Zellie Ellis


ZELLIE ELLIS was the son of Samuel and Rachel Ellis, who had immigrated from the Vilna guberniya (province) of Russia to the United States in the mid-1890s with their daughter Sadie. This province was roughly the area of northwestern Belarus and Lithuania, with Vilnius (Vilna in Yiddish) as its capital.

The Ellis family originally settled in New York, where son Alexander was born. Samuel and Rachel Ellis had come to Camden by the summer of 1900, living at 430 South 5th Street in the old Fourth Ward. Samuel Ellis worked as a shoemaker, he soon would open his own shop, selling shoes. Zellie Ellis was born in Camden on December 10, 1901. Another brother, Theodore, was born around 1911. 

By 1910 the Ellis family owned a home at 502 Berkley Street, where they lived into the 1920s. Around 1918 Sadie Ellis married Bernard "Ben" Lubar, they made their home in Collingswood at 104 Haddon Avenue. Ben died December 19, 1952, and Sadie survived until Nov. 5, 1973.

When the census was taken in April of 1930 Samuel and Rachel Ellis owned a building at 513 Broadway, where they operated a shoe store. The family lived above the store. Son Alexander Ellis had become a doctor and was still living at home. Zellie Ellis worked as a salesman in the shoe store while a younger brother, Theodore, 19, was also at home. The family's next door neighbor was Walter T. Gross, then sheriff of Camden County.

In the late  1930s Zellie Ellis became involved in real estate. He appears to have been renting out many properties in Camden. The journals of the the Ross Plumbing and Heating Company list many properties that he was involved with.

Zellie Ellis married Dorotthy Vernekoff on May 1, 1932, and their daughter Janet was born in 1937. The family was then living at 1434 Ormond Avenue in Parkside. Sadly, Dorothy died died a few months later on February 14, 1938. Janet was raised by her grandmother Rachel Ellis until she passed in 1944, then Sadie Ellis stepped in. Janet went to Camden High and then Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia.

Zellie Ellis married again in 1947, this time to Marion Aronow. They spent winters in Hollywood, Florida, but continued to live in Pennsauken until their deaths. Zellie in Hollywood, Florida December 31, 1980 and Marion in New Jersey on June 11, 1993. 

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Zellie Ellis living with his brother Dr Alexander Ellis at 519 Broadway, where Alexander had his medical practice. Zellie Ellis was partners with Frank Selmen in a real estate business at 527 Broadway. Younger brother Theodore Ellis had opened up drugstore, Ellis' Drugstore at 617 Broadway, the corner of Broadway and Line Street. This pharmacy is still in operation the the summer of 2005, although the Ellis family had sold the business long ago. Dr Alexander Ellis died June 30, 1958. Theodore Ellis passed in 1962, his sons Bert and Howard then taking over the family business.

The 1977 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory shows Zellie Ellis living at 5003 Springfield Avenue in Pennsauken NJ. They spent their winters in Hollywood, Florida. Zellie Ellis died in Hollywood on December 31, 1980. He was joined by his wife Marion in January of 1993. 


Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon for Mrs. Dorothy Ellis, 28, of 1434 Ormond avenue, who died Sunday at the home of her mother at 6144 Walton avenue, Philadelphia. Burial was in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Philadelphia. Mrs. Ellis, who had been ill four months, also is survived by her husband, Zellie, Broadway shoe merchant, and an infant daughter.

ELLIS—On February 13, 1938, Dorothy, beloved wife of Zellie Ellis (nee Vernikoff) age 28 years.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services on Monday, Feb. 14 at 2.30 p. m. at Molnick Funeral Parlor, 1329 Broad St., Phila. Interment at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Pa.

Camden Courier-Post
February 15, 1938 

Camden Properties in which Zellie Ellis had an interest in
From the Ross Plumbing & Heating Company Journals,
June 1939 - March 1945
courtesy of Steve Ross

House # Street

Earliest Date

Latest Date
1107 BARING STREET 02/22/44
1015 CARPENTER STREET 04/19/44
217 CHESTNUT STREET 02/24/45
523 EDMUNDS STREET 01/06/44
110 ENGLAND PLACE 05/16/44 06/10/44
714 FERRY AVENUE 08/07/44
1036 FERRY AVENUE 01/05/44
1046 FERRY AVENUE 02/08/44
451 HENRY STREET 02/19/44
334 JOINT ALLEY 03/02/44 05/12/44
915 LAWRENCE STREET 02/22/44
917 LAWRENCE STREET 02/02/44 02/22/45
623 LIBERTY STREET 02/22/45
852 LOCUST STREET 03/15/44 05/09/44
1139 LOCUST STREET 02/22/44
322 MARKET STREET 08/01/44
324 MARKET STREET 03/23/44 04/19/44
561 MICKLE STREET 05/13/44
743 MICKLE STREET 04/17/44 7/27/1944
2808 MITCHELL STREET 01/05/44 02/16/44
2833 MITCHELL STREET 04/12/44
120 NORTH 4TH STREET 04/22/44
507 NORTH 8TH STREET 02/22/45
123 NORTH 22ND STREET 07/08/44
721 NORTH 27TH STREET 02/05/45
715 NORTH 28TH STREET 01/05/44
45 NORTH STREET 03/06/44
219 PENN STREET 01/05/44 06/03/44
725 PENN STREET 03/12/44 07/06/44
1034 PENN STREET 01/05/44
814 PINE STREET 01/06/44
411 SOUTH 6TH STREET 07/08/44 03/08/45
2253 SOUTH 7TH STREET 03/08/45
911 SOUTH 8TH STREET 03/18/44
140 WALNUT STREET 04/18/44
615 WALNUT STREET 02/22/44
302 WARREN STREET 01/22/44
307 WARREN STREET 01/05/44