Built by the Wagner Palace Car Company of Buffalo, N.Y., in 1899, for the then-president of the company, Dr. William Seward Webb, the car was considered one of the finest examples of private railway passenger cars from the Gilded Age. The car traveled extensively to the West Coast of the United States while used by Dr. Webb, normally traveling the Santa Fe Railroad route to the west from Chicago, IL, to Los Angeles and the West Coast.
Originally constructed as an all-wood car, a partial steel underframe was added in a major rebuild ca 1915. The interior prim paneling is of fine hardwoods including English oak, primavera, laurel, and mahogany. Ellsmere saw service as a business car in Texas until the 1960s when she returned to private ownership. The car was donated to the museum in 2002.
Ellsmere is open for viewing on the first Saturday of each month.