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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JACOB ELLIS. The name which opens this sketch is that of one of the best farmers in Johnson County. He occupies one of the finest estates in this section and is surrounded by all the comforts that he could wish for. The home place contains two hundred acres, situated in township 45, range 25, and the dwelling, which is substantially built, is surrounded by shade trees and shrubs, which make it attractive to the passer-by.

Mr. Ellis was born in Cooper County, this state, November 21, 1819, and is the son of Isaac and Patsy (Shipley) Ellis, natives of Kentucky. There they were reared and married, continuing to make their home in the Blue Grass State until 1818. That year they crossed the line into Missouri, where the father purchased a farm within the confines of Cooper County. He lived upon this place for three years, when he removed to another location in the southern portion of the county, where his death occurred when three-score years and ten. His wife also passed her last days on this place, dying at the age of sixty-five years. He was one of the very earliest settlers in the state, and was well and favorably known.

To Isaac and Patsy Ellis there were born ten children, namely: John, William, George, Benjamin, Isaac, Rachel, Elizabeth, Jacob, Robert and James. The eldest son married Malinda Raney, who is now deceased. He is living on a farm twelve miles north of Sedalia, and has now attained his eighty-ninth year.

Our subject was fairly well educated, though the schools in those days were very inferior. He assisted in the work at home until attaining his majority. That year his father gave him a tract of forty acres of land, and having entered a like amount himself, he had a goodly acreage with which to commence. He cleared the greater part of the land, built thereon a substantial house, and while living there, in 1856, was married to Miss Minerva Anderson, a native of Pettis County, having been born May 25, 1832. She was the daughter of Ambrose and Hannah Anderson, also natives of that county, where they were farmers.

Our subject continued to live on the farm mentioned above for fourteen years after his marriage, when, having a good offer, he sold the tract and moved to Pettis County. His first purchase of land there consisted of two hundred and fourteen acres, located about twelve miles northeast of Sedalia. This he improved and made his home for ten years, when another change was made, this time moving to his present beautiful place. Although it is two hundred acres in extent, Mr. Ellis has only one-half the farm under tillage, and the greater portion of this he rents. At the time he purchased the place it was owned by a man by the name of Kimsey and was occupied by Mr. Farley, a minister well known to the old residents of the county.

When a lad of fifteen years our subject remembers seeing a herd of about sixty deer near his home, and on shouldering his musket to shoot at them brought down two. He had a friend, however, who was much more of an expert than he in the use of the rifle, for it is known that during the early settlement of the county he shot as many as fifteen hundred deer in one year. At this time the Indians were very numerous in the locality, but were quite friendly, however.

Mr. Ellis was deprived of the companionship of his good wife in 1876, she dying August 10 of that year. To them were born ten children. Of these Tabitha Jane married Andy Quint; she is now deceased, and her husband makes his home in Cooper County, this state. Robert B. married Emma Tanner, and died in August, 1878; his widow resides in this county. Daniel is unmarried, and is residing on a farm in this township. William died at the age of thirty-five years. Minerva died in infancy. Laura also died when young. George Ann, who lives near our subject, became the wife of John McDaniel, who is deceased. Elizabeth died in infancy. Mary married Thomas Ivy, and they now live in township 44, range 25. Jennie R. married James Adams, and they make their home on a farm near Mr. Ellis.

August 15, 1877, our subject was married to Mrs. Jane (Boyd) Root, who was born in North Carolina, July 23, 1829. She was the daughter of Cyrus and Nancy (Lewis) Boyd, both natives of that state, where the father was a cabinet-maker, following that trade all his life. When Mrs. Ellis was an infant of six weeks the family emigrated to Tennessee, and two years later moved to Kentucky. They resided there for the same length of time, when they crossed the line into Missouri and thereafter lived in Jasper County until the decease of the father. Mrs. Boyd subsequently married Solomon Carter, a cooper, and went to Dade County, where her death occurred.

Mrs. Ellis was first married, November 20, 1860, to Thomas E. Root, who died two years later, in Arkansas. The widow then made her home with relatives until her union with our subject. In politics he is a Republican, and in religious affairs, although not connected with any organization, contributes to the support of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which denomination his wife is connected.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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