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Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Rev. John B. Ellis, president of Morrisville College, was born in Robertson County, Tenn., February 14, 1848, where he was reared and received his early education. After leaving the public schools he attended Calender’s High School, of Sumner County, Tenn., then taught two years, and then spent two years in Union College of West Tennessee, lacking only four months of graduating as a Ph. B. He again turned his attention to teaching, and in 1875 came to Greene County, where he taught several schools. In 1876 he returned to Tennessee, and married Miss Eliza T. Matthews, a native of Sumner County, Tenn., after which he returned to Missouri and joined the Southwest Missouri Conference of the Methodist Episcopal. Church, South, and was actively engaged in his ministerial duties until 1886, filling positions at Neosho, Marshfield, Westport, etc. He was presiding elder of Springfield District from 1883 to 1886, when he was elected president of Morrisville College. Mrs. Ellis is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In their family are five children: Mattielou, Rebecca M., John A., Lida L. and William P. Prof. Ellis is a member of the Masonic order, and a prominent man in the county. His parents, Green D. and Rebecca (Deal) Ellis, were both natives of Davidson County, Tenn. The great-grandfather Ellis was an Englishman, who came to this country at an early day, settling in North Carolina, and from there the younger members of the family found their way to Tennessee. The father of our subject was born in 1803, and the mother in 1816. After growing up, they were married in Davidson County, Tenn., in 1835, and for a livelihood the father followed farming, though he taught school in early life. Both he and wife were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In their family were nine children, seven sons and two daughters. He died in 1879, and she in 1887. He was a Whig in politics.

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This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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