History and Genealogy Research



William A. Ellis of North Fork was for a quarter of a century a supervisor of Madera County, and for sixteen years he was the chairman of the board. Since 1926 he has given his attention chiefly to managing his 2400 acres of land near North Fork on the San Joaquin River.

William Alexander Ellis was born at Coulterville, Mariposa County, September 3, 1874, the son of Arthur C. and Dora (Wagner) Ellis. The family came to California in 1851, driving across the plains. The father mined in Mariposa County, raised stock and later engaged in the lumber business, and located on a farm. He moved to North Fork in 1890, and died in 1906.

W. A. Ellis attended the Greeley school near Coulterville until 1888, and then worked on his father's ranch, and he worked in sawmills and drove oxen for part of two summers. At North Fork he was employed in a box factory for a time. He also engaged in mountain road construction for the Peckinpah and Pierce Lumber Company, and he hauled the first load of freight to the Crane Valley dam of the San Joaquin Light and Power Company. When he was twenty years old, he voted in favor of the separation of Madera County from Fresno County.

Mr. Ellis was elected supervisor in 1902 and served for twenty-four years. He was chairman of the board during 1908-24. Since 1924 he has engaged in stock raising and ranching.

Mr. Ellis served as a school trustee for a number of years at North Fork. He was frequently named as delegate to conventions of the Democratic Party, both local and state. He was elected foreman of the Madera county grand jury in 1932. He is a member of the Madera Businessmen's club.

Mr. Ellis married Myrtle, daughter of Charles O'Neal, pioneer and founder of O'Neal's. Their son William M. Ellis is in the United States Forest Service at North Fork. Another son died many years ago.

From the History of Fresno and Madera Counties, 1933, Joseph Barcroft, editor for Madera County.

submitted by Carol Lackey