The Eller Chronicles



1842 - 1922

5) Harvey 4) Simeon 3)John 2)Peter 1) George Michael Eller
Lynn Eller
42 28th St., N.W., Atlanta, GA 30309

WILLIAM HAMILTON ELLER was born 29 October 1842 in Wilkes County, N.C. He was the oldest child of Harvey and Caroline Vannoy ELLER whose home was 6 miles northwest of North Wilkesboro, near Purlears, at the base of Monument Mountain. This is very near New Hope Baptist Church which William's grandfather, Simeon, helped to found in 1830.

At the age of 10, in 1852, his parents decided to leave Wilkes County for a new life and new opportunities in the state of Iowa, a budding frontier at that time. William's uncle, David ELLER, was living there and obviously his father, Harvey, was encouraged to make the move. In the fall of 1852, the family was loaded into a covered wagon for the three months long trek to Jefferson County, Iowa. In the family making this arduous trip were six other children: Barnett Cleveland age 8, Virginia age 7, (the mother of James W. Hook, author of GEORGE MICHAEL ELLER AND DESCENDANTS OF HIS IN AMERICA), Nancy age 5, Mary Octavo age 4, James Anderson age 2 and Jesse Franklin age 7 months' The rigors of such a trip were many and are chronicled in James Hook's book, pages 188-196. It is an astounding story of determination and of extreme hardship.

Jefferson County, Iowa was one of the first to be interested in the education of pioneer children. The Fairfield Female Seminary was organized in 1848 and as Fairfield University in 1854. William worked hard at home under the tutelage of his father, Harvey, who recognized his son's unusual abilities. He placed William under the care of Rev. Andrew AXLINE who was operating a small academy in Fairfield. In 1860 Rev. AXLINE became the head of the struggling University which young William entered. He was a precocious lad, and by great devotion to his studies laid the foundation for his later careers as a lawyer, a Baptist minister,editor and teacher. Also, here William became fluent in Greek and Hebrew and throughout his adult life he carried a Bible which was in Greek.


In 1862 at age 20 William entered the military service of the Union Army in Co. D.,19th Iowa Infantry. Later he served to the end of the war as 1st Sergeant in Co. I of the 45th Iowa Infantry. William's uncle, David ELLER;, served with the Confederate Army and was wounded at Drewry's Bluff, Va. He was removed to Richmond where he died 13 September 1862. Another uncle, Thomas Jefferson ELLER, was a private in the 1st N.C. regiment of the Confederate Army and was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Va. early on the morning of 2 May 1863. He is buried where he fell. Uncle David's body was returned to Wilkes County and buried at the New Hope Baptist Church cemetery near Purlears, N.C.

William's great uncle, Jesse Franklin ELLER, youngest son of Simeon ELLER, served as First Lieut. in the Confederate Army and assisted in organizing the 53rd N.C. Regiment, CSA. He later became Captain and was severely wounded on the second day of he Battle of the Wilderness in northeast Virginia, 9 May 1864. He continued to serve actively and continuously with his company in the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by General Robert E. Lee, until the end of the war. He was with his company at Appomattox when Lee surrendered to General Grant. This is one of many accounts of ELLERS who served both in the Union and the Confederate Armies.

Having returned from military service, William married Harriet (Hattie) A. TRACY on 10 November 1866 in Bloomfield, Iowa. She was the daughter of Dr. Jonathan TRACY of Ohio who emigrated to Wapello County, Iowa in 1852, the same year William arrived from North Carolina. Children born to this union were 1) Ida, 2) Annie, and 4) William Cary, all of whom died very young. 3)Julia A. lived to age 25. She and her husband, Joseph S. MOORE, had two daughters, Pauline MOORE, who died at age 8, and Elenor MOORE, b. 4 August 1893, d. 26 March 1952. Two other daughters were 5) Caroline (Carrie) ELLER, b. 28 September 1877, d. 12 August 1934, and 6) Elisabeth (Bessie) ELLER, b. 30 January 1880, d. 29 June 1933

