From the files of Goodwood:
The Whitehead Piano by Ruth Whitehead Roberts
Amos Whitehead graduated from the University of Virginia. His father, Dr. James Whitehead of Waynesboro, Georgia, was preparing to deed Amos one of his plantations. Dr. Whitehead was a very wealthy gentleman, who owned several large plantations. However, Amos told him that he’d rather have money instead. You see, he wanted to buy a place in Florida, which had only been acquired by the U.S. government a few years before.
Dr. Whitehead gave his son a trunk that contained a million and a half dollars, and came to North Florida with Amos. It was as beautiful as their friends had described it. Amos proceeded to buy a large tract of land on the eastern side of Lake Jackson and built his home on a hill. This homesite is now owned by the Frank Shaw, Seniors. In time, Amos fell in love with Margaret Bradford, daughter of Dr. Edward Bradford and Martha Branch Bradford and granddaughter of Governor John Branch. (Note: John Branch was Susan Hopkins’ father.) They owned two plantations in the area–Pine Hill, on both sides of what is now known as Thomasville Road, and Horseshoe, which overlooked Lake Iammonia.
When Amos and Margaret became engaged, he went to Europe to buy her gifts. One was a complete set of real pearls–necklace, rings, bracelet and a head band. He also gave her a beautiful piano, inlaid with green sea snail, that he had bought in New York. The happy couple was soon married. As Amos was a captain of the Tallahassee Co. “M”, 2nd Regiment, Florida Infantry, C.S.A., he soon went to war. He lost a leg in the Battle of Gettysburg, had a wooden one attached and was sent home to recuperate. Later, while supervising his father-in-law’s lumber mill, his leg was cut by a saw and he bled to death. He died October 13, 1874.
His wife, Margaret, lost the plantation and all of her property. She went to live with her daughter in Tallahassee, who lived just a few blocks from William C. Hodges, his wife and his mother. When Margaret Whitehead began to grow feeble, she sold the piano to William Hodges. He, in turn, gave it to his mother. It was kept in their family until they had all passed away.
William Hodges’ wife, after his death, married Col. Thomas Hood. After Mrs. Hood (Hodges) died, Col. Hood gave the piano to the Brokaw McDougall House. (It has since been returned to Goodwood.)
I am the granddaughter of Amos and Margaret Whitehead. I was also a friend of the Hodges family from about 1925 until their deaths.