The tenth and last child born to William Beavers and Lavonia Frances (Shanklin) McClellan in Ellis County, Texas, on January 14, 1871 was a boy, whom they named Elijah Shanklin McClellan. William Beavers and Lavonia Frances (Shanklin) McClellan and their eight children had moved to Ellis County, Texas to the 640 acre homestead in Ellis County, Texas from Morgan County, Missouri in 1866. Two years after their arrival in Ellis County, Texas, on February 16, 1868, their ninth child, a daughter, whom they named Mary Eveline McClellan, was born.
Two and one-half years after their move to Ellis County, Texas, on July 17, 1873, Lavonia Frances (Shanklin) McClellan died, leaving a two and one-half year old son, Elijah Shanklin McClellan, and a five year old daughter, Mary Eveline McClellan and seven other children for William Beavers McClellan to raise. On November 25, 1876, William Beavers McClellan married Elizabeth McDonald who helped raise the nine living children through-out their thirty-nine years of marriage.
During the thirty-three years (1871-1904), perhaps near Ovilla and Midlothian, Texas in Ellis County, Texas, Elijah Shanklin McClellan grew into an adult and his rearing in Ellis County, Texas near these two early settlements, would have begun his interest in the family’s ways and plans. He would have become school age, (7 – 9), in 1878-79, and attended school at Mountain Peak, Wyatt Switch, and Ferris schools which were near the village called Barker, whose name was changed to Midlothian by June, 3 1881. Also, during the years of 1874 to 1884, cattle raising and cattle drives to Sedalia and other railroads in Missouri, from which they could ship their livestock to eastern markets would have encouraged his family to become ranchers! Also, during this ten year period, 1874-84, railroad tracks were being laid from Dallas to Alvarado, Texas and Cleburne, Texas! Midlothian, Texas did not get rail service until July, 1882. We can conclude that every member this McClellan family was kept busy keeping up with the chores, children, farming and ranching tasks, building and maintaining school, social, church, and political responsibilities of a growing family in a growing Texas county in 1886 through 1899. In 1891 Elijah Shanklin McClellan became 20 years old. He was a young man “who longed to go West,” reports one of his older sisters, Ana Jewel (McClellan) McMinn. He did not “go West” until 1904 when he was 27 years old, after he had married sixteen year old Beedie Frances Archer. McClellan family members do not possess any pictures, letters, or notes about the McClellan-Archer wedding which occurred on December 3, 1899 in Midlothian, Texas.