Robert Ellis

ROBERT ELLIS. The family of which Robert Ellis is a representative had its origin, so far as the ancestral history can be traced, in Wales. His grandfather was a native of that country and when about six years of age was brought to the United States, the family locating near Jones Mill, in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, where he was reared. He afterward located on a farm, where he carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which resulted from being thrown from a cart in which he was standing, when the horses gave a sudden start, throwing him to the ground and breaking his neck. He was twice married, his second wife being the grandmother of Robert Ellis. By the first marriage there were seven children, all of whom are now deceased. By the second marriage there were two children-James and Robert. The latter is now in his eighty-eighth year and resides in Linn county, Iowa, near Cedar Rapids, being the oldest living resident of that section of county, having located there in May, 1838, when the Indians were far more numerous in that region than the white men.

James Ellis, father of Robert Ellis was born in Westmoreland county and as his father was in humble financial circumstances at the time of his death, his children were placed in the homes of neighbors by whom they were reared. On attaining his majority, James Ellis learned the cabinetmaker's trade, in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and afterward went to Ligonier, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a journeyman, and while there he became acquainted with the lady whom he made his wife. Later he removed to Madison, Pennsylvania, where he opened a shop, and in 1856 he went with his family to Indiana, but finding that fever and ague were prevalent in the state at that day, he returned to Westmoreland county, after two weeks spent in the middle west. For a brief period he lived in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, and then went to Greensburg, while in 1858 he opened a mercantile store in Ludwick, now Greensburg, at the corner of West Ottoman and Hamilton streets, where James Seanor is now located. There he carried on merchandising until 1895, when he sold his business and retired to private life. In early manhood he gave his political support to the Democracy, but in 1856 joined the new Republican party, which in that year placed its first presidential candidate in the field and continued one of its supporters up to the time of his death. He held membership in the First Presbyterian church and he died April 22, 1897, at the age of seventy-seven years, eight months and seven days. He married Isabelle McClintock and of their eight children, six are now living, namely: Maggie, wife of M. M. Clark, of Claridge, Westmoreland county: Elizabeth, wife of W. J. Porter, of Fremont, Iowa: Nannie E., wife of J. L. McKeever of this county: Robert; Albert C., who for thirty years was a merchant at Pittsburg, Pa.; and Josie, wife of J. C. Zeak, of Morristown, N. J.

Robert Ellis, son of James Ellis, was born in Madison, Westmoreland county, October 26, 1848, and was a public school student. At the age of twenty years he went west, spending two years in Iowa and two years in Missouri at farm work. He then returned home and entered his father's store. During the following four years he saved his money, and in '876 entered into partnership with his father, a business relation that was maintained until i88,, when he sold his interest and began an independent business for himself at Weaver's Old Stand, in Westmoreland county. There he remained for nine years, enjoying a good patronage, which brought him a desirable, financial return. During the latter part of that period conditions changed much, the Hecla mines being opened about two miles away from that place. As this left him away from the railroad, he began to look around for favorable location, and decided and found that Youngwood furnished the opening that he desired. In 1890, therefore, he removed to the New Light building, the first structure erected in the now prosperous borough. There he opened his line of goods and conducted business successfully for ten years, when he retired from active mercantile life and is now enjoying a well earned rest. He, therefore, owns several properties in Youngwood, together with the old farm homestead in Ludwick, and is regarded as one of the substantial citizens of the county. Interested in political questions and issues, Robert Ellis has always been a Republican and active in community affairs, is now serving as president of the school board and is secretary of the board of trade in Youngwood. He was also for five years postmaster at Weaver's Old Stand and has continued in the same office in Youngwood ten years, and in all that time he never missed a connection with any train. It was through his instrumentality that the postoffice in Youngwood was established in 189I. Mr. Ellis married, October, 1876, Charlotte Byers, daughter of John H. Byers, who lived near Weaver's Old Stand. There were three children of this marriage, but only two are living-James B. and Robert Ellis, both at home.

Source: Page(s) 195-196, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed May 2007 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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