Willis C., only child of Abram W. and Marion A. (Phelps) Ellis, was born in Pike, Wyoming county, New York. January 12, 1868. His preparatory education was acquired in the Pike Seminary, from which he was graduated in June, 1888. He then became a student at Cornell University, from which he was graduated June 16. 1892. with the degree of Bachelor of Letters. He continued the study of law in the offices of Day & Romer, Buffalo. New York, and was admitted to the bar, June 12, 1893. In June of the following year he came to Shortsville, New York, where he opened his present offices, and where he has acquired a large and lucrative practice. His political affiliations have been with the Republican party, and he has filled a number of public offices. He has served as village attorney for Shortsville for the past ten years, and for the same period of time in a similar capacity for the town of Manchester. In 1909 he was designated by the attorney-general as prosecutor of violators of the agricultural laws for the county of Ontario. He is also engaged as attorney for the Mutual Bank and the E. D. Mather & Company banks of Shortsville. His fraternal and club associations are as follows : Delta Chi and Kappa Sigma fraternities, of Cornell University: Triluminar Lodge, No. 543. Free and Accepted Masons of Pike; Excelsior Chapter. No. 164, Royal Arch Masons, of Canandaigua: Zenobia Commandery, No. 41, Knights Templar, of Palmyra, New York; he is past grand of Parlor Village Lodge, No. 88, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Shortsville; member of Red Jacket Club of Canandaigua: Western New York Cornell Alumni Association of Rochester, New York: New York State Bar Association: New York State Historical Association.
Mr. Ellis married in Canandaigua, New York, July 5, 1900, Martha C., born in Canandaigua, June 18, 1874, daughter of George D. and Maria (Crawford) Hart, the former a retired farmer. Children: Ruth, born May 15. 1901: Helen, July 18, 1903: Gordon A., November 23, 1906; Christine, December 18, 1908.