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No. 428 Reed street. He is a son of John and Cecelia (Helm). His father followed the seas, and was a captain. They were natives of Denmark, where George was born in 1847. He commenced sailing and learning the sail-maker's trade when but nine years old. His father, in his early life, was in the Navy as a non-commissioned office,r and participated in tfather between Denmark and Prussia. He remained with his father until 15, when he engaged as sail-maker in a bark trading in New York. He left the bark in New York, and shipped on the bark, "JULIA," engaged in the West India trade. He made three trips, and shipped on the "OCEAN STAR," of Nova Scotia, and afterwards shipped at New York, in the "OLD COLONY," of BALTIMORE; left her on the coast of South America and enlisted in the Peruvian navy, where he remained one year; then shipped at Antwerp, in the "BELGIUM." He then came to Philadelphia and from there to Buffalo. He has since been engaged on the lakes. He came to this city in 1874. He has been three years a captain, and commands the schooner "ONEIDA," now in the wood and lumber trade. He was married in 1878, to Miss Mary Hanson. They have one daughter, Maggie.

Source: History of Milwaukee County, 1881


ELLIS F. ELLIS, a well-known and trusted engineer of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, is a native of the Cream City, born there on Feb. 28, 1859, the descendant of a long line of sturdy Welshman, as his parents, Ellis W. Ellis and Kathrine (Williams) Ellis, were both born and reared in Wales. The mother came to America when she was only twenty-one years of age and resided in New York city some time. The father landed in New York the same year as the mother, but came directly to Wisconsin, where he located in Waukesha county. In Wales Mr. Ellis had been a miller, but as there were few mills in Wisconsin at that early day, he worked at many different occupations for two years in Waukesha county before he came to Milwaukee to become a fireman on the Prairie du Chien railroad, which is now part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul system. Mr. Ellis was well educated and capable, and within a (part of line cut off) to be the fist man who learned to run an engine in Wisconsin. Mr. Ellis was given charge of his first engine in 1852, and he ran No. 1, of that road for twenty years. At the close of this long period of service he resigned his position and moved to Columbia county, Wis., where he lived until his death in 1892. Mr. Ellis was married twice; William and Margaret were born by his first wife, and Ellis F. and Elizabeth Jane, now Mrs. Jones, were his two children by his second. Ellis F., the subject of this sketch, was reared in his native city, and received his education in the public schools of Milwaukee. After finishing school he entered the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad and has served that company for twenty-seven years, during eighteen of which he has held the responsible position of engineer. He is one of the oldest and most trusted of the engineers the road employes(sic), and stands high in the esteem of the company and his fellow employes(sic). He has a kind heart and is ever ready to help the needy or cheer the downhearted. Mr. Ellis is a supporter of the Republican party. In 1884 he was united in marriage with Margaret Rowlands, of Fox Lake, Wis. Mr. Ellis is not a member of any secret societies, but belongs to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Mr. Ellis and his family are members of the First Welsh Presbyterian church of Milwaukee.

Memoirs of Milwaukee County by Jerome Anthony Watrous, 1909 pg. 821


FRANK R. ELLIS, the efficient vice-president of the Shadbolt & Boyd Iron Company, was born in Milwaukee on Nov. 9, 1844. He is a son of John and Charlotte (Byrnes) Ellis, the former of whom was born in the north of Ireland and the latter in Quebec, Canada. John Ellis came to Milwaukee in 1836 and earned a livelihood by contracting for wood for fuel purposes on steamboats, and when coal become used for that purpose he started in the grading business, one of his contracts being the ground where the new Hippodrome now stands. During the early days he conducted new settlers across the country from Milwaukee to Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and other points. Frank R. Ellis, the subject of this review, received his educational advantages in the public schools of his native city, and when seventeen years of age became an apprentice in the piano-making trade, in the days when those instruments were made by hand. This work occupied him for a period of about four years, and then he embarked in the floristry with a partner under the firm name of Whitnell & Ellis. This business flourished under Mr. Ellis' direction and guidance for nine years and when he disposed of this interest in 1874 it was to enter the employ of the Shadbolt & Boyd Iron Company. His enterprise and capacity for work won him promotion through the various departments until at the annual election of officers in 1896 hew as made vice-president of the company, and he has filled the position in a manner that redounds to his own credit quite as much as to the wisdom of the directors in selecting him. Ever since he attained his majority Mr. Ellis has been a staunch adherent to the principles of the Republican party, and as the successful candidate of that body represented his ward in the city council from 1885 to 1888. Between the years 1898 and 1906 he served as a member of the school board. His only fraternal relations are with the Ancient, Free and Accepted masons, in which order he has reached a high degree. Mr. Ellis' wife was formerly Miss Louisa Fishback, of Milwaukee, a daughter of Anton and (the remainder is on the next page and not available for transcription)

