The parents of Daniel W. Elledge were "Hardshell Baptists" that hoped their son would grow up to be a Baptist preacher. He was educated in the ordinary schools of Edgar County, Illinois. A college education was not an option.
Developing Daniel did not totally disappoint his parents. He grew up to be a preacher, but had learned of the New Testament church in his growing up years and accepted what he found there. He began preaching soon after he was converted.
Nathaniel Haynes says in his history:
The earlier years of his ministry were confined mainly to Edgar, Clark and Coles Counties, where he preached in log cabins of the people, in schoolhouses and in groves. He was a logical reasoner and an earnest exhorter. Many were turned to the Lord by his preaching. About the year 1833 he moved to Clark County, and settled on a new tract of land some three miles east of Dalson Prairie. While he improved his farm and from it supported his family, his preaching was steadfastly continued.
In 1836 he and Cynthia established the Blue Grass Christian Church about six miles from their farm. One of Daniel Elledge's working partners in preaching large meetings was Thomas Goodman, who conducted the funeral for Thomas Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father.
Mr. Elledge married Cynthia Hicklin who was two years his junior in 1831 according to Illinois State marriage documents.
In 1842 he sold his farm in Illinois and moved to Louisa County, Iowa, remaining there a short time, then back to Illinois for nine years. In 1853 they moved to Scotland County, in northern Missouri. Ater a stay of two years, he moved to Putnam County, Missouri to establish a church. Cynthia died about this time. In 1858 he was married to Catherine "Katy" Goodman, sister of Thomas Goodman.
Some idea of the extent of Elledge's work can be found in a report to the Millennial Harbinger of 1858. The reporter, John Udell, consistently spells Elledge as Ellige.
Elm Point congregation, Putnam co., (of which I am a member) was organized June 1st, 1857, with 26 members; 21 have since been added, under the labors of Bro. Daniel W. Ellige, a very efficient Evangelist.
It is quite an intelligent congregation, great harmony prevails, and the brethren are progressing in the work of the Lord. Our Elders are John Hickland and Welch. Somerset congregation, 12 miles N. West from us, numbering about the same, was also organized under the labors of Bro. Ellige, and are prospering in the obedience of the Truth. Elders, David Green and B. F. Syler.
Locust congregation, 12 miles Northeast from us, 40 members, organized under the labors of Bro. John Humphreys and Bro. Ellige is also prospering. Elders, Alfred Cook and John Wells.
Medicineville congregation, probably 40 or 50 members, also organized under the labors of Bro. Ellige, is in a flourishing and healthy condition, based upon a firm reliance on the Word of God. . . .
Millennial Harbinger, 1858, page 175.
By 1864 the big decision had been made and that spring the Elledges were on their way to the Eden of the west. They came by oxcart via Boise City. After arriving in Oregon in the fall of 1864, they first settled at Mill Creek, near Turner, Oregon. When Daniel began preaching, flagging attendance at Mill Creek jumped immediately. When the Elledges asked to be received as members of the congregation, they were not accepted by some because of their rumored sympathies with the South in the Civil War - which was still underway.
The controversy nearly destroyed the Mill Creek Church. It raged for more than a year. Soon the Elledges located a few miles away at the Scio church in Linn County where we found their names listed among the pioneer preachers.
After about four years, the Elledges moved to Walla Walla, Washington and worked at starting a church after the New Testament order there. They had appealed through the widely-read Christian Record, published in Indianapolis, Indiana for help with a new group in "Walla Walla City." The appeal may have had some results because the group reported a membership of 60 in an 1871 report messengers made in Oregon. While their labors did not result in a permanent congregation at that time, yet one soon grew up and remains to this day.
Curiously, a J. B. Goodman reports from that congregation in 1874. Was he related to Katy Goodman?
Historian Orval Peterson lists Daniel Elledge as preaching one or more times at Dayton, Washington. This is in riding distance of Walla Walla.
