John M. Ellis

John M. Ellis, a Professor at Oberlin College, became an active member in Oberlin College and the city. In 1860, Ellisalong with four others, was elected to the council under mayor Samuel Hendry. As Mayor in 1862, Ellis led a meeting asking for Lincoln to pass immediate emacipation. Like much of the town of Oberlin, Ellis concerned himself with the abolition of slavery at a much faster pace than President Lincoln himself was willing to take. Ellis continued with another term as mayor in 1863. Ellis continued with his involvement in politics, acting as a delegate to the Republican state nominating convention in 1865. Like a number of his peers, Ellis involved himself in an effort to construct a railroad from Lorain to the Perry County coal fields, hoping to ease the problems of transportation for Oberlin citizens. He continued his roles in public service as chief of the fire department and a member of the board of sewer commissioners. In March 1894, Professor Ellis died in Chicago on his way back to Oberlin.


Source: Wilbur H. Phillips, Oberlin Colony: The Story of a Century (Oberlin, 1933).

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