On this day in 1892, missionary and Duluth pioneer Edmund Franklin Ely died in Santa Rosa, California. Born at Wilbraham, Massachusetts on August 3, 1809. He studied religion in Rome, New York, until taking a position in 1933 with the American Board of Foreign Missions to teach in missionary schools near Lake Superior. Ely wound up at a branch of an Ojibwe mission at Sandy Lake under the direction of Rev. William T. Boutwell. In the summer of 1834 Boutwell was gone, Ely was in charge, and the school was moved to Fond du Lac. Ely actually built the schoolhouse himself. In 1835, a reinforcement of teachers was sent by the mission board. One of them, Miss Catherine Gonlais, was a former Ojibwe student of Ely’s at the Sandy Lake mission. She and Ely married and remained at Fond du lac before moving to the mission at La Pointe on Madeline Island in 1939. Ely retired in 1854 and moved to Superior. That same year he crossed the bay and landed near today’s Forty-second Avenue West, where he envisioned a townsite. Two years later he moved his family to the area and, along with the Wheeler and Merritt families, established Oneota Township. Ely’s Peak near Fond du Lac was named for the reverend, as was Duluth’s Ely Elementary. The town of Ely was not. You can discover much more about Reverend Ely in the Zenith City History archive’s Duluth’s Development category, within the Missionaries and Early Fond du Lac entries.