Frank Eaton Ellis family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Frank Eaton Ellis family fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • 1886, 1910-1977, 2014, nd. (Creation)
    Ellis, Frank E.

Physical description area

Physical description

7 cm of textual records including photographs and albums
2 oversized bound financial ledgers
1 large family bible

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Name of creator

(1889 - 1976)

Biographical history

Frank Eaton Ellis was born on August 22nd, 1889 in Truro, Nova Scotia, where the Ellis family homestead had been in operation since the British takeover from the Acadians. He first attended the public school at Truro, and later the Truro Academy. After, he attended the Nova Scotia Agricultural College for two years before working on the farm belonging to Mr. and Mrs. George Bishop in South Oxford. Six months later, Ellis entered his third year at the Ontario Agricultural College, where he studied the fields of farming and journalism. He was also active in sports at the College and was centre of the basketball team and a scrimmage on the second rugby line.

Following graduation he married Mary Myrtle Morse on September 11th, 1912 and would eventually have two children: Orminston and Marion. He worked for twelve years as an editor of a farm magazine known as the “Farm and Dairy” in Peterborough until 1922, when Ellis set up farming operations outside of the City of Woodstock in North Oxford Township. Known as Dunburn Farm, the business originally produced both cattle and poultry, though by 1924, Ellis switched to primarily poultry operations. Over the years, he pioneered Canada’s poultry industry and was affectionately noted as “The Dean of Oxford County’s commercial poultrymen” in the centennial book published by the Oxford Count Federation of Agriculture. At the age of 80 he was awarded a plaque by Prof. J. Ross Cavers at the 16th Annual Banquet of the Ontario Hatcheries Association in 1969, as one of Canada’s best authorities on poultry. In 1974 he received the OAC Centennial medal for outstanding service to the college and to agriculture.

Over the years he contributed to the realm of farm journalism as an associate editor of the Family Herald and through articles to the Canadian Poultry Review and the Farmers Advocate. He also served as president of the Oxford Federation of Agriculture from 1951-1953 and was a founding President of the Ontario Hatcheries Association through which he was a pioneer proponent of the Hatchery Approval Policy.

Actively involved in the church, Frank Ellis served many years as the Sunday School Superintendent of Knox Presbyterian Church in Woodstock and was an active layman in the congregation. He was also a member of the Gideons and the Victoria Club. Frank E. Ellis passed away on August 11th, 1976 and was interned at St. George’s Anglican Church in Loweville.

Custodial history

The collection was in the custody of Marion M. Smith, Frank Ellis’ daughter, until Spring 2013 when it was transferred to the Woodstock Museum. In turn, the Woodstock Museum transferred the collection to the County of Oxford Archives where they felt the archival materials were better suited.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of materials related to the life Frank Eaton Ellis including newspaper articles, transcription of radio addresses, family and farm photographs, and farming financial ledgers. Several materials relate to his time at the Ontario Agricultural College as well as his time as the President of the Oxford County Federation of Agriculture, President of the Ontario Hatcheries Association, as well as editor of the Family Herald.

Notes area

Physical condition

The materials in this collection are in good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

The County of Oxford Archives acquired the fonds from the Woodstock Museum in June 2013.


Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

The fonds is open to public research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.

Finding aids

A detailed finding aid is available. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

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No further accruals are expected.

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