One year after his marriage, William entered the Crozier Theological Seminary at Chester, Pa. Three years later he was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree in the first graduating class, 1870, having completed four years of study in three! His first parish was in Ohio (1870-1873) and his second in Beatrice, Nebraska (1873-1875). During this latter pastorate he studied law and was admitted to the Nebraska Bar in 1876 whereupon he settled in Blair, Nebraska. In Blair he had the dual role of practicing law and serving as pastor of the Baptist Church. During this time he also founded the BLAIR COURIER and wrote a great a deal of history of Washington County, Nebraska. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Blair (see footnote and photocopy below)



Williaam H. ELLER
William H. ELLER

Israel C. ELLER
Opening corner stone?
Not clear, but I think it is opening the Corner Stone to get to the Time capsule.
Extracting box from cornerstone?
Not clear, but I think it is removing, or replacing, the time capsule.

Click on a thumbnail picture above to get a larger representation, then use your browser's back button to get back here. [ADE]


William's younger brother, Israel Curtis ELLER, joined him in the law practice, having been admitted to the Nebraska Bar in 1883. Curtis was born one year after the family of Harvey and Carolina arrived in Iowa. He was number eight of a remarkable 14 children in all. In their law practice, they often worked with William Jennings BRYAN, who at the time was a young attorney in Lincoln, Nebraska. William Hamilton ELLER was twice honored by being chosen Justice of the Supreme Court.

“Judge" ELLER was an implacable enemy of intoxicating liquors. This was probably ingrained by his parents very young in life. His parents objected strongly to the use of liquor. For this reason and their adversity to the slave issue in the South, they removed their family from North Carolina in 1852. In 1890 William joined others in taking over the rights of ownership of the Keeley Institute in the state of North Carolina. This was a national organization established for the care and treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. The institute was very active in William's city of Blair and throughout Nebraska. He obviously was attracted to the work of the institute while living in Blair and this interest took Judge ELLER back to North Carolina. He was the only member of that generation and family to return to his native state. In 1896 he sold his interests in the institute and reentered the Baptist Ministry in the Greensboro area, continuing in this field until his death in 1922.

In the fall of 1894 William joined the fellowship of the West Washington Baptist Church (now the Ist Baptist Church of Greenboro, N.C.). He immediately became active by teaching a Sunday School class of college students. However his yearning was to start new churches and he soon became one of the prime movers in the growth of the Piedmont Baptist Association. This organization was initiated to bring together individual churches into one solid association. Up until that time, all of these churches were part of the sprawling Sandy Creek Association. In 1896 William was named the Associational Missionary and permanent Clerk of the Piedmont Association. His term of service as Clerk and Treasurer lasted 24 years. Also in 1896 he was named to the Associational Committee on Admission of New Churches. The following year he was elected a member of the Associational Executive Board. Records indicate that William was instrumental in starting eleven churches.

William was one of six members of the West Washington Street Church who in 1897 became charter members of the new Cherry Street Baptist Church, now known as the Eller Memorial Baptist Church, Greensboro. The minutes of the organization are in his own handwriting. He served as the Clerk of the Presbytery and then as Clerk of the Church. Other church organizing efforts ensued and in 1903 he was given another title, that of "Beloved Organizer". In his first year at the Cherry Street Church, the members voted to call him as pastor. He did not accept the call. His first love and motivation were establishment of new churches which ultimately included Revolution (now Northside), Magnolia Street, Pomona (now Clifton Road), Hamtown, Bessemer, Florida Street and others.


photo copy

This document came from the cornerstone of the County Courthouse in Blair, Nebraska, on the 100th anniversary in December, 1989.


The Cherry Street Baptist Church was operated under that name from its inception in 1897. At a church conference in 1901, a new building was authorized and constructed on Walnut Street near the north end of what is today the 1200 block of that street. This building was added to and remodeled from time to time to care for the needs of the congregation. A special conference was called on July 24, 1923, for the purpose of changing the name of the church to "The Eller Memorial Baptist Church" in honor of Rev. W. H. ELLER. A new building on the corner of Walnut and Fourth Streets was completed in 1925. The total cost of the building was approximately $35,000. Cone Mills of Greensboro gave $24,000 of this amount for the project. It is interesting to note that the donor, Herman Cone, and owner of the Cone Mills was of the Jewish faith. He had emigrated from Germany for reasons of religious freedom. The 1901 structure was then torn down and the new structure was dedicated in 1925 to the memory of WILLIAM HAMILTON ELLER.

