Southwood Plantation

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Location of the Southwood Plantation

Southwood Plantation was a large cotton plantation of 5,000 acres (20 km2) located in southern Leon County, Florida, United States and owned by George Taliafero Ward.


Southwood Plantation bordered the Francis Eppes Plantation on the north and the R. G. Shepard Plantation on the south.

Multiple Plantation Statistics[edit]

The Leon County Florida 1860 Agricultural Census shows that Southwood Plantation had the following:

Besides Southwood, Ward also maintained his plantations of Clifford Place and Waverly. Including Southwood, his holdings totaled 4,200 acres (17 km2) of which 2,500 acres (10 km2) were improved. Combined, Ward had 160 slaves, produced 7500 bushels of corn and 500 bales of cotton.[1][2]


George Taliafero Ward was born in Kentucky in 1810 and moved to Tallahassee in 1825. In that same year Ward became Register of the Land Office, succeeding Samuel R. Overton. From 1838-1839 Ward served on the Legislative Council from Leon County and attended the Constitutional Convention.

Colonel George T. Ward

George T. Ward inherited the land now known as Southwood from his father, George W. Ward.

In 1844 Ward married Sarah Jane Chaires of the wealthy Chaires family of eastern Leon County and had at least three daughters, Georgima, Anna, and Mattie as well as brothers. Sarah Jane would inherit other properties that were later incorporated into Southwood.

The original mansion built in 1865 at Southwood was destroyed by fire. In 1939, George Henderson, grandson of Colonel John and Mattie Henderson, moved the family home from downtown Tallahassee to the old foundation of the original Southwood house.


  • Special Collections, Robert Manning Strozier Library, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
  • 1845 voters list
  • Paisley, Clifton; From Cotton To Quail, University of Florida Press, c1968.
  • Florida Memory Project
  • FSU thesis