Born in Vermontville, Michigan, Ellis attended Olivet (Michigan) College, and was graduated from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1881. Instructor in Latin at Carleton College in 1881 and 1882. Superintendent of the public schools at Fergus Falls, Minnesota from 1882 to 1885. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Beloit, Kansas, in 1885. He moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1888 and continued the practice of his profession.
Ellis was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth and Sixtieth Congresses (March 4, 1905-March 3, 1909). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1908 to the Sixty-first Congress. He resumed the practice of law in Kansas City, Missouri. He was appointed a member of the Missouri Waterway Commission and served in 1911 and 1912.
Ellis was elected to the Sixty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1921-March 3, 1923). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1922 to the Sixty-eighth Congress.
Ellis was elected to the Sixty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1925-March 3, 1927). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1926 to the Seventieth Congress.
Ellis was elected to the Seventy-first Congress (March 4, 1929-March 3, 1931). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1930 to the Seventy-second Congress. He retired from law practice and political life. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, March 15, 1947, aged 92. His remains were cremated and the ashes interred in Kansas City, Missouri.
- United States Congress. "Edgar C. Ellis (id: E000133)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.