Ellison Plantation - Stateburg Sumter County South Carolina SC

Ellison Plantation – Stateburg – Sumter County

Ellison Plantation 2016 - Sumter County, South Carolina
— Ellison Plantation © Gazie Nagle, 2016 —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Basic Information

  • Location – Stateburg, Sumter County

    490 South Carolina Highway 261

  • Origin of name – Known as Ellison Plantation for owner William Ellison (1, p. 5)

  • Other names – Miller House, Wisdom Hall (1, p. 5) (3, p. 300)

  • Current status – Privately owned (2)

Side of Ellison Plantation 2016 - Sumter County, South Carolina
— Side View of Ellison Plantation © Gazie Nagle, 2016 —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)


  • ? – Earliest known date of existence

  • ? – John S. Richardson acquired the property (4)

  • 1814 – US Senator and South Carolina Governor 1828-1830 Stephen Decatur Miller purchased the property from Richardson (1, p. 5) (4).

  • Circa 1816 – House built (1, p. 5)

  • 1828 – Stephen Miller and his second wife Mary Boykin moved to Plane Hill Plantation (4).

  • 1833 – Stephen Miller moved to Mississippi but still owned the plantation (3, p. 635) (4).

  • 1838 – William (birth name April) Ellison, a free African American, purchased the 54.5 acre plantation, known as Wisdom Hall at this time, from Stephen Miller. The plantation adjoined property Ellison had previously purchased from Thomas Sumter. He continued growing cotton and made cotton gins with the labor of slaves (1, p. 5) (6) .

    Ellison was mulatto and born into slavery. At the age of 12, Ellison began an apprenticeship with a cotton gin maker and became highly skilled. Ellison made repairs to cotton gins at plantations in the area earning tips and some wages for his work. By 1816, he had earned enough money to buy is freedom. And in 1817, he purchased and freed his wife Matilda and daughter Eliza Ann. The Ellisons had three sons born in freedom. Ellison set-up the first cotton gin manufacturing shop in South Carolina and the Ellison Gin was used across the South (3, p. 300).

  • 1861 – William Ellison passed away. His will stated that his property was to be divided among his daughter and two surviving sons (3, p. 300) (5).

  • ? – James G. Simons purchased Ellison Plantation (4).

  • ? – Simons sold the plantation to Mary Virginia Saunders White, who also owned neighboring Borough House Plantation (4).

  • 1959 – Mary Virginia Saunders White passed away. Daughter Martha Welles White would be the next owner of Ellison Plantation and restored the house (4).

  • 1970 – Martha Welles White was still owner (1, p. 5).

  • 2016 – Sculptor Grainger McKoy was owner of Ellison Plantation (2).


  • Number of acres – 54.5 in 1837; 386 in 1850 (3, p. 300) (6)

  • Primary crop – Cotton (1, p. 5) (3, p. 300).


  • Number of slaves – 12 in 1840; 36 in 1850; 63 in 1860 (1, p. 5) (3, p. 300) (5) (6)

References & Resources

  1. National Register of Historic Places
    Nomination form, Stateburg Historic District - PDF - submitted in 1970
    Photographs, architectural overview

  2. Information contributed by photographer Gazie Nagle.

  3. Walter Edgar, editor, The South Carolina Encyclopedia (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2006)

  4. Claude Henry Neuffer, editor, Names in South Carolina, Volume I through 30 (Columbia, SC: The State Printing Company)
     Order Names in South Carolina, Volumes I-XII, 1954-1965
     Order Names in South Carolina, Index XIII-XVIII

  5. Joseph E. Holloway, The Black Slave Owners.

  6. Art Wells, Bio Information of William Ellison.

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