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Elmwood/ Hord House (Rosehill)

Elmwood is located at 5722 Old Nashville Highway near Murfreesboro.

Photo from Daily News Journal

Built in 1842 in Greek Revival style, the 2 story brick mansion was built by Thomas Hord (1802-1865) and Mary R. McCulloch Hord (1816-1851) and surrounded by a number of other buildings. Thomas was a lawyer originally and the house was called either Hord House or Rosehill. After Mary died, Thomas married Amelia Mildred Gilmer Hord (1824-1894) in 1859. Per historical sources, Hord’s operation at Rosehill was a good example of the evolution of farming from subsistence to surplus. In the early 1840s, the property produced crops including cotton for export. By 1862, Hord sold corn, cotton, wheat, hay and various livestock-horses, cattle, hogs and poultry. He also acquired property holdings in Louisiana and Arkansas.

The home and its campus suffered mightily during the Civil War as combat continued near it between 1862-1864 since it was near Overall Creek and the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad lines. At its greatest extent, the Hord family owned about 1,400 acres in the Murfreesboro area.

After the Civil War, Thomas Epps Hord, Sr. (1863-1927) and wife Louisa Sykes Hord (1867-1944) inherited Rosehill. Under his guidance, cotton production resumed, and the farm prospered. Hord served as county judge on Quarterly Court for 30 years and was a Tennessee state senator in 1908. About 1915, the Hord family joined other investors to win a bid to build the new Nashville Pike (part of the Dixie Highway) through Rutherford Co. and right in front of the property. At some point in the early twentieth century, the property was renamed Elmwood.

Thomas Epps Hord, Jr. (1899-1971) and Mary Young Wheeler Hord (1911-1978) took over operational control in 1927. After Louisa died, the couple took ownership. Epps Jr. was president of the Murfreesboro Production Credit Association (1934-1970), was a member of the Farm Credit Board of Louisville, was a director of the Rutherford County Cooperative Creamery, and a board member of the Federal Land Bank.

In 1971, when Thomas Epps, Jr. died, Charles Wheeler Hord, Jr. and brother Thomas Epps Hord II inherited the farm. In 1973, a 9 acre portion was registered as a Historic Place. Later in 2007, a larger portion of 168 was also placed on the Historic Register list while owned by family heirs Charles and Joy Hord. NRHP 1973


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