In the career of Henry W. Ellis, of Bryan, there is presented a lesson for the youth of any land, something to be found in it of a nature encouraging to the young aspirant who, with-out friends or fortune, is struggling to overcome obstacles in his efforts to establish a comfortable competence. Mr. Ellis has trod the difficult self-made road to success. When he entered upon his career he was forced to depend solely upon his own resources. Today, after thirty years of connection with the insurance, loan and real estate interests of Williams County, he is rightly accounted one of the leading business citizens of his community, and may look back with pardonable pride over a business record, substantial though modest, which stands without a blemish.
Mr. Ellis was born at Fayette, Fulton County, Ohio, November 30, 1861, a son of Philip and Anna (Holden) Ellis, natives of Lincolnshire, England, where they were reared, educated and married. The parents came to the United States in 1856 and located at Fayette, Ohio, subsequently going to Lyons, where both died, the mother in 1871. They were members first of the Methodist Episcopal Church and later of the United Brethren Church, and Mr. Ellis became a republican in politics after coming to this country. Of the four children in the family, three are living: John T. and William O., residents of Seattle, Washington; and Henry W. of Bryan, Ohio.
Henry W. Ellis was only ten years of age when his mother died, and when he was sixteen years of age left the paternal roof to make his own way in the world. He had attended the public schools of Fayette and subsequently managed to complete a four-year term at the Fayette Normal and Business College, which formed his preparation for business affairs and gave him a good practical education. When he was about nineteen years of age, he taught his first term of school, and for the ten years that followed devoted himself to the work of the educator. In 1885 he removed to Stryker, where he continued to be a teacher until 1890, then giving up educational work to adopt the business of life insurance and mortgage loans for the Union Central Life Insurance Company, which he continued to follow there until 1892. That year saw Mr. Ellis‘ arrival at the county seat of Williams County, which has been his home ever since. Here he has developed a large and lucrative business in the line of insurance, loans and real estate, and maintains well-appointed offices in the First National Bank Building. As a realtor, Mr. Ellis has handled much city and country property and has been the medium through which a number of large and important deals have been consummated. He is accounted an expert as to values, this adding to his equipment for the loan department of his business, and few men are better known in the insurance field, he being the representative of some of the leading companies of the country at Bryan. Mr. Ellis is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Bryan, the Williams County Telephone Company, the Bryan Pattern and Machine Company, and the Bryan Realty Company. In 1912 he erected a modern home at the corner of Maple and Lynn streets, which is one of the attractive and comfortable residences of Bryan. Mr. Ellis also takes an interest in fraternal work, being past chancellor of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias and a former member of the grand lodge of the state. In politics he is a republican, but public life has not attracted him and he confines his interest in political matters to that taken by every good and public-spirited citizen. With his family, he belongs to the Universalist Church, and is a member of the board of trustees thereof. In 1888 Mr. Ellis was united in marriage with Miss Allie Kintigh, who was born near Stryker, Ohio, and educated in the public schools of that place. They are the parents of three children : Frances, a graduate of Bryan High School, who spent two years at Oberlin College, married Ross O. Stine, of Bryan, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and has one son, William. Charles W., a graduate of the Bryan High School and the University of Wisconsin, served twenty-one months in the United States Army, being nine months over-seas, and was a non-commissioned officer; he married Miss Agnes S. Grady of St. Louis, Missouri, and has one son, James W. : and Virginia, who is attending the Bryan public schools.
Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , 2 vols. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.