John H. (John Holbrook) Estill.

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progenitor of the family in this province, and settled a few miles east
of Plainfield, about 1685. His grandson, Hugh Webster, was always
a devout worshipper in the meetings of the Friends' Society, and was
prominently instrumental in advancing their religious interests. The

* I notice that in the " History of New Jersey in the Revolution" William
Estill's name is spelled Estle.


granddaughter of Hugh Webster was the mother of Mr. Estil, who
received his Christian name from him.

Hugh M. Estil was born in 1842, in Plainfield, in whose public
schools he was educated. After leaving school he learned the harness-
making and saddlery trade, which he followed for a few years. In
1876 he established, in Plainfield, a book and stationery business,
which he has conducted very successfully. Mr. Estil has traveled
extensively both in Europe and America, and has been a careful ob-
server of everything worthy of attention in the various countries
which he has visited. In the community he is an active and enter-
prising man. He has been a director of the First National Bank for
the past seven years, and was elected Vice-President in September,
1896. He is one of the managers of the Dime Savings Bank.

Since 1889 he has been a resident of North Plainfield, New Jersey,
where he has an elegant home, in which he is surrounded with books,
paintings and other indications of taste and refinement. He has been
a member of the First Baptist Church for many years. Mr. Estil is
a Son of the American Revolution, and in politics is a Republican.

John Holbrook Estill.


John Holbrook Estill is a native of Charleston, S. C, and was born
October 28, 1840. He was named after John Edwards Holbrook, the
celebrated naturalist, who was a professor in the South Carolina Med-
ical College, and a friend of Col. Estill's father.

As a conspicuous example of a self-made man, the story of Colonel
Estill's life is of unusual interest. His success is due to his own un-
aided exertions. He began life at the bottom of the ladder. Indom-
itable perseverance, steady application, rare executive ability and
excellent judgment in business affairs are features of his character.

He is one of a family of eleven children. His father, William
Estill, was a bookbinder, bookseller and printer, and from his earliest
years Colonel Estill has been in one way or another connected with
the printing business. His father moved to Savannah in 1851, and at
eleven years young Estill began his career in the office of the Evening
Journal. Two years later he left the printing office to go to school,
and between the school sessions clerked in a store. In 1856 he re-
turned to Charleston and served an apprenticeship in the printing
house of Walker, Evans & Coggswell. In 1859 he came again to
Savannah and became one of the proprietors of the Evening Express.

Colonel Estill's military career began in 1859, when he joined the
Oglethorpe Eight Infantry, with which he entered service in January,
1 86 1, with the First Volunteer Regiment of Georgia, and was on duty
at Fort Pulaski before the Regiment entered the Confederate States
service. He went to Virginia with the same company, which became
a part of the Eighth Georgia Infantry. He was severely wounded,
and on account of disability resulting from his wounds he was honor-
ably discharged from the service. He was a volunteer in Screven's
Battalion, opposing Sherman's march to the sea, and was taken pris-
oner at Savannah.

Since the Civil War era Colonel Estill has continued to take an act-
ive interest in military affairs, having served several years as Captain


of Company F, First Regiment Georgia Infantry. In 1895 he was
placed on the retired Hst of State Volunteers with the rank of Lieu-
tenant-Colonel. He is now an Honorary Member of the Oglethorpe
Light Infantry, and a life member of the Georgia Hussars, Savannah
Cadets and Savannah Volunteer Guards. He is Past Commander of
Lafayette McLaws Camp, No. 576, U. C. V., and a member of the
Confederate Veterans' Association.

In the newspaper world, Colonel Estill has been prominent since
1867, as Editor and Proprietor of the Savannah Morning News. In
that year he purchased an interest in the paper, and the year follow-
ing secured its entire control. It was not an easy matter in those
days to make a newspaper pay. There were two other morning pa-
pers in Savannah, but in a short while the Morning News absorbed
its competitors and had the field to itself. In 1876 Colonel Estill
erected the first Morning News building on the site of the present
six-story publishing house, itself a splendid monument to his success-
ful newspaper career. As an evidence of the esteem in which he is
held by the newspapers of the State, he was honored by his contempo-
raries with the office of President of the Georgia Press Association for
twenty years.