Judge ELLER, as he continued to be known, died in December 1922 at the home of his daughter, Caroline (Carrie) Eller Welch at Greensboro, N.C. The Eller Memorial Baptist Church was named in his honor and for appreciation of the man who had done more to win Guilford County and Greensboro to Christ than any other person.

Footnote 1: As this article is being completed, a document arrived from Solveig Sperati Korte of Blair, NE. Solveig's great grandfather was Israel Curtis ELLER. The document came from the cornerstone of the County Court House in Blair in December 1989 on the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Court House in December 1889. The document, on Masonic Hall stationery, was an invitation to the 1889 dedicated and one of the two members of the "Committee on Invitations" was W. H. Eller. (See photocopy below)

Postscript: During the Eller Family Conference in Salisbury, N.C. in July 1889, several descendants visited the Eller Memorial Church in Greensboro. They were: Myrrel Baldwin, Ted Eller, Byron Eller, Bethel Eller Stolte, Dorothy Eller Vaughn and Lynn Eller.

Resources:"A History of the Eller Memorial Baptist Church" 1897-1986 by O.M. Owens, Jr., Greensboro, N.C.
"George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," by the author, New Haven Conn., 1957
"Blair (NE.) Courier"
Masonic Document, Blair, NE, County Court House
Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE, "Men and Women of Nebraska"
Contributors:Myrrel Baldwin, Greensboro, PA, Solveig Sperati Korte, Blair, NE, Eloise Morris Sperati, Parkersburg, WV.




Calvin Welker Evans
201 East State Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona,
85020 (assisted by Madeline E. Fletcher and Helen Evans)

The year 1990 marks the 59th year that three generations of one family have researched their ancestral lines. Although the inquiry covers many lines, the most detailed and exhaustive work has been done an the family lines: WELKER, STOKER (STOCKER), ELLER, DICK, REPP, KOONS, and GRAYBILL. Even though much information has been found, inquiry continues in the Colonial days and also in Europe.


In the year 1931 JAMES ROBERT WELKER, at the age of 65, was inspired to begin research into his roots. James Robert WELKER, generally known as Robert, Rob or J.R., was born January 25, 1866, in Bloomington, Bear lake County, Idaho, the son of Adam WELKER and Agnes DOCK. He married Louisa PEEL on September 16 1886, at Safford, Graham County, Arizona. Attached is an abbreviated pedigree chart of his ancestors starting with Adam WELKER, father of J.R. WELKER. It is also noted that his line goes back to Peter ELLER, son of George Michael ELLER.

Later Chloe Welker EVANS, the eldest daughter of J. R. WELKER, and Madeline Evans FLETCHER, eldest daughter of Chloe Welker EVANS, assisted in the research. On the death of J. R. Welker on May 29, 1950, at the age of 84, Chloe EVANS and Madeline FLETCHER continued their research.

Chloe EVANS was born July 19, 1887, in Safford, Arizona, and married Charles Eugene EVANS on January 19, 1911. Madeline FLETCHER was born July 19, 1912, at Safford, Arizona, and married Herbert C. Fletcher on April 23, 1937.


Through the years Chloe EVANS and Madeline FLETCHER coordinated their efforts and developed a working relationship-- even though often they did not live in the same state. Chloe EVANS, who had retired, spent countless hours reading books, microfilms, publications and all available records for information. At first Madeline kept the records, prepared the family group sheets, wrote letters and corresponded with other researchers and persons who might have information.

In 1952, 1953 and 1954 while living in Pomona, California, Chloe EVANS would take the bus to Los Angeles to do research at the Los Angeles Public Library. During the years 1954 through 1959 she traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, and spent many months each year at the LDS Genealogical Society Library (now the Family History Library). She also spent some time during the summers of 1968, 1971 and 1972 at this library. It was here she was able to identify many of her WELKER, STOKER and ELLER lines.

