Wellington County Methodists 1825-1925

The History of Ellis Chapel

Ellis Methodist Church 1861In 1859 Edward and Mary Ellis, pioneer settlers in Puslinch Township, gave land for a church to the Wesleyan Methodist Church. In early settlement times, this location on the old "Accommodation Road" between the 2nd and 3rd concessions, was on the main trail between Hespeler and Aberfoyle.

Within two years the community had erected a handsome church of random faced field stone.

Around the turn of the century, the road system was much improved and the congregation began to drift into town churches. Records indicate that a thriving non-denominational Sunday School continued for some time, led by members of the community.

Eventually the church fell into disuse and the beautiful Gothic windows were boarded up.

Some 100 years after the founding of Ellis Chapel, descendants of the original pioneer families were encouraged to form a Board of Trustees and restore the church. This was made possible through the effort and dedication of the late Loyd Frank of London, Ontario.

On August 25th, 1963, the first service was held in the newly-renovated building. This memorial to Puslinch settlers once again became a place of worship and meditation for the community and the motoring public.

In June 1966, the seats from the Dracon Presbyterian Church in West Garafraxa Township were donated to the Ellis Chapel.

Services continue to be held monthly from June to September, led by ministers from all denominations, honoring the tradition which began 141 years ago.

The Building of the Church 1859-1861

Ellis Church was built by the men of pioneer families as a community effort.

Skilled carpenters working on the construction of the Church included Edward and Thomas Ellis and Peter Lamont. Much of the building material was supplied from surrounding fields and forests and transported by the neighbours from nearby farms. Free-will donations from members of the community helped to meet expenses for building materials purchased. The actual building of the Church was accomplished during community gatherings known as 'work bees,' Work bees were to become a tradition in the history of Ellis Church.

Two foot thich random-faced fieldstone walls supported the four by four inch pine rafters of the split cedar shingled roof. The flooring was two inch thick pine planking and the ceiling rose to approximately seventeen feet. The Gothic, pointed-top windows and sashes were made by Edward Ellis. The window sashes sat practically flush with the outside window frames allowing for deep interior sills. Six large windows, on three sides, faced north, east and west along with a smaller Gothic window over the north entrance. Unpainted pine wainscotting with plastered natural white walls complimented the simple structure which would later stand the test of time with its sturdiness.

The approximate dimensions of Ellis Church are forty feet by thirty feet. The interior furnishings are best to be considered as shown in the original layout scheme illustrated by Loyd Frank (1963).

Ellis Church interior


1857 Luther O. Rice

RICE, Luther O. Wesleyan Methodist, was born in 1811 in the United States and was received on trial in 1841 at Malahide, 1840 Dumfries, 1842-1843 ordained at Walpole/Cayuaga (Niagara), 1844 Georgetown, 1845 Erin (Wellington Co.), 1846-1847 Chippewa, 1847-1849 Dalston (Simcoe Co.), 1850-1851 Nottawasaga/Bradford/Barrie (Simcoe Co.) "During the two years, I travelled rising of 14,000 miles, nearly two-thirds of which was performed on horseack" - L.O.R., 1851-1852 Camden East, 1852 Cookstown (built new parsonage), 1854-1857 Dunnville, 1857 Berlin/Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1858 Berlin (Waterloo Co.), 1859 Fingal, 1860-1861 Westminster, 1862-1863 Strathroy, 1864-1866 Amherstburg, 1867-1868 Kincardine, 1869-1871 Dungannon, 1871 Colborne (Huron Co.), 1872 Bervie, 1873-1874 Bayfield, 1875-1881 Dungannon (retired)

1858-1860 Samuel C. Philp

PHILP, Samuel C. Sr. was born in 1811 in England Wesleyan Methodist. He was received on trial in 1840 at Nelson, 1838 Cobourg, 1839-1840 Nelson, 1841 Binbrook/Hamilton, 1842 W. Oxford, 1843 Zorra/Woodstock, 1844-1845 Florence/Chatham, 1846-1848 St. Thomas/Mosa (London), 1849-1850 Malahide, 1851-1853 Humber/Garafraxa (Wellington Co.), 1854-1855 Streetsville/Brampton, 1856-1857 Georgetown/Erin/, 1857 York, 1858-1860 Berlin/Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1861-1863 Lindsay, 1864-1865 Omemee, 1866-1868 Norwood, 1869-1871 Frankford, 1872 Sidney (Hastings Co.), 1873 Omemee, 1874-1881 Prince Albert (retired)