Memoirs of Milwaukee County by Jerome Anthony Watrous, 1909 pg. 584


JOSEPH ETZIUS, the genial proprietor of the Aschermann Company cigar factory at 308-310 Broadway, is a native of Germany, having been born in the province of Binden-on-the-Rhine on Aug. 12, 1859. He is a son of Philip and Katherine (Oppermann) Etzius, both of whom were born in 1834, the former at Bingen and the latter in Vallendar. Joseph Etzius, the subject of this review, received his scholastic training in the public and parochial schools of his native land. When he completed his studies he served an apprenticeship in the cigarmaker's trade under the able direction of his father, who was recognized as one of the most proficient in his line. For several years he was a journeyman in his trade and in 1883 he migrated to the United States, locating first in Chicago. Later he entered the employ of the Aschermann Company at Milwaukee as a cigarmaker. From 1863 until 1907 he was in business for himself, selling his products to Arthur F. Aschermann. Early in 1907 he purchased the cigar business of Arthur F. Aschermann after his death, and has since been in active control of it, conducting the business under the name of the Aschermann Company. He also maintains direct supervision of the manufacture of the cigars made for the factory, making a specialty of "Fresh Every Day", "Carl Marr", "Enola", "La Flor de Trentanove", "Skat Club", "American Beauty", "Comme il Faut", and "Our Eagle". Mr. Etzius' thorough knowledge of the trade of cigarmaking, gained by long experience, assures his customers of the best quality of goods. His patronage has increased from the time of his assumption of the management until today his products are some of the most popular brands on the market. He is not allied with any of the existing political parties, believing that good government can be had by the conscientious exercise of the right of suffrage rather than by the dictation of party affiliations. He is prominently identified with the Masonic Order, the Royal Arcanum, the Maccabees, the Cigarmakers' Society, the Turners and numerous other German societies. In 1886 Mr. Etzius was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Ertl Mann, daughter of Christian and Johanna (Limbes) Mann, of New Orleans. One son has been born to bless this union, Arthur L., a bookkeeper in his father's store.

Memoirs of Milwaukee County by Jerome Anthony Watrous, 1909 pg. 216



He Fixed a Place for Himself and Wife in the Pilot House

The boat was brilliantly lighted and the sailors were on water a few minutes before 2 0'clock on the morning of the 8th of September, 1860. When the collision occurred my wife and myself were in the gentleman's cabin. We were both dressed. My brother Thomas met me a minute after. I remember as if it were yesterday the expression of his face as he said, and his stovepipe hat drawn forward over his forehead: "We are in a terrible fix. I was down looking at the hold in the steamer, and you could drive a span of horses through it." The next minute we heard the captains say, "All hands to the hurricane deck." So we all went there, and soon after the captain gave the order, " All hands aft." We thought then that we were near the shore and that the order was given so as to beach the boat, but we afterwards (sic) learned that it was not so, and that we were at least seventeen miles off shore when we were struck. As we reached the hurricane deck I saw two spars lying there, and tied them together with our handkerchiefs. I felt the rocking motion of the boat as she went from side to side, and knew she was settling all the while. I took off my coat and tied one sleeve around the spars, and just as I was about to tie the other sleeve the boat sank. We went down fifteen or twenty feet with her, and then the upper works of the steamer parted, and we shot back to the surface. We came up together, and were fortunate enough to see a stateroom door floating near by. We seized it and held on. We were in the midst of thunder and lightning and rain. The lake around us was strewed with wreckage, floating bodies, dead and dying, which we could only see when a flash of lightning came. The sounds of prayers and curses were heard on all sides. I recall one sad incident as illustrating the terrible tragedy. Out of the darkness we hears the voice of a mother showering terms of endearment on her child, who had become separated from her, and then the voice of the child, calling for her mother, and saying, Mamma(sic), I'se afraid of the water." For three-quarters of an hour the voices were heard, then they grew fainter and finally died away.

