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Bowen-Campbell House: The Oldest Brick House in Middle Tennessee

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Photo by Scottgink

Bowen-Campbell House, built by Capt. William Bowen in 1787, is located on Jackson Road in Goodlettsville. Starting with land grants awarded from Revolutionary War service, William Bowen (1742-1804) and Mary Henly Russell Bowen (1760-1827) grew their plantation to over 2,000 acres. The Bowen-Campbell House is the oldest brick house in Middle Tennessee and is located at the current address of 705 Caldwell Dr. in Moss-Wright Park. Their daughter, Catherine Bowen (1785-1868), married David Campbell (1781-1841) in 1806. They moved to Wilson Co. and built Camp Bell.

Their son, William Bowen Campbell (1807-1867), was the next owner of the home. He married Frances Isabella Owen Campbell (1818-1864). He served in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1835-1841, then as a circuit court judge. In 1851, he won election as the last Whig governor of Tennessee. After 1853, he and his family moved to Wilson County where they lived in his family’s Camp Bell property. He was a Unionist and served in the Union army reaching a Brigadier General rank. In 1866, when Tennessee won readmission to the Union, Campbell served in the U.S. Congress. Their son Lemuel Russell Campbell owned Dun Ailie.

The 2 story brick Federal house was sold out of the family in 1835. For about 130 years, the property had a series of owners until it was finally vacated about 1960. Fifteen years later, in 1975, the newly-formed Bowen-Campbell House Association in partnership with the Tennessee Historical Commission purchased and began to renovate the house and 97 acres of property. Since that time, it has been owned and operated as a historic site by the City of Goodlettsville sitting within Moss-Wright Park. NRHP 1977 See Dun Ailie


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