Judge Elisha Ely's Rochester DirectoryJudge Elisha Ely, son of John and Mary (Sexton) Ely, was born  27 April 1781 in West Springfield, Massachusetts and raised in Rochester, New York.[1]  He had authored a volume before he left that place called Directory for the Village of Rochester (1827).[2]   

Judge Ely was Allegan County’s first Register (by gubernatorial appointment) upon it’s chartering in 1835.  In 1836, he was elected to a 4-year term as an associate judge to Epaphroditus Ransom, the first Circuit Court judge for the county, along with fellow associate John Anderson.  He was elected to a one-year term as a State Representative in 1836, and in 1839 accepted appointment, along with George Y Warner and John W Watson, as a Superintendent of the Poor.  He would hold the latter office five times (one year each) up through 1848.[3]

Judge Ely served two separate stints on the bench of the Probate Court.  He was first elected on 4 November 1844 (serving 1845-1849), and again on 2 November 1852, dying in office on 3 November 1854.[4]  Between the two terms, Judge Ely was elected to a 6-year term on the University Board of Regents which began in 1851.  Obviously he did not live to complete the term.[5]


  1. Nathaniel Ely & Amanda Graves Ely Terry, Records of the Descendants of Nathaniel Ely: The Emigrant, who Settled First in Newtown, Now Cambridge, Mass., was One of the First Settlers of Hartford, Also of Norwalk, Conn., and a Resident of Springfield, Mass., from 1659 Until His Death in 1675 (1885), 72.
  2. Full text PDF: http://books.google.com/books?id=hP4BAAAAYAAJ&oe=UTF-8
  3. History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan (Philadelphia: W. D. Ensign & Co, 1880).
  4. s.v. Elisha ElyFindagrave.com.
  5. History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan (Philadelphia: W. D. Ensign & Co, 1880).

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