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H.G.W. Mayberry House/ Beechwood Hall: Part of the Big 3 Plantation Homes in Williamson County

Updated: Jul 4

4009 Carters Creek Pike (U.S. 1) Franklin, TN

Circa 1856. 2-story white brick Greek Revival with 2-story portico


The H.G.W. Mayberry House / Beechwood Hall, located on Carters Creek Pike, was built by Henry George Washington Mayberry (1823-1897) and Sophronia Hunter Mayberry (1826-1865).

Photo by Skye Marthaler


They had married in 1849 and been given land by Sophronia’s father, Col. Henry Hunter. Henry and his wife Jane were early settlers in the Leipers Fork area, and Henry was a planter and one of the earliest whiskey distillers in the area as well. The couple started living in a log home called Liberty Hall which burned in 1851. They then built a large 2 story brick and stucco home with Greek Revival and Italianate style. It was one of the three largest antebellum plantations in Williamson County with over 1,000 acres: Samuel F. Glass and Ravenswood (James H. Wilson) were the other contenders.


By 1860, Mayberry was listed as one of the largest landowners in Williamson County - he had 1,600 acres of land. In 1871, he held over 1,500 acres of land and had cotton gins and mills on his farm.

Their son H.H. Mayberry owned Splendored/ Riverview. Their daughter, Agnes Wyatt Mayberry married Willliam Glass and resided at Walnut Hill, then Magnolia Hall


Beechwood Hall was sold to Mayberry’s son-in-law Robert Bailey (1849-1916) in 1872 that same year Bailey married Leonora Mayberry (1851-1934). Bailey was a businessman with a dry goods store and later president of Harpeth National Bank of Franklin in 1906. The property remained in the Mayberry-Bailey family until 1949 when it was sold.


In 1951, Hank Williams, Sr., the renowned country music star, purchased the farm and 507 acres, but sold it one year later in 1952 to Truman Ward. Ward was involved in several businesses including WLAC-FM which helped the Grand Ole Opry grow into an institution. Ward went on to amass property between 1937-1945 on the Williamson-Davidson County line and establish a horse farm which became Maryland Farms.


Between 1975-1983, Harry Holmes Morel, Sr. (1927-2013) and Elizabeth “Betty” Bryan Langston Morel (?-2016) owned the property. They wed in 1951. He was a native Nashvillian who became a prominent farmer of crops and cattle. He was on the Williamson County board for eight years. They were both involved with The Hermitage and Belmont Mansion associations. Betty was a member of the Colonial Dames, Crocket Forge and DAR.


In 1988, Calvin and Josephine Holtzclaw Hougland owned Beechwood Hall. Since about 1946, the Hoagland family has lived at Bright Hour Farm (Green Pastures) in Brentwood. After Josephine’s death, the widower married Mary Ann Pollard. Hoagland was a famed businessman and philanthropist. He was a founder of the Volunteer State Horsemen's Association, the governing body of the Iroquois Steeplechase, and as a rider won his category several times. He founded and ran Direct Oil and Fleet Transport. Hougland also had investment interests in Florida including Le Dome of the Four Seasons in Ft. Lauderdale, FL which was awarded nine Mobile Five-Star Awards.


In 2002 Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, both famous entertainers in country and pop music, purchased Beechwood Plantation which includes other sizable houses on property including the Samuel S. Morton House with more than 750 acres. From 2014-2017, the entire estate with 622 acres was listed on the market for sale for $18.5 - $20 million.


In 2023, the new owner was Larry Keele Cate, and the property still had almost 270 acres. He owns Oaktree Capital Management. NRHP 1988 See Splendored/ Riverview, Green Pastures, Walnut Hill, Magnolia Hall


Sources:

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