1861-1863 Richard L. Tucker

TUCKER, Richard Lyle was born in 1827 in England and died on May 23, 1875, Wesleyan Methodist. He was received on trial in 1856-1857 at Strathroy. He was a son-in-law of Rev. William Lyle Tucker. 1858-1860 Georgetown/Acton/Esquesing (Halton Co.), 1860-1863 Berlin (Waterloo Co.), 1861 Woolwich (Wellington Co.), 1861-1863 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1862 Camp Meeting, Elora, 1862-1863 Pilkington/Woolwich/Wellesley (Wellington Co.), 1864 Glen Allan Peel Twp. (Wellington Co.) , 1864-1865 Hollin Maryborough Twp. (Wellington Co.), 1867 Fergus/Garafraxa (Wellington Co.), 1867-1868 Orangeville (Dufferin Co.), 1869 Adolphustown, 1869-1870 Bath and Amherst Island, 1870 Fredericksburg (Addington), 1871-1873 Port Albino/Bath (Lennox Co.), 1874 Port Rowan

1864-1865 David Savage

SAVAGE, David was born in 1826 in England, New Connexion, was received on trial in 1850-1851 at Welland Canal, 1852 Toronto, 1853-1854 London, 1855 Toronto, 1856-1857 Hamilton, 1858 Toronto, 1859-1860 Cavan, 1861-1863 Aurora, 1864-1866 Nassagaweya/Ellis Church Puslinch (Welllington Co.), 1867-1869 London, 1870-1871 St. John's Toronto, 1872-1875 London, 1880 Toronto, President of Conference 1862 and 1874, Chairman of District 1868-1869. Editor of "Evangelical Witness" (See below)

1866 Aaron D. Miller

MILLER, Aaron D. Wesleyan Methodist, was received on trial in 1852 at Picton, 1850 Sidney, 1851 Brighton, 1853 no station ill-health, 1854 Bath/Amherst Isle (Kingston), 1855-1856 Wallaceburg, 1857-1859 Maryborough/Peel (Wellington Co.), 1859-1860 Demorestville, 1861-1862 Madoc, 1863-1865 Shannonville, 1866 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1866-1870 Arthur Methodist (Wellington Co.), 1870 Waterdown, 1871-1872 Hudson, 1873-1876 Belleville, 1876 Tillbury, 1877 Waterdown, 1878-1881 Rainham

1867 John Smiley

SMILEY, John B.A. Wesleyan Methodist was received on trial in 1865 at Cooksville, 1866 Washington, 1867 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1868 Elora (Wellington Co.), 1869 St. Thomas, 1870 Lucan, 1871 Ailsa Craig (London), 1871-1872 McGillvray (Bruce Co.), 1872-1874 Mono, 1875 Alton, 1876-1877 Kleinburg, 1878-1880 Bobcaygeon, Graduate of University College, Toronto M.A 1868

1868-1870 Thomas A. Ferguson

FERGUSON, Thomas Alexander was born in 1827 in Scotland Wesleyan Methodist and was received on trial in 1857, 1857-1859 Tutor Victoria College Cobourg, 1860-1862 Yonge Street/Richmond Hill, 1863 Peel Co., 1864-1865 Brampton (Peel Co.), 1866-1867 Waterdown, 1868-1870 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1868-1871 Berlin (Waterloo Co.), 1871-1873 Darlington, 1874 Markham, 1875 Bowmanville, 1876-1877 Bradford, 1878-1879 Weston, 1880 Eglinton, Financial Secretary 1874,

1871-1872 Thomas Stobbs

STOBBS, Thomas was born in 1822 in England, Wesleyan Methodist, 1849 Victoria College, was received on trial in 1850 and ordained in 1854, 1849-1850 Chatham, 1850 Amherstburg, 1851-1852 Dundas, 1853 Student Victoria College Cobourg, 1854 London/Bytown, 1855-1856 Innisfil, 1857-1859 Colbourne, 1860-1862 Millbrook, 1863-1864 Canton, 1865-1867 Prince Albert, 1868-1870 Pickering, 1869 Canington (Ontario Co.), 1870 Greenwood/Brougham, 1871-1872 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.)/Berlin (Waterloo Co.), 1873-1874 Drummondville, 1875-1876 Smithville, 1877-1879 Mount Pleasant, 1880 Caledonia

1873 Christopher Cookman

COOKMAN, Christopher was born in 1841 in Ontario Wesleyan Methodist and was received on trial in 1866 at Wellesley, 1865 Drayton (Wellington Co.), 1867 Georgetown, 1868 Port Albino, 1869 Exeter, 1870-1872 Nissouri West (Middlesex Co.), 1873 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1874-1875 Berlin (Waterloo Co.), 1876-1878 Norwich, 1878-1880 Wallaceburg,

