ELLENBERGER, J. WESLEY, M.D., was born in Harrisburg, February 3, 1858. He is a son of Samuel B. and Margaret (Sheridan) Ellenberger. He received his literary education in the public schools of Harrisburg, graduating from the high school in 1875. While a student in the high school he was a carrier of the Daily Telegraph. He read medicine under Dr. George R. Hursh, of Harrisburg, and entered into Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in 1879. He at once began the practice of medicine in Harrisburg, and has been eminently successful. From the time of his graduation until the present, he been connected with the Harrisburg Hospital, first as resident physician and subsequently as visiting physician; he is now the senior visiting physician of the medical staff. He served as county physician in 1886. The Doctor has been honored by his professional brethren, who have elected him president of the Dauphin County Medical Society and of the Harrisburg Pathological Society. He is now a trustee of the Harrisburg Academy of Medicine. He is a member of the State Medical Society and of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Ellenberger served on the city school board for two terms, during a portion of which time he was chairman of the committee on teachers, and id much to secure the observance of civil service rules in the selection and promotion of teachers, the operation of which has abated the evils of influence and favoritism on the part of the board. The Doctor is not politically ambitious, and has not sought official preferment and prominence. His preferences are decidedly with the Republican party, but he has strong Prohibition proclivities. In the independent citizensí movement for the reform of municipal government, he was universally recognized as the best exponent of the principles upheld by those who sustained that movement. Without his knowledge or consent, and contrary to his desire, he was nominated for the mayor of Harrisburg. Constrained and animated solely by convictions of duty, he accepted the nomination. His letter of acceptance is the best possible revelation of his character and conduct as a man and a citizen, and is here partially quoted for this purpose.
"When informed that I had been nominated for the important office of mayor of this city, I experienced a sensation such as is occasioned by the traditional clap of thunder from a clear sky. My first impulse was to decline the honor, gratefully acknowledge the distinction which had been conferred upon me. However, since hundreds of voters of all parties have urged me to accept in the interest of good government, I have concluded that it is my duty to acquiesce in their desires.
"I, therefore, accept the nomination which has been tendered to me, and make the following pledges:
"Should the people elect me mayor of this city, I agree that I will faithfully perform my duties, realizing my responsibility to God, as well as to my fellow-citizens for the manner in which I shall acquit myself.
"I will enforce the ordinances with fear or favor.
"I will nominate as my subordinates the cleanest and most efficient men that I can secure, with regard to party affiliation.
"I will conduct the office as a non-partisan, acknowledging that my election must be by the people.
"I will permit no black-mailing or bribery on the part of those under my authority."
The Doctor is also identified with a number of the business interests of the city, and has always been ready to promote movements for the material welfare of the city. He is a stockholder, and has been one of the managers of the Harrisburg Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company since its organization. He was one of the organizers of the Harris Building and Loan Association, in which he is deeply interested, and is one of the managers.
From boyhood the Doctor has been a member of Grace Methodist Episcopal church, and is actively identified with all its interests. He holds the office of steward in the church, and is the general superintendent of the large Sabbath-school connected with the church. He served for a number of years as one of the managers and for two years as the president of the Young Menís Christian Association. In all these positions of responsibility and trust the Doctor has proved himself faithful and efficient.
He was married, in 1891, to Miss Annie E. Baskin, daughter of Robert Baskin, of Harrisburg, by whom he has one child, Robert Baskin.