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  • Jay Brothers

Locust Guard

Located on Moran Road by the Big Harpeth River, Locust Guard was built by Joseph Motheral (1791-1872) and Anness Lea Williams Motheral (1805-1855) in 1823.


Joseph and Anness Lea had married in 1820. Joseph had inherited a share of his parent’s land (225 acres) earlier. His parents were John and Jane C. Motheral of Harpethside. In 1829, Joseph purchased another part of his parent’s land, and then in 1847, he bought the rest from his siblings.


In 1849, daughter Emaline “Emma” Tennessee (1825-1898) married Hiram Eleazer Ring (?-1958). After his service in the Mexican War, the couple lived in Dover, Stewart, and Sumner Counties where Hiram taught at schools. Hiram taught at and then was headmaster at the Male Academy in Dover. When Hiram died, Emaline returned to Locust Guard with her children until her death. In 1872, Joseph died and willed his lands south of the Harpeth River to daughters Emaline, America, and Jame.


Their son, Henry Hiram Ring (1852-1930), married Sarah Frances “Fannie” McClellan (1862-1953) years later and ran the farm. In 1898, after his aunts and mother died, he inherited all the property and became head of the family. Henry served as a Williamson County Court magistrate for years. Sarah started production of honey, walnuts and alfalfa on the farm.


After Henry died, Sarah became sole owner of the now 269 acre farm. Their sons, Nathan Standish “Ned” and James E. “Jim” Ring, had a peach and pecan orchard which was nationally renowned.


In 1961, ownership changed to Emma Mai Ring and her nephew Robert “Bob” Ring. Emma Mai taught for many years in Williamson County Schools and for most of that time at Grassland School. Bob, a Williamson County executive for many years, lived at Grassland with his wife, Charlene. Emma Mai died in 1986. The Motherals named the house because of the locust trees on property. See Grassland, Harpethside


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