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Avalon: Lipscomb Home Helped Start Lipscomb College

Photo from See Middle Tennessee

Avalon was part of the 110 acre dairy farm on Granny White Pike which David Lipscomb (1831-1917) and Margaret “Aunt Mag” Ophelia Zellner Lipscomb (1842-1926) owned.

They married in 1862. Margaret was the daughter of Henry and Margaret Jane Zellner of Ashlawn. David’s younger brother was famed Nashville hardware merchant, Horace Greeley Lipscomb, who ran H.G. Lipscomb Co. They bought the property in 1883 and named the house. Lipscomb was a preacher and farmer whose original property was along Bell’s Bend. He and his wife moved east to Granny White Pike to be closer to his church publication offices downtown. He had become sole owner of Gospel Advocate, a 16 page weekly publication which by 1868 was the official organ of the Church of Christ churches. It was founded in 1855 by Lipscomb’s older brother, William, and Tobert Fanning. During the Civil War, publication was suspended, and then resumed in 1866. In 1890, Lipscomb and James A. Harding formed the Church of Christ-affiliated Nashville Bible School located in downtown Nashville. Later, after the dairy farm had been bought, the school was moved to that property.

By 1902, the school had outgrown its facilities, and the Lipscombs decided to give much of their land (60 acres) and their house to the school to help its continued growth. The large house was converted to a girl’s dormitory. The Lipscombs built a second house, also named Avalon, on the remaining 47 acres of property.

In 1913, due to David’s ill health, the couple deeded their remaining property with the proviso of living there until death. When David died in 1917, the trustees changed the name of Nashville Bible School to David Lipscomb College in his honor. See Ashlawn


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