|Professor of Religion|
University of La Verne
La Verne CA 91750
Vernard Eller is solidly of the Church of the Brethren line of Ellers--thus ultimately a descendant of Jacob Eller of Roanoke VA. Vernard's father was the Jay Vernard Eller, subject of a feature in earlier Chronicles; his mother being the Geraldine Crill Eller who wrote that piece about her husband.
Vernard's grandfather (George Riley Eller) His father (Jay), himself, and his son Enten constitute four generations of Brethren preachers. If things go as seems likely with Enten, all four will have pursued "Pauline ministries" (i.e., like the Apostle Paul, making their livings outside the church while offering an unsalaried ministry within it). The church of the Brethren currently lists eleven individuals named Eller among its ministers (three of them women). And there is no telling how many other ministerial Eller relatives do not have "Eller" as a last name. Also, within this branch of Ellerdom, schoolteaching is about as strong a tradition as preaching is.
Vernard, then (along with his brother Eldon and sister Elfreda) was raised in Wenatchee WA--where his dad was a teacher/preacher. Come time for college (Fall 145), Vernard as much as automatically went to the west coast Brethren school, La Verne, in southern California, thirty miles east of L.A.
"Eller," of course, comes from the German for the tree we know as alder. "La Verne," apparently, comes from the French for that very same tree.. So it seems right that this alder should be planted in that alder grove.]
Given that Vernard's whole family consisted of omnivorous readers (with his mother specializing in the written, as his father the spoken word) it is no wonder that Vernard found himself impelled toward the literary arts--English, journalism, and theater. He didn't know it; but he was on the way to becoming a writer.
Shortly following graduation from La Verne, Vernard was called by his church to become editor of youth publications at the denominational headquarters in Elgin IL. He held the position for six years--which had him doing a great deal of writing (Sunday school lessons, editorials for the youth paper, and what all) while gaining invaluable editorial experience at the same time.
During this period he also pursued graduate training--earning an M.A. in English literature at Northwestern University and an M.Div. at the Church of the Brethren seminary in Chicago. With these degrees under his belt, he undertook the long and intensive course of study of being husband to Phyllis Kulp (making an Eller of her and eventually bringing three Eller kids into the world--Sander, Enten, and Rosanna).
Having in his pocket the president's invitation to return to his alma mater as a faculty member, in 1956 Vernard resigned at Elgin to enter his doctoral program at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley CA. Following two years of residence there, he began teaching religion at La Verne in the Fall of "58 (finishing up his doctorate when and how he could).
For some years already, he had been landing occasional articles in different religious magazines and journals. But, in 1968, the prestigious Princeton University Press published Vernard's 1964 doctoral dissertation as his first book. That heaviest and most expensive tome, KIERKEGAARD AND RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP (1,500 copies) was shortly followed by his lightest and best-selling, THE MAD MORALITY: The Ten Commandments Seen Through the Eyes of MAD magazine (more than 300,000 copies). Vernard was off and running--averaging a book a year for the twenty years since. [All any interested party needs to do is ask, and Vernard will be happy to send a listing of all his books that are still available-and those at discount prices.]
With thirty years of teaching at La Verne behind him, Vernard now teaches at the University, both teaches and preaches in churches of the area, appears as a guest lecturer at colleges and conferences, and writes books.
He is happy, also, to be part of the Eller Family Association In that regard, he has agreed to provide the editors with a continuing supply of what, in the trade, are called "fillers" In this case, these would be short items of wit, wisdom, anecdotes or stories--anything growing out of or being related to "the Eller experience" (whatever that is). However, he can't just make these up out of his own head. So please be quick to send him whatever you think his head might be able to put to good use.
Elise P. Kidd, 4800 Red River, Austin, Texas 78751
Children of Henry Eller, Davidson Co., NC:
Sources: "Heritage of Davidson County, N.C.", 1810 N.C. Federal Census, I.G.I. Mormon Church, Register of Deeds Rowan Co., NC.
JOHN HAINES, b. 18 May 1796, Rowan Co., NC; d. 22 Jul. 1881; bur. Midway Methodist Ch. Cem., Davidson Co., NC, son of Christian Heinrich Hohns, b. PA and Anna Marie Frey; m. 24 Jul. 1820, SARAH "SALLIE" ELLER, Rowan (Davidson) Co., NC, b. 21 Mar. 1805, Rowan Co., NC; d. I Jun. 1973, Davidson Co., NC; bur. Midway Methodist Ch. Cem., Davidson Co.,NC.
Sources: 1907 ltr. E.D. Nichols to C.E. Warbington; 1830, 1840, 1850, 1880 U.S. Federal Census of N.C.; Holcomb, MARRIAGES OF ROWAN CO., NC; Reeves and Koch, CEMETARY INSCRIPTIONS DAVIDSON (ROWAN) CO., NC; I.G.I. Mormon Church Records; McCubbin's Collection, Rowan County Public Library and Office of Register of Deeds, Salisbury, Rowan Co., NC.
"Colonel" CHRISTIAN HENRY HAINES, b. 2 Mar. 1927, Davidson Co., NC; d. 23 Mar. 1901, Hainesville, Wood Co.,TX; m. 2 Aug. 1854, ELIZABETH EVELYN "BETTY- VARNER, Quitman, Wood Co., TX, b. 30 Apr. 1840, Ft. Lyday, Lamar Co., TX; d. 22 Jul. 1926, Hainesville, Wood Co., TX; bur. Concord Cem., dau. of Martin Varner and Elizabeth "Betsy" English.
