Canisteo Times May 17, 1894
Dr. Melter Daniel Ellison
Monday morning, May 14, at 7:30 o’clock, at his residence on Greenwood
street, the spirit of Dr. Melter D Ellison took its flight to the eternal Beyond.
For about six months the deceased had been a painful sufferer with mitral and
aortic disease of the heart. All was done for him that the most careful nursing
and the best medical assistance and counsel could render, but all to no avail.
Death, however, seemed to come suddenly, as his condition was apparently unchanged
until early Monday morning. An autopsy held Monday evening revealed the immediate
cause of death to have been a clot of blood in the right side of the heart.
Melter D. Ellison was one of a family of two brothers and four sisters, children
of Fred and Rebecca J. Ellison. He was born in Kettle Creek, Potter county, Pa.
May 1 1851, his age at the date of death being forty-three years and thirteen
days. In 1856 the family removed to a farm on Mt Washington near Hammondsport,
Steuben County, where they remained one year and then removed to a farm in the
town of Cameron where the mother still resides, the father having did about ten
years ago. Three sisters survive the doctor.
The deceased was educated at Cameron district school, Haverling Union school,
Bath and Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, N.Y. At seventeen years of age he
taught school for a time at Cameron Mills. His medical education was obtained
in the office of Dr. Samuel Mitchell of Cameron Mills and at the University of
New York from which institution he was graduated in 1873 with high honors and
soon afterwards failing healthy compelled him to cease work, it was the general
conclusion that a public benefactor had been removed from a position of great
usefulness to his race.
Although Dr. Ellison seemed to bend all his energies along the line of his profession,
he was a man of wide and varied information, and endowed with strong social traits
of character which made him desirable company in social gatherings. By his close
acquaintances he was esteemed as a faithful friend, and these deeply feel his
loss. He was an honorary member of Waldo Hose Co. No. 2, a charter member of
the examining physicians of Canisteo Tent, No. 96, K.O.T.M., joining August 2,
1888. He became a member of Mountain Lodge No. 503 I.O.O.F., March 12, 1883.
In degrees in Masonry, he was initiated into the Morning Star Lodge, No. 65,
F. & A. M., December 18, 1888; exalted in Steuben Chapter, No 101 R.A.M.,
Hornellsville, March 6, 1889, and was made a Knight Templar in DeMolay commandery,
No. 22, K. T., Hornellsville , May 2 1889. The estimation in which he was held
by his brothers and companions in these orders was best evidenced by the large
number who laid aside their usual vocations to pay honor and respect to his memory
by attendance at the funeral.
In early life Dr. Ellison received religious instruction but in the rush of his
professional career he neglected the claims of God upon him. But during his illness
God’s call was heeded and he yielded his will, and God, in His great mercy,
accepted him and he became a humble, trusting believer in the Lord Jesus Christ
as his Savior, and for several weeks he gave clear evidence of a change of heart.
The many years prayer of his Christian wife were finally answered. He talked
on the great subject with all his former companions when called upon him, even
inviting several to come for that special purpose, and warned them all not to
neglect salvation as he had but give their hearts to God now. On the afternoon
before his death, at his request he was shelled in his invalid chair to the Presbyterian
church and attended the men’s meeting. The topic was “Will a man
rob God” and the doctor gave a most affecting testimony, confession how
he had willfully robbed God during his life,, and of how graciously God had accepted
him at the last.
The funeral services were held today, Thursday. The remains lay in state from
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., four knights of DeMolay Commandery being the guard of
honor. The casket was surrounded with beautiful floral emblems, tokens of esteem
from the givers.
There was a large pillow of roses from DeMolay Commandery, a handsome arrangement
of roses as a square and compasses, from the Morning Star Lodge; a beautiful
wreath of roses and lilies from Canisteo Tent K.O.T.M.; a boquet of roses from
Waldo Hose Co.; a boquet of roses form the Class of ’94 of Canisteo Academy,
and baskets and other collections of flowers from loving friends.
The business places of the village, also the shoe factory and the Academy, were
closed during the afternoon. An air of solemnity and mourning pervaded the community.
At 2 o’clock prayer was offered at the last residence by the Rev. O. S.
Chamberlayne, and the procession was formed and proceeded to the Presbyterian
church in the following order; 47th Separate Co. Band of Hornellsville, twenty
members, Waldo Hose Co., thirty members; Oasis and Steuben Lodges,I.O.O.F. Hornellsville,
thirty-four members; Moutain Lodge I.O.O.F., thirty-five members; Hornellville
Medical and Surgical Association and visiting physicians, numbering twenty-five;
Morning Star Lodge, F. & A.M.; fifty-two in number; the hearse, followed
by forty-eight Knights of DeMolay Commandery, of Hornellsville, the following
members of which were pall bearers; John W. Tilbury, George Schwingle, L. D.
Whiting, William Westendorfer, Thaddeus Tannery and G.W. Brown; carriages containing
mourners and friends.
The church would contain only about one-half of those who desired admittance.
The services were opened with the singing by the choir, “Jesus, Lover of
My Soul,: Rev E.P. Brigham read the 39th Psalm, and prayer was offered by Re.
L. A. Stevens of Park Church, Hornellsville. Rev. O. S. Chamberlayne preached
the sermon, his text being Luke, 4:18. The theme was, “Christ’s Mission
In The World,: At the close of the sermon DeMolay Commandry read a responsive
The procession again firmed in same order as before, and marched to Hillside
cemetery, the band playing a funeral march. The Knight’s Templars formed
a triangle about the grave and read an impressive service . Rev. O.S. Chamberlayne
pronounced the benediction. DeMolay Commandry escorted the friends back to the
desolated home and stood in salute until all had passed in. Thus ending the largest
most imposing obsequies over observed in Canisteo.