1874 William C. Henderson

Rev. W.C. HendersonHENDERSON, William C. M.A. D.D. was born on Feb 11, 1834 in the Cty of Huntington Quebec and was received on trial as a New Connexion minister in 1857. He was the son of Archibald H. Henderson and Adeline (Stearns) of Huntingdon (Quebec)and the brother of Mary Henderson (Mrs. W.S. Maclaren) who was born in 1843 and died on March 14, 1924 in Huntingdon. On July 1, 1861 he married Emma Overend of the City of Kingston and they returned to London for the year. He married Mrs. Henderson in April of 1883 and she was born in 1845 in Delta, Ontario and died on February 3 ,1924 in Gananoque, Ontario where they lived from 1913 and prior to this was a teacher in Hamilton, Ontario. (Christian Guardian) The late Mrs W.S. Maclaren - an appreciation. She was born Mary Henderson in 1843 and was the daughter of the late A.H. Henderson of Huntingdon and married in 1875 W.S. Maclaren (predeceased 1909), brother of Justice J.J. Maclaren of Toronto, Ontario. She died on March 14, 1924 in Huntingdon amd she was one of a family of fourteen, one of whom was the late Rev Dr W.C. Henderson and another the late Mrs (Rev Dr) W.J. Crothers. She was survived by two sons Harold (C.E.) of Huntingdon and Dr Archie of Calgary AB, one sister Miss Kate still lives in Huntingdon. 1854-1857 Victoria College, 1857 received on trial at Port Hope, 1858 Belleville (Hastings Co.), 1859-1860 graduated Victoria College, 1860 ordained in Kingston, 1860-1861 London with Rev. G.R. Sanderson, 1861-1862 Kingston, 1863-1865 Hemmingford, 1865-1868 Odelltown, 1869-1871 Cornwall, 1872-1874 Stratford (Perth Co.), 1874 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1875-1876 Goderich, 1877-1880 Sarnia, 1881-1884 Strathroy, 1884 St. Mary's (Perth Co.), 1887-1889 Berlin (Waterloo Co.), 1893-1895 Norfolk St. Guelph Wellington Co.), 1906 Palmerston (Wellington Co.), 1913-1924 Hamilton (Wentworth Co.), Graduate of Victoria College with a B.A. in 1860 and a M.A. in 1868, Delegate to the General Conference of 1878, Assistant Secretary of Conference 1879 and 1880, Chairman of District 1877 to 1880

1875-1877 James McAlister

McALISTER, James was born in 1828 in Ireland, New Connexion, He was the father of Rev. W. George H. McAlister, was received on trial in 1851 at Crosby, 1850 Goulbourn/Drummond, 1852 Prince Edward, 1853 Yorkville, 1854-1855 Waterloo, 1856 Galt/ Dumfries Twp., 1857-1859 Nelson, 1860-1862 Milton, 1863-1866 Waterford, 1867-1870 Ancaster/Beverley (Wentworth Co.), 1871-1873 Nelson, 1874 Kilbride, 1875-1877 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), 1878-1880 Oakville, Chairman of District 1862 and 1867 to 1874. Delegate to the General Conference, Montreal 1878

1878-1879 Edwin Holmes

HOLMES, Edwin New Connexion, was received on trial in 1857-1858 at Norwich, 1859 Penville, 1860 London, 1861-1863 Nassagaweya, 1864-1865 Prince Edward, 1866-1867 Milford, 1868-1869 Malahide, 1870-1873 Manvers, 1874 Mount Forest, 1878-1879 Ellis Church Puslinch (Wellington Co.), Chairman of District 1867, Secretary of Conference 1873

1880 Francis E. Nugent

Rev. Francis E. Nugent NUGENT, Francis E. was born on November 21, 1842 at Tyrone, Durham Co., Ontario and was received on trial in 1867 and was ordained in 1871 in Owen Sound, New Connexion, 1867 Millbrook, 1868 Erin, 1869-1871 Waterford, 1871 Milford, 1874 Goderich, 1876 Harmony, 1878 Bayham, 1880 Hespler/Ellis Church Puslinch Twp. (Wellington Co.), 1883 Berlin, 1886 Lucknow, 1888 Listowel, 1891 Mitchell,

