Edward, the second of eight children of Josephine Dondanville and Joseph Ulrich, was born in Serena Township, LaSalle County, Illinois May 30, 1876. He was seventeen when the family moved to Iowa. On June 11, 1902 he was married to Mary Loretta Coughlon at Corpus Christi Church in Fort Dodge. Mary Coughlon was born in Deer Creek Township, Humboldt County, on September 13, 1879. She attended the township schools, and later, Tobin College in Fort Dodge. She taught for several years in the Deer Creek schools.
Edward and Mary farmed in Deer Creek Township. A daughter Edna was born in 1903. In 1915 Edward's younger sister Mary Elizabeth Ulrich Gardner died at age 30, leaving two young daughters. Edward and Mary took the youngest daughter Elizabeth into their home and raised her as their own.
In the mid 1920s they retired from farming and moved to a home at 1235 Fifth Avenue North in Fort Dodge. There Edward worked as a carpenter and general contractor. In August 1930, their daughter Edna died at age 27. Elizabeth's first child, James Williams, made his home with Edward and Mary. Elizabeth married John P. Jensen in Fort Dodge and had at least four additional children. Edward died August 3, 1952 at age 77. Mary died June 16, 1957. Both are buried in Corpus Christi Cemetery in Fort Dodge.