Madeline and Herbert FLETCHER resided in many cities in the United States, but the time they lived in Washington, D.C. proved to be particularly productive. Chloe EVANS stayed with the FLETCHERS there from the fall of 1960 to the summer of 196'@. Although the FLETCHERS lived in the suburbs, Chloe EVANS would go into the District of Columbia where she checked the records of the National Archives, the Genealogical Room of the Library of Congress and the Library of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

One of their most productive research activities was going to the source of the official records. They went to the courthouses in Frederick County and Carroll County in Maryland to review the original records. Other places they went to were the Enock Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, the Frederick County Historical Society, Frederick, Maryland, the Hall of Records Commission, Annapolis, Maryland, and the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore.

They also drove to areas where their relatives had resided in the 1700's and 1800's and often contacted living descendants for their personal knowledge and recollections.

Automobile trips were made to many areas. One such trip was in 1958. Chloe EVANS traveled with her two daughters, Helen EVANS and Madeline FLETCHER, on a three week trip from Fort Collins, Colorado, to secure first hand information. Among the cities visited were Council Bluffs, Iowa; Noblesville, Indiana; New Castle, Indiana; Jackson, Ohio; Ashe County, North Carolina and Mt. Vernon, Missouri. They personally checked cemeteries, areas where relatives had lived, official records and interviewed people connected to their families.


While in Ashe County, North Carolina, they visited with Wade E. ELLER. In 1954 Madeline FLETCHER had commenced correspondence with Wade E. Eller, Warrensville, North Carolina. (Wade E. (6), Jacob (5), David (4), Jacob (3), Peter (2) and George Michael ELLER (1). Both Wade E. ELLER and the EVANS family have the common ancestor--Peter ELLER (2). Mr. ELLER was a prolific researcher and had been particularity interested in making connections between people. The correspondence between Wade ELLER and Madeline FLETCHER was primarily on their mutual Conrad DICK line. When he died he had prepared over 30,000 cards on people and approximately 250,000 names were included. Many were early settlers and their descendants in Ashe County, North Carolina. He knew the area well and was able to point out the location where some of the WELKER, STOKER, DICK and ELLER families had resided in the early days.

Fortunately, his voluminous files have been retained and are now stored in the Ashe County, North Carolina, Library. Microfilms (four 16 mm. microfilms) have been made and are available for review.

[Eds. The Wade E. Eller Collection is available at a nominal price on microfilm from the N.C. Department of Archives and History, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, N.C. 27611.


In the spring of 1954 Chloe EVANS located the book of James W. Hook entitled JAMES HOOK and VIRGINIA ELLER, A Family History and Genealogy, published in 1925. Because of some of the information in the book Madeline FLETCHER wrote to the publisher of the book in an attempt to contact Mr. HOOK. The letter was returned "unknown". Madeline then wrote to the State Historical Society of Iowa, since Mr. Hook had lived in Iowa. The Society forwarded her letter to Mr. HOOK who was then living in New Haven, Connecticut.

In his first letter to Madeline dated January 28, 1955, Mr. HOOK indicated that he was descended from PETER ELLER and and Elizabeth (at that time he did not know her last name) of Rowan County, North Carolina. At the time he stated he was trying to prove, if possible, that Peter Eller was the son of Christian ELLER of Rowan County. He mentioned other ELLERS-- Michael, Melchoir and Jacob-- as being in Rowan County. He stated that he was engaged in rewriting the book published in 1925 an the HOOK-ELLER line and was going to great lengths to untangle the Peter ELLER line. In the fall of 1954 Mr. Hook did research in Rowan, Davidson, Wilkes and Ashe Counties in North Carolina to clear up the Peter ELLER line. In January 1955 he visited the National Archives in Washington, D. C., checking early Federal Census Records.

