Elbert A. Ellis

ELBERT A. ELLIS,* residing on the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 15, township 33, range 25, in Shawnee township, is a prosperous farmer and a man of recognized business ability. He comes of a prominent family, which has been established in this country since the Revolutionary period and is of English extraction.

Mr. Ellis is descended from Isaac Ellis, who was born in England and came to this country prior to the Revolutionary War, in which he served, and located in North Carolina. His son, Samuel Ellis, the grandfather of our subject, participated in the American Revolution as well as in the War of 1812. He was wounded at the battle of Cowpens, South Carolina, and carried an English bullet in his shoulder the remainder of his life. He removed to Tennessee, thence to Kentucky, Illinois and finally to California, where he died in 1849, aged 84 years. He married Mary Howard, a native of Scotland.

Elbert Ellis, father of our subject and youngest son of Samuel and Mary (Howard) Ellis, was born in Burke County, North Carolina, in 1795, and spent the most of his boyhood years on the home farm in Buncombe County. He lived there until 12 years old, then removed with his parents to Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee, where he grew to manhood. He was married in Cocke County, Tennessee, in 1827, to Temperance Driskill, who was born in that county in 1805 and was a daughter of Richard and Amanda (Young) Driskill. Mr. Driskill being dead, Mr. Ellis took the management of the estate of 360 acres, residing with his wife's mother. Upon the latter's death, he purchased the interests of his co-heirs, and thereafter followed farming and stock-raising. Politically he was a Whig. He and his wife became parents of 14 children, as follows: Mary, deceased in 1887, who was the widow of James Breeden, a Confederate soldier who died in a Federal prison in 1864,—he was a Unionist at heart but was conscripted into the Confederate Army, was captured by the Union soldiers and died the day before the proof of his Northern sympathies reached his captors; William H., who died in Butler, Missouri; Martha Louisa, residing in Tennessee, who is the widow of William B. Reams, who was killed by a Confederate in December, 1863; Elizabeth, widow of Drewry Dawson, now living in Cocke County, Tennessee; Lucinda, the wife of Alexander Fowler, of Cocke County, Tennessee; Patrick Howard, deceased; Sarah Ann, who died at the age of 14 years; Richard Driskill, of Shawnee township, Cherokee County; Catherine Jane, who married Isaac Fowler, deceased in 1871, and later married J. L. McMillan of Shawnee township, Cherokee County; Dorcas whose first husband, William Kelley, was a Confederate and was killed at Vicksburg, subsequently married Pleasant Poe, a union soldier now deceased, and lives in Jefferson County, Tennessee; Elbert A., whose name heads this record; Samuel Jefferson, a record of whose life appears elsewhere in this work; Moses L. of Shawnee township, Cherokee County; and one who died in infancy. Mr. Ellis was a Primitive Baptist, and Mrs. Ellis a Missionary Baptist. She died in Shawnee township in January, 1888, aged 83 years.

Elbert A. Ellis was born in Cocke County, Tennessee, November 26, 1840, and was reared at home. He received such education as the public schools afforded, but through his own research and reading has provided himself with a liberal education. He knew President Andrew Johnson very well, as that gentleman was an intimate friend of his father. On June 22, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, 8th Reg., Tennessee Vol. Inf., at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, and spent eight months in service in Eastern Kentucky, then went to Tennessee under Burnsides. He served in the 23d Army Corps under Scofield, and continued with his regiment until July 7, 1864, when near Atlanta he was wounded by the concussion of a shell. He was obliged to remain in the hospital for three months; upon reentering the service he was placed in the 11th Regiment, Tennessee Vol. Cav., being made 2d lieutenant of Company G, but before he saw much service was taken captive by Breckenridge's command and held until the war was over, being released under parole on February 22, 1865. On June 8, 1864, Mr. Ellis was wounded by a spent ball at Burnt Hickory, and on the 14th of the preceding month was wounded by a piece of timber cut from a tree by a cannon ball. All told, he participated in 33 engagements, in which artillery was used. He returned home at the close of the war and continued there until 1882, when he came West to Cherokee County, locating in Shawnee township. Here he rented different farms which he cultivated and in 1893 purchased his present farm in section 15. He is engaged in the pursuits of general farming, and his principal crops are wheat, oats and corn. He stands well in the community and is a good, substantial business man.

On June 22, 1865, Mr. Ellis was united in marriage with Darthulia Smith, a daughter of David Smith, of Cocke County, Tennessee, and they have five children, as follows: Elizabeth, wife of C. M. Hudson of Texas; Julia, deceased, who was the wife of John F. Kiser; Samuel J., of Shawnee township, Cherokee County; James, deceased at the age of 19; and Sarah Jane, wife of Edward Smith of Empire City, Cherokee County. Mrs. Ellis died in 1878, aged 34 years, and in 1880 he formed a second union with Tennessee Harrison, by whom they had a son, Herman. His second wife died in 1883, and he formed a third union with Frances Lenora Easterly, a daughter of Philip Easterly of Cocke County, Tennessee, and they have five children: Otia Bell; Philip Alexander; Montie T.; Edna M.; and Ura B. Mrs. Ellis belongs to the Lutheran Church. Mr. Ellis is a Republican in politics, and in Tennessee served as deputy sheriff and as justice of the peace. He was a member of the Masonic lodge at Knoxville, Tennessee; he is a member of Crestline Lodge, No. 476, I. O. O. F., has passed through all the chairs and is now deputy grand. He belongs to the Rebekahs, was a member of the G. A. R. post at Crestline until it disbanded and is a member of the Sons and Daughters of Justice.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 1/9/97.


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