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Grayswood/ Harpeth Hall School

Patrick Mann (P.M.) Estes (1872-1947) and (Ann) Gray McLaughlin Estes (1875-1943) built this large 2 story brick mansion in 1924.


Photo from HHS Milestones 1952


It is located on 16 acres at 3801 Hobbs Ave. - the corner of Hobbs Ave. and Estes Rd. The Estes married in 1898. P.M. moved to Nashville in 1903 to help organize the new Life and Casualty Insurance Co. of which he served as general counsel and director until his retirement forty years later in 1943. He was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly (1924-26), a president of the Industrial Insurers Council, and a director of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. He was also a general counsel to Employees Income and Bonding Company, Hermitage Hotel Company, State Counsel Empire State Surety Company, and Pennsylvania Casualty Co. Ann Gray died in 1943 - the year of his retirement.


Three years later, P.M. perished in a tragic accident that shook up Nashville business, civil, and social society. In 1947, P.M., Mrs. Susan Richardson (Mrs. Edwin) Warner, Johnson and Annie Mary Bransford (of Edgefield, Deerfield) and Mrs Julia Dudley (Mrs. Richard) Dake (daughter of Guildford & Mary Britain Dudley, Hunter’s Hill) had gotten together at the Allen home. Susan, Annie Mary, and Julia were sisters. The Allens drove ahead. P.M. drove a second with the guests to the Belle Meade Country Club. The Allens waited at BMCC for their friends when they heard of a horrible wreck at the crossing and had a premonition it was their friends. For unknown reasons, the car returned to the host home. At some the car was crossing the railroad track at Old Harding Rd. and Post Rd. near the Highway 70 split and in front of the old Belle Meade Motel (now Belle Meade Galleria) and was hit by a train. All occupants were killed.


Three years later, in 1951, the estate was sold to the trustees of the newly formed girls school The Harpeth Hall School. It opened as a continuation of the Ward-Belmont School which had closed suddenly when its campus was sold in 1951 to the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The name comes from the general Harpeth River Valley area. Grayswood is now the main administrative building on the Harpeth Hall campus. It was named for Gray Estes. Estes Rd. and Esteswood Dr. are reminders of the Estes family. See Belmont


Sources:

Nashville Pikes: Vol Two 150 Years along Hillsboro Pike, Ridley Wills II, p. 133


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