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George Webster House/ Babcock Home/ Liberty Hall

Updated: Feb 12

The George Webster House was built in 1844 near the Cross Bridges area on Sawdust Rd. (current address is 3034 Hampshire Pk) by George Pope Webster (1809-1875).


Photo from Experience Maury Co TN


It was built in Federal style and sits along the Big Bigby Creek. He was a son of Jonathan and Sarah Jossey Webster of the Webster House/ Farm. He married Harriet Walker Blair Webster (1819-1876) and took over the family milling business. The property comprised 800 acres at that time. Webster was doing well and participated in organizing the Columbia, Centreville and Pine River Railroad Company with several other members: Their daughter, Mary Camp Webster Gordon (1840-1935) and her husband Richard Cross Gordon (1837-1903) as well as other daughter, Lucille G. Frierson and her husband, Hinton S. Frierson.


In 1875, George died, and his granddaughter Lucille Gordon Frierson (1869-1963) and husband Hinton Strother “H.S.” Frierson (1859-1941) lived there.


The Friersons were childless, and they adopted the daughter of his sister Ann Virgina "Addie: Frierson Armstrong (1861-1902) and Edward Livington Armstrong (1855-1940). when Addie died young - Adelaine Virginia Frierson Armstrong Queener. She later wed Millard Queener and lived at Shadowlawn. Their daughters were Alyne Queener Massey (Brookhill) and Lucille F. Q. Courtney. After Lucille died, the home became known as Liberty Hall in honor of H.S.'s birthplace. Next adopted daughter Adelaine Queener whose family owned Shadowlawn resided there.


Next, John O. Dillingham and Marie Chunn Dillingham owned the property. Professor Dillingham was part of the founding faculty of Columbia State Community College in 1957 and taught American history. He was a former president of the Maury County and Tennessee retired teachers associations. Marie was a librarian at John Brown Elementary School. The Dillingham family moved to Murfreesboro, TN.


In 1980, Jane Hoover Babcock and her husband Oliver Morgan Babcock, Jr. purchased the site. In the mid 1950s, Oliver was owner and general manager of Ruhm Phosphate & Chemical Co. In 1953, the Babcock owned and restored Rattle & Snap as well. Evidently, the Babcock family put their name on the home.


Then, (John) Dawson Gray & Dr. Susan T. Gray owned property. Dawson is a lawyer in Columbia and is related to H.S. Frierson. Dr. Gray is in the Gynecology Department at Maury Regional Medical Center.


The current owners seem to be descendants of the original family, William Michael “Moe” Webster and Jill B. Webster. Much of the family continues to reside in the Columbia, Cross Bridges and Nashville area. They continue to farm the land. NRHP 1984 See Vine Hill, Webster Hall, Shadowlawn, Rattle & Snap


Sources:


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