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  • Writer's pictureBeth Stenstrom

Hugh Evander Willis, 20th Century Owner of Ellwood

Hugh Evander Willis

20th Century Owner of Ellwood

Great Grandfather of Carolyn E.


In December 1907, Hugh Evander Willis purchased Ellwood from the James Horace Lacy family. It satisfied this Midwestern law professor’s desire to own a “southern plantation.” His parents, Evander Highland and Lucy Sprague Willis, managed the property for over twenty years. In 1932 Hugh Willis deeded Ellwood to his sister, Blanche. Willis Jones, and her son, Gordon Willis Jones.


Leo Tanner Jones, husband and first cousin to Blanche, farmed Ellwood for forty years. On November 27, 1946, Carolyn Gordon Jones was born in Charlottesville to Gordon and Winifred Shafferman Jones. On her way home to Fredericksburg a week later, Carolyn stopped at Ellwood to meet her grandparents. Ellwood was second home to Carolyn, her parents, and her siblings. Leo Jones was the last resident, Gordon Jones, the last private owner. The National Park Service acquired the historic property in 1971 and took possession in 1977.

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