Biography of Prof. Elias R. Felton
Erie County, OH Biographies





PROF. ELIAS R. FELTON. In the death of Prof. Elias R Felton at his home in Milan, March 1, 1906, there passed away one of the ablest educators in Northern Ohio, a man who had impressed his influence upon hundreds of young people preparing for lives of practical usefulness in business careers; Professor Felton during his active career was mainly identified with one of the large business colleges at Cleveland, but was well known in Erie County and his widow, Mrs. Felton, now occupies the old Comstock homestead in Milan Village, the home of her parents.

Born at Nunday Valley in New York State, December 3, 1828, he was nearly seventy eight years of age when he passed away. His parents were James and Mary (Rawson) Felton, both natives of New York State. Soon after the birth of Professor Felton they came West to Milan, but later returned to New York where the mother died in the prime of life. Some years later James Felton married a Miss Bowers of Huron County, where he lived for many years. He combined the operation of a farm with an industry for the manufacture of high grade axes of all kinds, and the axe factory was one of the prosperous industries of Huron County His second wife died near Norwalk, leaving several children. James Felton again married late in life, and his own career came to a close when past eighty. He was a republican, and as a Mason was a charter member of both the blue Lodge and the Royal Arch Chapter at Milan.

Elias R. Felton spent most of his early career in Milan and in Huron County. He attended the old Huron Institute at Milan, and as a youth learned the trade of axe maker with his father. The first axe he ever made is still in possession of his family. For his first wife Professor Felton married Lucy Perrin, a daughter of Raymond Perrin and a cousin of Judson Perrin, to whom reference is made on other pages. He then moved to Cleveland, took a thorough course in the old Bryant & Stratton Business College, and a few years later became an instructor in the Spencerian Business College at Cleveland, and later acquired an interest in the college and helped to make it a highly successful institution. He retained his business relations until 1895, and then for five or six years was retained as a member of the faculty of instruction. He finally retired, and spent his last years in Milan.

While a resident of Cleveland Professor Felton was one of the best known citizens and active in municipal politics on the West Side. He served as a member of the school board and in other public offices, and at one time was a nominee for mayor. He was also prominent in Masonry, and was affiliated with the Lodge, Chapter, Council, Commandery, the thirty second degree Scottish Rite Consistory and the Mystic Shrine. In politics he was a republican and in matters of religion supported the Presbyterian Church.

By his marriage to Miss Lucy Perrin, Professor Felton had two children, William and Ida, and by his second marriage, to Mrs. Matilda (Judson) Perrin, two children were born, Mary M. and Grace B. Grace married E. G. Tillotson, of Cleveland, and at her death left one daughter. Mary married Mr. Harry Allen and had two sons, Donald and Robert.

At Milan on March 20, 1895, Professor Felton married Julia B. Comstock. She was born at the old Comstock homestead in Milan Township east of Milan Village, December 11, 1843. As a young girl she attended the Milan Normal School. She still occupies the pleasant residence on Seminary Street in Milan, formerly the home of her parents, where she and her husband spent his last years. Mrs. Felton is a' daughter of Philo and Julia Ann (Austin) Comstock. Her grandfather Nathan Sillick Comstock, married Betsey Seymour, and they were all natives of Connecticut. Nathan S. Comstock was one of the fire sufferers at Norwalk, Connecticut, during the Revolutionary war, and was given a large grant of land in the vicinity of Milan, Ohio. Philo Comstock, who was born February 5, 1809, in 1827, came with his sister Betsey, two years his junior, by way of the Hudson River and the Erie Canal and by boat to Huron and Milan, and took up his home on the portion of fire lands granted to his father. He began the improvement of his place, and in 1829 married Mary Newcomb. She died about eighteen months later. December 25, 1832, he married Julia A. Austin. She was born in Stamford, Connecticut, May 8, 1811, and also belonged to old Connecticut and New England stock. After their marriage they spent several years on the 300 acre farm, where they built a large brick house with a dozen rooms and of old colonial style of architecture. About 1875 Mr. Comstock retired to Milan and died in that village November 7, 1892. His wife passed away March 14, 1895. The Comstocks were among the most prominent people of this section of Ohio, and lived lives of eminent usefulness and honor in the community. Philo Comstock and wife were charter members of the Milan Presbyterian Church and helped to build the first church edifice and supported its activities, and he was an elder for many years. In politics he was a republican. The Comstock children were: George S., who died young; Edward A., who was in service as a Union soldier during the Civil war, was twice married, had three daughters and a son, and is now living at the Soldiers' Home in Sandusky; Francis D., also died young; Gertrude married John F. Randolph of Norwalk, and they have a son and two daughters; the next in age is Mrs. Felton; Emma F. was married to Charles V. LaVayea of Cleveland, and she now makes her home with Mrs. Felton at Milan. Mrs. Felton is an active member of the Presbyterian church, belongs to the Research Club in Milan, and is past matron of Edison Chapter No. 112 of the Order of Eastern Star.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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