This page last updated July 10, 2000
Hannah Elizabeth "Bettie" Whitten, daughter of Pleasant and Caroline Whitten, was born circa July 1854 in Mississippi and reared in Winston County, Mississippi. On August 15, 1873, Bettie married Francis Marion Ellis in Louisville, Winston, Mississippi. Francis (F.M.) was the grandson of Felix Ellis, the first probate judge of Winston County, Mississippi. Oral history tells us that her family was not happy with the marriage but does not tell us why. Apparently she was a sickly woman because one of the young black girls who had been a servant to Bettie's family came to live with her to take care of her. Between 1873 and 1880, Bettie and F.M. moved their family to Montgomery County, Mississippi to the Poplar Creek area. However, they left Mississippi and moved to Texas around 1898 because the Mississippi climate was bad for Bettie's health. In the 1900 census for Texas, F.M. and Bettie are listed in Williamson County, Texas; then in the 1910 census, they are listed in Coleman County, Texas. Bettie died in Bangs, Brown County, Texas in 1920 and is buried in Mukewater Cemetery in Bangs. After Bettie's death, F.M. remarried to Maude Jackson in August 1921, and they had one son, Frank Ellis, before F.M. died in March 1923.
According to one of Bettie's granddaughters, who told the story to Velma Ellis, wife of Frank Ellis, Bettie is remembered to have been very particular about cleanliness. The story is that Bettie was gathered with her family to celebrate Christmas in 1919, and the family was planning to serve turkey for dinner. This granddaughter remembered that Bettie scrubbed the turkey with soap and water, a really good scrubbing, before she ever killed it! The granddaughter, a young child at the time, said she had the job of chopping the turkey's head off. This was Bettie's last Christmas as she died during the next year, 1920.
Francis Marion Ellis
Born: December 1852 in Winston County, Mississippi
Married: August 15, 1873 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
Died: About 1923 in Texas
Hanna Elizabeth "Bettie" Whitten
Born: July 1856 in Winston County, Mississippi
Died: 1920 in Bangs, Brown County, Texas
Buried: Mukewater Cemetery, Bangs, Texas
Father: Pleasant William Whitten
Mother: Caroline Spencer
Johnny and Donie (or Dorrie) Ellis had five children: Alfred, Birdie (b. 1901), Eddie (b. 1905), Esther (b. 1907), and J.T. (b. 1909).
Carrie and Ollie Metts had nine children: Ernest Willie Metts, Euil Ivy Metts (married Lee Alberta Smith), Roy Freman Metts (married Mae Goad), Marcella Asilee Metts (married Leon Gordon Smith), Mary Lou Metts (married to a Hamilton man, to Allen Pepper, and to Bill Underwood), Lily Bell Metts, Lennie Mae Metts (married Clayton Hurst), and two sons who died as infants.
Lee and Mollie Ellis had three children: George Ellis, Ivy Ellis, and Lizettea Ellis.
According to Velma Ellis, Hannah's husband Lee was a cruel man. Hannah's death by spider bite may have been murder. Lee married again to a M.E. Cooke on 9 Nov. 1920.
1860 Winston County, Mississippi Census, Page 61, Dwelling 384/383:
Elizabeth Whitten, age 4 (1856), born MS. Living with P.H. and C. Whitten.
1870 Winston County, Mississippi Census, Louisville Post Office, Twp 16 Rng 12, Page 11, Dwelling 77/77:
Bettie Whitten, age 14 (1856), born MS. Living with Pleasant and Caroline Whitten.
1880 Montgomery County, Mississippi Census, Beat 5, Poplar Creek (taken from Soundex):
Ellis, Francis, age 27 (1853), head, married, born in MS
Ellis, Hannah, age 24 (1856), wife, married, born in MS
Ellis, John, age 3 (1877), son, born in MS
Ellis, Mary, age 3/12 (1880), daughter, born in MS
1900 Williamson County, Texas Census, Enum Dist 133, Precint 6, Sheet 23, Dwelling 373/384:
Ellis, Francis, head, born Dec 1852, age 47, married 26 yrs, born MS, parents born SC, Farm Laborer
Ellis, Hanna, wife, born July 1854, age 45, married 26 yrs, born MS, parents born unknown
Ellis, Lee, son, born May 1883, age 17, single, born MS
Ellis, Nanna, dau, born Feb 1888, age 12, born MS
Ellis, Hannah, dau, born Mar 1891, age 9, born MS
Ellis, John H, son, born June 1875, age 24, married 2 yrs, born MS
Ellis, Donie, dau-in-law, born May 1881, age 19, married 2 yrs, born TX, parents born unknown
Ellis, Alfred, grandson, born July 1899, age 10/12, born TX
1910 Coleman County, Texas Census, Supervisor Dist 14, Enum Dist 128, Sheet 5A, Dwelling 78/80:
Ellis, Francis, head, age 58 (1852), married 37 yrs, born MS, father born AL, mother born MS, farmer
Ellis, Elizabeth, wife, age 56 (1854), married 37 yrs, mother 7 children, 5 still living, born MS, parents born NC
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