John C. Ellenberger


JOHN C. ELLENBERGER, prosperous merchant of Dayton, Pa., one of the leading business men of Armstrong county, was born at Belknap, Wayne township, June 26, 1877, son of Samuel Ellenberger.

John Ellenberger, great-grandfather of John C. Ellenberger, lived along the Allegheny river, and there developed a fine farm. His children were: John, Jacob, Mrs. Rumbaugh, Charles and George. This family came to western Pennsylvania from a section east of the mountains.

Charles Ellenberger, son of John, was born in Armstrong county, in Sugar Creek township, and became a farmer there, but moved to Wayne township in young manhood. He bought 160 acres at Belknap, and died in the house now occupied by his son Samuel, in 1864, his remains being interred in the Lutheran cemetery in Wayne township. By his first marriage he had the following children: David, Jacob and Francis, all of whom died in Jefferson county. He married (second) Anna E. Bargerstock, daughter of John Bargerstock, who brought his family to American from Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, when Mrs. Ellenberger was twelve years old. She died in February, 1890, and is also buried in the Lutheran cemetery in Wayne township. By this second marriage Charles Ellenberger became the father of these children: John; Eliza, who married Sims Marshall; Simon P.; Samuel; Kate, who married George Rumbaugh; Etta, who married N. A. Miller, deceased; Sadie, who married John Snyder; Hannah, who married George L. Reed; and two children who died young.

Samuel Ellenberger, son of Charles, was born at Belknap, Feb. 2, 1846, and was educated in the township and Dayton high schools, and at Union Academy. Taking his father's homestead, he made farming his occupation. He owns eighty acres of valuable land in Wayne township, and three sons were born to them: John C.; Harry M., of Venango county, Pa., connected with the Polk institution; and Clinton R., also at that institution. In politics Samuel Ellenberger is a Democrat, and he has served as school director and assessor of Wayne township, and as jury commissioner of Armstrong county. For years he has been an important factor in the Concord Presbyterian Church, and is in every respect a substantial reliable man.

John C. Ellenberger, son of Samuel, attended local school and the Dayton Academy, remaining at home until he was eighteen years old. He then went to Warren county, where he was employed at the hospital for the insane, and spent two years there. Following this he went to Rhode Island, and spent four years, leaving there for New Bethlehem, Clarion county, Pa., where he spent a year employed in a flour mill. The next year he clerked in a general store, in all these occupations gaining valuable experience which was of use to him when he embarked in business for himself in 1902, as a merchant at Belknap, in Wayne township, Armstrong county. For four years he conducted a flourishing business at that place, but in 1906 deciding to come into a broader field located at Dayton. He opened up with a good stock of clothing, men's furnishings and shoes, handling the clothing of M. Wile, of Buffalo, and Allen & Allen, of Philadelphia, and the Walk-Over and Queen Quality shoes, and continues to do so, experience having proved that these are best suited for his trade, both as to quality and price. His stock is thoroughly modern, and his commercial connections are such that he can offer special inducements to his customers.

Mr. Ellenberger was first married to Laura Brice, who died four months afterward. His second marriage was to Edna Shotwell. They have no children. Fraternally Mr. Ellenberger belongs to Dayton Lodge, No. 738, I. O. O. F. His religious home is in the Presbyterian Church.

Source: Pages 367-368, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Linda M. Stitt for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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