THE ELLIS FAMILY CEMETERY
(last updated October 2001)
This document is based on correspondences with Floyd J. Bowers of Elizabethton, Tennessee, and a visit on 18 August 1991 with Marcella Ellis Perry of Elizabethton. Mrs. Perry was a daughter of U.S. Grant Ellis and the last known surviving grandchild of Captain Daniel Ellis. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mr. Bowers and Mrs. Perry. Also of use was L. Ellis' entry on Captain Daniel Ellis in Carter County Tennessee and Its People, 1976-1993 (Elizabethton, TN: Carter County History Book Committee, 1993).
This was originally written as an article for the East Tennessee Historical Society publication, Tennessee Ancestors. It was accepted and published in the April 1992 issue (volume 8, number 1, pp. 54-56). Due to editorial omissions, my own errors, and new information, this revision differs substantially from that article. I welcome any corrections, clarifications or additional information. Somebody somewhere knows things and I want to talk to them.
The Ellis Family Cemetery, also known as the Captain Dan Ellis Cemetery, is the final resting place of Captain Daniel Ellis, the noted scout and pilot of the Civil War, whose credits include guiding some 4000 refugees through the mountains from Confederate-held East Tennessee into the Union lines.
As a result of his Mexican War and Civil War service, Ellis owned a considerable amount of land in this region. Over the years his family sold the land, so that only this small cemetery remains in family ownership. The cemetery is located in the Charity Hill Community in Carter County, on Route 1 (Box 400) Elizabethton. The house on the adjoining property was built around 1910 and was once owned by Captain Ellis' son, U.S. Grant Ellis. The last verified occupants were D. Petrosky and G. and D. Kendall. To get to the cemetery from downtown Elizabethton, take the Veterans Memorial Highway (East 67, South 19E, South 321) for approximately 3 miles to the Rod Swift Bridge over the Doe River. Immediately past the bridge, turn left onto Riverview Road and bear right, driving about ½ mile to turn right on Garrison Hollow Road. Go for about 1.2 miles to the house at 345 Garrison Hollow. The cemetery is on a hill behind this house.
The cemetery today is in fairly good condition, due largely to the efforts of Milburn Ellis, a great-great-grandson of Captain Ellis, who, as of this writing, sees to its maintenance. The cemetery was never handled with a great deal of organization or care, until the efforts of Wiley Ray Ellis ( 4 October 1899 - 10 January 1990), a son of U.S. Grant Ellis, saved it from neglect.
There is at least one unmarked grave, that of Martha Allen May Ellis, wife of Captain Dan, who was born on 15 December 1833 in Lee County, Virginia, and died on 11 December 1924. The Charity Hill area was named for the goodwill and generosity of Mrs. Ellis and her neighbors. Her death certificate indicates that she was interred on this site. She is presumably buried at the Captain's left side.
It is possible, but unconfirmed, that Captain Ellis' son Wiley (20 July 1858 - 27 June 1899) and father Wiley (born 1803 in North Carolina) are also buried here. Stories have been passed down of Native Americans and African-Americans (possibly slaves, not to infer that the Ellises were slave-holders) buried outside the chain-link fence enclosure of the cemetery.
1. U. S. Grant Ellis, July 20, 1866 - October 16, 1956 ("Uncle Grant," a teacher, Carter County school superintendent, county surveyor, and member of the state
legislature, was the youngest of Dan Ellis' seven children, and the last to die).
2. Mary J. Ellis, November 24, 1871 - August 28, 1940 (Maiden name Holly, wife of U.S. Grant Ellis, married 21 September 1890).
