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  • My grandfather Wilder P. Ellis was a Presbyterian Medical Missionary accompanied by his wife Jessie Lee Ellis in Iran (Persia then), from around 1917 to 1930.
  • My great grandfather Edwin M. Ellis was known as Montana's Bicycling Minister where he practiced from 1884 to 1913.
  • My great grandfather Theodore Lee (Jessie's father) was a Presbyterian Minister in Springville and subsequently Spanish Fork, Utah. Family lore holds that he had reservations about the virgin birth and other progressive ideas that I'm working to validate. His views resulted in complaints in the community, possibly by women and Mormons in particular. It appears that his superiors bowed to the pressure and that resulted in his being defrocked and forced to leave his ministry, a loss of a reasoned voice. He then became a beekeeper in Spanish Fork.
Dr. Wilder P. Ellis and his wife Jessie did a lot of great work.
Healing, teaching and trying to protect refugees, (esp. young women from kidnapping and rape), as best they could under horrific conditions.
Jessie Lee Ellis wrote an account of their experiences.
This was published in the September 1919 issue of the Atlantic Monthly.

Below is a photo of Dr. Ellis in Persia with the Kurdish warlord Simko Shikak.
Wilder and Dr. Shedd successfully treated one of the wives of Simko, resulting in the photo being taken.
They were not part of the revolt, just doing their work as medical missionaries.

Wikipedia entry about Simko's revolt:  
"The Simko Shikak revolt refers to an armed Ottoman-backed tribal Kurdish uprising against the Qajar dynasty of Iran from 1918 to 1922.
It was led by Kurdish chieftain Simko Shikak from the Shekak tribe."

Left  Dr. Wilder P. Ellis  - Center is Simko - Right is a French Priest later killed by Simko  


Montana's Bicycling Minister - by Nina Ellis Dosker.
Published by the Montana Historical Society in 1980.

   Reverend Edwin M. Ellis     
               Edwin's Columbia Chainless bicycle
               On display at the Montana Historical Museum