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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Special Report - The Jennie Ellis Story

The Jennie Ellis Story

Jennie Ellis

I introduced Jennie Ellis as a "hometown" girl in my Treasure Chest Thursday - old diaries and more a week or so back. This post is a little more on Jennie Ellis. It is not a lot, but it is what we have, and enough to speculate on more, until additional facts are discovered and/or disclosed.

Several recent posts, and more to come, are sharing the story of Jay King "Babe" Towne, noted in Jennie's diary as "beaux" with his photo.

There were two sets of photos in the scans I've found to date. Someday, I'll find the diary again, and add more to the story...  ;-)

I did find Jennie once, in the US Census, in 1900, living at home with her Minister father, James, her mother, Mattie, and a younger sister, Bertha. They were living in Rippey, Greene Co, Iowa, at the time. Rippey is a few miles east of Coon Rapids, Iowa.

From the 1900 US Census:

Name: Jennie L Ellis [Jennie L Ella] 
Home in 1900: Washington, Greene, Iowa
Age: 18
Birth Date: Jul 1882
Birthplace: Iowa
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relationship to Head of House: Daughter
Father's Name: James W
Father's Birthplace: Illinois
Mother's Name: Mattie C
Mother's Birthplace: Wisconsin
Marital Status: Single 
Household Members:
James W Ellis
Mattie C Ellis
Jennie L Ellis
Bertha M Ellis

Rippey Town, Minister

Ministers have a habit of moving regularly, it seems. I would speculate that Ellis may have been in Coon Rapids two or three years earlier, and moved to Rippey by 1900.

Note that Jennie is two years younger than Jay Towne (1880 v. 1882) the baseball player. Towne graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1898. By 1900, he had been married to someone else for a year already! Therefore, it appears that the entires in the diary likely were made in 1895-96, perhaps, when he might have been her "beaux" - the open question would be, did he know about it!  ;-)

I was able to find one of her lady friends in the census, as well, Mabel Wallace, about her age:

1900 US Census:
Name: Mabel Wallace
Home in 1900: Union, Carroll, Iowa (Coon Rapids area)
Age: 17
Birth Date: Jan 1883
Birthplace: Iowa
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relationship to Head of House: Daughter
Father's Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Mother's Name: Esther
Mother's Birthplace: Iowa
Marital Status: Single 
Household Members:
Esther Wallace
Mabel Wallace
Charley Wallace

That is what we have, at this time. I'm sure the story will be continued, down the road.
If anyone who sees this can add to the story, we would love to hear from you.  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. I am green with envy that you have so many old pics. How wonderful!

  2. Thank you, Kathleen. I always enjoy your comments... and, the fact that you are actually reading my posts! Neat! ;-)

  3. I can't believe it! I have more pics of her and her family members from a photo album off e-bay several years ago. Can't wait to see more of her and her diary.