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Ellis Family

The Ellis family came to work at Gates Camp from the Tawas area, sometime before the McMillens. The Ellis family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ellis, sons Claude and Jan and daughter Lizzie. Lizzie had a unique occupation. After leaving Curtisville, she worked in a silkworm factory at Greenville, Michigan. She married and had a daughter, Lucille Webb. Lizzie died young and Lucille came here to live under the guardianship of her Uncle Jay. Claude and Jay spent their entire lives working in the Cedar swamps. Claude remained a bachelor his entire life.  Jay married late in life after leaving Curtisville.  Mrs. Ellis was totally blind and yet was known for her excellent housekeeping. Her other senses were very keen. For example, she could tell be walking across the floor if Lucille had swept it clean. The Ellis’s bought 20 acres from the Fales family next to McMillens. Today, there is still a good mixed orchard on the old place. Minnie Fales earned the money to buy the trees by washing clothes on a scrub board for the lumbermen at Gates Camp.

Information: John McMillen, Johanna Van Asperen, James N. Heilig, Minnie Fales

Arbutus (Bell) Milholin described the funeral of Mrs. Ellis in a recent interview. Arbutus’ mother took her to see Mrs. Ellis at the Ellis home.    Mrs. Ellis was laid out on a door that had been removed from the house and set up on saw horses.  Mrs. Ellis was covered with a beautiful quilt and had pennies on each eye lid.  She also had two mason jars of moon shine setting beside her.  Her husband Bill know for making moonshine.

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Last updated on:  Friday, June 17, 2011