1883-1886 William Mills

MILLS, William was received on trial in 1869. He was married to Hannah Ellis in Puslinch Twp. (Wellington Co.) on Tuesday June 17, 1873 at the home of her parents Edward and Mary Ellis. The wedding was officiated by Rev. Thomas Stobbs. Rev. Mills was to become the minister of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, in Heslper in 1883. Before his marriage to Hannah Ellis, he was "in training" for the ministry. His travels as an assistant minister would have take him to Ellis Church in Puslinch Twp. (Wellington Co.). He was received on trial in 1869 at Innisfil, 1870 Aurora, 1871 Berlin, 1872 Elora (Wellington Co.), 1873 ordained at Elmira, 1874-1876 Georgetown, 1877-1878 Cumnock Nichol Twp. (Wellington Co.), 1879 Arthur, 1880 Corunna, 1883 Hespler, 1883-1886 Ellis Church Puslinch Twp. (Wellington Co.)

Evangelical Witness

This was the organ of the late New Connexion Methodist Conference. The first periodical publication of this branch of Canadian Methodism was the Christian Messenger, begun in 1844 as a monthly, and in 1847 issued as a weekly, under the editorial management of the Rev. Thomas T. Howard, who continued to occupy that position until 1850 when it was discontinued from lack of support.

In 1854 the Rev. Joseph H. Robinson began the publication of the Evangelical Witness, which by special resolution of the Conference of that year, was recognized as the "organ of the Connexion."

For the first three years, or until 1857, this paper was issued monthly, but the Conference of 1857 ordered that henceforth it should be published semi-monthly. At the Conference of 1858, it was ordered that, commencing with the 1st. Jan. 1859, it should be published weekly.

In 1874, on the consummation of the Union, The Evangelical Witness was merged with the Christian Guardian under the double name of The Christian Guardian and Evangelical Witness.

The following have been its editors from 1854 to 1874

Joseph Hiram Robinson 1854 to 1871
William Cocker, D.D., 1871 to 1872
David Savage, 1872 to 1874

Early Members

Surname Given Name Father Mother Birthplace Birth Date Baptisim Date Death Date Minister

COPELAND Joseph Farmer b 1811 England Farmer, Husband, Puslinch (1851)1 Story, 1 Family Log House

COPELAND Eliza b 1825 England Wife 1851 Puslinch

COPELAND William Joseph Eliza b 1846 Canada 1851 Puslinch

COPELAND Edward Joseph Eliza b 1849 Canada 1851 Puslinch

COPELAND William b 1811 England 1851 Farmer Puslinch

EAGLE James Samuel Anne was born in 1831 in England, 1871 farmer living in Puslinch Con 1 Lot 7, Sunday School Superintendent

EAGLE Marvin Sunday School Superintendent

ELLIS Edward was born in 1813 in Canada Farmer Puslinch (1851) also (1871) Con 2 Lot 9, 1859 Edward and Mary Ellis, pioneer settlers in Puslinch Township, gave land for a church to the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

ELLIS Thomas b 1815 Farmer Canada Farmer Puslinch (1851) also (1871) Con 2 Lot 19

ELLIS William

EVANS Arthur

FIFE John Sunday School Superintendent

GLOVER Barbara L. b 1869 d Apr 16, 1872 buried Ellis Chapel

GLOVER Catharine


LAMONT Peter b 1806 Scotland, Carpenter Puslinch (1851) 1871 farmer living in Puslinch Con 2 Lot 5

LITTLE Robert Sunday School Superintendent

LITTLE William

MASON Agnes James Mary Puslinch b 1862-03-22 1869-04-13 Puslinch Ferguson, Rev. T. A.

MASON Annie James Mary b 1871 d 1876 buried Ellis Chapel

MASON Elizabeth James Mary Puslinch b 1866-07-29 1869-04-13 Puslinch Ferguson, Rev. T. A. d Oct 13, 1869 buried Ellis Chapel

MASON James, b 1834 England, 1871 lived in Puslinch

MASON James James Mary Puslinch b 1868-09-03 1869-04-13 Puslinch Ferguson, Rev. T. A. 1871 farmer living in Puslinch Con 2 Lot 14

MASON Mary Jane James Mary Puslinch b 1864-05-28 1869-04-13 Puslinch Ferguson, Rev. T. A.

McALISTER Christina (Ramsey)b 1813 Campbellton, Argleshire, Scotland d 1904 m Mar 1, 1832 to John, Ellis Church Puslinch

McALISTER John m. Mar. 1, 1832 to Christina Ramsey, sailed for Canada 1832, on the ship "Postaferry", landing in Hamilton six or seven weeks later. Served as Ellis Church Community Trustee in Puslinch

REEVE Robert Edward Sarah b 1843 England Puslinch (1851) attending school

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