3. Large stone engraved, "Ellis."
4. Mrs. Frank (Rena J.) Ellis, 1896 - 1939 (Maiden name Johnson, married to Frank L. Ellis in 1916).
5. Frank L. Ellis, 1888 - 1943 (A son of William Rhea Ellis).
6. Mother, Hattie Ellis, 1897 - 1976 (Maiden name Minton, Married John Wesley Ellis in 1919).
7. Father, Wesley Ellis, 1897 - 1962 (John Wesley Ellis was a son of William Rhea Ellis).
8. Son, John W. Ellis, 1924 - 1928.
9. Annie Ellis Lovelace [Allie], August 12, 1892 - August 24, 1964 ( A daughter of William Rhea Ellis, married Herman Lovelace in 1912).
10. Virginia, Infant of Hermon (sic) and Allie Lovelace, April 16, 1923 - April 16, 1923.
11. Small stone engraved, "Infant" (stillborn son, born and died October 16, 1924).
12. Clyde H. Lovelace, March 16, 1916 - March 21, 1943
13. Herman Lovelace, 1892 - 1936
14. Small stone engraved, "Mary."
15. Small stone engraved, "Reynolds."
16. "Charles W. Loveless. Tennessee Sgt. 36 AAF Flying GP WWII, April 7, 1920 - October 12, 1950" (Government marker. Should be "Lovelace"?
(The nameless "Infant," Clyde H. Lovelace, Mary, Reynolds, and Charles W. Loveless are presumably all children of Herman and Annie Lovelace.)
17. J. H. Ellis, M.D., Born May 7, 1863 (Stone is broken and death date and inscription unreadable. Dr. Joseph Hooker Ellis was Daniel Ellis' sixth child and the
third to die, of "paralysis," on 17 February 1914. His wife, Emma Simerly Ellis (1868 - 1962) and son Bruce (1888 - 1932) are buried in the Simerly
Cemetery at Rittertown, near Hampton.
18. "Capt. Dan'l Ellis, Co. A, 13 Tenn. Cav." (Government marker. Daniel Ellis was born 30 December 1827 and died 6 January 1908). Closeup
19. William Rhea Ellis, April 17, 1856 - May 8, 1898, "Farewell my wife and children all. From you a father Christ doth call. Our Darling" (Middle name
sometimes cited as "Rutledge," he was Daniel Ellis' third child, and the first to die). The marker shows the symbol of "The Three Link Fraternity," the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The three links in the chain contain F, L, and T, standing for Friendship, Love, and Truth.
20. Mollie Ellis, 1868 - 1936 (also called Mary, daughter of Jacob Brownlow Treadway (1836 - 1910) and Catherine Collins (1847 - 1896), and wife of William
21. Single stone engraved, "Heaton." Below, the names Bessie Mae, 1889 - 1964; Joseph C., 1886 - 1963 (Bessie Mae Ellis, a daughter of William Rhea Ellis,
married Joseph C. Heaton in 1907).
22. Daniel Ellis, 1854 - 1934 (School teacher Daniel Ellis, Jr., second child of Daniel Ellis, born 9 February 1854, was the fifth to die, on 27 August 1934).
23. Eliza Ellis, 1862 - 1919 (Maiden name Collins, wife of Daniel Ellis, Jr.).
24. Amma B. Ellis, 1878 - 1881 (A daughter of Daniel Jr. and Eliza Ellis. This is the oldest known grave on the site).
25. Daniel M. Ellis, 1912 - 1968 (Middle name Milburn, son of Arthur M. and Elizabeth Crowe Ellis).
26. "Sergt. Arthur M. Ellis, Co. M. 1 U.S. Inf." (Government marker, signifying service in Philippine Insurrection. Arthur Milburn, 25 December 1875 - 18
November 1929, a son of Daniel Jr. and Eliza Collins Ellis, and my grandfather, also served in the Spanish-American War and World War 1. His wife,
Elizabeth Crowe Ellis (20 November 1888 - 2 September 1987), is buried in the Happy Valley Cemetery, Elizabethton, Tennessee.
27. Large stone engraved, "Ellis."
? Apparent base for a missing tombstone
|The Ellis Family Cemetery|
|(not to scale)|
CEMETERY PHOTO 2
CEMETERY PHOTO 3