In 1904, five years after his marriage to Beedie Frances Archer, Elijah Shanklin McClellan traveled from Ovilla and Midlothian, Texas to Coleman County, Texas to homestead the one hundred sixty (160) acres of land south of Valera, Texas in the southern part of Coleman County, Texas. He made this trip without Beedie Frances and their two children, Lottie Frances and Jack Beal McClellan. Records do not identify if he brought livestock, tools, and other equipment to help in building the two-room house in 1904. A family story is that Elijah lived in a “dug out” near the site of the new house until the house was livable. A description of Elijah’s “dug out” has not been provided by family members, but speculation is that it might have been a cave-like hole in the side of the creek bank which ran through his farm. He would have lived in this “dug out” for eight to ten months before the two-room house with a shed on one side was livable for his family. In 1905 he sent word to his wife Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan in Ellis County, Texas to travel by train to Valera, Texas in Coleman County, Texas, where he would meet her and the two children, Lottie Frances and Jack Beal McClellan, and take them by wagon to their new home. A description of any livestock, tools, or household goods Beedie Frances may have brought with her on this move is not available to us. It is reported that as each of the children of Elijah Shanklin and Beedie Frances McClellan was old enough to do work on the farm, Elijah Shanklin McClellan would get them started to work in the mornings, then he would travel the 15 miles to Coleman, Texas and spend most of the day in town. In the forty-one years, from 1904 to 1946, Elijah Shanklin and Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan lived on their homestead, they raised and developed nine children to adulthood while contributing to the development of Coleman County, Texas.
The Elijah Shanklin – Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan marriage union was a strong, church-centered, Christian marriage. Each member of this family attended, became a Christian, and member of the Bethel Baptist Church. They traveled to church by horse and buggy or wagon. It was rare for the family to miss church, and it was said the Elijah never missed church services. He had been baptized on September 24, 1909 and one year later, August 28, 1910, he was elected to be Clerk of Bethel Baptist Church. He served in this position until the Fall of 1946, when he and Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan retired and moved to Santa Anna, Texas. About 1915, Elijah Shanklin McClellan was elected to be a Deacon in Bethel Baptist Church and served in that capacity until his retirement and move to Santa Anna, Texas in the Fall of 1946. The Elijah Shanklin and Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellans joined the First Baptist Church of Santa Anna, Texas, where Elijah was invited and agreed to serve as a Deacon in the First Baptist Church of Santa Anna, Texas. The land on which the Bethel Baptist Church, the Hill School, and the Tabernacle were built was the southwest corner of the McClellan property that was deeded to the Hill Community by Elijah Shanklin and Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan. Soon, some of this land began to be used as a cemetery, and became dedicated as the Hill Community Cemetery. Both Elijah Shanklin and Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan are buried in the McClellan section of the Hill Community Cemetery.