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Isaac Leonard Ellwood
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Birth: Aug. 12, 1833
Salt Springville
Montgomery County
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 11, 1910
DeKalb County
Illinois, USA

Isaac Leonard Ellwood was born in Salt Springville, New York on August 3, 1833. His parents were people of modest means. Already ambitious as a young man, he drove a mule team on the Erie Canal. In 1851 he made his way west to seek his fortune in the gold fields of California. He clerked in a hardware store in Sacramento and saved his earnings hoping to establish his own business.

In 1855, Ellwood made his way to DeKalb County, Illinois, where several of his brothers had already settled. Here he found work on the large farm of William Miller near Kingston. Isaac married Miller's daughter Harriet in 1859 and soon established a hardware store on Main Street in DeKalb.

Keenly aware of the needs of farmers for a cheap durable fencing material through his hardware business, Ellwood began to tinker with ways to improve fencing. In 1874 he abandoned his own idea and purchased a one-half interest in DeKalb farmer Joseph Glidden's barbed wire patent for $265. The two soon formed a partnership and established the world's first barbed wire factory. By 1879, fifty million pounds of barbed wire were being produced annually and Ellwood was well on his way to becoming one of the wealthiest men in Illinois. This wealth enabled him to build a palatial home for his family on a large property at the edge of DeKalb.

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Additional info:
A telegram to Mr. S. J. Kennerly received Monday morning announced that Mr. Isaac Leonard Ellwood died at his home in DeKalb, Ill., Sunday evening.
The news occasioned no surprise here for it was known that for more than a week Mr. Ellwood had been in a most critical condition from paralysis.
It is not the fact that Mr. Ellwood was one of the nation'a wealthiest men, with a fortune conservatively estimated at more than $50,000,000, that occasioned genuine sorrow in Palatka over the news of his passing, but it was the fact that this city had lost a genial and kindly gentleman who for 30 years has maintained a winter home here, and who, with family, had enjoyed associating with Palatka people and who had ever been a staunch friend of the city.
It is said that the death of Mrs. Ellwood some two months ago hastened Mr. Ellwood's demise. He never recovered from the blow.
It is said that Mr. Ellwood began life as a poor man, and that the nucleus of his subsequent great fortune was his invention of barbed-wire for fencing, which he long manufactured, and which interests were subsequently merged into the American Steel and Wire Co., in which he was largely interested up to some three years ago.
Mr. Ellwood was a large stock holder in the Chicago & Northwestern, and numerous other great railroads, as well as in banking and other finance and trust companies. He owned several hundred thousand acres of Texas ranch lands. Those who know him best say that his charity was of the kind that is "not puffed up." and that he gave literally and without ostentation, or any kind of show.
Mr. Ellwood became interested in Palatka 30 years ago. In 1884 he built the home now occupied by S. J. Kennerly. This he subsequently offered for sale because of the location of the Florida Southern Railway track on Main street, when Mr. Kennerly became the purchaser. Mr. Ellwood a year or two later purchased the land and erected his present home on Madison street. Here Mr. and Mrs. Ellwood surrounded by members of their family, made their winter headquarters.
He owned two magnificent boats, the launch "Doozie," an elegantly equipped and sumptuously furnished craft, and the smaller launch "Bug." In these Mr. Ellwood made frequent fishing and pleasure excursions to the headwaters of the St. Johns, usually being accompanied by Capt. H. Y. Snow and other friends, or members of his family.
Mr. Ellwood was advanced in years, being from 76 to 78 years old. He had had several mild symptoms of paralysis, the last one troubling him some on the occasion of his last appearance in Palatka, the day of the bridge opening celebration, which he attended and enjoyed. (Palatka News Obituary dtd Friday, 16 Sep 1910.) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Abraham Ellwood (1792 - 1872)
  Sarah DeLong Ellwood (1795 - 1879)
 
 Spouse:
  Harriet Miller Ellwood (____ - 1910)*
 
 Siblings:
  Nancy Ellwood Walrod (1813 - 1842)*
  Malinda Ellwood Sixbury (1815 - 1887)*
  Chauncey Ellwood (1816 - 1897)*
  Eliza Ellwood Barringer (1819 - 1894)*
  Reuben Ellwood (1821 - 1885)*
  Alonzo Ellwood (1823 - 1899)*
  Livingston Ellwood (1825 - 1890)*
  Hiram Ellwood (1828 - 1898)*
  James Edmund Ellwood (1831 - 1907)*
  Isaac Leonard Ellwood (1833 - 1910)
  Alida L. Ellwood (1838 - 1889)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Son of A and S
 
Burial:
Fairview Cemetery
De Kalb
DeKalb County
Illinois, USA
 
Created by: Katie
Record added: May 31, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91057764
Isaac Leonard Ellwood
Added by: Katie
 
Isaac Leonard Ellwood
Added by: Rob Srygler
 
Isaac Leonard Ellwood
Added by: Rob Srygler
 
 
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Rest in peace.
- Karen Kruse
 Added: Oct. 11, 2013

- T. W. Sosebee
 Added: Sep. 11, 2013
3rd great grand uncle
- Donald Torrence
 Added: Jan. 20, 2013
 
 
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