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Glencliff

Updated: May 16

Antioch Pike (former Mill Creek Valley Rd) off Murfreesboro Rd.

Built in 1852


Glencliff was built by Maj. Andrew Franklin Goff (1809-1874) and Rebecca Jane Erwin Goff (1819-1885).


They wed in 1843. (Goff’s first wife was Adelaide W. Bramlett Goff, 1819-1842.) Rebecca was the daughter of John P. and Frances L.W. Erwin of Buena Vista. Goff was trained as a lawyer and practiced in Giles County and Davidson Co. in the early 1830s. In 1837, he was elected Attorney General for the area. Afterward, the family moved to Nashville and to establish Glencliff farm. On 800 acres originally, Goff raised Jersey cattle.


From 1904 to 1924, (David) Shelby Williams (1856-1924) and Mary Washington Frazer Williams (1855-1928) owned the property. The couple were married 1897-1918 when Mary divorced Shelby.Evidently, Mary had been warned by family and friends against the marriage to Williams. Williams had previously been wed to May Lawson McGhee Williams (1860-1883) in 1881. May and her child died tragically just after childbirth. May's father was Charles McClung McGhee, a big railroad businessman in Knoxville. McGhee had formed the People's Bank of Knoxville. Mary was the daughter of George Augustine Washington of Wessynton Plantation and inherited his estate upon his death in 1892. (Mary had been married to James Stokes Frazer who died in 1892. He was a lawyer who practiced with Judge Jacob McGavock Dickinson. She kept their 3 story mansion at Belmont Ave. and Division St.). Mary spend a great deal of money to renovate Glencliff for a residence. Williams ran the Glencliff lands as a farm and owned Glencliff Dairy. In 1918, he sold Glencliff Dairy.


Williams was a prominent businessman: president of Nashville Warehouse and Elevator Co. (1900-1921), largest grain elevator in TN, former president of Nashville Gas Co., former cashier of First National Bank of Nashville, and a director of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad Co. His great-grandfather was Dr. John Shelby of Fatherland, and his grandfather was Ambrose Sevier who was the first Representative from Arkansas to Congress and the first Senator as well. Mrs. Williams was an officer with the Vanderbilt University Ladies’ Aid Society in 1904.


Later, W. A. Woodroof was an owner. In 1956, Metro Nashville Public Schools acquired property from the Glencliff estate, and in 1957 opened Glencliff High School. Glencliff mansion remains on Antioch Pike. The larger neighborhood is called Glencliff including Glencliff Estates, Glencliff Rd.. See Buena Vista, Fatherland, Frazer Hall

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