Ormond Beach Mansion Owners

The Plaza was operated as a hotel until 1913, when Robert Bexley and his family began using it as a home. The home was occupied by Bexley and his descendants, Sarah Ellis and Mary Connery, in its later existence. It was also used on occasion as a boarding house. In 1985, local attorney Glenn K. Allen purchased the house and undertook renovations to convert it into a law office. On December 30, 1992, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places added it. Right now, Oxford Ink Tattoo is the building’s occupant.

According to his death certificate, Richard and Anna K. Knott Jackson were his parents, and he was born in Richmond, Indiana on September 5, 1857. He went to Earlham College before enrolling at the University of Virginia’s law school, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1879. His early legal career was spent in Indiana, where from 1886 to 1890 he served as Wayne County’s prosecuting attorney. Up until 1902, he practiced general medicine.

As an attorney for multiple railroads, Jackson was well-known in the railroad industry. He was friends with notable individuals like Edward Henry Harriman, the financier and president of the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads; Otto Herman Kahn, who is best known for being a partner of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. that reorganized and consolidated railroads; and James Jewett Stillman, a businessman who made investments in land, banking, and railroads in New York, Texas, and Mexico.

Jackson served as the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad’s first vice president and general solicitor from 1904 until 1909. From 1910 until 1916, when he retired, he served as the Great Northern Railroad’s vice president and general counsel. He relocated to Ridgefield, Connecticut, after retirement, and had a winter residence built in 1928 in Ormond Beach. Less than a week later, on April 29, 1934, he passed away in Ormond Beach after falling on a slick surface and breaking his hip. His estate was assessed at $600,691.

Auto dealer Charles F. Johnson Jr.
Charles Franklin Johnson Jr., the son of Edith Kibler and Charles Franklin Johnson Sr., purchased the house at some point in the 1950s. Johnson’s father ran a number of dealerships in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. He went on to invest in and operate three marine organizations, a rental car firm, thoroughbred farms, and an executive aviation service in Atlanta. In addition, building, racing, and even shattering a few speedboat records piqued his interest.

Before acquiring the Daytona Marine and Boat Works, where his father mostly worked on building speedboats, Johnson Jr. controlled eight Chevrolet stores. The Ormond Beach estate passed to his wife Margaret Susan Graves upon his death in 1990.

Kentucky’s Margaret S. Graves Johnson Born in Scottsville, Kentucky, on July 1, 1920, Colonel Margaret was the daughter of Dr. Pellie Green and Elmina “Mina” Towe Graves. Her father and uncle had established a successful medical practice in Scottsville in 1915, which included the construction of the Graves Infirmary, a state-of-the-art facility housing 15 patients. Both there and in his residence, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to the Allen County Historical Society and Museum, Dr. Graves visited patients.

After earning her degree from the University of Louisville in 1941, Margaret went on to wed Charles Franklin Johnson. Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was the most well-known Kentucky Colonel, and Margaret was appointed as one in 1956 by Governor Albert Benjamin Chandler of Kentucky. Before returning to Scottsville, Margaret and Charles resided in Charleston, South Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama.

She has previously volunteered at the Cornelia Young and Ormond Beach libraries in addition to serving as a substitute teacher for the Volusia County School District. She was a member of the executive board of the Daytona Beach Friends of the Library, senior advisor for the Daytona Beach Children of the American Revolution, and president of the Daytona Beach Area Panhellenic in 1969.

Because of her assistance in raising the capital needed to construct the first Memorial Hospital in Ormond Beach, Margaret was also made an honorary life member of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She belonged to the historical societies in Ormond Beach and Allen County. She occupied the mansion until her death in 2016, at which point a New York oncology professor purchased it.

The sea air, vandalism, and poor care have all contributed to the mansion’s long-term decline. At some point, it had been planned to start renovating the house by clearing the foliage around it and removing the doors and windows, but it is still withering away.

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