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Dr. Frank Runyon Home: Brenda Runyon Started 1st All-Women Bank in U.S.

Updated: Jun 19

224 Union St. Clarksville, TN

Circa 1850s. 3-story Queen Ann mansion


The offspring of two Trenton, KY tobacco families married and moved to Clarksville to start their lives.


In the mid-nineteenth century, Louis Garth Wood (1851-1903) and Huldah Belle Warfield Wood (1851-1940) lived in a 3-story home on Union St. Huldah’s parents were William Wallace and Adelia Boisseau Warfield of Todd County who were a very wealthy tobacco family. Also from Todd County, Louis’ parents Hardin J. and Georgiana Cross Wood owned 1,700 acres of land on which they grew dark tobacco. A daughter, Mabel Wood, wed Leslie Cheek (a native of Kentucky also), and later, they built Cheekwood in Nashville.


In 1904, just after Louis died, Huldah sold their home to Dr. Frank J. Runyon (1862-1941) and Brenda Mary Vineyard Runyan (1868-1929). They wed in 1885. Dr. Runyon practiced medicine in Clarksville for many years and became known as “Old Dr. Frank.” Brenda was active on boards and committees during the Great War years. She was the first female to serve as a member of the Clarksville Montgomery County Board of Education. With a group of other active women, Brenda helped found the Women’s Bank of Clarksville with an entire staff and board of women - it is considered the first “all women’s bank” in the United States. Brenda served as president from 1919-1926. The bank then merged with First Trust and Savings Bank.


Their sons built their own homes - one, Flicker Hill, in Clarksville and the other in Nashville.


At some point, the Union St. Runyan Home was sold and became the Moose Club. At some point, the home was razed. See Cheekwood

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