About This Place
Ellisville is a city in Jones County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 3,465 at the time of the 2000 census.
The city is named for Powhatan Ellis, a former U.S. Senator for Mississippi and descendant of Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. Ellisville was the major commercial and population center of Jones County until being supplanted by nearby Laurel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
During the American Civil War, Ellisville and Jones County was a center of pro-Union resistance. Though there were many anti-secession movements and actions throughout the Confederacy, the "Free and Sovereign State of Jones" (or sometimes "Kingdom of Jones") had from the very beginning posed the most serious and persistent threat, and even went as far as drafting its own constitution. Irregulars formed the Knight Company and were led by Captain Newton Knight, First Lieutenant Jasper Collins, and Second Lieutenant William Wesley Sumrall. Along with as many as 100 other southern men, they fought several skirmishes with Confederate units sent to crush the rebellion. Referenced in Ken Burns' monumental documentary The Civil War; Knight's rebellion was also dramatized in the 1948 motion picture Tap Roots (based on the book of the same name), where in a few exterior scenes there are prominent mountains in the background – which do not exist in Mississippi.