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John K Elwell


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:26:31

John K Elwell, The first of the Elwell family in America was Robert Elwell of Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was known to have been a resident to that p lace as early as 11634, having taken up his abode in what was the colony of Massachusetts Bay on what is now a portion of the city of Boston. The ancestry can be traced back in a direct line to him, Members of the family took an active part in the war of 1812.
Joel Elwell the great grandfather of our subject was born in Pitts Grove, Salem county, New Jersey, May 14, 1763, and was a waver by trade. On March 18, 1788 he married Miss Elizabeth Hutton, who was also born in New Jersey, May 9, 1765 and was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Hutton. She died in Woodburn, near Dayton, Ohio in February 1833, and his death occurred in Putnam county, Ohio, April 19, 1842. In religious faith they were Calvinistic Presbyterians. Their family numbered eight children, namely: James, Abraham, Mary, Hannah, John H, Margaret, Elizabeth and Joel all of whom reached years of maturity, married ad reared families of their own.
John H Elwell our subjects grandfather was born in Pitts Grove, Salem county, New Jersey, December 2, 1797 and in 1806 accompanied his parents on their emigration to Ohio, taking up his abode in Woodburn, which was as large as Dayton at that time. In 1832 having married in the meantime he removed to Dayton where he worked at the carpenter’s trade, and in February 1836, took up his residence in what was then the wild district of Putnam county, Ohio. There he entered 160 acres of government land and gave his attention to the development of the farm. On March 25, 1824, in Montgomery county, Ohio, he married Miss Nancy Smith daughter of Edwin and Catharine Smith, who was born January 3, 1806, and they became the parents of the following children: George Washington born December 29, 1824, died in infancy, Samuel born December 5, 1825, died April 14, 1849, Joseph born September 11, 1827, died August 26, 1882, John Hutton born December 31, 1829, died August 11, 1858, Martha was born December 18, 1831, Hiram S the father of our subject was the next in order of birth, Sarah was born September 15, 1836, William Perry was born November 8, 1838, Elizabeth was born November 5, 1840, James born January 24, 1843, died July 4, 1875, Isaac born July 22, 1846, died August 9 of that year, and Mary Louisa born March 26, 1848, died June 230, 1881. The father of this family died in Putnam county, Ohio, July 9, 1861 and his wife passed away in the same county on September 24, 1860.
Hiram Elwell, the father of our subject was born in Dayton, Montgomery county, Ohio April 30, 1834, and was twelve years of age before he had the opportunity to attend school, but he showed special aptitude in his studies and acquired a sufficient education to engage in teaching, which work he followed for several terms. Although he spent his early life upon a farm he became a marble cutter by trade and followed that pursuit for many years. At the time of the Civil war he became a member of the state militia, enlisting on August 31, 1863, in Company F One Hundred and Fifty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which went into camp at Lima, Ohio. The regiment was afterward transferred to Camp Chase, Columbus, and was there mustered into the United States service. They were first ordered to Washington, D C and spent about a month at Fort Sumner. During June the company made their headquarters at Fort Reno, and in July were ordered to Battery Cameron and on the Potomac near Georgetown during the siege of Washington by Early and Breckenridge on the 9th of the month. In August the command returned to Columbus, Ohio and were mustered out at Camp Chase. Mr Elwell arrived home on August 30, 1863, and continued to make his home in Ohio through out life, his death occurring at Columbus Grove, September 21, 1885. Religiously he was a Presbyterian, strongly endorsing the Calvinistic faith. He was married September 1, 1859, to Miss Mary J Ketcham, who was born in Morrow county, Ohio November 2, 1829 a daughter of John L and Catherine ( Gunsaulus) Ketchum. , who emigrated to that county in 1833. Her parents were zealous and active members of the Methodist church.
In taking up the personal history of John K Elwell we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known I Boone, Iowa. He is indebted to the public school system of Columbus Grove, Ohio for the educational privileges he enjoyed. In May 1879, he went to Gallatin, Missouri and was employed on a farm, but afterward engaged in clerking in a hardware store owned by A M Irving. In the autumn of the same year he accepted a position with the Etter Randall Dry Goods Company in the same town, as an errand boy, but his close application, his fidelity to duty and his trusworthiness won him continued promotion and at the end of fieve years the firm gave him charge of the shoe department. In that position he remained until August 1, 1890, when he came to Boone, Iowa and organized the McCune Shoe Company, of which he has since been secretary and treasurer and has the management of the business. His careful supervision, business ability and essential and wide knowledge of the trade has made him an active factor in the success of the enterprise. On October 9, 1895, Mr Elwell was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ambrose of Nevada, Iowa a daughter of J W and Louisa (McNeir) Ambrose, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Pennsylvania. Mrs Elwell was born in Polo, Illinois June 6, 1865, and is the eldest of six children, all of whom are living, namely: Harry G, William O, Alice, B F, Eva and Mrs Elwell, all residents of Story county, Iowa with the exception of the wife of our subject. Mr and Mrs Elwell have one child, John Ambrose, born August 25, 1897.
Our subject hold membership relations with Mount Olive Lodge A F & A. M, and Excalibur Commandery, No 13, K T. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr Elwell has served as president of the Epworth League and superintendent of the Sunday school. He has been prominent in Epworth League work since its organization. He served three years as secretary of Boone District League, and tow years as first vice-resident of the Des Moines Annual Conference League, Methodist Episcopal church. He is treasurer of the Iowa State Epworth League and president of the Boone District League. Mr Elwell is serving his fourth years as president of the Epworth League of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Boone, He was connected with the building of the church edifice in an official capacity. His membership wit eh church dates from the age of fourteen years, and his life a has ever been in consistent harmony with its principles. Starting out upon his business career as he did, in the humble capacity of errand boy, he has steadily worked his way upward until he is now numbered among the men of prominence and affluence in his community.

1902 Boone County History Book


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