Biography of Ellis Webster


Webster, Ellis, Buffalo, is descended from one of the pioneer families of Western New York. Hugh Webster, his grandfather, came in 1810 with ox teams from Plainfield, N. J., to Erie county, with his four sons, Daniel, Edward, William and Samuel, and settled in the forest on the east branch of Eighteen-mile Creek, in the present town of Boston, where he and his wife afterward lived and died. Edward Webster, a native of Plainfield, N. J., drove an ox team to this section, being then a young man. He and his brother Daniel, in 1813, purchased 240 acres of land, mostly forest, with a log house, in the town of Eden; they divided this tract, cleared it, and lived there ever afterward. Edward married Rachel Kester. reared five children (of whom the eldest, Mercy, is deceased), and died about 1868, aged 74; his wife's death occurred about 1878. Ellis Webster, son of Edward, was born in Eden, August 27, 1828, received his education in the district schools, and in 1844 became a clerk in a store in Buffalo. Three years later he engaged in the mercantile business under the firm name of D. R. Hamlin & Co., on Seneca street where he subsequently conducted a general store for five years with George W. Scott, as Webster & Scott. He continued this business until 1868, when he engaged in the coal trade. In 1875 his son, Edward H., was admitted under the firm name of E. Webster & Son, and the ice industry added, and in 1886 William Germann became a partner under the present style of E. Webster, Son & Co. About 1881 the firm purchased 175 acres of land lying along the shore of Lime Lake in the town of Machias, Cattaraugus county, where they have two ice houses with a combined storage capacity of about 60,000 tons. They also ship annually about 40,000 tons of ice from the water. The ice is handled entirely by machinery, being carried from the water to the ice houses and cars by three endless chains, which with other devices were the first placed in operation in this part of the country. On their farm enough hay and feed are produced to keep the large number of horses necessary for the firm's business. Ellis Webster is one of the oldest and best known ice and coal dealers in Buffalo. He is a man of ability, enterprise and great force of character, and has achieved both honor and success. He has always been a staunch Republican, was alderman of the old Second ward two years (1873-74), and has been a member of the Buffalo Historical Society about twenty years, a life member of the Buffalo Library about thirty years, and manager and secretary of the Buffalo City Dispensary several years. He has been a member of the congregation of the Washington Street (now the First) Baptist church since 1844 and of the society since 1863, and was the treasurer and a trustee for five years, and since then has been a deacon. September 11, 1850, he was married in Kenosha, Wis., to Charlotte W. Whitney, and they have two children: Edward H. and Jennie (Mrs. Henry D. Waters), both of Buffalo.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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