Biography of Nathaniel Ellery of Sacramento

Nathaniel Ellery, who is filling the position of state highway commissioner of California, although one of the younger men active in political circles, has already attained an influence of considerable strength, and back of this is a progressive and patriotic citizenship that well fits him for positions of public trust and leadership.

He is a native son of California, his birth having occurred in Eureka on the 18th of July 1872. He is a son of Franklin and Elizabeth (Bulkley) Ellery, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Pennsylvania. Both were descendants of old Puritan families of New England, and in each line we find representatives who served the country in the Revolutionary war, seeking the independence of the nation. In the summer of 1849, the father left Boston upon a sailing vessel which rounded Cape Horn, and in the spring of 1850 arrived in San Francisco. The discovery of gold had attracted him to the far west and for eight years he followed mining with varying success. However, his labors in that direction met with a fair financial return, and he afterward went to Eureka, Humboldt County, where he engaged in merchandising for many years, or up to the time of his retirement from active business life in 1889. He is now living in Eureka, California, at the age of seventy-two years in the enjoyment of a well-earned rest. He has been actively identified with the business development of the west, and his enterprise and strong determination have been the foundation of his successful career. His family numbered four daughters and three sons.

Nathaniel Ellery, whose name introduces this record, pursued his education in the public schools of his native city and in Stanford University, in which he matriculated in 1891. He there pursued a four years’ course and was graduated in 1895, at which time the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Civil Engineer were conferred upon him. In 1899 he was elected surveyor of Humboldt County, California, and after serving for two years resigned to accept the appointment of state highway commissioner, which position he has filled to the present writing in 1904. the duties of the office he has discharged with capability and fidelity, and his efforts have been effective in the establishment of an excellent system of public roads through the state. His practical knowledge of civil engineering enables him to do this work in a most able manner, and his public service has been acceptable alike to the people of his party and to the population of California.

In December 1899, Mr. Ellery was united in marriage to Miss Lulu I. Fraser, of Oakland, California, a daughter of Samuel W. Fraser, of that city. They now have a pleasant home in Sacramento celebrated for its generous and gracious hospitality, and the circle of their friends is very extensive. Mr. Ellery belongs to Humboldt Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West and is also identified with the Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His political support is given to the Republican party, and he is well known in fraternal and political circles, where his genial manner and genuine worth have gained for him high regard and warm friendship.

Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.

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