Biography of Thomas Jefferson Ellis, Jr.

The Ellis family has figured conspicuously in connection with the pioneer development and later progress of Oklahoma, and Thomas Jefferson Ellis, Jr., is worthily sustaining the traditions of the name in this respect, being engaged in oil production work. He is also one of the leading agriculturists and stock raisers of northeastern Oklahoma and as President of the Ochelata State Bank is a dominant factor in financial circles here. He was born in Sedan, Kansas, December 16, 1881, and was but a year old when his parents, Thomas J. and Vera Allen (Smith) Ellis, came to Indian Territory. The father was for many years prominently identified with farming and mercantile interests in Washington County and is now living retired in Ochelata at the age of seventy-nine years, having large real estate holdings in the town. The mother was a native of Kentucky. Her remains are interred in a cemetery at Silver Lake, Oklahoma.

Thomas Jefferson Ellis, Jr., acquired his education in the Hillside Mission School and when eighteen years of age entered the mercantile business at Ochelata, with which he was connected for six years. He then disposed of his interests along that line and embarked in the oil business as a producer, being still engaged in drilling on his own property. Although he has sold some of his holdings in western Oklahoma, he still owns over four thousand acres of land, about one-half of which he cultivates, the remainder being used for grazing purposes. He has about one thousand head of cattle, specializing in the raising of beef stock, and is one of the most successful stock raisers in the state. His initiative spirit has led him to extend his energies into other directions and in 1911 he entered the field of. finance, organizing the Ochelata State Bank, of which he became President, and he was also the owner of the Covington (Okla.) State Bank, disposing of the institution in 1918. Many lines of activity have profited by his enterprise and keen discernment and he is essentially a business man whose record is written in terms of success.

On the 28th of January, 1901, Mr. Ellis was united in marriage to Miss Mary M. Morrison, a daughter of Robert Taylor and Susan (McCoy) Morrison, the former a native of Iowa and the latter of Oklahoma. They became pioneer settlers of this state and are now residing on a farm three miles north of Ochelata. In their family were the following children: Mary M., Margaret, Robert, Jr., Delia, Ellen, Maude, Angie, Dora, John, Opal, Jewell, and Haskell, all of whom are living in Washington County this state except Delia, whose home is in Pawhuska, and Angie, who is a resident of Kansas City. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis have three children: Gladys, Evelyn and Judson, all of whom are attending school. The family reside in a beautiful home in Ochelata, containing about fourteen rooms. Mr. Ellis has taken a prominent part in public affairs and for four years served as special oil and gas agent, resigning the position in 1918. He is now filling the office of President of the , Good Roads Association of Washington County, in which connection he is doing all within his power to improve the public high-ways in this section. He is a man of unusual mental versatility, resourcefulness and organizing skill, who possesses the determination and executive ability which enable him to carry forward to a successful issue whatever he undertakes. His life has been one of intense activity and usefulness and progress has ever been his watchword. He has never been content to choose the second best, but holding to high ideals, has made his work a potent force in promoting Oklahoma’s present prosperity and greatness and Ochelata is fortunate in claiming him as a citizen.



Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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