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Boxwood/ T.J.B. Turner House (Rutherford Co.)

Photo by Kenneth Everett

Boxwood/ Thomas J.B. Turner House was built in 1840 by Thomas Joseph Blanks (J.B.) Turner (1818-1878) and Sarah Amanda Wilson Jetton Turner (1820-1884).

The Greek Revival house is located on Old Salem Pike in Murfreesboro - current address is 2555 Hwy 99. The Turners married in 1838. Turner was a large landowner and slaveholder with 1,100 acres. The Turners had another large farm in Mississippi. After Thomas died, Sarah inherited the house.

After Sarah’s death six years later in 1884, the property was sold to Joseph Jones who sold it the next year to James Johnson. The Johnson family resided at Boxwood for about half a century.

In 1931, Boxwood was inherited by his daughter Florence Johnson Sawrie and her husband Henry Sperry Sawrie (1878-1956) who kept it for 4 years. They married in 1902. Sawrie owned Henry S. Sawrie food products company. He also served as a bank director. The Sawrie family moved to west Nashviile to the Belle Meade area at 110 Lynwood Terrace.

They sold the property in 1935 to Jesse D. Brown and Alice Vaughn Brown.

In 1944, William H. Evans purchased the estate. His family owned Boxwood until 1960 when the house was sold to Ruth Neal Garrett, R.N. (1917-2007) and Dr. John Jackson Garrett, Jr. (1912-2000), a Rockvale physician. Ruth graduated from the Vanderbilt School of Nursing, and Dr. Garrett practiced for many years in the Rockvale area - southeast of Murfreesboro. Evidently, Dr. Garrett’s brother, Robert, was a long-time beloved physician as well to the east in Eagleville.

Nine years later, in 1969, Hubert Laws McCullough, Jr. (1929-2019) and Clara “Dene” Branham McCullough bought it. They wed in 1951. McCullough was an engineer and businessman who was affiliated with several companies in contracting and construction with the McCullough name. He also served in several state government roles: Commissioner of General Services and Commissioner of Finance under Gov. Lamar Alexander. The McCulloughs owned Boxwood with 2 acres in 1994. The couple raised beef cattle at Boxwood.

Since 2014, Arnold and Marie Williams have been the owners. The name of the home is derived from the boxwoods that Turner planted along the walkway to the front entrance. NRHP 1984

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