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H.H. Mayberry House/ Riverview (Spendored)

Updated: Jun 5

Photo by Skye Marthaler

The Henry H. Mayberry House / Splendored/ Riverview and its 26 acres sit on Hwy 31 north of Franklin. Henry Hunter (H.H.) Mayberry (1861-1931) and Marietta Watson (1861-1931) of Franklin wed in 1885.

Henry Mayberry was the son of H.G.W. and Sophronia Mayberry of Beechwood Hall and had made his own fortune in the coal industry, wholesale steel storage in Alabama, and owned Mayberry Hardware (est. 1896) in Birmingham. Marietta was the daughter of Thomas J. and Catherine Puryear Watson and granddaughter of John Watson of The Willows, an estate off the old West Harpeth Road.

In 1901, they desired to return to Williamson Co. and so bought the mansion and about 100 acres from C.R. Webb. They renovated a 2 story brick and stucco home in Neo-classical style while remaining in Birmingham and returned in 1902 to the completed mansion surrounded by 95 acres. Mayberry retired in 1904 and traveled the world with his wife for two years. Henry made sure his home was modern: the first home in Williamson County to have plumbing, built-in linen closets, a Delco lighting system and a central heat furnace. Mayberry was president of the Mayberry Trust Company (Franklin, Nashville, Knoxville) which he founded in 1923. Mayberry built and was the first president of the Franklin-Nashville Interurban Railway in 1905. Despite getting the Carnegie Trust Co. to help finance the project, the financing failed. He turned around a failing business organization and by 1908 the first trains were running.

The Interurban Railway operated until 1941 and was a tremendous boom to the growth south between Franklin and Nashville. Because of where the rail line was laid, it moved commercial growth of Brentwood west from Cottonport. Later, he also built over 11 years the Nashville-Gallatin Interurban railway, the “Blue Grass Line,” (1913-1932). Henry established the Franklin water system. He was president of Fidelity Security Corp.

The house was sold in 1942 to a Betherum relative. In 1971, the owner was Robert Lancaster. Six years later, in 1977, Dr. Alva Jefferson “Jeff” Bethurum and his wife Amy Smith Heinz Bethurum purchased Riverview and Splendor Farm with 26 acres. Dr. Betherum said that his paternal grandmother, Mary Smithson Bethurum, was related to Timothy Demonbreun.

Dr. Bethurum’s relatives had owned Riverview in his childhood, and he reported that at a young age he wanted to own the mansion. Dr. Betherum is a surgeon at Williamson County Medical Center, and he was Franklin Mayor for more than 10 years. Under his leadership, Franklin widened Highway 96 near I-65, started the Mack Hatcher Parkway development, got Cool Springs Galleria started, and got more infrastructure improved for future growth. About 2017, Dr. Bethurum desired to subdivide the estate into 19 homes on 27.5 acres - calling the development Splendor Ridge. NRHP 1988 See H.G.W. Mayberry House/ Beechwood


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