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Alpheus Truett Place: First Nursery Business in Tennessee

Updated: May 17

228 Franklin Rd. on the old Nashville Pike (just south of the current The Factory at Franklin)

Built in 1846. A 2-story Greek Revival frame home with a 2-story front portico


Photo by Skye Marthaler


Alpheus Truett, Sr. (1823-1898) built the home.


Truett married Rowena Baird Truett in 1848. After Rowena died in 1851, Truett married Susan E. Merritt Truett(1832-1864) in 1853. During the Battle of Franklin, Federal Gen. Schofield commandeered the home. After the war, in 1865, Truett married Sarah Jane Jordan Taylor Truett (1831-1897). Truett ran a successful family nursery business. His brother, Ezekiel Truett, had a nursery in Davidson County - Weakley-Truett-Clark/ Fairfax Hall.


After Alpheus’ death, his son Edwin Campbell Truett (1850-1932) took over the nursery business. In 1872, Edwin married his stepsister Mary White Taylor (1854-1918). He managed the Truett Floral Company until the 1950s. Their daughter, Annie Gray Truett Church (1888-1976), owned and managed the business until 1969 when it was sold. Her husband was Leslie Pinkney Church (1885-1916). At that time, it was reputed to be the oldest nursery company in Tennessee and possibly the first south of the Ohio River. Betty and Lewis Freeman purchased Truett Floral Co. and renamed it Freeman's Flowers & Gifts and reopened it in 1970. Afterward, land of the nursery business was subdivided into residential housing.


After Annie Gray, the home went through several owners: Mr. Clark, W.E. Anderson, Owen Walker, and Annie Walker. In 1970, the home was bequeathed to Walker Memorial Baptist Chapel.


In 1988, Dr. Elliot H. Himmelfarb owned the property with 5.2 acres. Dr. Himmelfarb is a radiologist with Premier Radiology.


In 2023, a development plan passed to create a new subdivision called The Middle Eight at the property address. Kevin McKeehan and Armanda McKeehan purchased the 8 acres of Truett estate. He is a Christian artist known as TobyMac.


NRHP 1988 See also Weakley-Truett-Clark House/ Fairfax Hall


Sources:


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