Bio: Chellis, William R. (1869 – 19??)
Surnames: Chellis, Sampson
---Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.
Chellis, William R. (18 August 1869 – 19??)
WILLIAM R. CHELLIS, a representative business man of Wausau, Wis., who conducts a real estate business, including loans and investments, with office at No. 310 Scott Street, is a prominent citizen of Marathon County who has served with efficiency in public office and is a recognized factor in Republican politics. Of New England ancestry, he was born in Grafton County, N. H., August 18, 1869, a son of Sumner and Emma Chellis, having only one brother, Herbert, a twin sister having been scalded to death at the age of six months, his parents being also of New England birth and rearing. When the Civil War broke out; Sumner Chellis, at the age of fifteen years, enlisted for service in one of the early New Hampshire regiments. In 1873 he came with his family to Green County, Wis., and in 1881 to Wausau, where he died at the early age of thirty-seven years.
William R. Chellis was eleven years old when his parents came to Wausau and was not much older when he lost his father. He went to school until he was old enough to be useful on a farm and from school went to the lumber regions where he took part in the rough work of saw milling and logging, promoting his health and gaining muscle and taking pleasure also in the rough life, hard as it was. It was while working in the saw mills at Wausau, where he had learned the saw-filing trade, that, in August, 1893, a serious strike was called under his leadership on account of existing conditions that involved all the lumber and factory workers, the contention being on account of the long period of working time required by the employers. The strike was soon settled, and Mr. Chellis has the satisfaction of knowing that through his efforts and diplomacy, the working hours of the day since then have been ten instead of eleven hours, which proved beneficial to all concerned.
Mr. Chellis represented the ward in which he lived as alderman for two terms, resigning to accept a position on the police force, where he sensed for six months as a patrolman and when the office of captain was created he received the appointment and served as such for a year and a half, subsequently being appointed under-sheriff. After serving two years in the latter capacity he was elected sheriff of Marathon County and held the office for two years, administering it to the satisfaction of all except law breakers. Then for six years he served as register of deeds for Marathon County. In 1910 he embarked in his present business.
Mr. Chellis married Miss Ethel Sampson, a daughter of Frank and Rowena Sampson, of Wausau, and they have one child, a daughter, Edna. Mr. Chellis belonged to the Wisconsin National Guards for four years, serving as corporal. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, Eagles, and Equitable Fraternal Union, orders of which he is very proud. He is a member of the Marathon County Building Loan and Investment Association and is on its board of trustees, and is on the appraisal board. He is also one of the trustees of the Marathon County Agriculture Society.
Mr. Chellis is one of the men that believe in giving a hearty welcome to all and a good word of praise for his friends, which is enjoyed by all who know him. The rich and poor are one to him. His watch word is forward and upward.
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