Ella Lillian Tourville born 25 Jun 1882

Ella Tourville was born 25 June 1882, at Tennessee Pass in Eagle County, Colorado.  Her parents were Charles Tourville and Maria Langevin.  Charles and Mary were still in Chateaugay NY on 16 June 1880, when the census was taken, with Ella’s older brothers: Henry, Willie, John, and George.  Shortly thereafter, the family moved from New York to the area of Leadville CO, and Ella was their first child born in the west.  The historian at the Catholic Church in Leadville had records showing that Ella was christened as Helen, and guessed that this was because the officials thought she should have a “good Catholic name”. 

The Colorado state census, taken in 1885 shows the Tourville family in Eagle County.  Her father was a charcoal burner.  The family included siblings Charles H, William, John, and a younger 1-year-old brother George.  It appears that her first brother with that name died, and a subsequent little brother was given his name.  Sadly, that second George also died young, at age 2, and is buried at Leadville.  The 1887 Colorado State Directory lists the Tourvilles as living in Cooper.  After working his charcoal business for the mines, Ella’s parents homesteaded in the Edwards area.

On 10 July 1899, when Ella was 17, she married Thomas William Pallister in Minturn CO.  He was the son of John Pallister and Sarah Maughan.  Thomas was born in England, and came with his parents and brothers to Colorado about 1886. 

In 1900, Ella and Thomas lived in Lakes, with their daughter Hannah, who was born in May.  They lived next door to her in-laws, John and Sarah Pallister and Thomas’ brothers, and near her parents Charles and Mary, and her brother Charles and Versalia.   Thomas was a farm laborer. 

It appears that Ella had a rocky marriage, at least to start, as only a few months after Hannah was born, the following notice was published:  1900 – Aug 18, Eagle County Times, Red Cliff

NOTICE:  To whom it may concern–My wife Ella Pallister having left my bed and board without just cause or provocation; I hereby warn all persons against harboring or trusting her at my expense.  Thomas Pallister, Edwards, Colo., August 15, 1900.  They apparently reconciled, and eventually had a total of 13 children.  I have only identified eleven or twelve. 

In 1910, she lived at East New Castle, Garfield Co, CO with husband and children. Thomas worked at odd jobs.  The census reports that she has had five children, four still living.   My records do not have a child listed who died before 1910, so that would probably be the unidentified child.  In 1916, Ella’s son Dick was struck by lightning and nearly killed during a severe thunderstorm as he was rushing home from school.    

By 1920, Ella and Thomas had purchased a small general farm, and were living in Lakes.  Her daughter Hannah was married and son Richard and daughter Nellie were living with Hannah.  Son Thomas was living with her parents in Glenwood Springs.   Ella’s three-year-old son Charles had died.  William, Margaret, and Ethel were in the household with Ella and Thomas.  They lived next door to his mother Sarah Pallister

In 1930 Ella and Thomas were still working their farm in West Lakes Creek.  The children at home were Margaret, Ethel, Lola L, Lucile F, and Grandville A, who was 3 years, four months old.  Grandville is another of my questioned children for Ella.  Doing the math from the date of the census would make him born about December 1926.  But I also have a Glen A Pallister  born in 1927. I’m not sure if Grandville and Glen are the same person.  If so, I still have another unidentified child to identify for Ella’s family, as both her obituary, and her husband’s say there were thirteen.

Ella died 5 September 1936, and her obituary was posted on Rootsweb:  PALLISTER, Ella – Friends and neighbors of the PALLESTER family of West Lake creek were both surprised and shocked to learn of the death of Mrs. Tom PALLISTER last Saturday evening. Mrs. PALLISTER was stricken suddenly and her husband and a neighbor, Bill DeGRAW had started to bring her to a doctor in Eagle, when she died in Mr. PALLISTER’S arms before they had more than got started. The physicians pronounced the cause of her death to be heart trouble. Ella Lillian TOURVILLE was born on June 25, 1882, at Tennessee Pass, and died at her home on West Lake creek in Eagle county, Saturday evening, September 5, 1936, at the age of 54 years, 2 months and 19 days.

She was married to Thos. PALLISTER July 10, 1899. To this union were born thirteen children, of whom ten are left to mourn her death, as follows: Mrs. Hannah MATNEY, Eagle, Colo.; Richard PALLISTER, San Ann, Calif.; Thomas PALLISTER, California; Mrs. Nellie DAY, Wolcott, Colo.; William PALLISTER, Edwards, Colo.; Mrs. Margaret SCHOENFIELD, Cripple Creek, Colo.; Mrs Ethel ROBINSON, Edwards, Colo.; Miss Lola PALLISTER, Lucile PALLISTER, and Master Glen PALLISTER, of the home near Edwards, Colo.; besides an aged mother, Mrs. Mary TOURVILLE, of Glenwood Springs, Colo.; one brother, Wm. TOURVILLE, Salida, Colo.; a brother, John TOURVILLE, Glenwood Springs, and a sister, Mrs. Carrie DORSEY of Findley, Ohio. One brother, Henry TOURVILLE, passed away in Oklahoma in 1911. There are also five grandchildren, besides a host of neighbors who mourn her passing. The community was sadly stricken when Mrs. PALLISTER was taken from its midst. She was a kind, patient, loving wife and mother, never complained with all the pains and aches which we all seem to have. Funeral services attended by a large concourse of neighbors were held at the Edwards hall Wednesday afternoon, September 9, Rev. Mr. McDIVITT conducting the services, and the body was laid to rest in the Edwards cemetery.

Ella’s niece Loretta wrote in a letter in 1974: Ella married a poor farmer by the name of Pallister.  They were wealthy in children only.  There were 8 or 9 kids.  Poor soul, she lived miserably all her life, never having known even one luxury in her life.

Many of the Pallister family are buried at Edwards cemetery.  This is a small and poorly maintained cemetery near Berry Creek Middle School.  There are graves in a chain link enclosure.  The Pallisters are behind that.   It appears that someone has inventoried the cemetery, as there are now 136 names for this cemetery on Find-A-Grave, most just added this week.  There is a Leonard Pallister 1921-1922, with no family links listed.  This could also be one of Ella’s children, as I have not found indications that Thomas’ brothers married or had children.  There is also a James Torval, with dates or family links listed.   This is probably supposed to be Tourville, but I don’t really know who he is.



  1. Shawn Day said,

    April 16, 2015 at 11:20

    Hi Susan – Leonard is indeed one of the 13 children as my grandmother Nellie used to mention his name once in a while. Also, although I have found no record yet, I recall her talking about a Lavinia (sp?) which I believe was a sister that died – perhaps very young.

    Shawn Day

  2. Shawn Day said,

    April 16, 2015 at 11:21

    Meant to add that Lavinia must have been the one who died before 1910 that you mentioned above.

  3. Shawn Day said,

    April 17, 2015 at 11:16

    The other child was Viola and not Lavinia. My mistake. I contacted my aunt who is the oldest child of Nellie and she told me of Viola who she thought was actually born before Hannah who was born in 1900 and died while they were traveling in a covered wagon.

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