Eller Chronicles Feb 94 p- 3

The Eller Chronicles


Page - 14

Report: E F A Conference, Portland, OR, July i8, 1993


Janine Eller Porter, 1209 Pernwood Ct., Coeur d'Alene, ID

"Frank" Eller was born March 11, 1835, in the Reems Creek section of Buncombe County, North Carolina, being the fourteenth and youngest child of Joseph and Sarah (Stephens) Eller. It is assumed he is one of the two males under the age of five in the Joseph Eller household on the 1840 Buncombe County census.

Frank's mother, Sarah, died September 25, 1846, when Frank was eleven years old. His father, Joseph, married a second time to Elizabeth Clorinda Hamilton, daughter of John and Rebecca (McVey) Hamilton. Elizabeth was about 20 and Joseph was 55. Frank did not get along with his step-mother and left home before he was fifteen. He clerked in a grocery store for three years in Georgia, then returned home to North Carolina for a few months. He left again and went to Tennessee, probably to visit his brothers, Jacob in Macon County, and Robert in Smith County. He then went to Brunswick, Missouri, where he appears in the household of A. Jackson on the 1860 Chariton County, Missouri, census as a laborer. His brother, John, may have been in Sullivan County, Missouri at this time.

When the Civil War broke out, Frank was said to have fought for the Union Army first. He was a member of a detail that was sent to the home of a Southern officer. They expected to find the officer home and take him prisoner. When they didn't find him home, they took his young son out to a nearly frozen creek and kept dunking him in the water, trying to force him to tell where his father was. This incident caused Frank to desert the Northern forces and join the Confederate side. On July 4, 1862, he enlisted at Benton County, Arkansas and fought for the Confederacy in Company C, 2nd Regiment, Cherokee Mounted Riflemen. He served under Sterling Price and took part in the battle at Pea Ridge, Arkansas as well as other battles. He may have also served in Company G, Fain's Regiment, Georgia Infantry and Company H, 1st Regiment, South Carolina Artillery. He was captured several times and wounded four times. He was discharged from service December, 1864, at age 29.

After the war, he went to North Carolina to visit his family. When he got there, he found out his father, Joseph, has died September 25, 1863. His stepmother and family said they didn't recognize him. They told him all Ellers had the same walk, and if he walked like an Eller lie could stay. He turned towards the gate and out of their lives forever. In later years, when his children asked about his family, he would start to cry and asked them to please not ask questions. Research in North Carolina has uncovered the reason for his rejection. His father's estate, which included over 3,000 acres of land, was in the process of being settled and was to be divided equally among the thirteen living heirs, and his stepmother didn't want him to receive his share, which he never did.

After his rejection, Frank went back to Brunswick, Missouri, where he married Susan Elizabeth McFerran, daughter of James and Tabitha (Ashby) McFerran, on February 7, 1867. Susan and her twin sister, Julia Ann, were born June 14, 1852, at Brunswick. They had three brothers, James, Jasper and Thomas McFerran.


Eller Chronicles Vol. VIII-1 FEB. 1994

Frank and Susan Eller had fourteen children, nine of whom reached adulthood. At least three children, Allie Arnecie, James Nathan and William Hendren, were born in Chariton County, Missouri. Frank moved his family south to Gravette, Arkansas, in Benton County in 1876. Seven more children were born while in Arkansas; twins, Mattie Catherine and Joseph Franklin (my grandfather), John, Henry Jasper, Charles Washington, Roger and Fannie Vance.

In March, 1886, thirty Arkansas and Texas families, including Frank, Susan and family, came west by emigrant train. In 1886, the train ride would have taken them through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and here to Portland, Oregon. Emigrants paid about $40. for a transcontinental trip. Immigrant cars varied from railroad to railroad. In the 1880s, immigrant sleeping cars were introduced. They consisted of two tiers of boxlike wooden cubicles built along each side of the car, which could be used for sitting or sleeping. They had to furnish their own bedding. A cooking stove was in the cars to prepare their own food during the long journey. The immigrants were treated as freight rather than humans.

From Portland, the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company followed the, Columbia River east to Wallula Junction where it left the river and continued east to Walla Walla, Washington and the end of the line at Riparia, Washington on the Snake River. At Riparia they boarded a steamboat for the 70 mile trip to Lewiston, Idaho. At Lewiston the emigrants camped on the banks of the river for three weeks while waiting for the weather to open up enough for them to continue their journey. Their destination was the Camas Prairie near Grangeville, in Idaho County. Frank purchased a horse and wagon in Lewiston for their remaining journey over the mountain to the prairie.

