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Ewing House/ Jordan-Ewing-Nelson-McElroy House/ Louisa School

Updated: May 15

512 N. Highland near Greenland Dr. Faced High St. between Burton and Liberty

Built in 1856. 2 story home with columns and a 2nd floor balcony


Photo from Rutherford Co. Hist. Society


Dr. Norfleet of Montgomery Co. never resided there, and four years later, 1860, sold it to Edward Leland Jordan, Sr. (1817-1889) and Mildred Martha Hopson Jordan (1823-1907). [His first 2 wives were: Martha Huelet Fletcher Jordan, 1821-1852, m 1840 and Volantia Jane Carothers Jordan, 1819-1858, m 1853.] Jordan was President of First National Bank of Murfreesboro, a director of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railway, and mayor from 1868-69. He had built a large plantation.


In 1857, it was sold to widower Judge Edwin Hickman Ewing (1809-1902). He was a congressman (U.S. House of Representatives 1845-47, writer, attorney and associate justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. After the death of his second wife, Rebecca P. Williams Ewing (1817-1844), Ewing moved to Nashville and lived with one son’s family. Within a couple years, that family moved out of state, and Ewing returned to his Murfreesboro plantation to live with another son, Josiah, from 1882-1902 after his retirement from the TN Court bench. He soon afterward married Martha. Post Civil War, Ewing was president of the University of Nashville and assisted in the founding of Peabody College. He transfered the deed to his son Josiah W. Ewing and wife Ada B. Fiord Ewing. They were deed owners by 1878. After Josiah passed away, Ada sold the home.


William Dromgoole Mooney, Sr. (1858-1941) and Grace Reubelt Mooney (1870-1959) were the next owners in 1903. They wed in 1890. Mooney was an influential educator in the mid-state. He founded the Mooney School which evolved to Murfreesboro School for Boys. Later he became the first headmaster of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin. The Mooneys were unable to pay the mortgage to the school trustees sold the deed to the Nelsons.


Eight years later, in 1911, George D. Nelson and Cora Bristol Nelson purchased the property. They established the Bristol Nelson Physiological School/ Mrs. Nelson's Home for Afflicted Children. While staying there, Cora launched a school for special needs children that became known as the Louisa School. George was a mail clerk on the railroad between Nashville and Chattanooga and enjoyed Murfreesboro.


In 1940, Father Frank McElroy (1899-1990) and Nancy Wilder McElroy (1908-1984) rented the house and purchased it 10 years later in 1950. Nancy had worked at the school. In 1949, they started the Louisa School. In the 1960s-90s, the home hosted the Louisa Development Center.


In the 1990s, the place was sold to the Middle Tennessee Medical Center and razed.


Sources:


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