101553 | UNITED STATES. Lodi/Western New York engraved silver Love Token.
101553 | UNITED STATES. Lodi/Western New York engraved silver Love Token (18mm, 1.92 g, 9h).
1835 Philadelphia mint Capped Bust dime, with engraving upon reverse: "From D. E. E. / To / 1846 / S. G. Ellis, Lodi." Edge: Reeded.
Cf. KM 48 (for host coin). Engraving & host coin: Extremely Fine. Attractively toned.
Though difficult at first to pinpoint, the facets involved in this intriguing love token become quite clear with some focused digging. Lodi is a small town in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, located between the Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. However, it is not this Lodi that is referenced. Instead, it is another small town further west in New York. Now known as Gowanda, the village was originally called Lodi in 1822. It was not until 1848 that the new name of Gowanda was established, partially to defray any confusion with the aforementioned town in the Finger Lakes. Dr. Samuel G. Ellis was one of the petitioners to the court of Cattaraugus County who sought to incorporate the newly christened village in 1848—a request that was ultimately granted. It was just before that time that this love token was given, still referring to the then-appropriate appellation of Lodi in 1846.
Samuel grew up in Chautauqua, later studying medicine and graduating from the Fairfield Medical College in 1838. From there, he settled in the nearby Lodi where he practiced medicine (and received this token). He later moved to Lima, New York in 1856, then again to Syracuse in 1881. While there, he continued his practice well into old age, joining the Onondaga County Medical Society in 1885. He married Natalia Waterman in 1838 (in Lima), and had three children: Flora (Florett), Samuel LeDran, and Isabelle. The "D. E. E." giver of the token must undoubtedly be Samuel's younger brother (and also a member of the medical profession), Dr. David E. Ellis. The younger sibling passed away in 1905 in Belvidere, Illinois, while Samuel predeceased him in 1894 (in Syracuse) at the age of 83. Samuel was buried, along with his wife and two younger children, in Lima.