Ezra Jacob Madsen

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Ezra Jacob Madsen

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Death: February 4, 1935 (62)
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA (Cancer of Throat)
Place of Burial: Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Christian Madsen and Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen
Husband of Mary Ella Owens Madsen
Brother of Dortha Roxana Rollins-McKinney; John Christian Madsen; Aseneath Musette Bingham; Zina Albertina Madsen; Louisa Alberta Branch and 4 others

Occupation: Merchant
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Ezra Jacob Madsen

When Ezra (Ez) Madsen and Ella Owens united in marriage in 1897, it was the meshing of two Safford pioneer families. His father, Chris Madsen, in the operation of Safford's first livery stable and later on his own in partnership with D.L. (Dave) Ridgway where the present Ritz Bar stands. Mr. & Mrs. Ez Madsen were active in the Safford mercantile field for many years. The home they constructed around the turn of the century was located just east of the present Tip Balentine office supply store. Recently I received from a cousin a picture of Ezra Madsen's shoe store, which was taken on October 17, 1924.

There was a large selection of children's shoes in a glass case in the left of the photo, and there was a primitive electric chandelier in the middle of the room, and a solid wood ceiling. Since the building was not big enough for a stock room and a show room, the entire stock of the store was shown around the walls of the store. I wonder how many of these very shoe boxes are sitting in attics around Safford, Arizona, holding secrets of the past. Under the media tab above there are more photos of Jacob Ezra Madsen, including one of him and his wife in front of the home they built in Safford, along with one of him taken when he was younger, one when he was older sitting on a horse, and another taken from a group painting done of him and his siblings and parents.

From public records: The 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, showed that Ezra was 7 years old and living with his family as follows: Christian, 35, Louisa, 27, Dorathy (Dortha), 11, John, 9, Musette, 5, and Alberta, 1 year old. Ezra's father, Christian, was working as a laborer. Three years later, the Madsen family along with others from the LDS Church, moved to Safford, Graham County, Arizona, via wagon train. On October 18, 1897, Ezra J. Madsen married Ella Owens in Safford, Arizona.

In the 1900 census for Safford, Ezra, 27, and Ella, 20, were living next door to Ella's parents and siblings, James T. Owens, 45, Loney, (Clarisa "Lonie" Atha Ragsdale Owens) 40, Dora, 13, Della, 7, Viola, 6, Onselmo, 4, and James T., 1 year old. James and Loney had been married for 21 years and had given birth to 11 children, 7 of whom were still living. James was working as a miller and general merchant and Ezra was working as a salesman. Ella and her parents and sister, Dora, were all born in Alabama, and her other siblings in Arizona. James T. Owens and their family traveled to Safford by covered wagon from St. Clair county, Alabama in 1879,

The Owens family were also one of Safford's pioneer families who helped make the city and country become what it is today. James acquired property and became a community builder of stores, mills, hotels and farms. He was the mayor of Safford from 1920 to 1922, and his photograph hangs in the Graham County Courthouse with former mayors of the city. He and his wife were converts in the LDS Church. They had 13 children, the last of whom, Beauregard, died in 1968 in San Francisco.

In the 1910 census, Ezra, 36, and Ella, 30, were still living in Safford next door to her parents and siblings. A new brother, Beauregard, 9, had been born to Ella's mother, Loney, and was then 9 years old. Ezra and Ella were working as sales people in a general store, and James T. Owens, was listed as a merchant in a general store, and his daughters, Della and Viola were also working as saleswomen in the store.

Ella's mother, Clarisa "Lonie" Atha Ragsdale Owens, died of a lingering illness at the age of 53 on September 12, 1913, and was buried in the Owens Family Plot in the Safford City Cemetery. At the time, her youngest child, Beau, was just 12 years old.

When Ezra Jacob Madsen completed his U.S. World War I Draft Registration card on September 12, 1918, he was 44 years old, having been born November 26, 1872, he described himself as being of medium height and a stout build with blue eyes and light colored hair. He was living in Safford, Graham County, Arizona, with his wife, Ella, and was working as a merchant for himself.

In the 1920 census, Ezra, 47, and Ella, 40, were living on Main Street in Safford and Ezra was working as a merchant in their shoe store and Ella as a saleswoman in their shoe store. They were no longer living next door to Ella's parents and siblings, since I believe this was after Ezra and Ella had built their own home.

Ella's father, James T. Owens, died of a stroke in 1922 at the age of 67, and he was buried with his wife in the Owens Family Plot in the Safford City Cemetery.

In the 1930 census Ezra, 56, and Ella, 50, were still living on Main Street and their home was valued at $6,000. They also had a radio in their home. They had been married for over 30 years, but sadly, never had any children. In this census record, Ezra was not working but Ella was still working as a saleslady in their shoe store. Then just five years later, Ezra passed away on February 4, 1935, at the relatively young age of 62 years old. Ella lived another 14 years and passed away on May 16, 1949, and they were both buried in the Safford City Cemetery in the Owens Family Plot.

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Ezra Jacob Madsen's Timeline

November 26, 1872
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
February 4, 1935
Age 62
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
February 6, 1935
Age 62
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA