Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Ells, 1899 - ?

In the 1911 History of Crawford County, Ells was described as a village with a (railroad) station and post office on the Illinois Central and was located about a mile south of Boyer in Stockholm township. Mr. B. F. Wells was the principal business man.

The Illinois Central built the roadbed for its railway in 1899 which started at Fort Dodge reached Brogan moved on to Ells, Denison, and finally, Council Bluffs.

Ells, was located about one mile south of Boyer, and was a busy place in those days. It was a shipping center for livestock and passengers boarded trains at the station for destinations such as Denison, Fort Dodge or Council Bluffs. At night the switchman's lantern would flag for a stop.

The station was named for Benjamin Ells who, according to his biography in the 1911 History of Crawford County, was born in Nova Scotia in 1846, and as a child came to Wisconsin with his parents Benjamin and Eliza (Eaton). He purchased 80 acres in Stockholm Township, Crawford County, initially located where the Illinois Central rail station was located in 1911. He married Julia Kinlans in 1878 and their children were Adelbert, Caroline, Ida, Laura, Anna, Iris and Prudence.

He had the general store in Ells, was appointed postmaster of Ells, and also elected as Justice of the Peace.

The town of Ells appears on the 1920 plat maps of Crawford County with B. F. Ells as the owner of the adjacent property, but Ells no longer appears on the maps of Crawford County, and has been relegated to the status of "Ghost Town".

Historical information from Paula Curcio and History of Crawford County, 1911.