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Frederick Ellis (1862–1927)

from Brisbane Courier

With the death yesterday of Mr. Frederick Ellis, manager in Brisbane for Messrs. Birt and Co., Ltd., there has passed yet another of a generation which abounded in sturdy pioneering spirits, who pluckily moulded circumstance to their individual needs, and triumphed by sheer energy and perseverance. The late Mr. Ellis was a man who, inheriting rugged pioneering qualities, applied them with marked success to his particular brand of commercial activity. Born at Meadows, South Australia, in 1862, he was a son of the late Mr. George Ellis, who arrived in Australia from the Old Country in 1839, and who brought up in his adopted country a family of six boys and five girls. At the age of 14 years Frederick, the youngest son, went to Port Adelaide, and after a few months with the Electric Telegraph Department there joined the firm of Messrs. W. R. Cave and Co., shipping and Customs agents, and grain merchants, with whom he remained for 22 years, gaining a sound training. At the early age of 17 Mr. Ellis held full power of attorney to transact all Customs business at Port Adelaide for his firm. For the last 10 years' of his association with Messrs. Cave and Co. he was manager at Port Adelaide, and his experience then in the early days of coastal shipping proved invaluable to him in later years. In 1899 Mr. Ellis joined the staff of Messrs. Birt and Co., Ltd., and came to Brisbane. After 18 months he was transferred to the head office in Sydney as shipping manager, a position that he occupied for six years, during which the South African War occurred, providing new experience in the despatch of troops, horses, fodder, and supplies, and necessitating frequent trips to New Zealand. After the war Mr. Ellis visited England on business, and remained there for some time, returning, in 1907, to the appointment of shipping manager in Brisbane, where his experience enabled him to build up a big connection for his firm. In 1914, when Mr. W. H. Hood, who had been manager in Brisbane, became a local director of the firm, Messrs. Ellis and Gordon McAdam were appointed joint acting managers, and later Mr. Ellis was made manager. In 1918 he visited the United States for 12 months in the interests of the business, which he continued to control with conspicuous success until his death. The late Mr. Ellis married, in 1891, Miss Barrett, of Semaphore, South Australia, and there were four children, one son dying in infancy, and two others making the supreme sacrifice in the Great War. He is survived by his widow and one daughter (Mrs. S. J. Manson). The funeral will leave his late residence, Lambert road, Indooroopilly, today, at 3 p.m.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Frederick Ellis

Citation details

'Ellis, Frederick (1862–1927)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


17 January, 1862
Meadows, South Australia, Australia


9 November, 1927 (aged 65)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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