Alliss Biography

Charles Alliss was born on October 7, 1880 in Niagara Falls NY. He moved to Duluth, Minnesota and in 1906 and became one of 3M’s first employees. With his experience in sandpaper production, he was named foreman of 3M’s first sandpaper plant when it opened in 1907. Manufacturing of sandpaper in northern Minnesota was less than ideal so the plant moved to the east side of Saint Paul in the spring of 1910.

Charles Alliss is credited with improving the quality of the abrasive products by enhancing the design and installation of equipment which brought 3M their initial success. He eventually became the General Superintendent of Factory Administration for all of 3M’s manufacturing.

Charles Alliss retired in 1945 and he and Ellora moved to the lakes near Brainerd, Minnesota and spent their winters in both Florida and Arizona.

Upon his death on September 11, 1958 the Charles & Ellora Alliss Educational Foundation was created with $6 million worth of 3M stock coming from his estate. Upon Ellora’s death on August 23, 1966 the Foundation received an additional $10 million.

Since the first scholarships were given in 1962, more than $125 million has been granted to thousands of Minnesota students. Today the Foundation assets total approximately $100 million.

The legacy of Charles & Ellora Alliss lives on in the achievement of Minnesota students who strive to better themselves and their communities through the benefits of education.