Abolitionist. He was the son of Henry (1782-1857) and Charity
    (Harper) Ellis (1791-1875). On 15 March 1843, he was married to
    a Elizabeth Haughy (1824-1885) in Greene County Ohio.

    In September 1857 he and his family moved from Ohio to Kansas,
    settling in Miami County. He arrived in Kansas when it was
    seething with divided and violent feelings about slavery. His mind
    and heart were deeply bound to the cause of abolition. It was
    only natural for him to become friends with John Brown, a zealot
    for abolitionist movement.

    For a year he was a co-worker with Brown in the Border War.
    This was a year of tense turbulent action. So bloody and
    desperate were the struggles that Ellis and his younger brother,
    John Harbeson Ellis always slept away from the house. Or, if at
    home, his wife or daughter stood guard all night. In 1858, Ellis
    was elected a member of the territorial legislature of 1859. On
    December 6, 1859, he was elected to the first Kansas State
    Legislature of 1861. Before being elected to these offices, he had
    served as county commissioner and superintendent of public

    In 1860, while serving in this capacity, he gave William C.
    Quantrill a certificate to teach school at Stanton. As he issued the
    certificate, with each stroke of the pen, destiny was written. For
    Quantrill later became the infamous Civil War raider. March 7,
    1862, in the line of duty, he was making a trip from Fort Scott to
    Fort Leavenworth. He stopped over night at Arbrey, a small town
    three miles south of the Missouri state line. At day break, the
    landloard roused all in the house with the cry, "The
    bushwhackers are coming." Hearing the alarm, Ellis sprang out of
    bed, placed a fur cap on his head and looked out the window.

    Quantrill took a shot at him. The ball passed through the sash
    and fur cap, leaving the mark as indicated in the picture herewith.
    Ellis had fallen victim to one of his barbarous raids. Through he
    survived, he was marked for life-a mark which gave him his nick
    name, "Bullet Hole".

    Quantrill came into the house and recognizing Ellis, said "You are
    not the kind of man I was looking for, I'm damned sorry." He
    saved the life of Ellis from his blood-thirsty followers, but
    overlooked the fact that his followers had already taken two
    hundred and fifty dollars from him. He did, however, leave him
    some groceries and a wagon and team.

    The wound in Ellis' head was most unusual-the most remarkable
    on record. The ball had crushed both plates of the skull and
    lodged against the inner lining, and lay buried in the wound for
    seventy hours. The ball and twenty-seven pieces of bone are
    now in the Army and Navy Medical Museaum, at Washington. It is
    said the open wound showed the brain as it throbbed with each
    pulsation of the heart. He was five months recovering.

    On October 9, 1861, occurred the first annual meeting of the
    Kansas State Temperance Society and he was introduced as a
    new officer of the Chamber.

    In 1870, five years after the close of the war, Ellis and his family
    moved from Miami County to homestead 5 miles west of Elk City
    on what is now known as the Phillip Osborn farm. He became an
    enthusiastic horticulturist, planting many acres of fine orchard.
    Abraham "Bullet Hole" Ellis
Hannes Poetter Design and Sponsorship - all rights reserved
Miami County Historical Museum - 12 E. Peoria, - Paola, KS 66071 Phone: 913-294-4940
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
Your ad could be
A big Thank You
to our Sponsors