting with Aunt Jennie (Ellis) Cheney and the old Ellis farm on Black Mountain Road. The visit of Dummerston Center and the old cemetery where his grandparents are buried.

While employed by Russell Wheel & Foundry Co., Francis A. Ellis married Kathryn Belle Giddings, daughter of Theodore Marshall Giddings and Mary Arabelle Sutton on June 27, 1904. They had five children, Ethel Frances Ellis, born July 1, 1907, Marion Elizabeth Ellis, born Nov. 5, 1910. Virginia Eleanor Ellis, born July 14, 1912. Lillian Gould Ellis, born March 1, 1914 and Edward Dale Ellis, born September 20, 1916.

Purchase of 139 and or 210 N. Lafayette, Royal Oak, Michigan.
On April 3, 1918 a Preliminary Agreement was signed and agreed to purchase thought the Webster-Oliver-Streeter Co., Agents for the Owner, the following described property: House with Lot No. 29 of the Mageehan's Subdivision of out lots 1 & 2 of the Wilson Park Subdivision to the village of Royal Oak, Michigan. The total price of home being $5,600.00, with $100.00 down, $350.00 upon signing of Land Contract, on or before May 1, 1918 and the balance of $5,150.00 to be paid in monthly installments of $30.00 each or more at the option of purchasers. An additional $50.00 to be paid on Land Contract on or before 3 months from date of said Contract. Monthly payments $30.00 to include both principle and 6% interest. This proposition made and accepted by owner subject to the following conditions attached. The Owner shall furnish abstract of title, certified to date, showing merchantable title, and when conveying shall convey by warranty deed. This property became known as 136 N. Lafayette but changed to 210 N. Lafayette in later years. During the stay at this address all the children attended the Royal Oak Public School system. In 1921 Francis A. Ellis was elected President of the Men's Club of the First Presbyterian Church in Royal Oak. Francis was not only an able salesman but became an expert amateur photographer. Early occupancy of 136 N. Lafayette location included the seven members of Francis A. Ellis family along with Kathryn's parents Theodore M. and Mary A. Giddings. This now created a family of nine in the same home.
About six years after this home was established Theodore M. and Mary A. Giddings purchased a home on September 12, 1922, at 607 Park St., Royal Oak, Michigan. Some of the funds to purchase this home acquired by Mary A. (Sutton) Giddings receiving money from the Estate of per parents Noble R. and Marion Maria (Miller) Sutton. The family lived at the Royal Oak, address for about 11 or 12 years before a new home was constructed. This financed through Globe Finance Corporation, a Detroit Corp. with property located on lot 44, in Maple View subdivision, Yorkshire Blvd., Troy Township, Oakland Co., Michigan. This seemed to be a great move for the family as it gave plenty of room for all concerned. The only trouble was that someone forgot to tell or warn about the approaching Depression years ahead. When this move was made their two eldest daughter's Ethel and Marion had already graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1925 & 1929 respectively. Virginia and Lillian were still attending Royal Oak High School and Edward had to enroll for the 7th grade, at the Poppleton School, 16 Mile and Crooks Roads, Troy a two mile hike each way. All children still living at home.
This brings us to the 1928 -1929 years and the Great Depression when many companies were terminated, going out of business, letting employee's go and closing the doors permanently. The Russell Wheel & Foundry Co. was one of those and their last big job of importance was the steel- work for the Penobscot Building, Detroit, Michigan. You still had the carry over of on the job training when apprentices learned a trade or business. This was called working one's way to top the hard way. The economics of the day found thousands of experienced persons now out of work and competing with one another for such jobs as might be available. Francis A. Ellis now had a wife and five children with the youngest being about 13 years of age.
The first needs of the time required a home, food, clothing and the necessities of life. Having Just moved into a new home with mortgage payments, then to loose job and income became a strain on the budget. Francis advertising and sales experience on previous job led him into direct sales representing a line of men's clothing with Richmond Brothers Co., Cleveland, Ohio, who had a branch office in Detroit. This meant learning the art of measuring individuals for suits, customer selecting form sample's carried in a case, writing up the order, taking to Detroit office and then having it sent on to Cleveland garment factory. The finished suit was sent to Detroit office and the customer came in for a fitting.
Through all the above came the need for an additional automobile that was required for Ethel,
Marion, Virginia and Lillian, to get back and forth from Troy to Royal Oak, for work and school. The sales of clothing help up for a period and following Virginia's graduation of R.O.H.S., January 1931. Edward finished the 8th grade at Poppleton School in June 1931. In the middle of the year or on July 3, 1931 daughter Ethel was married to Merwin E. Wilson with the wedding taking place in the Troy home. The Ellis family mailing address at that time was Birmingham, Mich. when the home was actually in Troy, Michigan. Today very close by that exact property, is an automobile agency that was once known as Birmingham Chrysler - Plymouth but now advertises itself as Birmingham Chrysler - Plymouth, In Troy, with a musical jingle. It makes for a very interesting twist and laugh.
The new home that started out with such promise survived until late 1931 when it reverted to
the finance company and all investment was lost. From 1929 to 1931 efforts were made to maintain, by at least the payment of interest but to no avail. Along with this the old First State Bank of Royal Oak went belly up and closed its doors but not without taking in deposits the day before closing with no indication of problems. Francis maintained account at the bank and the day before it closed had deposited sales receipts to be further forwarded to Richmond Brothers Co. This tied up everything with no relief from the clothing company, since even they were having problems. Francis had to make up the difference of the deposit from his own pocket. What a position to be placed in! The family was now in a predicament since having to vacate the Troy home. Where would resources be available for such an adjustment? Now the family again pools its resources and this time the grandparents, Mary A. and Theodore M. Giddings are back in the picture. The value of their home at 607 Park St., Royal Oak, Michigan was used in making application for home located on Lot #61 of Edgewood Park Subdivision, City of Royal Oak, Michigan, known as 606 Lawson Ave. The transaction took place on November 10, 1931, by Exchange Agreement, between Mary A. Giddings and Francis A. Ellis and Kathryn B. Ellis his wife, and Nick Marshall and Rose Marshall. Note that Theodore M. Giddings is not a part of this agree- ment, since Mary A. (Sutton) Giddings apparently had total interest and ownership of the 607 Park Street address.
Lillian graduates from R.O.H.S. about 1933 and Edward graduates from R.O.H.S. in May 1935.
Francis found further employment with J. B. Simpson, Inc., 1550 Broadway, Capital Theater Building, Detroit, and Edward Samuel, 205 Fox Theater Building, Detroit, each company dealing in fine custom tailoring.

