Ellen Spoward Izatt was born on October 21, 1869 to parents Alexander Spoward Izatt and Jeanette Williamson in Logan, Utah. At an early age Ellen had a talent for knitting, so she made the stockings for many of the children. When she was thirteen, Ellen went to work for her Grandmother Williamson in her general store for six years. Ellen married George Stoddard on June 19, 1887, and then following their wedding Ellen and her sister Mary went to work as cooks while George operated a small sawmill in Logan Canyon. During the winter they moved to Wellsville, then in the spring to Aspen, Wyoming, returning to Logan for the fall and winter. In 1889 their first child was born named Earl. The family moved to North Powder, Oregon in April of 1889. May 21, 1891, the family's second son, Elmer, was born and in 1893 their third son was born. The family moved to Sumpter Valley, Oregon for two years and then in 1895 Ellen and the children went to Logan for the winter so the children could go to school and church. Lester, their fourth son was born in December of 1895. Some time later, three more children were added, John, Jeanette, and Howard. In 1896, they moved from McEwen to Baker, Oregon. George and Ellen some years later, were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple. A second daughter was born in November of 1906, but died in 1909 of polio. Ellen witnessed the start of the first Stake Tabernacle in La Grande being built in June of 1907. In 1908 Ellen became the Stake President of the Primary in the Union Stake, and held that position for twenty-five years. On Ellen's forty-third birthday, another son was born, Robert LaVon. In the summer of 1911, George and Ellen toured Europe while their sons were on missions there. George Stoddard died in 1917. While her son was attending Stanford University Ellen lived with him, but after she moved to Salt Lake City to do temple work. In November of 1939 Emma had a heart attack and shortly after that she passed away. The Union Stake Primary Board dedicated a birdbath on May 16, 1943 to honor the service that Ellen rendered.
Part of the Mary Ellen Stoddard Smith collection, this seven page typescript autobiography is located in the forty-first folder of the collection. Ellen starts her writing by describing her parent's conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and their journey across the plains. She also describes the family's early financial problems and how happy the children were to receive a little item on Christmas. Ellen explains that working for her grandmother kept her very busy. When the family first arrived in Oregon, Ellen considered it a beautiful place. She recounts that she wished for their family to be sealed, and it was not until George was healed by the missionaries that he became interested in religion and they were sealed. When the family moved to Baker, Ellen was able to send her children to Sunday Services. The second part of this collection is an insert written by her son, David Izatt Stoddard. He describes that his mother was a good homemaker and many Church authorities stayed at their home such as, President Joseph F. Smith. She was a good cook and always made sure the children's clothes were clean. The third insert to the autobiography is a four-paragraph description of Ellen by her granddaughter, Mary Ellen Stoddard Smith. She discusses that Ellen would sing beautiful Scotch songs and how every Christmas the families would gather at Grandmother Stoddard's home for games and food. Ellen had a firm testimony in the Gospel and genealogy was very important to her. The next item in the folder is a one-page typescript letter written by President Heber J. Grant to the Stoddard family to sympathize with them at Ellen's death. President and Sister Grant sent books to the family. The last page of the folder is a one-page typescript of the copy of the announcement of the dedication of the birdbath for her service as the Stake Primary President.