Outside of his profession. Colonel Estill has taken an active part in
many successful business enterprises. There are few men more prom-
inently identified with the industries and progress of Savannah. He
built the Barnard and Anderson street car line in 1878, and upon its
consolidation with the City and Suburban Railway, became its Presi-
dent; was President of the Savannah Investment Company, which
in 1890 built the first belt street railway in Savannah; was President
of the Metropolitan Steam Fire Engine Company in the old volunteer
fire service ; was County Commissioner of Chatham County for twelve
years, during which the county poor farm was purchased and the first
improved public highways in the county were opened; was a prime
mover in the company which introduced electric lighting in Savan-
nah; helped organize the first cotton mill in Savannah; has been Pres-
ident of the Chatham Real Estate and Improvement Company since
its organization in 1885; was one of the organizers of the company
which built the De Soto Hotel and named it; was a Director of the


South Bound Railroad and of the Savannah Construction Company,
which built the South Bound (now the Seaboard Air Line between Sa-
vannah and Columbia) ; is President of the Bonaventure Cemetery Co.
and an owner in the Pilots' Navigation Company, the steam pilot boat
of which bears his name; was the first President of the Mutual Gas
Light Company; is Vice-President of the Georgia Telephone and Tele-
graph Company, and the Inter-State Rifle Association; is a Director of
the Citizens Bank, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and the
Savannah Racing Association; is a member of the Cotton Exchange,
Board of Trade, and a Director of the Savannah Benevolent Associa-
tion. He has been a member of the Chatham County Board of Edu-
cation for seventeen years. He is also President of that ancient char-
ity, the Bethesda Orphan House, founded by George Whitefield more
than a century and a half ago. He is a member of the Georgia His-
torical Society, the Savannah Yacht Club, and a number of social or-
ganizations. He is a prominent Mason, a Past Master of Solomon's
Lodge No. i; life member of Georgia Chapter No. 3, Royal Arch Ma-
sons; member of Palestine Commandery No. 7, Knights Templar, and
a Shriner, and is Past Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of
Georgia. He is a member of St. John's Episcopal Church and is one
of its Vestrymen.

In pviblic office Colonel Estill has been Chairman of the State Dem-
ocratic Executive Committee, and in 1892 was the Georgia member of
the Democratic National Committee. He is the present Chairman of
the First District Democratic Congressional Committee.

In 1902 he was a candidate for Governor of Georgia and made a
most remarkable race against the present Executive, Governor Joseph
M. Terrell, and Hon. Dupont Guerry, the Prohibition candidate. In
his canvass he visited nearly every section of the State and met the
people in their offices and homes, in the factories and on the farms.
His personal contact with them and his candid and straightforward
expressions upon public questions won him confidence and support,
and although defeated for the office, he won the distinction of having
made what, in many respects, was the most remarkable gubernatorial
race in the history of Georgia.

The New York-Virginia Estllls.


The tradition is that the name was originally d'Estelle of Provence,
France, and became Anglicized in Scotland.

The first Estill mentioned in their American line is Estill who mar-
ried Miss Wallace of the ancient Wallace family, of whom Sir Wil-
liam Wallace was a member, in Scotland. This Estill was in Eng-
land in 1649, which was the year of the tragic execution of Charles I.
The next mention is of an Estill who chartered a ship with twelve
other families (name of vessel not given) and sailed for the North
American colonies. The next record is of three brothers — Daniel,
William and Thomas Estill — who arrived on the Shrewsbury River
(Highlands of Neversink), in 1664. They founded Middletown
in 1664, with others, and obtained grants of land from Governor
Nichols, under what was known as "The Monmouth Patent." Dan-
iel was married to Margaret Browning, July 17, 1666. Thomas, who
was the ancestor of the above family, married a Miss Wallace in i67o.
Whether she was a relative, who came over in the ship with his fam-
ily, is not stated, but is probable, as the community was small and
clannish. Middletown and Shrewsbury are hardly larger to-day than
at that date, but are beautiful towns, embowered in trees, ancient and
venerated churches and churchyards.

The Dutch had owned the country since 1627; it became English in
1664. Charles II immediately presented it to his brother the Duke
of York, who proceeded at once to sell it to Berkeley and Car-
taret, who, in their turn, immediately sold it in plantations to set-
tlers from England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, New England and
Long Island. The Governors were so much away, in England, that
titles were always in dispute, and in 1700 Thomas signed a remon-
strance, with others, aeking for a competent Governor. In 1717 he
recorded a deed with the Hoagland family of 200 acres of land at
Freehold, and there is another deed of 300 acres later. In 1702 an
"Edmund Austell took oath of allegiance to our Sovereign lady, Queen


