Kerry Lee Ellis Family 1888

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Kerry Lee Ellis was born in 1888 in Sedgewickville, Bollinger County, Missouri.
He is the son of James Franklin Ellis and Hannah Grindstaff

He died September 16, 1955 in Jackson, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri and is buried in the Woodlawn cemetery in Popular Bluff, Missouri.. His proof of death certificate can be seen here. His will can be seen here.

He married Mae Ethel Yount on April 26, 1911 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri.
After Mae died in 1935, Lee needed help raising his family. James had left home and had joined the circus/carnival circuit with his life-long friend, Mel Hall. John and Clara Mae would get married and leave home in 1936 leaving the youngest son, Charles Eugene to raise. Della Mae Pryor Mooney moved in to provide companionship and assistance in raising Gene. In fact, the 1940 census carries Della as a wife to Lee. In fact, as far as can be ascertained, they were never married. This relationship was evidently over by the first part of 1941. The end came with a heated argument one morning. Lee left and went out into the fields to take care of farming chores. When he returned home in the afternoon, Della was gone. All the chickens were gone. The smoke house was empty and Lee was back to raising Gene on his own.

Shortly before his father died in 1941, Lee met and started courting the local postmistress, Myrtle Alexander Rauls Fralick. These were busy times for Lee but seven years later he finally convenced Myrtle to marry him. They were married on October 23, 1948. This date was also the birthday of James Ellis, Sr. who took offense to his father taking a new wife on his birthday. No one could take the place of his mother, Mae Ethel Yount.

Marriage photo of Ethel and Kerry Lee Ellis

Lee farmed in Missouri and dealt in real estate in Arkansas and Texas. Among his better deals was the sale of property in Arkansas and purchase of property located near Freer, Texas. The latter property was sandy with lots of snakes, wild hog and deer. It also was located next to what would be known as the Seven Sisters oil and gas field. Oil had been discovered in 1928. By 1933 the Freer oil fields were the second largest producers in the United States. Kerry had a general store in what became the town of Seven Sisters (now a ghost town). Even though the field is now mostly depleted, the property is still in the family.

For a first-hand look at what it was like growing up in the Kerry Ellis household, click here to read a short narrative by Clara Mae Ellis Bonar - daughter of Kerry Lee Ellis.

The following appeared in The Banner Press, Marble Hill, MO, September 22, 1955
Kerry Lee Ellis, son of the late James Franklin and Hannah A. Ellis, died at his home in Jackson Friday, September 16. He was born at Patton, September 2, 1888, and was 67 years old. He was married to Mae Yount who preceded him in death about 20 years ago.

To this union six children were born, two of the sons, Herman and Raymond have preceded their father in death. The surviving children are John of Oklahoma City, Okla., James of Beaumont, Tex, Eugene C. of Monterrey, Mexico, Mrs. Clara Bonar of Slater, and a stepson, Elmer Rauls of Los Angeles, Calif.; two brothers, Walter F. Ellis of Lake, Ark., E. C. Ellis of Festus; four sisters, Mrs. H. J. Bollinger of Millersville, Mrs. E. S. Bollinger of Sedgewickville, Mrs. L. H. Statler of Cape Girardeau and Mrs. L. L. Ball of Seattle, Washington and 14 grandchildren. On October 23, 1948 he was married to Myrtle Rauls, who survives.


Kerry Lee Ellis spent much of his life farming and dealing in livestock, but had interests in Delta Oil Refineries and supervised construction work in Alice, Tex. for a number of years. In early life he was united with the Methodist church. Kerry also owned a general store in Seven Sisters, Texas (near Freer, TX - now a ghost town on private property) during the oil boom. Later in life he also owned a store in Harveill, Missouri. The picture below of the Harveill store was taken about 2003.

I would be interested in learning more about the organization and operation of the Delta Oil Refineries. If you have any knowledge of these items, please contact me at .

Kerry Lee Ellis fathered a son who was born October 23, 1916.
This son was named James Edward Ellis. This is our direct ancestor

Other children of Ethel Mae Yount and Kerry Lee Ellis are:
  • A son, Herman Lee Ellis was born February 16, 1912.
  • A son, John Morris Ellis was born June 19, 1913.
  • A daughter, Clara Mae Ellis was born October 12, 1919.
  • A son, Raymond Joe Ellis was born January 19, 1927.
  • A son, Charles Eugene Ellis was born March 31, 1929.
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