The last of Frank and Susan's children, Thomas Jefferson Eller, was born in 1887 after their arrival.

In 1891, Frank took up 160 acres by homestead near the present town of Fenn, Idaho. His land was former NezPerce Indian land and within two miles of a campsite the Indians used at Tolo Lake.

Frank was a farmer and rancher by trade. He also had the stage route between Cottonwood and Kamiah delivering the mail. In 1902, he opened a livery barn in Cottonwood. Susan was a mid-wife for her neighbors.

Frank and Susan moved their family to Cottonwood in 1903, where they had built a new home. They only lived in their new home about a year and a half when, at age 52, Susan died on December 14, 1904. Frank remained in Cottonwood for a while, then moved to his oldest daughter, Allie Eller Hashagen Baker's home in Grangeville, where he died February 13, 1906, at age 70. Both he and Susan are buried at Cottonwood City Cemetry. Thus ended Frank's journey across the U.S..

Janine Rae Eller Porter (7), Clarence Dale Eller (6), Joseph Franklin (5), Joseph Michael Franklin (4), Joseph (3), Johann Jacob, Jr. (2), Jacob, Sr. (1), Casper (a)

ELLER CONFERENCE - July 14-18, 1993
Portland, Oregon


Eller Chronicles Vol. VIII-1 FEB. 1994

Page from Bible belonging to Jacob Eller of Macon County, Tennesee showing his brother and sister's birth. Record for Joseph M. M. Eller says he was born 11 November, 1835, not 11 March, 1835 as Frank states he was born.


Census History of Joseph Michael "Franklin" Eller

Joseph Michael "Franklin" Eller Migration Route


Eller Chronicles Vol. VIII-1 FEB. 1994


Western Publishing Company 1903
pgs. 482-483

Joseph M. Eller, better known as Frank, is a man of energy, enterprise and sagacity in the affairs of life, while uprightness and integrity have given him a good standing among his fellows, and industry and business push have gathered for him a good holding of worldly goods. He is one of the substantial men of Idaho County, and it is fitting to grant to him a representation in the history of northern Idaho. At the present time Mr. Eller is handling the Cottonwood Livery stables in the town, and is doing a good business.

Joseph M. Eller was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, on March 11, 1835, being the son Joseph and Sarah (Kirkland) Eller, natives of North Carolina, and now deceased. The father came of German and the mother of English extraction. The former was born in Buncombe County and was never out of it but twice in his life. He died in 1862. Our subject left home at the early age of eleven and went to Georgia and clerked in a grocery store for three years. He then went home, and a few months later went to Tennessee and then to Missouri, Chariton County. When the war broke out he joined Price's army and fought under him for several years, or until the battle of Pea Ridge. He was then under Cooper and belonged to the cavalry. Mr. Eller was wounded in the thigh, the side, the head and in-one-foot. He was captured several times and escaped every time but one. He participated in many battles, among some of which were Sedalia, Shelby, Lone Jack and skirmishes. Following the war he returned to Chariton, and in 1866 Mr. Eller married Miss Susan, daughter of James and Tabitha (Ashby) McFerran. Her mother's brother was Major Ashby and well known. Mr. McFerran was born in Virginia, and was a pioneer in Missouri. The parents are deceased. Mrs. Eller was born in Chariton County, Missouri in June, 1851. Mr. Eller is the last of fourteen children, being also the youngest, the others all being dead. After the marriage they lived in Missouri until 1875, then removed to Arkansas, remaining there several years, after which he came west to Idaho county and took land. This was the family home until 1900, when Mr. Eller took the stage contract from Kamiah to Cottonwood and later took charge of the livery barn where we now find him. He sold his ranch and stock for about four thousand dollars and is devoted himself to his business with good results, having a good patronage.

Mr. Eller is a Democrat of the Jeffersonian type, well established in his belief and is an influential man in the party. Mrs. Eller is a member of the Methodist church. They have nine children,--Allie, James N., William H., Jospeh and Mattie, twins, Henry H., Charles W., Fannie V., Thomas Jefferson.


