W[illiam]. C. ELLIS is the successor of his
father, the late Cornelius Ellis, in the promotion of the extensive
business affairs which were found and developed for so many years by
the great energy of the latter. Besides being at the head of the Ellis
Lumber Company, with which he began when he was thirteen years old, he
has become prominently identified with other business and financial
enterprises of this vicinity.
He is vice president of the Farmers National Bank of Vinton and
president of the Vinton Savings Bank. He is vice president of the Iowa
Canning Company, the largest corn-canning establishment in the world.
This company was organized in 1892, with a capital of $20,000, and the
capital has since been increased to $200,000 and the business expanded
accordingly. Four plants are now operated, at Vinton, LaPorte City,
Garrison, Shellsburg. Their output varies from year to year, ten
million cans being the highest amount, and the average is perhaps eight
million cans. This immense food product is distributed through jobbers
all over the Mississippi valley and the Pacific coast. The officers of
this company are: C. C. Griffin, president; W. C. Ellis, vice
president; F. G. Ray, secretary, and George Knox, treasurer.
Mr. Ellis was born near Indianapolis, Indiana, July 4, 1853, at three
years of age came to Benton county, and grew up in Vinton and obtained
his education in the town schools. He began working in the Ellis lumber
yard when thirteen years old, and after the retirement of his uncle in
1876 the firm became C. Ellis & Son, the latter being W. C. Ellis.
Since the incorporation of the business in 1898, one of Mr. Ellis'
sons, Robert C., was secretary until his death in 1904, and A. H.
Ellis, another son, now holds that position.
Mr. W. C. Ellis, as a Republican in national politics, has taken a
somewhat active interest in local public affairs, having served as city
treasurer and in other minor offices.
He married, in Vinton, in 1875, Miss Gitty H. Young. She was born in
Big Grove township, and is a daughter of the Benton county pioneer,
Robert N. Young (whose history is given below.) Mr. and Mrs. Ellis'
children are: Robert C., who died in 1904, at the age of twenty-seven,
leaving a wife and one son, who are now residents of Omaha; A. H.,
secretary of the Ellis Lumber Company, who is married; Mattie, wife of
T. J. Bracken, assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Tama;
Hazel, at home, a graduate of the State Teachers College at Cedar
Falls; Lawrence W., in his senior year at Tilford Academy.