top of page
  • Jay Brothers

Civil Order: Rev. Williams' Haven

Located 2.5 miles south of Holt’s Corner, the Rev. James A. Williams (1785-1850) and Sarah Allison Williams (1789-1843) built the first brick home in the region in 1810.

The Williams family had arrived in the area in 1809 but found the first area too rough for his preference. Moving near Holt’s Corner, Rev. Williams famously declared that “Here I will have law and order” and built his house called Civil Order. It was located at 3A Horton Highway. After Sarah died, Rev. Williams married Ann Pollard. They prospered and built up extensive land in Tennessee as well as Mississippi.

Their son, Chesley B. Williams (1809-1892), helped build the Eagleville community. He was known as the “Father of Eagleville,” and was its first merchant. The community was originally known as Manchester until the government opened the area’s first post office. Since there was already a Manchester, TN, a different name was needed, and the area changed to Eagleville. The general store Chesley opened in 1832 operated until 1972. He was a Methodist minister and the area's first postmaster. In 1830, he married Elizabeth Jordan (1813-1895). He and Elizabeth created a self-contained Southern farm including a smokehouse, sawmill, grist mill, tannery, cotton gin, woodworking and blacksmith shops.

About 1877, Chesley helped get the Tennessee state government to move Eagleville from Williamson Co. to Rutherford Co. The move was made because Williamson Co. would not construct a road to connect Eagleville with Franklin while Rutherford Co. would build a roadway connector to help with growth. He also became the main stockholder and administrator in the Eagleville-Unionville Turnpike Co. whose road Eagleville to Salem. Their daughter, Sarah Macon Williams McCord (1845-1890), wed Dr. William Harrison McCord (1838-1896) in 1868. Sarah was a writer and poet, and Dr. McCord was a local physician. As a gift, they got 196 acres from the Williams parents and built a house later.

Another daughter, Sarah Ann Williams McCord (1826-1863) and her husband, (Joseph) Cowden McCord (1809-1879) wed in 1844 - a year after her grandmother’s death. They had been living in Allisona, and they purchased the Civil Order plantation in 1850 after Chesley’s death. (Cowden’s first wife was Sallie G. Wilson McCord.) As well as farming, Cowden served as a Justice of the Peace. Sarah died from severe measles, and Cowden was left a widower with seven children.

After Cowden’s death, his son, Henry Granville McCord ( 1847-1910) and wife Cynthia “Lillie” Virginia Ogilvie McCord (1856 -1935) became owners. They wed in 1877. Their daughter, Camilla Sue McCord Giles (1886-1969), left school after her father Henry’s death to help her mother run the farm. Camilla later married Clarence Nimrod Giles (1882-1963) in 1920, and they resided at Civil Order. The family continued to operate a much smaller farm, and Clarence also managed the Wilhoit Mill. After Lillie died in 1935, the Giles family moved to Lewisburg while other McCord family members remained at the property. In 1940, Civil Order was sold out of the family to Powell Maxwell. Thirty-five years later, In 1975, Civil Order burned down. See Wm McCord House


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page