J. Breckenridge Ellis

John Breckenridge Ellis was an American writer of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Mr. Ellis was born near Hannibal, Missouri, February 11, 1870, but spent most of his life in Clinton County. He was the son of John W. Ellis, PhD. and Sallie Breckenridge Ellis.

In 1880, his father purchased Plattsburg College and the family moved to Plattsburg, Missouri where the elementary school still bears his name.

J. Breckenridge Ellis was a prolific writer, having written 26 works (primarily historical romances) that have appeared in book form besides numerous serials of book length which have been published by national magazines.

His novel, Fran, was on the best seller list in America, and made into a movie. Several of his works were made into motion pictures and stage plays. He also served as president of the Missouri Writers' Guild.

During the 1900s-1910s, Ellis supplied numerous serials to the Chicago Ledger. Many featured the recurring character Detective "Keeneyes."

Ellis' writing is of the Stanley Weyman school. His romances were pithy and understated, artfully avoiding the affectations and pretensions of many of his contemporaries.


  • The Dread and Fear of Kings (1900)
  • Garcilaso (1901)
  • The Holland Wolves (1902)
  • Stork's Nest (1905)
  • Fran (1912)
  • Lahoma (1913)
  • The Picture on the Wall
  • Little Fiddler of the Ozarks

Films based on novels

  • Emmy of Stork's Nest (based on Stork's Nest) (1917)
  • The Love Hunger (based on Fran) (1919)
  • Lahoma (1920)
  • Cinderella of the Hills (based on Little Fiddler of the Ozarks) (1921)
  • The Shadow on the Wall (based on The Picture on the Wall) (1925)

See also

List of bestselling novels in the United States in the 1910s

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