History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 578
After many years spent in earnest toil as a farmer in Taylor county, C. W. Ely is enabled to put aside business cares and live retired in a modern home in Lenox, where he has resided the past two years.  He still retains possession of his valuable farming property in Platte township, from which he derives a good annual income.  Mr. Ely was born in Athens county, Ohio, December 14, 1859, a son of James Ely, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume.  When a youth of fifteen years C. W. Ely accompanied his parents on their removal from Ohio to Taylor county, Iowa, and here he helped his father to open up and develop the homestead farm in what was at that time, 1875, an unsettled district.  He continued to assist his father in the work of the farm until he reached mature years, and then established a home of his own by his marriage, December 7, 1881, to Miss Ada M. Reeve, who was born in Illinois but was reared in Taylor county, having accompanied her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Reeve, to this county during her girlhood days. 
(page 579) Following his marriage Mr. Ely located on a farm belonging to his father and in connection with other land which he rented, continued to operate the place for several years.  As time passed and he acquired a sum sufficient to justify him in purchasing land he became the owner of eighty acres, which constitutes a portion of his present holdings in Platte township.  He made improvements on the place and in due time placed the land in good condition to farm and thus gathered good harvests each year.  >From the sale of his crops he gained the money that enabled him to invest in more land and today he is the owner of three hundred and sixty acres divided into two farms and supplied with good and substantial farm buildings, fences, orchards and groves, all of which improvements have been made by Mr. Ely.  For many years he was busily employed in carrying on farm work and in feeding and fattening stock for the market, shipping two carloads of cattle and hogs each year.  His success has been won through his own labor and through his judicious investments and thus it was in 1907 that he felt justified in putting aside business cares and taking life more easy  In that year he purchased a lot in Lenox and has recently completed one of the finest and most up-to-date residences in this section of Taylor county.  He now occupies his new home, while his farms are being operated by his sons.
It was soon after taking up his abode in Lenox that Mr. Ely lost his wife, her death occurring in October, 1907.  Her demise was the occasion of deep regret not only to the members of her own household, where she was known as a faithful wife and mother, but to a large circle of friends as well.  She had become the mother of four children, two sons and two daughters.  The eldest, James L., is married and is now located on a farm belonging to his father.  He has one son, Marvin.  Lulu B., is now the wife of Louis N. Walter, a son of Henri Walter, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work, and they make their home in Adams county, Iowa, where Mr. Walter follows farming.  They have a son and daughter, Clifford and Ethel Walter.  The next of the family is George G. Ely, who is married and operates one of his father's farms in Platte township.  Julia B., is a young lady at home.  Mr. Ely was married a second time on the 7th of November, 1908, in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Mrs. Lucy Berry.  She was reared in Taylor county near the old home of Mr. Ely and they were companions during their youthful days.  Mrs. Ely completed her education in the high school at Lenox and later gave her hand in marriage to a Mr. Berry, after which they located in St. Joseph, where Mr. Berry passed away.  Mrs. Ely is a lady of many excellent traits of character and has not only renewed the acquaintanceship of many old friends in and near Lenox but has also gained many new friends during her short residence here.
Politically Mr. Ely is identified with the republican party and through reelection is serving his second term as township trustee. He has been identified with the school board for many years and at present is serving on the school board of Lenox.  Mrs. Ely is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Lenox and is an active worker in both the church and Sunday-school.  During the thirty-five years in which Mr. Ely has made his home in Taylor county he has seen great changes.  Lenox at that time was but a crossroads village and he has seen it grow into a thriving and enterprising little city, while the country round about has become thickly settled with a progressive class of farmers who (page 580) take pride in keeping their farms in excellent condition.  By patience and energy Mr. Ely has been an active factor in bringing these changes about and now in the evening of life he has wisely selected as a place for a quiet home the community which he has helped to establish.