In Mac Waller's Reminiscences, he gives the details about a struggle between Daniel Elledge and another preacher named M. Boli. This took place at Waitsburg, WA. "M. Boli" is a former United Baptist preacher from Jefferson City, MO that was moving into the view of salvation held by the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches. He is known in eastern Oregon as Michael Boly. His widow Jemima was a charter member of the Elgin, Oregon Christian Church.
The 1870 census shows son Thomas Elledge and his family living in Waitsburg as well as 21-year-old Daniel W. Jr. Young Daniel married two years later.
We find Daniel and Katy next at Summerville in Union County, Oregon. The congregation there showed growth while the Elledges were there, reaching 75 members the first year. But sadly, Katy died there of heart trouble in 1875, leaving Daniel a widower a second time. Her funeral was conducted in March by Levi Lindsay Rowland. She is buried in the Summerville-Imbler Cemetery, Block 1, Lot 33.
There is a separate profile of L. L. Rowland.
Our information source about Katy Elledge is the aged keeper of the cemetery, Emery Oliver. Mr. Oliver is a distant relation of the Elledge family.
Following Katy's death, Mr. Elledge moved to Salem, Oregon and lived with his nephew, Dr. Daniel Payton until his marriage to Nancy Stevenson in September of 1875.
One writer says that he crossed the Blue Mountains 28 times in all seasons of the year, navigated the Columbia nine round trips and was once thrown from a stagecoach.
In the 1880 census, Mr. Elledge was living on Howell Prairie near Salem, Oregon. While there, he wrote to T. F. Campbell at Monmouth:
I have continual sorrow, confined as in a prison, and deprived of nearly all Christian privileges. I am a true believer in the blessed Bible. After forty years hard labor in the cause which I love above all other causes, I feel like I am almost forgotten by the good brethren for who I have labored and prayed so many long years. . . .
If you have time, please write a word of encouragement, and give an old pilgrim a little advice before crossing the cold stream. . . .
My wife joins me in kindest regards for Sister Campbell and yourself.
Your old brother and friend.
D. W. Elledge.
Nancy died shortly following this letter and he married Deliah Johnson in Scott's Valley, Douglas County, in 1881.
In his declining years, Daniel Elledge moved to Yoncalla, Oregon where he lived with William and Hannah Wilson, themselves pioneers of 1843. According to Yoncalla Cemetery records, he died in 1894 and is buried in plot #214, an unmarked grave. The Yoncalla Cemetery has also been known as the Pioneer Cemetery and the Applegate Cemetery. Shannon Applegate wrote Living Among Headstones, the story of this cemetery.
(Our thanks to Shannon's husband, Daniel Robertson, for determining that Daniel Elledge was buried there and that his grave was unmarked.)
The 1900 census shows Daniel W. Elledge, Jr. as a farmer living in Alicel, Union County, Oregon. He and his wife, Lucy McClure Robb, had seven children living at home at the time.
Charles Dailey 1999
Northwest College of the Bible
James Elledge & Elizabeth Wamsley
| Daniel William Elledge* (1813-1894) & Cynthia Hicklin (-1858)
| | Eliza Elledge (1835-)
| | Gilbert Elledge (1838-)
| | Thomas Elledge (1840-) & Eliza
| | | Laura Elledge (1861-)
| | | Ezra Elledge (1866-)
| | | Ida Elledge (1868-)
| | James Elledge (1843-)
| | Isaac Elledge (1845-)
| | Daniel W. Elledge Jr. (1849-) & Lucy McClure Robb (1856-1910)
| | | Charles Clyde Elledge
| | | | Daniel W. Elledge
| Daniel William Elledge* (1813-1894) & Catherine (Katy) Goodman
| Daniel William Elledge* (1813-1894) & Nancy W. Stevenson
| Daniel William Elledge* (1813-1894) & Deliah Johnson (1819-)
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