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Bonnie Brae/ Sharon Hill

Built at 2601 Hillsboro Pike, Bonnie Brae/ Sharon Hill was a 2 story brick with wings. The land had been part of the Thompson’s Edgehill estate - which ranged down 21st Ave. South to Peabody College area.


In 1914, Bertrand L. Howe (1879-1918) and Leila Webb Howe (1880-1968) constructed their home on the hill overlooking Hillsboro Rd. to the south with 26 acres. The property was bordered by Woodlawn Dr., Hillsboro Rd., the Tennessee Central railroad tracks and Old Natchez Trace. The Howe family moved west to a country estate from 1613 Broadway where they lived in 1911, per Social Directory in 1911. The Howes named the estate Bonnie Brae from the Scottish phrases for excellent or pretty and slope or hill. Howe was involved in insurance.


After Bertrand’s death, Leila, childless, sold the estate 3 years later. In 1921, Howell Hooper Campbell, Sr. (1883-1961) and Elise Wall Campbell (1891-1971) purchased the property and lived there for 40 years until 1962. The Hooper family renamed it Sharon Hill after Elise’s mother. It had extensive gardens because Elise was a skilled gardner. Howell started Anchor Candy Company in 1901 with a store at Clark St. and First Ave. North. He relaunched the business 2 years later and co-founded Standard Candy Co. in 1901 with James Napier. It made King Leo striped stick candy, Belle Champion chocolates, and later in 1912 Goo Goo Candy Clusters. It was the world’s first multi-ingredient candy bar which was sold initially unwrapped and later in tinfoil. In 1914, a fire at the store caused the company to move to a new, larger plant on Second Ave. North - where it would stay until 1979. A major development for the Campbells, Standard Candy and Nashville occurred in 1969 when Goo Goo Clusters were advertised on the Grand Ole Opry. The marketing of the regional candy spread throughout the South and the country. Their son, Howell H. Jr., after service in World War II, bought another Nashville candy manufacturer, Huggins Candy Company and eventually took over Standard Candy and merged the two companies. After Howell died, Elise moved to the Royal Oaks Apartments in 1962.


Her granddaughter Ann Dobson Tidwell and husband Clark H. Tidwell (1938-pres) married in 1962 and moved in. Clark has been an attorney in Nashville for years and from 1970-2015 was a member with Lassiter, Tidwell & Davis. He specializes in Eminent Domain cases. Ann has been involved with various civic organizations.


By 1965, they left Sharon Hill and it was vacant. (In 1996, the Tidwells remained in Nashville on Mountainside Dr.) In the late 1960s, St. Thomas Hospital Board of Trustees bought the property with the intention to move the hospital. Neighbors, however, complained about the potential new neighbor so the project stalled. Then the State of Tennessee took part of the property for the impending I-440 cloverleaf construction. St. Thomas Board sold the property to developers about 1970, and the new owners built the Villager Condominiums.


Sources:

Nashville Pikes: Vol Two 150 Years along Hillsboro Pike, Ridley Wills II, p. 93

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