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Maplewood - one of the early communities north of Nashville

Image of Maplewood-1888. Drawing from Maplewood Neighbors

Maplewood was located on Gallatin Pike on 1,400 acres and was built in the early 1800s. It was originally a 1,000 acre farm owned by Col. Josiah Frederick Williams (1786-1853) and Margaret “Peggy” Williams (1799-1844). They married in 1815 and built one of the first brick homes in the area. Their daughter Rowena Josey Ewing Williams married Andrew Ewing and lived at Mansfield. Their daughter Mary “Money” Warner married James C. Warner and they lived at Renraw. The Williams eventually accumulated about 1,400 acres.

Williams tried to sell property through auction in 1858 but failed to achieve a satisfactory price. The property was sold to Dr. David W. Yandell, a local physician before 1860. Dr. Yandell served as Medical Director of the Department of the West for the CSA. Post war, he moved to Louisville and had a renowned career (his brother and father were also esteemed physicians) and was president of the American Medical Association in 1871 and very involved until his death about 1890. From 1865 to 1885, there were two successive owners: George Washington Green Payne (1813-1887), then Col. Henry Blood.

In 1885 Col. Jere Baxter (1852-1904), lawyer and president of TN Central Railroad and his wife Mattie M. Baxter bought the place. Baxter ran a horse farm. He established a breeding and stock farm and imported Welsh and Shetland ponies, Holstein and Jersey cattle and Norman and Percheron horses to farm. He gave 14 acres to the Masonic Widows and Orphans Home. Later, he bought the McIver property to increase the acreage of Maplewood. As the city grew to the area, he sold a large portion of his property to a syndicate for development, and they created Maplewood Park in 1892 - Inglewood’s first subdivision. In 1887, the Baxters gave land to the city where Jere Baxter School stands. It was originally called Maplewood School. Baxter founded the Tennessee Central Railroad in Davidson Co. but the NC & St. L and the L&N railroads barred the TN Central from Union Station and refused the cars on their tracks. The TN Central went into bankruptcy for years and pieces were in use by other railroads well into the 20th century. The original Baxter school was constructed in 1942.

By 1911, Curd H. Gillock owned Maplewood. Curd Havler P. Gillock (1847-1916) and Elizabeth Malone Gillock (1847-1934) resided at Maplewood, and Curd raised racehorses and subdivided portions of the farm. He operated Maplewood and developed the lands. Afte Curd’s death, the family stayed at Maplewood until about 1922.

Afterward, the estate was sold at auction, the house was razed, and the property became several subdivisions. The farm and owners are recognized by varied local names: Baxter Ave., Curdwood Blvd, Maplewood area, Maplewood Lane, Maplewood Place, and Maplewood Trace. The Wiliams family named their farm Maplewood because of the maple trees. See Mansfield, Renraw

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