Anne." An interesting item of expenses of that day was that Gover-
nor Cartaret's salary was ^50, paid in produce, with an occasional
allowance of 4 shillings a day for traveling expenses. Governor Nich-
olls made a favorable report in 1682 of the fine plantations in Mon-

The next Estill is Wallace Estill, named for the maternal family.
He was born in New Jersey in 1699, and married Mary Ann Campbell
of the Campbell clan, born in Argyleshire in 1731. She is called in
the Caperton papers "Lady Mary Ann Campbell." Of her, later on.
Colonel James Caperton, an eminent lawyer, is now the representative
of the Estill and Woods families in Madison county, at the fine
old mansion, "Woodlawn," built in 1820. Wallace Estill and Mary
Campbell Estill were married in Virginia, in 1748. He, being a
widower of middle age, with children, and she being a young
girl, her family opposed the marriage, so they left home to be mated,
but the families were soon reconciled and the union was a happy one.
They left a large family of children. Land deeds of Wallace are re-
corded in Augusta county in 1745. He is believed to have moved to
Virginia about 1740. Deeds from the State to him are recorded from
1750. He owned a large tract of land, granted at different times by
the State. His will bears date December 3, 1782; was admitted to pro-
bate in June, 1792, at Greenbriar Court; his death must have occurred
between those dates. His son:

James (the first James Estill) , afterwards Captain James, ' 'the Indian
fighter, " was born November 9, 1750, in Augusta county, Virginia;
grew to manhood, married Rachel Wright there, and afterwards the
young pair lived in Greenbrier, where their sons James, Benjamin and
Wallace were born. James caught the fever to acquire some of the
rich Western lands of Kentucky, then being separated from Virginia,
and taking with him a young surveyor named Clay went to what is
now Madison county and obtained an area of land several miles in
extent, known as the "Estill Grant and Survey," built Fort Estill and
was made Captain of the fort's company. His two younger brothers
also married Wright sisters, Jennie and Martha, and followed him.
The Wyandotte Indians constantly harrassed and attacked the station,
and finally one day, in ambush, killed a Miss Innis, a young lady


who was walking outside of the fort. The Indians then fled, but were
pursued by Captain Estill, Adam Woods, Caperton, Proctor, Logan
and others towards Mount Sterling, where one of the most sanguinary
battles in Indian warfare followed. Captain Estill had a knife thrust
through his heart while wounded and fighting on his knees. Caper-
ton was killed. Estill county, Kentucky, was named for Captain Es-
till. The centenary of this battle was celebrated with orations and
poems at Richmond in 1882, and a monument erected by the State
to Captain Estill's memory at the capital. His son:

James (the second James) inherited his share of the large tract of
lands, improved and enjoyed them, cultivated literary tastes, and mar-
ried ]VIary Rodes, daughter of Judge Robert Rodes and Eliza Dulany
(anciently Dunlade), of Albemarle, Virginia. This "greatgrandfather
Rodes" was an interesting character. Born in Albemarle, Virginia,
May ri, 1759, he fought as a captain in the Indian war with the Cher-
okees, and afterwards throughout the Revolution until the surrender
at Yorktown. After the close of the war he was given his pay, as cap-
tain, in Continental money, which he always preserved, as a family
relic, together with his military orders, the muster roll of his com-
pany, and his honorable discharge. Patrick Henry, Governor of Vir-
ginia, appointed him a Magistrate in 1791; he was later appointed
Quarter Session Judge of Madison county, with two others, and they
constituted the court, with criminal and common law jurisdiction.
Judge Rodes' mother was of the family of Crawfords of Georgia, of
whom the Hon. Wm. H. Cravd'ord, United States Senator from that
State, United States Minister to France and Secretary of War under
President Madison, Secretary of the Treasury under President Mon-
roe, and candidate for President of the United States in 1824, was a

Robert Rodes Stone, bom August 24, 1817, grandson of Judge Rob-
ert Rodes, was a lineal descendant in the third generation of William
Stone, the first proprietary Governor of Maryland after Lord Calvert,
and a great nephew of the Hon. Thomas Stone, signer of the Declar-
ation of Independence. William Stone was the second son of Lord
Dunlane of Sussex, England. Paynton Manor, the ancestral seat of
the Stones, near Port Tobacco, Maryland, an original grant by Lord


Baltimore, is still in possession of the family, the present owner being
the Hon. Frederick Stone, a cousin of Robert Rodes Stone. Robert
Stone attended the University of Virginia, and was afterwards gradu-
ated from Harv'ard Law School.