Francis Allen ELLIS, sex male, birth 1 Sept 1876, Mahwah, Bergen, New Jersey.
Parents: Father: George Abbott ELLIS. Mother: Emma Newell GOULD.
Source Info: Batch No: 5005594, Source Call No: 1553275, Sheet 26.

One of the interesting keepsakes handed down is a book intitled, The Chip Boy or Granpapa's Story about a Plumcake, and other stories, printed by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co, London, Paris & New York, date not given, This book was given as follows, "Merry Christmas, Francis from Grandma Gould, Dec. 25, 1884," and meaning to Francis Allen Ellis from Adeline A. Hurlbutt Gould. It is a wonderful group of short stories with a great moral value in each. This book has had a new slip cover made to protect the original and is in the possession of Edward Dale Ellis.
Birth30 Oct 1876, New Haven, Macomb, Mi.
Death10 Nov 1969, Royal Oak, Oakland, Mi.
Burial12 Nov 1969, Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, Oakland, Mi.
FatherTheodore Marshall Giddings (1841-1934)
MotherMary Arabelle Sutton (1850-1939)
Marriage27 Jun 1904, Detroit, Wayne Co., Mi.
ChildrenEthel Frances (1907-1991)
 Marion Elizabeth (1910-1988)
 Virginia Eleanor (1912-1994)
 Lillian Gould (1914-1989)
 Edward Dale (1916-2012)
Last Modified 28 Mar 2013Created 14 Jul 2013