MERIDA G. ELLIS, capitalist and real estate dealer at Fort Worth, has been a resident of Texas from pioneer times, being a native son of that state. His birth occurred in April, 1847, at the family home about three miles east of Denton, in Denton county, his parents being J. N. and Artimisa (Brown) Ellis, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. They removed from that state to Missouri and subsequently to Denton county, Texas, where they arrived in 1846. The father purchased a farm three miles east of the present county seat and thereon he and his wife resided throughout their remaining days. They left a family of eight children, all of whom are now deceased with the exception of Merida G. James Ellis, one of the sons, died at Fort Worth in December, 1899.
As Merida G. Ellis lost his parents in his early infancy, he was taken into the family of his uncle, Samuel P. Loving, who soon afterward removed to Tarrant county, locating on a farm on Sycamore Creek about four miles from the present court house in Fort Worth. In February, 1862, when not yet fifteen years of age, Merida G. Ellis enlisted in the Confederate army and served until the close of he war in 1865. He was first enrolled at Fort Worth in Captain Peak‘s company but soon afterward was assigned to duty with the company under command of Captain Jack Brinson and continued in the army east of the Mississippi river until 1863, when he was discharged at Tupelo, Mississippi, on account of ill health. Soon afterward, however, he re-enlisted at Fort Worth and became a member of Captain Archie Hart‘s company, Martin’s regiment, with which he served throughout the remainder of the war in the Trans-Mississippi department, mostly doing duty in Texas and receiving his discharge at Richmond, this state.
When the war was ended Mr. Ellis returned to his uncle’s home in Tarrant county and later went to western Texas, where he worked at the cattle business on the plains. In 1867, however, he returned to Fort Worth, realizing the value of a better education than he had been able to acquire and spent the time in school until 1868. In that year he was married to Miss J. Darter, a sister of William A. Darter of this city, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. There have been four children born of this union: Mrs. Minnie Lynch, Mrs. Rosa McCart, Mrs. Bessie McCollum and Merida G. Jr.
Since his marriage Mr. Ellis has made his home in Fort Worth, and although not yet an old man in years he is one of the oldest living pioneers of the city, Col. Abe Harris being perhaps the only resident of Fort Worth now living here who was here when Mr. Ellis came to Tarrant county with his uncle and aunt. For several years he was prominently engaged in mercantile and other business interests of the city, being a member of the firm of Ellis and Huffman, dealers in agricultural implements, but in 1882 he sold out to his partner and invested largely in land, on which the city of North Fort Worth has been built, having more than fifteen hundred acres there. He was one of the promoters and founders of the original stock yards of North Fort Worth, beginning the development in this enterprise about the time that he retired from mercantile life and like many promoters of worthy enterprise which subsequently become financially profitable he lost money in the venture. He was president of the stock yards and packing house company at North Fort Worth for more than two years. This was the beginning of what is now the greatest feature in the business life of the city, the stock yards and packing industry. Since 1888 Mr. Ellis has been engaged in the real estate business and is now one of the representative and successful men of the city. Moreover he has been closely identified with the development and progress of this portion of the state through long years and his business dealings are interwoven with its history. He belongs to R. E. Lee Camp, U. C. V.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 114.