|Willis & Lucy Gardner|
Willis Gardner was the only known child of a black man named Scipio Gardner. Scipio Gardner was a African man and had been sold into slavery (source Houston County History Book). Willis's mothers name is unknown and no know birth date or death date for him is known.
Being set free from slavery, Willis Gardner migrated to Texas from South Carolina and settled in Houston County.
Willis and wife, Lucy, owned land that adjoined the Griggs Lambert estate. Willis's occupation was that of a carpenter and he built many homes in and around the Hall's Bluff area. He built the Joe Houston house that later was used as a community center in the Halls Bluff Community.
Lucy Gardner was also a slave before being set free, came to Texas from Tennessee.
Willis and Lucy worked their farm with a yoke of oxen, harrows, hoes and rakes. They were both Christians and attended church in a log house that was utilized alternately for a schhol as well as a church.
Willis and Lucy were the parents of ten children: Bettye, Henry, William, Anna Lisa, Rachel, Dora, Jesse, Aaron, Andrew and Julia.
Willis and Lucy's daughters, Rachel and Julia were public school teachers, and son, William, was a minister. Henry owned 80 acres of land near Halls Bluff road, and the eldest son was a soldier in World War I. The remainder of the children wer very productive citizens in the community.