Medford Ellsberg, but almost exclusively known as Bud, was born in Spearfish Lake around 1940 to a family of grocers. He was a member of the football team (with Harold Hekkinan, Frank Matson and Harry Masterfield) which lost only one game in three years (1956-1958). Bud graduated from the High School in 1958 and went to work in his family's grocery business, which he disliked.
After several months, he managed to get drafted into the U.S. Army and went to helicopter mechanic's school. By late 1961, he was a sergeant in the 221st Aviation Battalion and was sent to Vietnam. The war made Bud reassess the family's grocery business. By spring of 1963, Bud was back in Spearfish Lake and soon after married his High School sweetheart Kate O'Connor.
Between several fires and other difficulties, Bud was still not happy as a grocer and in 1975 he sold the business, despite his wife's protests. Soon at the counter of Rick's Cafe, Bud and banker Frank Matson drew up plans for the C&SL Railroad. By 1981 he thought the toughest years of starting up a new railroad were over.
Bud had been a member of the Amvets in Spearfish Lake during the height of its rivalry with the VFW Post as Vietnam vets started joining. Bud was a founder of Henry Toivo Post 17 in November 1981.AF23 Bud was one of the group of Vietnam Vets who welcomed Steve Augsberg home after his tour in Vietnam.WTLC15
Bud and the railroad play a central role in fighting the Warsaw Fire of 1981 as told in Snowplow Extra. Because of the changes from that, Bud finds he must expand the railroad again.
Bud and Kate never had children of their own, but not long after the fire in 1981, they informally adopted Kate's sister's two teenaged girls because of problems their mother was having with the law and alcohol.
By 1999 Kate had died of cancer. Bud got together with his friend Harry Masterfield's widow Jane, including vacationing together in an RV. He wasn't ready to retire, but was slowing down and moving as much of the railroad work onto Josh Archer as possible.FtS7
Jane and Bud got married in the fall of 2000.SQ6