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Ellis Bailey Gregg


This fifth son of a family of nine was born at Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, on August 17, 1827. Ellis' father was a prosperous merchant, and the son was sent to Green Academy, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, for his college preparatory work. There he was influenced by a Jefferson alumnus and, filled with zeal to prepare for a legal career, matriculated at old Jefferson with the famous class of '48. He was a youth of average height, with light hair and blue eyes, very modest and gentlemanly in appearance. We know, too, that he had a warm and generous nature and was popular with all who knew him. He was gifted as a poet and always inclined to look on the cheerful side of life. In his letters, he often spoke with affection and enthusiasm of the little band of '48 and their resolve to carry to fruition the ideals and principles which had been inculcated into their society. Even after graduation, he was a frequent visitor to the Jefferson campus and to the chapter.

After two years of studying law, Gregg was admitted to the bar in Washington, Pennsylvania, but moved to Peoria, Illinois, to open his office. There he was instrumental in the organization of a Masonic lodge. He made two separate attempts to continue his practice in Peoria, but each time his health collapsed and he was forced to return to his parents' home. The last time, he underwent an operation and a resulting fistula caused his death on December 18, 1854, when he was but 27 years of age. His grief-stricken parents buried the boy in the mother's old-fashioned garden among her flowers; but after the parents, too, had died, Ellis' body was disinterred and placed at their side in the family plot in Laurel Point Cemetery at Carmichaels. There his grave, like those of his five comrades, is designated as the final resting place of one of the Founders of Phi Gamma Delta.

Gregg's Gravesite

Ellis Gregg died on December 18, 1854 after a long illness and an unsuccessful operation. He was twenty-seven. Initially buried in his mother's garden, after her death Gregg's body was moved to Laurel Point Cemetery in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, next to his parents.


Laurel Point Cemetery in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, about fifty miles south of Canonsburg. Directions: Drive north on U.S. 119 out of Morgantown; turn left on Pa. 88 at Point Marion; proceed about 12 miles to Carmichaels; turn right on George Street and proceed to the town circle where you will turn left on Market. Proceed north on N Market Street, passing the historic, two-story red brick Greene Academy on the right. A couple of houses later turn right on McCann Lane; you'll see the cemetery entrance sign. Bear to the left and park at the end of the road; a steel gate may block your way. If so, walk to the end. The gravesite of Gregg is directly in front of you a few sites as you walk in the old section of the cemetery.

Updated picture of Gregg
(Phi Gamma Delta Archives) 
Founder Ellis Gregg's Tombstone
Gregg's Grave, by Thomas D. Curtis (Texas Tech 1980)
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