He asked Madeline if she knew where Peter ELLER was born and the names of his brothers and sisters. Thereafter, there were many letters between the two and they exchanged information. Mr. HOOK was a prodigious and ingenious researcher. He was a very generous individual and willingly shared his records. In addition he helped others by doingresearch on their lines while he was checking for information on his lines.


In an effort to secure additional information on his HOOK line Mr. HOOK went to Frederick County, Maryland. He checked the surnames of families known to him who might have been in the area besides the HOOKs. It was at this time he found the will of George Michael Eller from which he was able to obtain the names of his children. He found that his ancestor Peter Eller, was the son of George Michael Eller. Soon thereafter, Mr. HOOK published his book, GEORGE MICHAEL ELLER AND DESCENDANTS OF HIS IN AMERICA.

Just before the book was published in 1957, Chloe EVANS located the following two items:

  1. A deed in W.R. 3 page 294. Frederick County, Maryland, recorded November 18, 1782. In this deed Peter ELLER, Rowan County, North Carolina, transferred his rights, title and interest in land purchased by his father, George Michael ELLER, from Edward GAITHER on April 14, 1772. He transferred the land to Henry RAEP (REEP) of Frederick County, Maryland, his brother-in-law.

  2. A book entitled HISTORY OF WEST BRANCH QUARTERLY MEETING OF FRIENDS PUBLISHED IN 1967 FOR THE sesquicentennial of West Milton, Ohio. This book indicated that Elizabeth, wife of Leonard ELLER, was Elizabeth MAST, daughter of John MAST, Sr. Mr. Hook in his book published in 1957, page 32, had reported that Leonard Eller “married Elizabeth who died in 1831….” He did not have Elizabeth's last name.

These two items were furnished to Mr. HOOK, but his book had gone to the printers and this information could not be included.

It was fortunate that the book had gone to the printers: All his research was published before he died.

Madeline FLETCHER received as a gift from Mr. HOOK an autographed copy of the book published in 1957. Under the date of October 21, 1957 he wrote in the book “To Mrs. Herbert C. Fletcher in appreciation of the invaluable assistance she gave in the preparation of this book.” Mr. HOOK died suddenly on the evening of October 21, 1957.

(Note from Calvin: It is requested that at this time no correspondence be directed to Madeline Evans Fletcher, a member or the Eller Family Association, because of health problems. Should you wish further information which she may have, you can write her brother, Calvin W. Evans, 201 East State Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, 85020, who will try to assist where possible.)



(Eds. J. W. Hook in his 1957 book on George Michael Eller acknowledged the invaluable aid of Madeline Fletcher in the research for his book. Early in the formation of the Eller Family Association, I received a telephone call from Madeline Fletcher. She was excited about the EFA and we talked for over an hour during which time I was convinced I was talking to the most experienced Eller researcher in the country. Since then she has supplied me with considerable information. EFA president, Bill Eller, has had the pleasure of recent visits with Madeline. He has seen her "genealogy room" which is filled with the results of many years of research on her various family lines. We thank Calvin, Madeline and Helen for this report and wish Madeline a speedy recovery. We look forward to meeting all three in Estes Park. We are further indebted to Calvin for keeping us informed on the saga of Karl Eller of Phoenix.]

Gayle Berlin
4206 Winchester, Odessa, TX 19762

James M C Eller


Nellie Ellen Eller- (B. 14 Oct., 1888 md. J. Will Taylor), Martha Susan Eller (b. 02 Dec., 1884 md. Riley Roundtree, then Norman White), Madora Josephine Eller Mangold (wife of John Adam Mangold), Drucilla Guthrie Mangold (wife of John David Eller), Hannah Angeline Eller (wife of George Little), Mrs. Guthrie, (mother of Drucilia Mangold).