We hung on to the door for an hour or two, and when it was near dawn I saw something floating near us, and saw that if we could get it, there was a chance for escape for us. I told my wife that I would try to get it, and did so, and found that it was the pilot house. I pushed it near to the door on which my wife was clinging, lifted my wife into it and got into it myself. We were up to our arms in water, but we had a rest for our feet, and I never felt so comfortable in my life as I did at that moment. It was the same sensation that one experiences in sitting down in a rocking chair when one is very tired. I was so exhausted when we got the pilot house that i could not have held on to the door twenty minutes more.

We were no longer alone on the waste of water. Near us, within easy hailing distance, was a raft of collected wreckage forty or fifty feet long, in which was wedged a spar to which the pilot house was attached by a tarred rope an inch thick. On the raft were some young men with their hands in their pockets and some women in their night dresses.

As it grew light we saw the shore line, with trees like sticks in the distance. The young fellows on the raft shouted three cheers "for light and land." The wind blew very chilly, and every few minutes one of the women on the raft would be overcome by the weather and fall into the lake. Suddenly a member of the German band that was on board the Lady Elgin came floating by. He said something in German which I do not remember, but I caught his arm and threw it over the spar, so that he kept his head above water and worked his way to the raft where the young man helped him up, but in a few minutes that part of the raft on which he was standing gave way and sank. Then a man seemed to rise out of the depths of the lake and was near at hand. I called to him to help himself, but he clasped his hands in prayer and sank out of sight. The lake around me was covered with floating apples and a demijohn was noticed. The young men on the raft called to me to catch the demijohn and throw it to them. I caught it, took out the cork and smelled of it, and knew it was liquor. I advised them not to drink much of it, but I threw it on the raft, and they took a swig, corked it up and threw it away. I also threw them some of the apples which they ate. I captured a cabbage and a small mattress which I put behind us so that we would not be bruised against the woodwork. The cabbage I put between us to keep us from bruising each other, for the waves were very high and we were tumbled about at a great rate.

The rope attaching us to the spar was a source of annoyance to us, and I asked the young men on the raft to lend it to me, and that I would return it, but they said they did not have any knife. So I got hold of the tarred rope with my teeth, under water, and chewed it till it separated. Our frail support sprang rapidly away from the raft. Al the women had been lost before that, and all of the forty or fifty people that were on the raft at first who were left were two young men. We never saw them again.

All this time we were gradually nearing shore off Winnetka. In the afternoon we got into the breakers. The first one threw us forward sixty feet, it seemed; the second tumbled us over and over in the pilot house, and when this was repeated four or five times my wife became unconscious. I could see the crowd of people on top of the bluff, and I felt hard toward them because they took no steps to save us. As my wife became unconscious I gathered her in my arms and made a spring. I lighted in the water up to my chin with my feet on the sand. A young college student named Spencer, who had a rope around his neck, came running down into the surf. I put my wife's body under my arm so that her head was held out of the water, and, catching his hand we were drawn up high and dry. I carried my wife to the top of the bluff, and as they took her away I gave out and settled down on the ground.

Mrs. Eviston was taken into a cabin near there, and after they had worked at her for some time the physicians pronounced her dead. Dr. Gore of Chicago brought her to life, however by striking the bottom of her feet with a piece of pine and thus starting the pulsation in her ankles.

My brother Thomas was lost and so was his wife. His body came ashore at Chicago harbor, and hers found three weeks after. The body of a teacher in the Third ward school, named Mahoney, came ashore at the foot of Detroit street, the same street on which is located the school.