Sources: Concord Cem., Wood Co., TX; "Year Book For Texas, 1901" by C.W. Rains--Chris Haines descended from German Ancestors who first settled in PA; Cemetaries of Wood Co., by Turner & Vickery, Texas State Library. (Note: Honorary title of "Colonel" bestowed on him by Texas Gov. Jim Hogg.)
JAMES MARION PUCKETT, M.D., "JIM", b. 14 Jun. 1863, Wayside, Wood Co., TX; d. 2 Mar. 1931, Mineola, Wood Co., TX; bur. Concord Cem., son of James Puckett and Thursa Oliver Crowe; m. 3 Dec., 1893, MARTHA ELIZABETH "MATTIE" HAINES, Wood Co., TX, b. 12 Oct. 1867, Varner Crossing, Wood Co., TX; d. 4 Jan. 1951, Hainesville, Wood Co., TX; bur. Concord Cem.; dau. of Christian Henry Haines and Elizabeth Evelyn "Betty" Verner; m.(I) E. Warbington; m.(2) J..M. Puckett.
C.H. Haines, whose death occurred at his home at Hainesville, Wood County, Texas Saturday night, March 23, 1901, was for fifty years a respected citizen of that county, long known to and valued as a friend by the writer. Colonel Haines was born in Davidson County, North Carolina and descended from German ancestors who first settled in Pennsylvania and later moved and established themselves in North Carolina in the latter part of the seventeenth century. When twenty-three years of age he went from North Carolina to Shreveport, Louisiana, where he spent a year and then moved in December, 1851m to Wood Co., Texas where he thereafter continuously resided. After working at the Carpenter's trade for a while, and later clerking, he engaged in the mercantile business in Quitman with his brother, George Haines, who had accompanied him to Texas. August 2, 1854, he married Miss Elizabeth Varner, daughter of Martin Varner who came to Texas first in 1816 and later was one of Austin's colonist In 1621, participated in the battle of San Jacinto, and was one of the first settlers in the territory now comprised in Wood county. Colonel Haines' wife and two children (Mrs. J.M. Puckett and Frank Haines) survive him.
He was elected justice of the peace in 1858, and county treasurer in 1860, filled both offices with credit, and later served as a member of the county commissioners court several terms. In 1862 he settled the place, eight miles east of Mineola, where In 1894 he founded the village of Hainesville. There he established a large store and fine trade (assisted by his son) and spent the remaining years of his life. He was a member of the M.E. Church, South and Masonic fraternity....... from YEAR BOOK FOR TEXAS, 1901 by C. W. Raines, Austin, Texas, 1902, pp.168-169.
[Eds. Mrs. Kidd is seeking further information about Henry Eller of Davidson/Rowan Counties]
QUERY: GORDON M. ELLER, 2203 Greenridge Drive, Marietta, GA 30060- Seeks Into. on Ben Franklin Eller, Wilkes Co. NC; m. Annie Stout, moved to Avery Co., NC where he d. t934 - 1935. Who were his parents, brothers, sisters ? Did his father fight in Civil War? Gordon wishes to correspond with anyone with information on this family.
By A. William Eller, 370 Upham St., Lakewood, CO 80226
ROBERT TRACY ELLER /6/, (William/5/, Simeon/4/, John/3/, Peter/2/, George Michael Eller/I/), b. 28 Sep. 1867, Wapello Co., IA; d. 16 Sep. 1950, San Ferando, CA; m.(I) 25 Dec. 1889, FANNIE C. PALMER, Trumbell, Clay Co., NE; b. 8 May 1873, Monmoutha, IL; d. 28 Apr. 1936, bur. Fairfield, NE; m.(2) 23 Aug. 1936, Myrtle (Lorenz) Mills, Hastings, NE; b. 16 Aug. 1876, Marysville, KS; d. 4 Aug. 1950.
Children of Robert T. and Fannie C. Eller:
The following DEDICATION written by Mr. Eller explains the purpose of the booklet:
"This Booklet was prepared for the Eller Family Reunion held in Estes Park, CO.. in Aug. 1980. It is dedicated to all the participating families ELLER, CREWDSON, MOUER, DE SELLHORST who are descended from Grandfather Eller, ROBERT TRACY ELLER and in particular to JULIA MAUDE BUSHEE ELLER FRAZIER PALMER who is the sole remaining elder grandparent, wife of Harold William Eller who was a son of Robert Tracy Eller. As of this writing, she is 84 years young, living in Hastings, Nebraska, with her third husband Bryce Palmer who is a brother-in-law to Robert Tracy Eller."
[Eds. The above is taken from a booklet published in 1980 by A. W. Eller entitled ELLERS IN AMERICA BY JAMES W. HOOK and subtitled THE DESCENDANTS OF GEORGE MICHAEL ELLER, THE IMMIGRANT, FOLLOWING ONLY THE LINEAGE OF ROBERT TRACY ELLER The booklet is so titled because the bulk of it is reprinted from J.W. Hook: GEORGE MICHAEL ELLER AND DESCENDANTS OF HIS IN AMERICA, New Haven, 1957. New information in the booklet deals with the descendants of Robert Tracy Eller. We thank Mr. Eller for sharing the above information which extends our knowledge of the William Eller Family of Wilkes Co., NC and Harvard, Clay Co., NE as found in J.W. Hook, GEORGE MICHAEL ELLER AND DESCENDANTS OF "IS IN AMERICA, New Haven, Conn., 1957, pp. 184-185. Mr. Eller corrects Hook's entry for the seventh son of William Eller- 'Robert M.' should be 'Robert T."]
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