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 Jesse Thompson “Sheriff” Ellington

Jesse Thompson “Sheriff” Ellington

Clayton, Johnston County, North Carolina, USA
Death 11 Oct 1910 (aged 67–68)
Clayton, Johnston County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Clayton, Johnston County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 28560221 · View Source
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Jesse Thompson Ellington was born 1842 in Clayton, Johnston County, NC, the 4th of 6 known children born (3 boys/3 girls) born to wealthy farmer and minister, the Rev. John F. Ellington and his wife, Christiana Avera of Clayton, NC.

He is a descendant of Jesse Ellington of Amelia County, VA, his great grandfather, who arrived in Johnston County around 1765 where he married Martha Tucker. His maternal heritage also has deep roots in the area, dating back to Thomas Avera & Judith Bettis who came from VA to NC in the 1740's.

Raised in a wealthy household, he enjoyed all the amenities of privilege until the Civil War broke out. Jesse was a student Wake Forest College at at the time, and he and his only surviving brother, Joseph C. Ellington, enlisted, foregoing his education Both brothers served throughout the war in the Company C, NC 50th Regiment, where they both rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He was remembered by his comrades as a gallant private and officer of the Fiftieth regiments Kirkland's brigade, Hoke's division.

After war he returned to Clayton, and taught school for two years, then engaged in farming. He was elected in 1881 as its representative in the legislature. In 1884 he was appointed sheriff, an office he held until his death, with much credit and respect of the community. He would marry three times and father 9 known children by his first two wives.

On June 9, 1869, the 27-year old married 22-year old Delia Ann Smith of Johnston County. The marriage would produce 6 known children:

* Kittie Ellington Beckwith(1870-1890)
* Jessica Ella Eason(1872-1900
* John Oglethorpe Ellington(1874-1948
* Hunter David Ellington(1876-1930)
* Ralph Wingate Ellington (1879-1880)
* Lucille Ellington Hocutt(1882-1974).

Delia died in 1883 at age 36, and on July 28, 1885, the 43-year old widower married 23-year old Sallie Williamson, from Virginia. This marriage produced 3 more children:

* Douglas Dabel Ellington (1886-1960)
* Kenneth Raynor Ellington (1888-1962)
* Lt. Eric Lamar Ellington (1889-1913)

Sons, Douglas and Kenneth Ellington both became famous architects and both died in Asheville and were cremated. Douglas never married, but Kenneth married Margaret Carr Roberts and had 3 known children. Eric was a famous aviator and died in a plane crash in 1913.

Sallie died 1901 at age 39, and the 61-year old, twice widowed Jesse married for the 3rd time on January 15, 1903 to 49-year old Emma Durham of Clayton. This marriage produced no children.

Jesse died seven years after his 3rd walk down the aisle, passing at age 68 in 1910. He is buried near both his first and second wives and other family members. His gravestone speaks volumes of his stature in this small town, reading simply "He Lived and Died a Friend of the People".

His 3rd wife, Emma Durham Ellington, survived him another 25 years, passing in 1935 at age 81. She is buried in Old City Cemetery near her Durham family members.


"He Lived and Died a Friend of the People"





  • Created by: pbfries
  • Added: 27 Jul 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28560221
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jesse Thompson “Sheriff” Ellington (1842–11 Oct 1910), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28560221, citing Clayton City Cemetery, Clayton, Johnston County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by pbfries (contributor 46951237) .