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Harrison House: Military, Medicine & Music

Updated: Feb 2

The original build date is likely 1810. The first recorded owners were William Harrison (1815-1875) and Mary Matilda Hughes Webb Harrison (1813-1873). They wed in 1845. Mary came with her family as a child from Virginia. Dr. William Webb of Williamson Co. was Mary’s first husband who died.


William Harrison completely remodeled this home at 4800 Columbia Pike about 1848 in 2 story brick Federal style. The original facade faced another direction when Columbia Pike was in a different location. He was a sheriff of Williamson County from 1836-1842. Harrison had 1,700 acres originally. Prior to the ill-fated Battle of Franklin, Gen. Hood held his final staff meeting at Harrison House. History records Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest angrily protesting Gen. Hood’s plans and leaving the house. Gen. Hood’s attack ended in one of the Confederacy’s worst military disasters.



Photo by Jerrye & Roy Klotz, M.D.


Their son, John Hughes Harrison (1846-1910), inherited the property and became one of the wealthiest citizens in Williamson Co. He was married to Bettie Scruggs Harrison (1846-1910). Harrison was a successful merchant in Franklin. Records indicate that John and Bettie died the same year and that the two sons died within seven years of their parents. The two daughters lived in Williamson County.


For unknown reasons, the Harrison homestead was vacant and abandoned for years. From the 1960s-1990s, Dr. Harry Jasper Guffee (1913-1996) and Dorothy “Dot” H. Brady Guffee (1915-1993) owned Harrison House. They wed in 1937. He was a beloved physician and well-known horseman. Dr. Guffee helped found the Dan German Hospital, and in 1959, was on the initial medical staff of Williamson County Hospital. Dr. Guffee was a prominent part of the Franklin Rotary Club annual rodeo festivities on his horse. They renovated the home in the 1970s. The Guffee family moved from Hillsboro Rd. to the 250 acres Harrison House for their horses.


The next owners are connected with the music business. Around 1998, Jeannie C. Riley, a singer/ songwriter from Mississippi, and Mickey Riley owned the home. Her breakout hit was "Harper Valley PTA."


In 1993, Pamela “Pam” Lewis, a Music Row executive, purchased the property with 9 acres- thus saving it from destruction and commercial development. At the time, Lewis was an RCA music manager who handled country superstar Garth Brooks during his climb to stardom. David and Sarah Ingram purchased the remainder of the estate comprising several hundred acres and became neighbors. Lewis is now president/ CEO of PLA Media. NRHP 1975


Sources:

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