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Cleveland Hall: A Tennessee Century Farm

Photo by Cleveland Hall HOA

Cleveland Hall has remained in the Donelson family from the start. The mansion has been part of the Donelson/ Jackson network of homes amid the fertile farmland for many years.

Cleveland Hall was built in 1839 by Stockley Donelson (1805-1888) and Phila Ann Lawrence Donelson (1809-1851). The home can be found at 4041 Old Hickory Blvd in the Donelson area and was constructed in 2 story Federal style. Stockley and Phila Ann had married in 1827. They increased the farm to over 700 acres.

In 1850, their son, William Stockley Donelson (1835-1895) and his wife, Alice Ewin Donelson (1845-1891) inherited the property including 716 acres. They raised livestock, corn, cotton, wheat and fruit. Stockley was a close friend of Andrew Jackson, and was Rachel Jackson’s nephew. He oversaw the renovation of The Hermitage for Old Hickory and the construction of Tulip Grove for his cousin Andrew Jackson Donelson. Cleveland Hall was built after those two mansions and is similar in style and is just north of them.

After Alice’s death, Stockley remarried to Laura Meadora Wade (1848-1911).

Then, their son, John Donelson (1874-1952) and Elizabeth “Bettie” Menees Hooper Donelson (1875-1963) got Cleveland Hall. They expanded the plantation to 2,000 acres and grew northward to include the Lakewood area. After John died, Bettie stayed there until her death.

In 1971, the family owners were John Donelson VII, L.H. Donelson, and Mary Hooper Donelson Jones (Mrs. W.R.) Stevens (1906-2000). It is one of the few historic homes to be continuously inhabited by descendants of the original owners.

In 1986, Cleveland Hall was recognized as a Tennessee Century Farm - one of the region’s oldest family farms. The adjacent neighborhood is called Cleveland Hall, and Cleveland Hall Blvd., Cleveland Hall Ct. and Stokely Lane run behind the building. NRHP 1971 See also: The Hermitage, Tulip Grove


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