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Sudley Place: A Distiller's Home

Photo by drsowell

Sudley Place was built by Dr. Samuel Bowling Brown (1829-1891) and Ann J. Baird Brown (1821-1882) in 1856. Constructed as a 2 story brick home in Italianate style with 10 rooms, it is located in Springfield at 6236 State Line Rd. Sudley Place was a prominent part of the Robertson County distillery industry.

In the late 1880s, William Hasque Jones (1829-1893) and Laura Ann Holman Jones (1847-1880) owned the property. Their son, Jesse Holman Jones, grew up on the homestead before moving to Texas. By that time, the Jones family had moved the primary product from a distillery to tobacco farming. Jesse went on to be a major figure in Texas business and politics. He opened South Texas Lumber Company; built numerous skyscrapers in Houston as well as other structures. He helped develop the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel. Pres. Roosevelt appointed him Chairman of the board of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1933. He contributed to building and funding the Jesse Holman Jones Hospital in Springfield. (See the book and PBS show, “Brother, Can You Spare a Billion? The Story of Jesse H. Jones.”)

Then Garner Elbridge Fuqua (1888-1961) and Alice Beach Fuqua (1891-1978) were owners. Garner was past president of the Springfield Production Credit Association as well as a former director of the Robertson County Farm Bureau.

His brother, Albert Fuqua, Jr. (1924-2001) and Ollie Ruth Jenett Fuqua (1925-1995) inherited Sudley Place by 1974. When Jones’ nephew visited Springfield for the hospital ceremony, Garner gave him a tour of the town and told stories of the farm to relay to Jones about “the old neighborhood.”

Since 2003, Eleanor McWhirter Tippens has been the owner and has done much restoration. Evidently, a relative of the Fuqua family, Albert Fuqua, has an arrangement with Tippens to stay at Sudley Place in exchange for doing maintenance help and chores. Sudley Place was named the home of Alice’s grandmother, Sivilla Stonebraker Rentch, in Shepherdstown, WV. NRHP 1974


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