Elias Disney was born on February 6, 1859 in Bluevalle, Ontario, Canada to Irish immigrants Kepple Elias Disney and Mary Richardson. Elias worked various jobs in the Western United States, farming in Kansas, prospecting for gold in California and working on railroad crews in Colorado. On New Year's Day in 1888, Disney married Flora Call in Kismet, Florida. The couple would move to Chicago, Illinois and have five children, Herbert Arthur (October 10, 1888), Raymond Arnold (December 30, 1890), Roy Oliver (June 24, 1893), Walter Elias (December 5, 1901) and Ruth Flora (December 6, 1903). The family left Chicago for Marceline, Missouri, staying several years until settling in Kansas City, Missouri.
Two of Elias' sons, Roy O. Disney and Walt E. Disney, would move to Hollywood to found the Disney Brothers Studios in 1923, which would become the Walt Disney Studios in 1926. In 1928 Walt created Mickey Mouse, who became a sensation with Steamboat Willie, the first animated film synchronized to music and sound effects.