Crawford Hatcher Ellis
CRAWFORD HATCHER ELLIS
IN the range of commercial development modern enterprise has found a way to bring together the people and products of various zones and climates.
Perhaps the most significant instance of this is exhibited in the way that the fruits of the tropics find their way into Northern markets. In some of the Southern cities, notably New Orleans, an important market for bananas, for instance, was built up years ago, when sloops and schooners ran between that city and Belize, Honduras, and brought cargoes which were unloaded and laid out on the levee and sold at auction. But the dis-tribution of these fruits was confined to the neighborhood of seaboard cities, and the supply was fluctuating. Now the market for tropical fruits is nation-wide, and those commodities are staples in the cities of the interior as well as at seaboard ports.
Especially prominent among those business men of New Orleans who have been chiefly in-strumental in building up international business in tropical fruits, of which that city is one of the foremost centers, is Crawford Hatcher Ellis, who is vice-president of the United Fruit Company. Mr. Ellis was born in Selma, Alabama, August 26, 1873, the son of Thomas Jefferson and Elizabeth Wilson (Hatcher) Ellis. His ancestry in both paternal and maternal lines is English, long settled in the Southern States. He was educated in the public schools of Selma, Alabama, and in Kentucky University, from which he was graduated in 1892.
Following graduation, being then nineteen years of age, he went to Central America in the employ of Orr, Laubenheimer Company, and remained there in that connection until 1897. During that entire time, and in face of many obstacles and difficulties, he was engaged actively in the development of a large tropical fruit business, acquiring connections of the most valuable character with the sources of supply and organizing a complete system of shipping and marketing these products. At the end of that work he went to
Mobile, Alabama, where he continued in the trop-ical fruit business at the American receiving end of the line, and subsequently the Bluefields Steamship Line was formed, in which Orr and Laubenheimer had an interest. Mr. Ellis became connected with them until 1899, when he joined the United Fruit Company, first as division auditor, subsequently as acting manager at New Orleans, and later becoming vice-president of the company, which office he still holds.
As a citizen of New Orleans and of the State of Louisiana, Mr. Ellis has been identified in an influential way with public affairs, has served on the Military Staffs of Governors Sands, Hall, and Pleasant during the years from 1908 to 1912, and again since 1916 to the present time. He has also served with efficiency on the Sewerage and Water Board, has been actively identified with numerous carnival societies, and he is a member at New Orleans of the Boston Club, the New Orleans Country Club, the Southern Yacht Club and the Little Lake Hunting Club, and is as popular in social relations as he is successful in business.