Actions

Ellis H. Elias

From Kook Science

Ellis H. Elias
Born c. 1840-5
Gallia, Ohio
Died 22 June 1881 (35-40) [1]
New York City, NY
Nationality American
Known for Mail-order swindles
Spouse(s) Maggie Martin (m. 1860)
Relative(s) William M. Elias
Henry P. Elias
Richard H. Elias

Ellis H. Elias (c. 1840-5 - June 22, 1881) was an American con-artist, notorious in his time for running mail-order "sawdust" swindles, engaging in the sale of fraudulent goods and nostrums, and other scam operations out of Cincinnati and New York City.

Background

Born in Ohio to Welsh immigrants John W. Elias and Elizabeth Parry, the young Elias spent his formative years in Gallia County, before relocating in his late teens to the city of Cincinnati, where he established himself as a printer and lithographer.

[XXX] & Co. (and Other Swindles)

  • The Great "Geneva Watch Company" of 763 Broadway, NYC[2][3][4]
  • Mason, Morgan, & Co. of No. 18 Bond St., NYC, and the Emigrant Protectory Association[5][6]
  • Russell & Co. and the Silver Mountain Mining Company[7][8][9]
  • Elias & Co., discount watches

The Great Original Dollar Store

Located under the Grand Central Hotel at 667 Broadway, opposite Bond Street,[10] was what might be considered the centrepiece of the Elias' empire: the Great Original Dollar Store, a concept shop offering "fancy goods" and "Milton Gold Jewelry,"[11] all at the discount price of one dollar. Founded in 1867 under the proprietorship of "Wm. M. Elias & Bro.," it continued operations up until 1879, when it was shuttered due to bankruptcy.

The Nostrum Trade

In addition to his sundry mail-order enterprises, Elias was also behind firms selling medical medallions, including Sagendorph's Battery and Boyd's Battery; and his brother, William M. Elias, even patented one of his own. Further, Elias was reported to have once speculated in the patent medicine trade, producing "The Great Parisian Blood Producer" of the "French Academy of Medicine," which he sold through his Dollar Store.[12]

References

  1. "DEATH OF ELLIS H. ELIAS". The New York Times (New York City, NY). 1881-06-24. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F06E1DD103CEE3ABC4C51DFB066838A699FDE. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  2. "A DARING SWINDLER. Failure of the "Great Geneva Watch Company" - How a Pack of Rascals Overreached Themselves.". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Ill.): p. 6. 1872-03-09. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1872/03/09/page/6/article/a-daring-swindler. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  3. "A warrant was issued this afternoon for the arrest of H. P. Elias and Ellis H. Elias, on a charge of swindling in the Geneva Watch Company business". Ohio Statesman (Columbus, Ohio) 41 (64). 1872-03-21. http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16007coll26/id/4584. Retrieved 2015-11-16. "Several experienced watchmakers made affidavits that the watches sold were almost worthless, and a cable dispatch has been received from the United States Consul at Geneva stating that no such as the Geneva Watch Company ever existed." 
  4. "The Geneva Watch Concern - The Case for the Prosecution". New York Times (New York City, NY). 1872-03-27. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9805EEDA1739EF34BC4F51DFB5668389669FDE. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  5. "THE ELIAS BROTHERS. DOINGS OF THE CINCINNATI SWINDLERS IN NEW YORK - THE 'EMIGRANT PROTECTING ASSOCIATION'". Indianapolis Evening Journal (Indianapolis, Ind.) 1 (145): p. 1. 1872-03-08. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=IJ18720308.1.1. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  6. "A Bogus Emigrant Association - The Saw-Dust Game Revived". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Ill.): p. 6. 1872-03-09. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1872/03/09/page/6/article/a-bogus-emigrant-association-the-saw-dust-game-revived. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  7. "THE SILVER MINING SWINDLE. EVIDENCE THAT THE PROJECT WAS CONCEIVED IN FRAUD LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND REPORT OF SUPERINTENDENT WALLING.". New York Times (New York City, NY). 1877-07-02. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B0CE7DE133FE63BBC4A53DFB166838C669FDE. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  8. "The Silver Mountain Mining Company Swindle". The Engineering and Mining Journal 24 (3): p. 62-63. 1877-07-28. https://books.google.com/books?id=eJcgAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  9. "AN OLD MINING SWINDLE REVIVED. COMPLAINTS AGAINST 'THE SILVER MOUNTAIN MINING COMPANY' - THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY POWERLESS IN THE MATTER - A WARNING TO THE PUBLIC.". New York Times (New York City, NY). 1878-06-04. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9D06EFDB1E3FE63BBC4C53DFB0668383669FDE. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  10. "The Great Original Dollar Store, No. 667 Broadway, opposite Bond-street (advertisement)". New York Times (New York City, NY). 1871-12-18. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B0CE6D71639EF34BC4052DFB467838A669FDE. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  11. "The Great Original Dollar Store is now the head-quarters for the celebrated Milton Gold Jewelry.". New York Times (New York City, NY). 1871-05-14. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A01EED61F30EE34BC4C52DFB366838A669FDE. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  12. "A FAMOUS FAKIR". The Times (Philadelphia, PA): p. 10. 1887-10-02. http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/52197776/. Retrieved 2015-10-31.