Correction to Joseph M. Eller article in An Illustrated History of North Idaho Embracing NezPerce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai, and Shoshone Counties, State ot Idaho,

His mother was Sarah Stephens, and her father was with General Jackson at the Indian battle at Horseshoe Bend.
(Biography of Jacob Eller of Macon County, Tenn. published in Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, 1887)


One of the steamboats operating on the Snake River at Lewiston, Idaho. Frank and Susan Eller and family arrived by steamboat from Riparia, Washington, March, 1886
Courtesy August Seibert
Pioneer Days in Idaho County, Vol. I, 1965, Sister M. Alfreda Ellison   Cottonwood, Idaho as it looked three years after Frank Eller arrived on the Camas Prairie.
Courtesy Earl Rice
Don Martin, driver, 1905
Pioneer Days in Idaho County, Vol. I, 1965, Sister M. Alfreda Ellison   Frank Eller had the Kamiah-Cottonwood stage route
Frank Eller operated the Cottonwood Barn from October 24, 1902 to June 13, 1904. It was owned by Sidney Potter, Cottonwood, Idaho.
Cottonwood, Idaho about 1908 - 1911, Cottonwood Barn in lower right.
Susan Elizabeth (McFerran) Eller, born June 14, 1852, died December 14, 1904, wife of Joseph Michael "Franklin" Eller
Cora Hashagen, Joesph Michael "Franklin" Eller, Allie (Eller) Hashagen Baker, Jerry Baker, Carrie Hashagen, Bert Baker - Grangeville, Idaho - ca 1904 - 1906 (Only known picture of Frank Eller)
Seven of eight living children of Frank and Susan Eller, May 30, 1928, Cottonwood, Idaho.

Thomas Jefferson Eller, James Nathan Eller, Mattie Catherine (Eller) Stewart, Fannie Vance (Eller) Tefft, Joseph Franklin Eller (twin to Mattie), William Hendren Eller, Charles Washington Eller, Brother, Henry Jasper Eller living in Canada.

Joseph Franklin Eller was my grandfather
The In-Laws
May 30, 1928 - Cottonwood, Idaho

Dolly (Scott Eller (Mrs. Jim), Etta (Brown) Eller (Mrs. Charles), Bertha (Terwillegar) Eller (Mrs. Joe). Pansy (Marhewson) Eller (Mrs. Bill), Edna (Bongard) Eller Mrs (Tom), Bert Tefft (Husband of Fannie)

Bertha (Terwillegar) Eller was my grandmother
Toumbstone of Joseph Michael Franklin Eller, Cottonwood, Idaho   Toumbstone of Susan Elizabeth (McFerran) Eller, Cottonwood, Idaho

Click on a thumbnail picture above to get a larger representation, then use your browser's back button to get back here. [ADE]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

VOL. 20 No. 37

J.M. ELLER, an old pioneer of this county died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Jerry BAKER, in this city, Tuesday at the are of 71 years.

The funeral was held yesterday afternoon at the residence and the remains were taken to Cottonwood this morning for interment where his wife is buried. He leaves a family of grown children.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Comas Prairie Chronicle,
Cottonwood, Idaho,
December 23, 1904


Susan Elizabeth McFerrin was born at Brunswick, Mo., June 14th, 1852, and died at Cottonwood, Idaho. on December 14, 1904, aged 52 yeare and 6 months. She was united in marriage to Joseph M. Eller at the place of her birth in November, 1865, and to this union was born 14 children, 5 girls and 9 boys, five of whom preceded her to the better land.
In 1875 she moved with her husband, and three children to Arkansas and resided there for eleven years. In 1886 she accompanied her husband and eight children to Idaho where she resided with her family until the time of her death. She was baptized in the Methodist church at an early age and was a faithful member during her entire life. Her death was due to cancer of the stomach, with which disease she had been troubled for some time. The remains were laid away in the Cottonwood-cemetery on Thursday, Dec. 15. the funeral service being conducted from the Methodist church by Rev. Dake. She leaves a husband, six sons and three daughters besides a host of friends to morn her loss, but their loss is her gain. A large concourse of people attended the last rites, a sorrowful tribute to the universal esteem in which she was held.


Eller Chronicles Vol. VIII-1 FEB. 1994

2 - Idaho County Free Press - Wednsday, August 11, 1976

Mrs., Tefft Marks 91 years: Recalls Prairie Pioneer Times

Mrs. Bert "Fannie" Tefft, Grangeville, celebrated her 91st birthday August 6 at her home where she lives and enjoys her flowers. She was characterized by her relatives as having a "green thumb." Built in 1936, Mrs. Tefft and her husband lived in the house until his death in 1960. She remains at her own home where she now lives with her son, Charles.

