Remembering Elias Charles Disney

It was 76 years ago, that Walt Disney’s father Elias Charles Disney passed away in Los Angeles, California at the age of 82. 

Elias Charles Disney was born on February 6, 1859 in the Village of Bluevale, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of Irish immigrants, Kepple Elias Disney and Mary Richardson. 

On January 1, 1888, Elias Disney married Flora Call in Kismet Florida approximately 50 miles from where Walt Disney built Walt Disney World. Shortly after marrying Flora, the couple moved to Chicago Illinois. It was there that Elias met and became close friends with Saint Paul Conventional Church’s preacher, Walter Parr for whom Walt Disney was named after. Elias and Flora’s other children were Herbert Arthur Disney, Raymond Arnold Disney, Roy Oliver Disney, and Ruth Flora Disney. 

Elias Disney was an active religious church going man who imparted Christian values on to his family. It is said that he rarely smoked and that he never drank alcohol. Elias was a fiddler player with a passion for music and an avid moviegoer. 

In order to keep his children safe from the crime in Chicago,  Elias Disney moved his family to a farm in Marceline, Missouri in 1906. Some of Walt Disney’s earliest sketches were drawn in Marceline. A local physician paid Walt to do sketch drawings of the doctor’s horse. 

Elias Disney came down with typhoid fever causing the Disney family to sell their farm on November 28, 1910. The Disney family then rented a house in Marceline until 1911 when they moved to Kansas City, Missouri. 

On July 1, 1911, Elias Disney bought a newspaper delivery route for the Kansas City Star. Elias had his sons Walt and Roy delivering the newspapers. They Disney’s delivered around 700 evening newspapers and about 600 Sunday papers to customers. In addition to delivering newspapers, Elias delivered butter and eggs to his customers from a dairy farm in Marceline. While living in Kansas City, Elias’ sons Roy and Raymond worked as bank tellers for the First National Bank and Walt began his first animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram Studio. 

It was March 17, 1917 when Elias Disney sold his newspaper and moved back to Chicago in a management capacity for O-Zell Company for whom he had invested in.  Then in 1920 he retired from management to move back to Kansas City to work as a carpenter. In the fall of he moved to Portland, Oregon where his son Herbert was living. 

Tragedy struck the Disney family on November 26, 1938 when Flora Disney passed away from asphyxiation due to a gas leak in the home. Elias was devastated by the loss of his beloved Flora. 

Elias Charles Disney had many accomplishments in his life and he lived long enough to see many of the successes of his sons Walt and Roy including Disney Bros. Studios, and Walt Disney Productions (The Walt Disney Company). 

On September 13, 1941, Elias Charles Disney passed away. 

Stuart Sternberg is the founder of WDW Fan Zone  and host of  the WDW Fan Zone BlogCast. You can find him on Google +, Facebook,  and follow him on Twitter @wdwfanzonestu

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Stuart Sternberg

Stuart Sternberg is the founder of WDW Fan Zone. Born and raised in New York City but New Jersey has been home for several years now. A devoted husband and proud father of two amazing children. A huge fan of Walt Disney World and Bruce Springsteen. A die hard Yankee, Jet, and New York Ranger fan. His motto is "all Disney all the time." Always willing to lend a helping hand to friends and family whenever needed. Stuart’s writing career began with his own blog, disneygeekdad.blogspot.com. You can find and follow Stuart on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/wdwfanzonestu. Stuart is also on Facebook and Google +.

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