Ellsworth Township, named by Jesse V. Branham Jr. in honor of Union colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, was first settled in June 1856 and formally organized in 1868. Curiously enough, the town of Greenleaf was located in Ellsworth Township rather than in Greenleaf Township. A community called Casey was on the Southwest corner of Lake Stella, where the Lake Stella Creamery building remains. A monument to Chief Little Crow was placed in the approximate location of his death in 1863.
Ellsworth Township includes many lakes, such as Lake Manuella, Sioux Lake, Greenleaf Lake, Lake Willie, Lake Erie, Long Lake, Birch Lake, School House Lake, Mud Lake, Hurley Lake, Benton Lake, Porter Lake, Fallon Lake, and most of Jewell Lake. There are also portions of Belle Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake Stella and Lake Washington.