James Estill's son:

James Madison Estill (the third James), afterwards General Estill,
was bom in 1811 at the homestead, afterwards called "Castleton," in
Madison county. He married Martha Woods in 1831, daughter of
Judge (Major) Archibald Woods and Elizabeth Taliaferro Shackel-
ford, both of Virginia. He was graduated from Bardstown College.
At the discovery of gold in California he was fired for adventure and
hastened there in 1851, taking ample means with him. Being a man
of rare ability and energy, he entered into most of the enterprises of
that stirring epoch — the development of schools, libraries, churches,
hospitals, asylums and prisons, of coals, bricks, cattle, lumber, fruits,
steamboats, railways, and politics, but singularly enough did not seek
the gold fields. He was made Major General of the State troops, but
succumbed to overwork at the age of forty-eight years, dying April
26, 1859, and his remains rest in the beautiful Lone Mountain Ceme-
tery, near the Golden Gate — the cemetery which he so loved. His
family immediately returned to the East and have resided in New
York since that time — over forty years. James Madison Estill left an
only son,

James (the fourth James) Rodes Estill, born in 1846, died unmar-
ried in 1900, and five daughters — Mary, Josephine, Martha, Florence
and Maud.

I. Mary Estill, residing 618 Fifth Avenue, New York, married
Re-Tallak Garrison, Esq., of New York, a descendant of many old
Knickerbocker families — the Schuylers, Kingslands, Fergusons, Re-
Tallaks, etc. He was a man of signal talents and marked position in
the mercantile and club world of New York; was first President of
the Manhattan and Metropolitan Elevated Railway system; President
of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, of which his father, Mr. ("Commo-
dore") Cornelius Kingsland Garrison, was sole owner when purchased
by Jay Gould in 1880; was Vice-President of the Consolidated Gas
Co. of Chicago. President of the New York Loan & Improvement Co. ;


President Brazilian Steamship Co. ; Vice-President Mercantile Trust
Co., and director in many other enterprises. He was pre-eminent in
all good traits and deeds of benevolence, but was cut off in the prime
of his usefulness by a railway accident, which terminated his life on
July 1st, 1882, at forty-eight years of age. His widow, Mary Estill
Garrison, has an only son and three daughters:

1. Wilham Re-Tallak Garrison, born July, 1872; residence, Tuxedo
Park; married to Constance Coudert, daughter af Charles Coudert of
New York, an international lawyer. He is a young man of great
promise, business ability and prudence, and interested in many com-
mercial companies. He has two children — Constance Estill Garrison
and Esther Garrison, aged five and three.

2. Mary Garrison, her oldest daughter, is married to Count Gaston
Chandon de Briailles; residence at Eperna}', (Chateau,) Cannes, and
Paris, France.

3. Estelle Garrison married to the Honorable Charles Fox Maule
Ramsay, second son and youngest child of Admiral, the Right Hon-
orable, the twelfth Earl of Dalhousie; residence, Brechin Castle,

4. Katharine Garrison, unmarried; residence, 618 Fifth Avenue,
New York City, and Europe.

2. Maud Estill, married to James Dana Jones (died 1897), son of
J. Wyman Jones, of Englewood, N. J., and Thomasville, Georgia, and
Harriet Dwight Dana, of New Haven, Conn. Has Edith Dana Jones
and Eleanor Estill Jones.

Comte and Comtesse Gaston Chandon de Briailles have an only
child, the Vicomte Claude Chandon de Briailles, bom September 4,


In the English army which invaded Ireland in 1649 there was an

English trooper by the name of Woods, who was so pleased with the

country that he bought a home there, in the county Meath. Captain

Woods had a son, John Woods, who married Elizabeth Worksop,* a

*.The name Worksop — later Warsop — is, I think, extinct in England, except
Worksop Abbey, in Nottinghamshire, which belongs to the Duke of Newcastle.


lineal descendant, on her mother's side, of the famous Adam Loftus,
who was born in York, England, in 1534. Adam Loftus' alma mater
was Trinity College, Cambridge. He was consecrated, in 1561, Arch-
bishop of Armagh, and was translated afterwards to the See of Dub-
lin. Was twice Keeper of the Great Seal of Ireland. His Grace died
April 5th, 1605, in the office of Chancellor of Ireland. John Woods
and Elizabeth Worksop Woods had six children: Michael, Adam,
James, William, Andrew and Elizabeth. Down to the present day the
name Adam has been handed.

