The last remaining landmark of the "dream city" planned by the founder of Port Arthur, railroad magnate Arthur E. Stilwell (1859-1928). The house was built in 1900 as the winter resort home of Isaac L. Ellwood (1833-1910), the developer of barbed wire. The same year financier John W. "Bet-A-Million" Gates (1855-1911) had a mansion built nearby. It was razed in 1960.
Ellwood sold the villa in 1901 to James Hopkins of St. Louis, who in 1903 sold it to George M. Craig (1862-1950), principal developer of Port Arthur, for 10 per cent of the Texas Company (present Texaco, Inc.). Craig lived here until his death.