Ella Clark's Family
Ella Clark was our great grandmother; our father’s grandmother. She was married to Clinton D. Wheeler and was Ralph Wheeler’s mother.
Ella was born in 1866 to Philetus Clark and Susan Ferris, probably in the town of Stanford, Dutchess county, New York. She was one of 5 children. Her 3 brothers were George, born 1862, Charles, born 1867, Albert, born 1869. Her sister Elizabeth was born 1864 or 1865.
Her father was a carpenter and contractor. He was born in Stanford, Dutchess County, New York about 1841. Her mother was born about 1844. Susan Ferris' birth place isn't clear. The Barbour records state her birth in Washington, New York; the 1870 Federal census shows New York, but the 1880 Federal census shows Connecticut. Susan and Philetus were married in Connecticut on April 22, 1861. The Barbour records of marriage for Connecticut list Philetus and Sarah Ferris married in Sharon, Connecticut, April 22 1861. The New Haven Columbian newspaper register shows the marriage taking place in Ellsworth, Connecticut and the bride’s name as Susan Ferris. Susan’s obituary in the Binghamton newspaper for 1915 list a surviving brother as Dennis Ferris and a sister Henrietta.
According to the 1860 census, Philetus was a laborer on his grandfather James’ farm in Stanford. The 1865 New York State Census lists Philetus and Susan Clark living with Philetus’ grandmother Elizabeth Clark in Stanford, Dutchess County. He is listed as a farmer. Ella is not listed, although the census shows her brother George and sister Elizabeth and also shows that Susan Clark is the mother of 3 children.
By 1870 the family has moved to Binghamton where Philetus is working as a carpenter. Ella is 5 years old, Philetus’ aunt Julia is living with them and teaching school.
Ella Clark married Clinton Wheeler probably in 1885 in Binghamton, New York. The 1886 Binghamton City Directory lists Clinton Wheeler as a carpenter, living at 232 Oak Street. The same directory lists Philetus R. Clark, in partnership with Worden, living at 18 Dickinson Street. Clark and Worden are listed in the business section of the Directory as carpenters and builders at 36 Wall Street.
Could Clinton have worked with, or for, Philetus as a carpenter? Is this how Ella met Clinton? Their homes were less than ½ mile apart, about a 10 minute walk.
About 1901 Ella began working at the Endicott Johnson shoe factories in Johnson City, New York. She would have been about 35 years old and was the mother of five children. Ella continued to work in the shoe factory for at least 17 years. A March 9, 1918 article in the Johnson City newspaper, The Record, features Ella as one of several women working in the Endicott Johnson shoe factories.
“Mrs. Ella Wheeler of the edge stitching line has been in the shoe business 17 years. ‘The longer you stay, the better you like it.’ she said this week. ‘I wouldn’t quit now for anything in the world.’ Mrs. Wheeler is the sample operator and one of the most careful workers in the plant.”
Ella died in Johnson City on April 20,1922 at age 56. She is buried in Floral Park Cemetery, Johnson City.
Ella Clark: born abt. 1866, d. 20 April, 1922
Married: Clinton D. Wheeler m. abt. 1885
Children: 1. Maybell Wheeler b. 1886
2. Harry Wheeler b. 1888
3. Ralph Earl Wheeler, b 7 December, 1889; m. Ruth Caywood
4. Susie Wheeler b. 1892
5. Clinton D. Wheeler, Jr. b. 1894
1880 Federal Census, Broome County, NY
1893 Binghamton City Directory: 9 Elm Street
1900 Binghamton City Directory: 7 Miles Street
1910 Federal Census: Binghamton, Ward 4, Broome, N.Y., 291 Main Street.
1920 Federal Census: Johnson City, Broome Co., 16 Isabelle Place.