James Tandy Ellis, poet, author and journalist, of Carrollton, Ky., was born at Ghent, in the county where he now resides, June 9, 1868, and is a descendant of some of the oldest families in America. One of his paternal ancestors, John Ellis, was one of the grantees in the second charter of the Virginia company, which was granted by King James I, May 23, 1609, and on the maternal side his great-great-grandfather, John Tandy, was married in Fluvanna county, Va., to Judith, daughter of Henry and Judith (Guelph) Martin, Mrs. Martin being a sister of George III., King of England, and also of the Duke of Gloucester. The grand-father of Mr. Ellis, James B. Tandy, was a native of Carroll county, Ky., where he was a successful business man and died at the advanced age of eighty-three years. James Tandy Ellis is a son of Dr. Peter Clarkson and Drusilla (Tandy) Ellis. His father was a native of Bourbon county, Ky., but settled in Carroll county when he was still a young man and there practiced medicine for many years. The subject of this sketch received his primary education at Ghent, afterward attending the Agricultural and Mechanical college at Lexington, and subsequently taking a full course in vocal and instrumental music at the Cincinnati conservatory. He is the author of several popular songs, as well as a number of instrumental pieces; is a contributor to magazines and other periodicals; has published a book of poems and also a book of stories and sketches of Southern life and character; was for a time the vice-president of the water-works company of Owensboro, but resigned to take up newspaper work in Washington, D. C, going there as secretary to Congressman A. C. Stanley of Henderson. Mr. Ellis is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Knights of Pythias, and was for four years a major in the Third regiment of Kentucky State Guards. He married Harriet Bainbridge Richardson, the accomplished daughter of Col. William Richardson of Fayette county, Ky., and to this union there have been born two children, one of whom died in infancy, and the other, a little daughter, bears the name of her grandmother, Drusilla Tandy.
Source: Memoirs of the Lower Ohio Valley, Federal Publishing Company, Madison, Wis., 1905