Ellis Family Portrait, 1928, Chandler, Oklahoma Photograph courtesy the Ellis family
Chandler: The Ellis Family Story
family history that chronicles the Ellis family of Chandler,
Oklahoma. Whit and Maggie Ellis, both children of former slaves,
came from poor, rural, southern families. Married in 1899 in
Chandler, Whit and Maggie became parents of 10 children who lived
to adulthood, all earning college degrees, seven obtaining masters
degrees, and two receiving Ph.D.s -- remarkable academic
achievements, considering their humble beginnings and the
segregated times in which the family lived. The 10 Ellis children
went on to accomplish equally remarkable things in their lives;
professions represented among them were teacher, counselor,
consultant, university professor, college president, corporate
executive, army officer, curator, and local, state, and national
civic leader. They were often the first blacks to hold positions
traditionally reserved for white professionals. Based on family
stories as well as historical documents, the narrative tells of the
personal success of each family member in the face of racism,
poverty, and other obstacles. Photographs are included.
Originally submitted by: Thomas M. Davis, Representative (11th District).
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