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(Eds. Thanks to Jean Oliver, a descendant of the Leonard and George Michael Eller-line, for the following documentation on the early Eller families of Hamilton County, Indiana. We hope this begins a series on Leonard Eller and his descendants which will led to corrections and additions to the published work of J. W. Hook, George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America, New Haven, 1957. All references to Hook in the following come from this source.
Hook published much information on the Leonard Eller family, pp. 32-52, including those who first settled in Hamilton County, IN. He probably was in error when he inferred that Jacob Eller of Roanoke Co., VA, whose son, David, removed to Hamilton County in order to join his relatives of the Leonard Eller family. (see the sketch on John Eller below, and Dr. David B. Eller, THE ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. II, Nos. 2,3). Perhaps this and future articles on the Ellers of Hamilton Co., IN will help resolve whether or not Jacob Eller of Roanoke Co., VA, whose son David settled in Hamilton County, was a son of George Michael Eller. Hook's basis for suggesting this possibility was not definitely proven by his evidence, although his premise that Eller families living in a given locality locality were closely related. was valid.
Hook lists Leonard Eller as a son of George Michael Eller b. 20 March 1754; d. in Hamilton Co., Indiana in 1839 or 1840. He says, "it is entirely possible that George Michael Eller, Leonard's father, went to North Carolina with the other Ellers and later returned to Frederick Co., Md ... Leonard Eller first appears in the North Carolina record 19 June 1784 when he entered 640 acres of land in Rowan Co., North Carolina. " Leonard appears in the 1790 census for Rowan Co., N.C. and in the 1800 census for Randolph (Formerly Rowan) Co., N.C. About 1801 he removed to Miami Co., Ohio where he remained until 1834 or early 1835 when he removed to Hamilton Co., Indiana, where he died intestate in 1838 or 1840.)
ELLER, LEONARD. No will. Appraisal 21 Nov. 1839. Sale dated 21 Dec. 1839. Admin. David Wilkinson. Appr: Amasa Bond, Michael Wise. Debtors: E. Brock, Thomas Cooper, Thomas Dansan, William Dickerson, Bethel J. Duning, Absolum Eller, Adam Eller, Adam Eller, deceased, David Eller, Jacob Eller, John Eller, Joseph Eller, Sarah Eller, James Ellis E.B. & Peter Flanagon, Peter Flanagon, Mary Flanagan/Flanagon, James Flanagon, John Flanagon, Leonard Flanagon, Peter Flanagon, Jonathan Galey, Deford George, Ephraim Hoover, Robert Kimberlin, Ezekiel Mills, Alexander Mock, James North, Mary North, Samuel North, Aaron Osborn, George Owen, Jonathan Parsons, William Rice, John S. Richardson, Elisha Reddick, Joshua Reddick, Peter Smith, William Threlkeld, Madison Urell. Present at Sale: Absalum Eller, Joseph Eller, Alexander North, William Stricklin. Will Record B, pp. 211-216.
(Eds. Jean Oliver notes that the date of the appraisal and sale of Leonard Eller's estate, 21 Nov. 1839, indicates his death Came before that date. She raises the question as to why other records list 1840 as the date of death.)
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From: Portrait and Biographical Record of Madison and Hamilton Counties, Indiana, Chicago, 1893 . (Photocopy of document from Jean Oliver.)
(Eds. Lineage of this James W. Eller5,[ Absolom4, Joseph3, Leonard2, George Michael Ellerl)]
JAMES W. ELLER5 a prominent citizen of Hamilton County, and one of the well known farmers of Delaware Township, was born in this township and county, January 26 1841. He traces his ancestry to Germany, where his paternal great grandfather, Leonard Eller2, was bom on the 20th of March, 1754. Emigrating to the United States, he settled in North Carolina, and from there removed to Ohio, settling near Dayton. In 1823 he came to Indiana and made his home in Hamilton County until his death, which occurred in the year 1840.
Joseph3, the son of Leonard and Elizabeth Eller, was born in North Carolina October 15, 1788, and in his youth made his home upon his father's farm, where he gained a thorough knowledge of agriculture. He married Rachel Eller, whose birth occurred February 19, 1791, and after their union they commenced in life with little or none of this world's goods.
In 1822 he came to Hamilton County and entered a tract of Government land, upon which he built a small cabin. He brought his family here in 1823, and at once began operations as a farmer and stock-raiser. An energetic and industrious man, he never went in debt for any purchase, waiting until he had sufficient ready money with which to secure the article or property desired. He accumulated about twelve hundred acres, upon which he conducted stock-raising and general farming with great success.
The grandparents of our subject reared a family of twelve children, of whom we note the following, Matilda, wife of David Allison; Rachel, deceased, was formerly the wife of David Wilkinson; Elizabeth, who married Frances Beck, resides in Indianapolis; Salinda, deceased, was the wife of F. Farley; Absolom, father of our subject, is deceased; Harvey is also deceased; Henry is a resident of Indian Territory; George, lives in Noblesville, this state; Jacob, resides in the Indian Territory; William, died when a young man as did the youngest son, Joseph.
Politically Grandfather (Joseph) Eller was a Whig. He was a man of quiet, reserved disposition, and was invariably honorable and upright in his business transactions. His death occurred about 1854; his wife passed away several years before his demise.
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Near Dayton, Ohio, the father of our subject, Absolom Eller4, was bom on the 3rd of April 1815. He was reared on a farm and received a practical education in the common schools. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-three, and then married Elizabeth, daughter of William D. and Phoebe (Iddings) Rooker, and a native of Indiana. A farmer by occupation, he succeeded in clearing eighty acres received from his father, and also improved forty acres in addition, becoming (in partnership with W.W. Rooker) the owner of two hundred acres. As a stock-raiser and general farmer he was successful and became prosperous.
