Richard Driskill Ellis

RICHARD DRISKILL ELLIS, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in section 16, township 33, range 25, in Shawnee township, is one of the pioneers of this county and has been located on his present farm for more than 35 years. He was born in Cocke County, Tennessee, February 26, 1838, and is a son of Elbert and Temperance (Driskill) Ellis, grandson of Samuel and Mary (Howard) Ellis, and great-grandson of Isaac Ellis. The last named was a native of England and came to this country before the Revolution, settling in North Carolina.

Samuel Ellis was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, and although still in his teens served in the latter part of the Revolutionary War under Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," famous as a scout and soldier in the Carolinas. He was wounded at the battle of Cowpens, South Carolina, and carried the bullet in his shoulder throughout life. About 1824, he removed from Tennessee, where he had resided for some time, to Polk County, Missouri, where he was was[sic] one of the pioneers. He first married Mary Howard, who was of Scotch birth, and of their children the youngest was Elbert.

Elbert Ellis was born in North Carolina in 1795, and was a youth when his parents moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee, where he grew to maturity. He was reared on a farm and followed farming all his life. He was 28 years old when he was joined in marriage with Temperance Driskill, who was born in Cocke County, Tennessee, in 1805, and was a daughter of Richard and Amanda (Young) Driskill. He conducted the Driskill farm of 360 acres until after Mrs. Driskill's death, then purchased it of the heirs. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis became the parents of 14 children, namely: Mary, deceased, who was the widow of James Breeden of Jefferson County, Tennessee; William H., deceased; Martha Louisa, widow of William B. Reams, residing in Hamblin County, Tennessee; Elizabeth, widow of Drewry Dawson, now living in Cocke County, Tennessee; Lucinda, wife of Alexander Fowler, of Cocke County, Tennessee; Patrick Howard, deceased; Sarah Ann, deceased; Richard Driskill; Catherine Jane, wife of J. L McMillan of Shawnee township; Dorcas M., widow of Pleasant Poe, residing in Jefferson County, Tennessee; Elbert A., of Shawnee township; Samuel Jefferson, of Shawnee township; Moses L., of Shawnee township; and one who died in infancy. Mr. Ellis was an Old Line Whig. Religiously, he was a Primitive Baptist and his wife a Missionary Baptist.

Richard D. Ellis received such educational training as could be had in the township schools and was reared on his father's farm on which he lived until he reached the age of 23 years. He then rented a neighboring farm which he cultivated, and the following year was married. Shortly afterward, he enlisted in Company C, 8th Reg., Tennessee Vol. Inf., and served with it nine months, when he was advanced to a 1st lieutenancy in the 11th Regiment, Tennessee Vol. Cav., participating with that regiment in all its battles until the spring of 1865. The regiment was then consolidated with the 9th Regiment, Tennessee Vol. Cav., and our subject was promoted to the position of captain of Company M., serving as such until mustered out, October 19, 1865. After the war he returned to Greene County, Tennessee, and engaged in farming and buying and selling stock and grain. In April, 1869, he came West to Kansas and purchased his present farm of 240 acres, which he devoted to grain and stock raising. He met with excellent success and continued until 1891, since which time he has been in practical retirement.

On August 3, 1862, Mr. Ellis married Sarah J. Holdway, a daughter of Hezekiah Holdway, and they had five children: James H., of Columbus; Thula, wife of George W. Douglass, of Crawford township; Elbert H., of Springfield, Missouri; Samuel J., deceased; and Sarah F., deceased. Mrs. Ellis died December 2, 1877. On September 26, 1878, Mr. Ellis was married to Martha Chestnutt, a daughter of Thomas Chestnutt, of Shawnee township. Religiously, both are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he has been an elder for many years. Politically, he is independent, but has served as township trustee and for 15 years or more served on the School Board. He does not care for office but was the nominee for the office of township treasurer, the nomination coming unsought.


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.


[TOC] [Biog. Index] [1904 Index] [Cherokee Co.] [Archives]
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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