Laurence Ephraim Ellison & Catherine Maria Adams Ellison
Laurence Ephraim (L. E.) Ellison and Catherine Maria (Katie) Adams were born in Layton to pioneer parents. L. E. to Ephraim Peter and Elizabeth Whitesides Ellison, and Katie to Elias Jr. and Elizabeth Rose Harris Adams. They were married in 1967 and had six children: Harris, Oma (Wilcox), Elizabeth (Simmons), Bonnie Rae (Barlow), Carol (Morgan), and Kate (Anderson). They raised their children in the family home at 529 West Gentile St., Layton.
Katie attended the Agricultural College in Logan (now Utah State University), where she became a member of the Sorosis Society. A beautiful young woman, she was chosen to model clothes sent to an Exposition in Chicago in 1904. She was an accomplished sidesaddle rider who also raced her horse at the Lagoon racetrack. After her marriage, Katie was active in community affairs. She served as president of the Layton Elementary School PTA. During World War II, she was a Gray Lady in the American Red Cross. She was a member of Bay View Club, Utah Federated Women’s Club, Sorosis Alumnae, and served as a delegate to the Women’s Utah State Legislative Council. For twenty-five years she served as a counselor in the LDS stake Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association.
Her cooking was legendary – as were her wide-brimmed black hats. L. E. graduated from the University of Utah in 1902, where he served as president of the senior class and later as president of the Emeritus Club. After a short career as teacher and principal of the Kaysville Academy, he began working in his father’s businesses. He worked for the Farmer’s Union, Layton Milling, and Ellison Ranching Company as a bookkeeper.
In 1920 the Republicans and Democrats both nominated him as their candidate for president (mayor) of the Town Board. He was elected and went on to serve six consecutive terms. He was instrumental in the planning and construction of the first paved road in Davis County and served on the Davis County Welfare Board. Active in the Boy Scouts of American for many years, L. E. received the Silver Beaver award. For the L.D.S. Church, he served on the stake high council and stake Young Men’s Mutual Improvement board.
A much-admired and successful cattleman, he was president of the Salt Lake Union Stockyards for many years; and. in 1938, his first grade Hereford steers “topped the market” in Chicago – the first Western beef to do so.
In 1905 his father, E. P. Ellison, and others founded the First National Bank of Layton. During the Depression of the 1930s, under L. E.’s leadership, the Bank not only continued to pay dividends but also did not foreclose on any real estate loans. In 1941-42 L. E. served as President of the Utah Bankers Association. For sixty years he was known as “Layton’s Banker,” working until a few days before his death at age eighty-five.
This is one of several memorial plaques at the Senator Haven J. Barlow Field at Layton High School (440 N Wasatch Drive in Layton, Utah)