Kent County Biographies
Names A to E
Names F to O
Names P to Z
Railway Officials in America 1906
John J. Ely was born in Tioga Co., New York, Sept. 10, 1830, and is a son of James Ely, who came to Grand Rapids
in 1848. Mr. Ely was educated in Aurora Academy, at Aurora, N. Y., came to Grand Rapids in 1852, and there engaged
in the mercantile business with his brother, Henry B., until 1861, when, feeling that his country needed his services,
he enlisted in Battery E, 1st. Mich. Light Artillery, which was raised in connection with the Engineers and Mechanics'
regiment. He entered the army as a private, and was promoted to the offices of 2d Lieut., 1st Lieut., Captain and
Major. At Nashville he was on post duty as chief of the artillery. In 1867 he came to Rockford and established
a general store. He carries a capital stock of $5,000, and is doing a business of $18,000 annually. He was married
in 1856, at Ionia, Mich., to Miss Charlotte A. Lovell, by whom he has one child - Charles L.
History of Kent County, Michigan
Chas C. Chapman & Company