John Snow (brothet of Mary Jane Snow Eller (who was the wife of Charles Holbert Eller), Maud Little ( daughter of Hannah Angeline Eller Little), Louise Mangold (married John Weasie,) James M. C. Eller ( born 1812 in N. C. ), Edith Tift (local teacher no known relation), Shellie Joy (daughter of Mary Ann Mangold Joy), Mary Ann Mangold Joy and Clara Joy. Child Seated in lap of John Snow is Maude Little

Picture taken in 1894


1. Jacob Eller, Sr.- the immigrant
2. Jacob Eller, Jr.- See Vol. II No. 1 Feb. 1988, pp. 4-7, ELLER CHRONICLES.
3. Jacob Eller, III- See Vol. I No. 1, Nov. 1987, pp. 5-6;

(Eds. As a descendant of Jacob Eller, Sr. and Jacob Eller, Jr., I am thrilled to receive this new information from Gayle Berlin and that which follows on p. l24 from Edith Lyle on the same family line. Gayle has sent some additional historical articles about different individuals in this chart. In this issue, only one of the articles is included. It follows on pp. 121-122 and pertains to James Mc. Eller. Others will appear in later issues. Gayle Berlin's ancestral chart appears on p. 123.


J.G. ELLER, Rt. 2, Box 145-D, Whittier, N.C.:
Reference is made p. 428 in Hook's 1957 book on George Michael Eller to "A thirty eight page 'HISTORY OF THE ELLER FAMILY' by J.W. Eller. This is found under the GEORGE ELLER /2/ (CHRISTIAN/1/ family of Grayson Co., VA. Does anyone know of this publication?

Seek info on Rev. J. Ben Eller, b. 1882, Buncombe or Madison Co., NC, son of William Albert Eller, b. 29 Jan. 1846, d. 5 Apr. 1911, m. lst Judith Elizabeth Bronson, dau. of Rev. Luke Bronson; m. 2nd Mrs. Sarah Hayes (no issue). J. Ben Eller received B.A. degree from Wake Forest College in 1911 and Master of Theology degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, KY in 1916. He was a grandson of Rev. Joseph Pickins Eller of Buncombe and Madison Counties, N.C.



James M. Eller, his wife Zilpha (Mills?) Davis Eller, their children, and Zilpha's two sons (Cyrus Davis and Mark Davis) came to Kerr County in the mid 1850s. Cyrus had been born in Clinton, Missouri in 1844, his parents and grandparents having come from Richland County, Ohio in 1837. They were one of the first white families to settle in this northeastern Missouri county and many descendants remain there.

The Eller family lived about five miles from Hunt on the North Fork of the Guadalupe River

At one time James Eller encountered Indians at a crossing on the Pedernales River. The story was that he had made a trip to Missouri shortly after moving to Texas, and was returning with a wagon and team, plus his riding horse when he was attacked. Taking shelter between some barrels of apples he was bringing home, Eller was able to kill one Indian with his hand gun (he had left his rifle in Fredericksburg for repairs) and the Indians withdrew, but not before killing one horse. Eller made his way to safety, returning the next day for the wagon. The souvenir arrowheads were treasured mementos of the children, but were eventually lost.
When the family settled in Kerr County, the hills were covered with live oak trees. The cedar trees all came later . The cedar trees all came later

Information from Kerr County Album , page 216

From the book Kerr County., Texas 1856-1976: Kerr County., Texas 1856-1976:


The same Serpha Mills Davis, James Mc. Eller's 2nd wife. [ADE] Zilpha (Mills?) Davis Eller: Born in Missouri, probably in or near Boonville.

Susan Eller Peril and Rufus Doak Peril had four children: James, Edward, Clara, and Elizabeth. Susan,born in 1857, died in 1879 at age 22. Clara, born in 1877, died in 1895 at age 18.. Elizabeth, born in 1879, died in 1880 at age 2 months. James Peril (1874--1951) was my father. Rufus Doak (1848--1919), Susan, Clara, Elizabeth, and James are all buried in the Peril Cemetery between Harper and Kerrville. James'married, Winnie Ola Colbath and they had four children: Jamie Charlotte (deceased at birth), Rollie, John R., and Ola Mae. The three of us have thirty-two descendants--too numerous to name here.


Anita Gayle Mangold Ancestor Chart

Return to TOP of Page
Return to AUG 1990 Table of Contents
Next Page, My ELLERS of Cooper Co. MO. by Edith Lyle
BACK to Table of Contents of CHRONICLE ISSUES