Not much is known about his life until his association with a fellow Englishman and Yorkshireman John William Kitson. Robert Ellin established his firm as Robert Ellin & Company circa 1870 in New York City. He and John William Kitson joined forces in 1874 before the 1876 Bi-Centennial as Robert Ellin and Company. In 1879 they formally changed the firm"s name to Ellin & Kitson.
Following the early death of William Kitson in February 1888, the name of the firm was changed to Ellin, Kitson and Company.
Ellin is mentioned in A History of the Metropolitan Museum of Art" 1913 by Howe and Kent. Robert Ellin was an astute businessman and promoter of his firm.
In order to control costs he became involved in many mining and other supplies businesses. In 1872 Robert Ellin was elected a director of the Bay of Fundy Red Granite Company located in Saint George, New Brunswick, Canada.
Perth Amboy Terra Cotta Works.
1893 The Goodsell Marble Company Newark New Jersey. He was active in establishing the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was an officer of the Sculpture Society covering stone. In July 1874 he filed for a trade mark name of Terra-Cotta in the Great Britain Patent Office In 1899 Ellin filed for a U South patent of a design for crushing or grinding mill, which was awarded to him in May 1900 Patent # 650, 798. He is also noted to have carved the cherry frieze in Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts between 1872 and 1875.
Much of the finest work done by Ellin & Kitson has been in the magnificent group of private residences which have been the nucleus of our American art life..sculpturing formalizing their partnership with emphasis in churches.
They have been noted as specialty contractors in many buildings from New York City to Boston. Please see Ellin & Kitson for a list of some of the buildings with which they are associated.
In 1900 census he is noted to be living in Westchester, New New York He died February 3, 1904 in Yonkers, New New York At the time of his death, Ellin, Kitson & Company were working on Senator Clark of Montana"s New York City home.
Ellin & Kitson worked with many notable architects and designers of the day: Thomas Wisedell, J C Cady, Robert J Withers, Vaux/ Withers, George B. Post, Kimball & Wisedell, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Richard Hunt among them.