Source: Milwaukee Sentinel Sept 4, 1892



Martin Eviston's Twelve Hour Night; with the Waves--How he Escaped

When the Lady Elgin struck I was walking from the aft cabin to the forward cabin. The boat keeled right over on her beameands. The foresail getting struck knocked me right over on the side of the boat. When I got into the cabin the jib boom was right through the side of the cabin. The chandeliers were all broken and destroyed, and the women were crying. The captain gave an order to right the boat up again. There was a lot of cattle aboard, and when the collision occurred the freight was thrown to one side of the boat, keeling her over so that the hole in her side was out of the water. When we righter her up the flood commenced coming right into her, and the captain told them to lower away the boats, and see how much she was damaged. I went from the cabin down into the boiler room, and the water was up even with the fire holes. I came up again and heard the captain giving orders to the men to get all the women on the hurricane deck, and they rang the bell to give the alarm in hopes that some other vessel would hear and give assistance. He thought that by getting the women aft as far as he could, he could keep her bow out of the water until she was beached, but instead of that she commenced to surge, and after a while to settle.

My two brothers and their wives were together when this happened, and we made up out minds to stay by the boat any way. We got life preservers and gave them to the women folks. My other brother tied two scantling together and made a kind of raft to hang on. The boat had been lowered at the captain's order and the two mates of the steamer, as well as several passengers, got in. Instead of keeping close and trying to repair the hole in the steamer's side with canvas, as might easily have been done when she was keeled over, the boat kept off and went ashore. The captain was the only officer that stood by the steamer.

When she went down she went down like a house tumbling. The force of the water smashed all her upper works. You could hear the shrieks and cries of women and children. When she went down I went down with the suction of the boat and thought that I would never come to the top again. After I came up a stick of timber floated near me, which proved to be one of the arches of the boat, and I grabbed hold of it and clasped my hands around it, and after a while another piece of timber came floating along and locked in with the other and jammed my hands so that I could not move them till a heavy sea washed it off. After a while all the wreck commenced coming together and formed a kind of raft, and I got up on to that for a little while, till the sea commenced getting pretty heavy and it all broke up again. Then I got hold of a gangway plank, but the sea was so heavy that I was washed off of it. The next thing I got hold of was a sofa, but I could not cling on that very well. Next I remember getting hold of one of the cabin stools, it was not enough to support me, and just as I was sinking I thought it was all up with me--wehn a boat happened to come floating along, bottom side up, and seven men were hanging on her keel. I grabbed hold of one of the parties and climbed up on the side of the boat with the rest of them. I told them that if we could right her over we probably could bail her out. I told them to work all round on one side, so as to get her over. Finally we got her right side up, with the help of the sea, and all got into her excepting one, a young man so week that he dropped off.

There were six men int he boat besides myself, one being a negro. The boat was all stove in and we were up to our waists in water. John Conway was the name of the young fellow beside me. His people live in the Third ward yet. He was very weak and his head dropped in the water. I got hold of his head and laid it across my arm, and he died in my arms. I caught hold of a floating piece of scantling and laid it across the boat and put his head on it, thinking we might save the body.

The negro was in the bow of the boat. He was crazy, and was praying aloud, "God Almighty, save the colored man." A guitar came floating along and he made a plunge for it. The boat capsized and we all went out. The negro was drowned. All except him got back on the keel of the boat again. A short time after a young man named Patrick Fitzgerald, about 18 years old, got washed off the boat by the sea. He tried hard to get back, but although a good swimmer could not reach the boat. The sea was very rough, and every minute or two we were plunged down between two waves and tons of water would wash over us.

The man next by my side was the father of the present chief engineer of the Fire department. He seemed down-hearted. I told him to kind of cheer up, and that he might e all right, but he seemed to pay no attention to me at all, but seemed to be quite bewildered. A few minutes after that he dropped off, making four out of eight. The other four I did not know. Even if I had known them before I probably would not have recognized them, as their faces were almost black with fright and cold.

The rest of the men on the boat dropped off one by one until only myself and another one were left. I think this man was one of the wheelsman of the Lady Elgin. I know he was a strong, able man. As the others were washed off the boat appeared to lighten up. The wind drove us off the point so that we could not see any land for a time, but after a while we saw a dark streak in the horizon and later we could see the trees on top of the bluff. We got along pretty well for a while until another sea came along and washed the other man off. He struggled hard to get back, but he seemed to go in one direction and the boat in another. I was left all alone.

Just then I saw a black object quite a distance from me, which looked like a man on a raft. I commenced going towards him and he towards me. When I got within hailing distance of him I as