Elvira "Ella" Lucinda Adamson was born to Moses Thompson and Lydia Ann Bullard Adamson on the 21st of December in 1880 in Olney, Richland County, Illinois. She was the ninth child born to her parents.
By the time Ella was born, her parents had lost two sons. So she was born into a family where she had five sisters and one brother. Ella completed seven years of school, probably until she was about age twelve.
When Ella was fifteen years old (1895), there had been four more children born to the family, and six children who had died: her brothers John (age 2) and Homer (age 9) had died and her sisters Maggie (age 18), Lydia (age 2), Mary Ann (age 21) and Bertha (age 14) had all passed away. It is hard to imagine what life must have been like with all those siblings dying in a fifteen year span. So at the age of fifteen, Ella was left with her older sister Lulu, who had married the year before at age 26, Edwin Carl, her brother, who had also married the year before at age 22, and Arthur, my grandfather, who was ten years old. Ella and Arthur remained the only children at home until about 1898 when infant Edna was adopted into the family. By then, Ella was about eighteen years old and was probably quite active in the care of the new baby that had joined their household.
In the 1900 Census for Richland County, Illinois, Ella was listed with her parents, brother Arthur, and Edna. Arthur was listed as a student; no one in the household worked. Ella was listed as age nineteen. In 1902, Arthur left for college, leaving Ella with her parents and Edna.
By 1910, Ella was still living with her parents and Edna, but she was listed as a cashier at a department store. Her parents were then ages 72 and 65. Ella's brother Arthur married in 1910. Her father, Moses Thompson Adamson, died in 1917 at the age of 79. He had never worked a day since returning home from the Civil War and had to be constantly monitored, so I would guess that it may have been of some relief when he passed away. I'm sure that Ella was quite involved in his care. Ella was thirty-six years old when her father died. She remained living with her mother and Edna and was listed with them in the 1920 Census. At that time, Ella was listed as a bookkeeper. Her sister Edna married in 1921 and remained in Olney. Ella's brother, Carl, also remained in Olney, so she had two siblings living nearby. Arthur never returned to living in Olney.
Above is what I think is a beautiful picture of Ella.
In the 1930 Census, Ella was listed living with her mother. She was listed as age thirty-one (an error-she was fifty-one) and her occupation was listed as a "book layer" in a department store. Ella and her mother were the only ones listed in the home. By this time, her mother was eighty-four years old. Ella's mother died in 1935, and from then on Ella lived alone in the home. She was listed as a clerk at a department store in the 1940 Census.
I do remember meeting Aunt Ella once or twice. Below are pictures of her and her brother Arthur in later years.
Aunt Ella remained in the family home until her death in 1962. She and Edna were very close to each other. Ella never married. She was a kind, gentle woman who cared for others throughout her life.