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Ellis (Erl H.) Papers
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The Erl H. Ellis papers represent his work with the Westerners International from the late 1950s through the early 1980s.
Erl H. Ellis was born on 1888 April 10 in Garden City, Kansas. His family moved to Denver soon after his birth, where his father, Daniel B. Ellis, went into law practice. Erl Ellis' grandfather, Lyman A. Ellis, was also a lawyer. Erl Ellis attended Denver public schools as a young child and adolescent. He received a B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1910 and a law degree in 1912. He practiced law in Denver until his retirement, except for a brief period when he was a naval aviator in World War I. He and his wife Scotty had one son, Robert, who also earned a law degree. He became a banker in Pueblo, Colorado. Erl Ellis was active in the Westerners and Westerners International from the early 1950's through the early 1980's. He was an early and active member of the Denver Posse. In 1952, he became a corresponding member of the group. In 1953, he was elected as a member. From 1954 through 1962, he served various posts in the Posse including editor of the monthly Roundup magazine (1954), editor of the 1954 Brand Book, secretary (1956), secretary-treasurer (1957-1961) and finally sheriff (1962). By 1974, he was a reserve member of the Denver Posse. He was president of Westerners International from mid-1974 through January 1, 1976.The Westerners was an organization that formed to stimulate and promote interest in the history of the Western frontier. The first chapter, or "Corral," was organized by Leland Case and Elmo Scott Watson in Chicago on February 25, 1944. The second Corral, the Denver Posse (the terms Corral and Posse are used interchangeably), was organized on January 26, 1945. In 1958, the Westerners Foundation was organized with a home base located in Stockton, California. Its purpose was to help would-be Westerners launch their own Corrals. In 1969, the name of the organization was changed to the Westerners International, and headquarters were moved to Tucson, Arizona. The purpose of Westerners International continues to be the aiding of fledging Corrals. It also acts as a clearinghouse for information about the organization and the Corrals that comprise it; awards yearly prizes for best books and articles published by Westerners; and publishes the Buckskin Bulletin for its membership. The Westerners also had a central role in the creation of the Western History Association. Today, there are 146 Corrals, with 39 located outside the United States in thirteen countries.
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