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 Joseph Edward Willard

Joseph Edward Willard

Birth
Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Death 4 Apr 1924 (aged 58)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Plot Amphitheater, Lot U East
Memorial ID 19796175 · View Source
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Diplomat and philanthropist. The son of Antonia Ford and Joseph C. Willard, owner of Washington's famed Willard Hotel, he graduated from Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia Law School. His inheritance and investments made him Virginia's wealthiest man and he lived on an estate called Layton Hall. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1893 to 1901. Willard served in the Spanish-American War, initially as Captain and commander of a company in the Third Virginia Volunteer Infantry and later as Aide to General Fitzhugh Lee and Assistant Quartermaster of VII Corps. He contributed to civic causes in his hometown of Fairfax and in 1900 constructed a town office building, now called Old Town Hall, which he presented as a gift. In 1902 he became Virginia's Lieutenant Governor, serving until 1906. After running unsuccessfully for Governor in 1905, he accepted appointment to the state Corporation Commission, serving until 1910. In a 1913 ceremony at Layton Hall, his daughter Belle married Theodore Roosevelt's son Kermit. In 1913 Willard was appointed Ambassador to Spain, the first since the Spanish-American War. He served until 1921, afterwards retiring to New York City. Old Town Hall is now a venue for concerts and other events. In 1972 Layton Hall was sold for development and today a shopping mall covers most of the 10-acre site.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 9 Jun 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19796175
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Edward Willard (1 May 1865–4 Apr 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19796175, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Bill McKern (contributor 46817687) .