A Whig in early life, Absolom Eller adopted the principles of the Republican party upon its organization. In his religious convictions he was a Methodist. His death had occurred in 1871; his wife survived him for a short time, passing away in 1881. They were the parents of eight children as follows, Joseph, a resident of Noblesville; James, of this sketch, Fernando C.; Marion, who died in 1892; Elizabeth, who is wife of Asa Williamson; Phoebe, who is deceased; John, a resident of Delaware Township, this county; Alonzo, who lives in Missouri.
In his father's home our subject grew to sturdy manhood, remaining there until he was twenty-two, when he commenced to work on a farm. In 1860 he was seized with a severe attack of hay fever, from which he was ill for six months, suffering excruciating pain. Upon his recovery he resumed farming operations, having received eighty acres of partly improved land from his father. He also devoted considerable attention to stock-raising and for six years engaged in buying and shipping stock. He has lost considerable property as a result of signing security notes, and is now the owner of fifty-seven acres.
The marriage of Mr. Eller occurred in 1867 and united him with Miss Martha, daughter of Ebenezer and Rachel Applegate. She was bom in Ohio in 1846, and at the age of one year was brought by her parents to Delaware Township, Hamilton County, where she has since resided. She is the mother of four children, namely: Frank, married Grace Black; Maud; Hervey and Chauncy M. (Eds. Chauncey was father of Van Eller, 6455 E. 116th St., Fishers, IN 460380..note above)
Mr. Eller united with the Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of sixteen and has been identified with that denomination ever since. Politically he is a Republican.
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John F. Haines, History of Hamilton County, Indiana, Indianapolis, 1915, pp. 851-853. (Note JO: "John Eller does not fit into my immediate family line")
(Eds. Jean Oliver notes that this John Eller was not of her Leonard Eller line. Lineage of this John Eller4 [Andrew3 & Elizabeth Auchenback, David2 & Anna Brubaker, Jacob & Magdalenel of Botetourt (Roanoke) CO., VA]).......
.... See Dr. David B. Eller, THE ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. II, No. 2, pp. 35-44).
Dependent very largely upon his own resources, even from his early youth, John Eller, a retired farmer of Arcadia, has attained no insignificant success and though he has encountered many obstacles and met with reverses at different times, yet he has pressed steadily forward, ever willing to work for the end he has in view. His tenacity and fortitude are due no doubt, in a large measure, to the worthy traits inherited from his sterling ancestors, whose high ideals and correct principles he has ever sought to perpetuate in all the relations of life.
He early learned the habit of industry, and during his vacation periods, while attending school as a boy, he was constantly employed on his father's farm and thus early in life became acquainted with the multitude of details with which the successful farmer must become acquainted.
John Eller, son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Auchenback) Eller, was born in Jackson township, this county, December 29, 1851. Andrew Eller was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and in his boyhood moved with his parents David Eller and wife, from that state to Ohio, later accompanying his parents to this county. Andrew Eller and wife were the parents of seven children, Henry, a soldier in the Civil War; Mrs. Mary Leamon; Sarah, the wife of George Dunn, who has five children, William, Wilson, Mack, Minnie and an infant; Peter; Lydia, deceased, who was the wife of Frank Kauffman, of Terre Haute, Indiana, and had a family of several children; Charles; Alva, deceased; Mona; Emma; Mollie, deceased; Eva; Edward, deceased, and Addie; John, with whom this narrative deals, and Elizabeth, deceased.
John Eller has spent his entire life in White River township, the place of his birth. He received a good common school education in the Fairy Glade and Mulberry schools of his home neighborhood, and spent his boyhood days when not in school in assisting his father on the home farm.
At the age of nineteen he began life for himself by renting a farm and from that time until his final retirement from active farm labor in 1908, was continuously engaged in the pursuit of agriculture. Within a short time after starting out for himself he was able to purchase twenty acres to which he has added from time to time until now he is the owner of eighty acres of finely improved land in White River township.
As a farmer he was energetic and enterprising and carried on a diversified style of agriculture, raising all the crops common to this section of the state and meeting with marked success in his work. He always devoted considerable attention to the breeding of live stock, his annual sales netting him a handsome profit.
Mr. Eller was married January 5, 1871 to Anna Overdorf, daughter of George and Mary (Steichleman) Overdorf. Mr. and Mrs. Overdorf were the parents of eight children, George, Mrs. Mary Scott, John, Sarah, Kate, Anna, Mattie, deceased, and Lizzie, deceased.
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Mr. and Mrs. Eller are the parents of six children, Nora, William, Charles, Jess, Flora and Edward. Nora is the only one of the family who is deceased; William married Luella Young, and has four children, Elsie, who married B. Newby, and has one child, Ruby --- Ethel, Ray and Marie; Charles married Susan Sumner, and has five children, Orlie, Kenneth, Letha, Wayne, Catherine, Fay Olive, and Donald Murrell. Flora is the wife of Frank Landis and has three children, Mildred, Catherine and Garald; Edward married Laura Jack, and has two children, Venita and Clifford.
Mr. Eller has always been independent in politics, both he and his sons declining to exercise the right of franchise. Believing that his time and energies should be devoted to his agricultural interests he has never felt that he had the time to take an active part in political affairs. However, no worthy measure of his community has failed to enlist his support when he felt that it would be to the general benefit of his fellow citizens. Religiously, he and the members of his family are loyal adherents of the Church of the Brethern, and to it they have contributed of their time and substance. Mr. Eller is essentially a self-made man and the success to which he has attained has come solely through his own labors. He and his good wife have reared a family of children to lives of usefulness and honor, while he himself has always lived such a life as to bring to him the commendations of his fellow citizens.