Edmund William Ellsworth Biography
Contributor: k_lassman Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Grandson of Brigham Young & great-great-grandfather of my high-school friend Kathy Ellsworth. The following bio is courtesy of Amanda Fox & was published in History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains Vol. 3 by James H. Hawley, 1920.
Edmund Ellsworth, Sr. is a retired farmer living at Lewisville, and, having long occupied an enviable position as a progressive business man and representative citizen, he well deserves mention in the history of his adopted state. He was born at Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois. October 7, 1845, and is a son of Edmund and Elizabeth (Young) Ellsworth, the former a native of Paris, Oneida county. New York, and the latter of Vermont. The mother was a daughter of President Brigham Young of the Mormon church. The father was a lumberman and farmer who about 1841 went to Illinois, where he joined the church and with the people of his faith removed to Salt Lake City in 1847. There he was one of the first to engage in the lumber business, in which he actively continued until 1864, when he purchased land in Weber county and concentrated his attention upon agricultural interests until 1880. He then went to Arizona and purchased property at Show Low, where he erected a lumber mill, which he operated for some time. He passed away there December 29, 1893, at the age of seventy-four years, and his wife died in Lewisville, Idaho, February 2, 1903, at the age of seventy-six years.
Edmund Ellsworth was largely reared and educated in Utah. He remained with his parents until he attained his majority and then went to Arizona, where he followed farming for one season and also aided in colonizing the district. He afterward returned to Utah, where he engaged in farming and stock raising for a few years, and later spent five years in the lumber business in connection with farming. In 1882, in company with others, he made his way to Jefferson county, Idaho, then Oneida county, and spent three days in looking over the country. On the fourth day the party decided to locate here and all took up land, which was then covered with sagebrush, there being no indication whatever of what the future had in store for this great and growing country. He improved his place in a splendid manner, purchasing more land from time to time as his financial resources increased until he owned fourteen hundred acres. He continued to farm here until about 1911, when he retired, having in the meantime won very substantial success as the result of his energy and thrift. He built a home in Rigby, but preferring Lewisville as a place of residence, returned to Jefferson county, where he purchased a nice property, which he now occupies in company with his daughter.
In November, 1867, Mr. Ellsworth was married to Miss Ellen C. Blair, a daughter of Seth M. and Cornelia (Espy) Blair, the former a native of Ralls county, Missouri. and the latter of Lauderdale county, Tennessee. In 1850 the parents arrived in Salt Lake City, where the father practiced law throughout his remaining days, defending the Mormon people in many suits against the United States. He was born March 13, 1819, and passed away in 1874. The mother died in 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth became parents of eight children: Edmund, living at Rigby; Seth M., who follows farming near Lewisville; Frank B., cashier in the First National Bank of Rigby; Clara, the wife of A. B. Hoffman, a farmer of Lewisville; Preston B., who is also farming near Lewisville; Willard J., who died January 14, 1892; Elizabeth B., who died March 10, 1886; and Alonzo S., who passed away February 6, 1885". The wife and mother was called to her final rest September 22, 1913, dying after an illness of three months.
For many years Mr. Ellsworth carefully conducted his farming interests in order to provide a comfortable living for his family and at all times he displayed most progressive methods in his business affairs. He brought the first Shire horse to Jefferson county and was at all times a supporter and promoter of irrigation interests. He served as the president and one of the directors of the Parks-Lewisville Irrigating Company for several years and also of the Little Feeder Canal Company. He likewise took an active part in public affairs, filling the office of justice of the peace while in Utah, and for several years was a major in the Mormon militia. After coming to Idaho he filled the position of probate judge and was county superintendent of schools. In politics he has always maintained an independent course, voting according to the dictates of his judgment and in support of every measure which he believes will promote the best interests of the community and the commonwealth.