Michael, born in 1684, married Mary Campbell of Argyleshire, of
the Clan Campbell. (His sister Elizabeth married Peter Wallace of
the Scotch Wallaces) . Michael and Mary Campbell Woods had nine
or ten children, of whom.

William Woods, third oldest son, born in the Castle of Dunshan-
glin, Ireland, in 1705, became the great -great-grandfather of the New
York Estills. In 1726 all of John Woods' children (adults) came to
America, lived eight years in Pennsylvania, and then moved to Vir-
ginia, and North and South Carolina.

Michael Woods and his wife, Mary Campbell Woods, acquired and
improved a very fine estate, which they named "Blair Park," and
which was widely known as "The Barony," including Woods' Gap, in
Goochland, now Albemarle county, Virginia, and lived there until
Michael's death, in 1762. Their son,

William Woods, born 1705, came to America in 1726; married Su-
sannah Wallace. He inherited and acquired a large estate in Albe-
marle and adjacent counties in Virginia, and took an active part in
the Colonial wars. At one time he conveyed, by deed recorded, 60
negroes and 720 acres of land to his cousin. Captain McDowell. He
had seven sons and two daughters, all of whom left prominent de-
scendants in Virginia, through the South, in Kentucky and Tennes-
see. His son,

Archibald Woods (the first Archibald Woods), bom in Virginia in
1749; married, in 1773, Miss Shelton of Virginia. He was a Captain
in the troops of that State, marched 200 miles to the relief of Fort
Watauga, in the Indian War; also fought many battles with the
Shawnee Indians, and served during the Revolution under Colonel


Samuel Lewis, then under Colonel Andrew Donelly, and lastly under
Colonel James Henderson, until after Lord Cornwallis' surrender, in
1781. He then surrendered his commission of Captain to the Green-
briar County Court, Virginia, and in 1781 went to Kentucky. He
there purchased 400 acres of land from Captain James Estill; in
1784 he added to it the land on Dreaming Creek, north of the pres-
ent site of Richmond, which town, with Judge Robert Rodes
and Judge Miller, he founded. He built "Fort Woods" and lived
there 25 years. He describes his land in his papers as "1,000 acres of
as fine land as any in the Estill Survey." The commission from Pat-
rick Henry, Governor of Virginia, appointing him and nine others
"Gentlemen Justices of the Peace for Madison county, to take effect
from" Aug. ist, 1785, is still in existence, preserved by Judge William
Chenault of Richmond, Ky. The same document also appoints them
"Gentlemen Commissioners of Oyer & Terminer, with full jurisdic-
tion to try and punish slaves for all penal and criminal oiTenses, in-
cluding the infliction of capital punishment.'''' Judge (Captain)
Woods drew a pension of I480 per annum for his services in the United
States, and died Dec. 13th, 1836. In his old age he was wont to
travel to the South and elsewhere in a large old-time carriage, with
hammercloth and six velvet steps that let down when the door opened
with a rumble behind, and his luggage and servants followed on
horseback. This traveling carriage was made to order, and remained
in the family many years. His son,

Archibald Woods (the second Archibald), born February 19th, 1785;
married in 1835 Elizabeth Taliaferro Shackelford. He volunteered in
the War of 1812, and fought, vdth the rank of Major, at the Battle of
the Thames, Canada, under General William Henry Harrison, in Octo-
ber, 1814, when Tecumseh, the Indian chief, was slain. He was a
profound student in the classics, practiced law for 30 years, and served
the State Senate for 12 years. He died Feb. 22nd, 1859. Elizabeth
Taliaferro Shackelford was bom in 1792 at "The Glebe," King and
Queen county, Virginia, the family also had place in Gloucester, is in
direct line from "two brothers (Shackelford) who came from England
and settled on York river, Virginia. All the Shacklefords and Shack el-
fords in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama,


Kentucky, are descended from these." (This note from James M.
Shackelford of Charleston, S. C, whose father went there from Cul-
pepper, Va, ) The Shacklefords originated at what is now only the
small hamlet of Shackleford, near Godalming in Surrey, England.
The name being almost extinct in Great Britain. The family was
known during the reigns of Henry VII and VIII as deShackleford.
At that time William deShackleford was the head of the house. The
fine old mansion, the family seat, was destroyed by fire in 1630.
The land was then bought by the Wyatt family and the house re-
built. This mansion was torn down about 75 years ago by the Earl
of Middleton, who bought the property and added it to his Pepper-

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Online LibraryJohn H. (John Holbrook) EstillA family history → online text (page 5 of 7)