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Lynnwood and farm

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Lynnwood was built about 1850. The house and farm were off the Richland and Harding Turnpike (current Harding Rd. and near Lynnwood BL) on the outskirts of Nashville by the Smiths. It was constructed about the same time as Clifflawn across the turnpike.


Part of John Harding’s Belle Meade Plantation, Harding gave 87 acres to his granddaughter Susannah Elizabeth (Susan) McGavock Smith (1829-1894) and husband William Henry Smith (~1799-1859) when they married in 1850. The large mansion was a 2-story gingerbread home with large bay windows and several turrets. Susan’s parents were Frank and Amanda Harding McGavock. After the death of her husband, Susan remained at Lynnwood for about 35 years longer until she sold the property to the Gardners.


When Robert H. Gardner retired from his dry goods business, Gardner, Buckner & Co., he and his wife, Margaret McClung Gardner, purchased Lynnwood from Susan H. Smith. Margaret’s family helped survey and found Knoxville. Because poor health came on quickly, elder Gardners moved and sold the home to their son and his wife. The next owners were Matthew McClung Gardner (1855-1908) and Saidee Polk Fall Gardner Grant (1871-1936) by 1900. Both families had deep Tennessee ties. Saidee was great-grandniece of Pres. James K. and Sarah Polk. Gardner's grandfather was a businessman and surveyor who helped layout the city of Knoxville. Matt and Saidee married in 1891. He was owner of Gardner, Buckner & Co., a dry goods store, and a director of Fourth National Bank, of Maxwell House Hotel and of Bon Air Coal & Air. At Lynnwood farm, Gardner raised prized Jersey cattle. In 1906, he was reported in the Jersey Bulletin that he had added more acres across the road from his Lynwood farm. He helped introduce Jersey cattle to the south thru his Columbia Jersey Cattle Comp. An early 1900s map of west Nashville shows a couple lanes and drives named for Gardner and McClung on part of the site that later became St. George's Episcopal Church in the 1960s. The farm likely reached east to the base of the hill where Lynnwood Terrace now begins. After Gardner died in 1908, Saidee remarried to Rollin P. Grant and moved to New York.


A couple years later, Mr. and Mrs. William D. Witherspoon bought the property by 1911, but sadly William died in the same year. Witherspoon was general solicitor for the Tennessee Central Railroad. The widow Witherspoon sold the farm, and George Wimberly Killebrew (1862-1928) and Donna Maria Frierson Killebrew (1871-1949) owned the home. He was vice president of Hippodrome Motor Co.


Then Frank Allen Berry (1885-1965) and Eleanor Redway Berry (1884-1945) purchased it next. He was a son of W.W. and Alice Berry of Elmwood and was a founding partner of Bass, Berry & Sims. In the late 1930s, the Berry family moved to Ensworth Ave. By 1940, Lynnwood was deserted and in the early 1940s, the house burned or was demolished. The family history is remembered with Lynwood Blvd. and Lynwood Lane, and Lynwood Terrace. See also Belle Meade Plantation, Belair, Devon Farm, Elmwood, Two Rivers, West Meade & McGavocks of Williamson Co.: Midway, etc.


Sources:

Nashville City Guide 1880

Nashville Pikes Vol. 3 150 Years Along Harding Pike, p. 175

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