William E. Ellis [ 1856 (Approx.) - 1931 (Approx.) ]

William E. Ellis purchased the business of John Nuggent in August 1883. The FFG stated “Mr. Ellis is well known, and has a large connection in Fenelon Falls and vicinity… [he] is an experienced druggist … [is] personally popular…[and] should do as well as Mr. Nuggent [FFG 25 August 1883; 2].

Ellis’s interests and activities were varied; in November he was selling books, magazines and stationery and acting as an agent for “all the leading magazines and fashion books” [FFG 3 Nov 1882; 2]. By 1889 Ellis was also selling insurance, and in 1891 the central telephone exchange was placed in the rear of Ellis’s store [FFG 30 Jan 1891; 4]. W.E. Ellis was also involved with Capt. Freemont Crandell in a fleet of steamboats including the steamer Dominion and Eva, the palace barge Paragon, and other wood barges. They purchased them about 1887, but they were all sold late in 1890 to a Toronto syndicate [FFG 5 December 1890; 4]

In 1884 the store was expanded by twelve feet “by taking in one of the rooms” and extending the shelves and counters [FFG 20 Dec 1884; 2]. Improvements were also made to the exterior when a “handsome awning” was installed in 1889 [FFG 26 April 1889; 4]. Harry Meldrum was the assistant in the store until 1889 when he was replaced by William Ingram (1889-1891) [FFG 6 Sept 1889; 4 : 6 Nov 1891; 4].

In December 1891 it was announced that Ellis had purchased the old Gibb’s mill in Oshawa for $20,000 [FFG 18 Dec 1891; 4] and was negotiating the sale of his business. He sold it in February 1892 to Walter R. Madill of Whitby [FFG 19 Feb 1892; 4]. A brief notice concerning Ellis appeared in The Globe (Toronto) in 1894. “Bradstreets reports these assignments; Jos. Nevison, saddler, Fenelon Falls to W.E. Ellis” [Globe 11 Jan 1894; 8]. Whatever Ellis’s plans for the Nevison business he only remained in the village until June 1894, when his household goods were sold on the 14th. On Monday June 18, 1894, he and his family left for Vernon, B.C. where Ellis was to establish a grist mill and electric light plant [FFG 22 June 1894; 4].

William Edward died Thursday Jan 22nd, 1931, at his residence, 44 Dewson Street [Toronto] in his 75th year. The Globe recorded his internment in the Fenelon Falls Cemetery on arrival of the noon train [FFPL 31:6] although his name is not listed in the cemetery index.

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