Ellen Sutherland

Eliza Ellen Powell was born April 27, 1860 in Burnsville, Indiana. Robert and Louisa Eliza Powell welcomed their daughter into a family that already included Elizabeth, 3, and Thomas Benton, 1. Two years later, Clinton was born.

Tragedy struck in 1862. Four year old Thomas Benton died in October. Five year old Elizabeth died just before Christmas. Ellen and Clinton grew up as the only children in the Powell family.

Like the Sutherland family, Powells had moved west in the early 1800s. Ellen’s grandfather, John Reeder Powell (1780-1832), moved to Indiana from New Jersey sometime before 1820.

The Powell/Reeder families appear in Quaker records during the 1700s. Other ancestors of Ellen Powell include:

  • William Job Reeder (1735-1833) fought in the Revolutionary War
  • John Reeder (1614-1660) and William Leverich (1603-1677) were members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

On her mother’s side of the family, Ellen’s grandfather, John McCollough (1793-1840), was born in Ireland but came to the United States while a baby. The McColloughs settled in Pennsylvania. Ellen’s maternal grandparents were Pennsylvania Quakers.

Ellen lived in Indiana until her teens when the family relocated to Adel, Iowa. I believe that they moved to Dallas County, Iowa because Ellen’s mother had family living in the area. Robert Powell died in 1878 leaving his wife, Louisa, and two teenage children.

Eliza Ellen Powell and Charles Wesley Sutherland were married January 9, 1880. The newlyweds lived with Margaret Sutherland, Charles’ mother, and Maria Sutherland, Charles’s half sister. Charles’ orphaned nephew, Robert, also lived with the family.

Ellen’s brother, Clinton, moved to Nebraska. He married in 1884. Clinton briefly returned to Adel after Charles Wesley died. His son, Robert Osier, was born in Iowa. After Ellen took the children to Louisiana, Clinton returned to Nebraska. He lived there until his death in 1917.


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