Mrs. Tefft, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. "Frank-" Eller, settled with her Parents and their other eight children five miles out of Grangeville towards Penn after they crossed the United States in a covered wagon in 1887. Mrs. Tefft, born in 1885, was only two then and doesn't remember the trip, but the barn still stands where they lived. The sod hut that the family occupied is since gone. The "soddy" was later replaced by a log house.

Her father was a farmer and also a Cottonwood-Kamiah mail route carrier. Her husband, Bert Tefft, was a farmer and later in life, drove the stage from Grangeville to Elk City. They married in the Cottonwood Methodist Church, August 16, 1903. Mrs Tefft was later very active in the First Christian Church in Grangeville, where she is still a member.

She said of the Indians in the area of their farm on the reservation, "They never bothered us at all. They'd stand outside on the porch, never knock, just stand there, until you invited them in. They'd eat supper, or bread, or whatever was being cooked, sitting around on the floor. After they were done they'd leave," Mrs. Tefft explained. She said only the squaws and children came, never the bucks.

On the farm that she and her husband had in the Red Rock area, Mrs. Tefft recalled feeding "threshers". The men would travel from one farm to the next all helping with each other's harvest. She recalled fixing at least three big meals a day for the twelve threshers, sometimes five meals. The men worked from dawn until dusk in the fields, prepared the horses for work before dawn, and bedded them down after dusk.

When the Teffts moved to Grangeville, they ran the Electric Laundry, where Asker's is now. They lived behind the laundry in a hours, until they built the home where Mrs. Tefft still lives.
The laundry was quite an innovation to Grangeville, They had four ladies hand-ironing shirts, and a huge mangle for the flat work. Mrs. Tefft said.

Some of the remembrances she had were of the baseball games, where Grangeville and Cotonwood were arch rivals. Living in or about Cottonwood most of her younger years, Mrs. Tefft couldn't help pulling for the Cottonwood team. Her brother,

Charlie was a "noted" ball player for the Cottonwood team. They called him "Cayuse" Eller, "because he ran so fat," Mrs. Tefft explained.

"Grangeville would come over to Cottonwood and we waxed it to them. Sometimes they'd say 'Let's go back to Grangeville to eat, There's nothomg here', to which the Cottonwood rooters would say 'eat your goose eggs,' in reference to their scoreless ball game.

She recalled days that the mud would be axle deep on the wagons, and coming irto Grangeville from their farm six miles out would be an all day trip. "My dad did freightng out of Lewiston. It would take him-two days to go and pack up in Lewiston and three days to come back." She recalled.

Her brother, Bill Eller, was sheriff of Idaho County for a number of years. Her brother, Joe, was a deputy sheriff and jailer. Her father, known to all of Cottonwood as "Uncle Frank" Eller, knew the James boys. "Dad knew Jessie James real well. He said he wasn't as-bad as he was painted. He said that if they'd have left him alone he'd been a good man," Mrs. Tefft recalled her father saying.

Jessie's troubles began in the time of the war between the states. Mrs. Tefft's father was a confederate soldier. "He was only 16 and lied about his age to get in to fight," she said.

Mrs. Tefft recalled that the Grange Hall was all there was of Grangeville, essentially, when she was moved into the prairie area by her parents. Mt. Idaho was the county seat. Lewiston was just a small town.

She celebrated her 91st natal day with family and friends. She is very alert, slightly shy, but a gracious hostess. Her tidbits about the area are very special, as she herself is.

She and her husband had four children; Pearl Howard, Bend, Oregon; Charles Tefft, Grangeville; Donna Morgan, Mattawa, Washington, and Goldie Basinger, now deceased, but a onetime Grangeville resident.

She has eleven grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and numerous great-great-grandchildren.

On her birthday she was visited by Mr. And Mrs. Darryl Altman of Portland, Oregon, a great-grandson and his daughter Paula, great-great-granddaughter; Mrs. Donna Morgan, daughter and son, Michael, grandson; Terry Buckley, great-granddaughter and daughter, Dawn Marie, great-great-granddaughter of Lewiston; Mrs. Joseph Springer, granddaughter, Gennessee; Charles Tefft, Grangeville, son; and Mr. And Mrs. Garold Haskins, Grangeville, friends of the family. Mrs. Tefft expressed appreciation to them all.

There was a picture, but It was of such poor quality that I didn't try to reproduce it here. [ADE]


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