1808 Monroe served as a home to the Ellis family in the 1940s. Hayden Fuller Ellis was born on September 4, 1898, in Crowley, LA. At the age of 19, he was working as a laborer on a farm. He married Olie May Bruce four years later, who was the daughter of a lawyer and a photographer but raised by her grandmother on a farm in Concordia. They had their first son, Hayden F. Ellis J, in 1924 and their second son, Charles – named after Olie’s father – in 1926. The Ellis family moved to 111 Cottage St in Alexandria, LA, by 1930, and Hayden Sr had become a traveling hardware and roofing salesman. They added a daughter to the family, Barbara – named after Olie’s mother, this time – in 1935. Five years later, they were living in today’s topic – 1808 Monroe St.
The Ellis boys were frequently mentioned in the Town Talk throughout the years. The first time was in 1940 when Hayden Jr was caught speeding down Madeline St. He was caught but let go by the judge with a serious warning – quit the speeding, or face jail time! His brother Charles made his first appearance when he was given a Legion Award, granted to young men who would learn the ways of self-government and issues that face public officials. He was also involved in a car accident that was recorded. However, both boys joined the Army, specifically the Army Air Forces – the predecessor to what is now the Air Force – and the news became focused on their service.
Hayden enlisted into the AAF as an aviation cadet and began training at Perrin Field in Texas, the AAF training command station for pilots. He completed his training and was commissioned as a second lieutenant five months later, becoming an officer. His brother, Charles, climbed the enlisted ranks to Corporal, or E-5, even heading communications classes for the Boca Raton Army Air Field. However, Charles passed away in 1946 in an Army jeep accident. He was brought back home in Alexandria to be laid to rest.
The Ellis family somewhat scattered after the death of Charles. Hayden Sr became a salesman for the Wheeling Corrugating Company. He continued to live in Alexandria until his death in July, 1977. Olie eventually moved to Houston to be with her daughter, Barbara, until her death in 1985. She was brought back to Alexandria to be buried with her husband. Hayden went to school at a business college in Chillicothe, Missouri, and began working as an auditor at the State Department of Revenue in Baton Rouge by 1950. He married Mary Lee Bernard by 1952. He was an avid golfer and popular locally, going by the nickname of ‘Slim.’ Barbara Ann Ellis married William James Canady, of Alexandria Air Force Base, in February of 1952. She moved to Texas with her new husband, and eventually was joined by Olie after Hayden Sr’s death and she and William had divorced.
1808 Monroe saw the growth of a family, from teenage boys and a young daughter to service members and a military wife. It housed a happy marriage and a healthy family. If the walls of Monroe could talk, they would tell the story of a traditional Louisiana family during the second World War.