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Deerfield: The Branfords move West

Deerfield was built by Johnson and Annie Dudley Bransford (formerly of Edgewood) in 1915 at 206 Clarendon Ave. in Belle Meade.

They built a 2 story French style in stucco on 20 acres. He had moved the family to Belle Meade to help develop the Belle Meade Plantation land and because the west side of the city was growing. They named the home Deerfield for the area of the plantation they built.

In 1947, the Bransfords were involved in a horrible car tragedy in which they, Annie’s sister and another friend were killed. That same year, (William Charles) Foskett Brown (1895-1969) and Frances Marion Dudley Brown (1899-1966) bought the property with its 20 acres. They wed in 1926. [Frances’s first husband was Richard Henry Gardner who she married in 1921.] Prior to Deerfield, the Browns had lived at West Meade. Foskett was president of Gray and Dudley Hardware Comp., and a member of the Board of Directors of Life and Casualty Insurance Co.

In 1954, there was a major fire. The Browns rebuilt a 1 story in French Country style. After the death of Frances, Brown married a year later to Margaret Elizabeth Price Voss (1903-1996). In 1970, his daughter, (Frances) Dudley Brown Morgan White (1931-?) and husband Walter McNairy Morgan, Jr. (1928-1994) inherited the property. Dudley was a member of the Junior League of Nashville as well as a past president and a member of the board of trust of Vanderbilt University. After Walter Jr.’s death, Dudley married John Warner White, Sr.(1921-2010). His grandparents were Percy and Margaret Warner of Renwar and Royal Oaks, and he had been born at Royal Oaks. (John’s first 2 wives were Rose Marie Crain White and Govan Davidson White.) He served in the military and was the first Nashvillian to sign up for service in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. He then returned to Nashville to open the John W. White Company specializing in real estate finance.

After Dudley died, John seems to have moved back to his family’s home across the neighborhood at 210 Evelyn St. The name comes from building the property in the former Belle Meade Deer Park area. See also Edgewood, West Meade.

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