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Idlewild/ Robert Chadwell House


Photo by rossograph


Built at 712 Neely’s Bend Rd, it was constructed in Italian Villa style as a 2 story frame house with 11 rooms.


Sitting originally on 210 acres, Robert Chadwell (1820-1920) and Mary Ann Burge Chadwell (?-1896) built it in 1874. They wed in 1845. Before the purchase, Chadwell was a Davidson County Revenue Collector as well as a farmer. The tract stretched from Neely’s Bend Rd. to the Cumberland River. By 1880, the Chadwell family had developed a large farm operation with over half the land in corn and wheat, chicken, 40 sheep and 40 hogs.


After Chadwell died, the oldest son, William Thomas Chadwell, who was single, inherited the property and lived there with his sister Roberta Chadwell and her 2 daughters. In 1907, Thomas bequested the farm to his youngest brother, Henry Chadwell. Henry bought controlling interest from his siblings. His family farmed the land until 1913. Most of the property along with three barns and a dairy was transferred (150 of 210 acres) to a trust company to settle debt.


By 1914, Garrett Auston (G. A.) Maxwell (1864-1937) and Mamie Chapman Maxwell (1876-1937) owned the remaining 60 acres. They wed in 1892. Maxwell was president of Quality Hosiery Mill (Cookeville), had an interest in Tennessee Handle Company (Cookeville), and was president of Middle Tennessee Mills (Lebanon). He was also vice president of Rock City Spoke Co., president of Maxwell Brothers Grocery Company (Cookeville) and founded Putnam Overall Manufacturing Company (Murfreesboro).


In 1917, Mamie’s sister, Margaret Chapman Pickett (1878-1963), rented the home. In 1928 Pickett bought the remaining 33 acres along with the home.


Her daughter, Alice Pickett, sold the property in 1973 to the Boy’s Club of Nashville. Then in 1978, the Boy’s Club sold the land to the Metro Baptist Church. In 1979, the property was sold to Don and Betty Nixon. Since 2010, Rose and Gregory Smith have owned Idlewild with its remaining 2 acres.

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