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Mount Alban/ Breeze Hill/ Vaulx-Scribner Resid.

Updated: Jun 13

Was located on Franklin PK (near 2615 Franklin PK) near Kirkwood Ave.

Circa 1822. 2-story white brick Greek Revival home


Mount Alban/ Breeze Hill was built by George Washington Campbell (1769-1848) and Harriet Stoddert Campbell (1788-1848). They wed in 1812. Harriet was the daughter of Benjamin Stoddert, a wealthy shipping magnate. He served as Secretary of the Navy under President Jefferson. The property was located on Franklin Pike south of Kirkwood Ave. Prior to Mount Alban, Campbell had lived on Capitol Hill in a townhouse on Charlotte Ave. He had recently returned from service as Russian ambassador where tragically he and his wife lost 3 young children.


It sat on 183 acres across Franklin Pike from Melrose estate (in the current Berry Hill area). Campbell began a law practice in Knoxville. He later served several government positions: U.S. House of Representatives from 1803-1809; Senator; Ambassador of Russia; and was Secretary of Treasury under President James Madison. When Campbell’s daughter, Elizabeth (Lizinka) McKay Campbell (1820-1872), married James Percy Brown (1812-1844) in 1839, she received the country estate and house. Brown was an attache in the American Embassy in Paris.


After James died three years later, the property and 205 acres was sold to Joseph Bolling Vaulx (1799-1878) in 1847. [Lizinka remarried Richard Stoddert Ewell in 1863. See Ewell Farm.] Joseph named the house Mount Alban. He was a merchant and banker. Vaulx became president of Tennessee Marine & Fire Insurance Co. and reorganized it. He was a vice-president and executive officer of Cumberland Iron Works in 1880. He married Susan Ellis Hobson (1807-1835) in 1826 and they had four children. After Susan died, Vaulx married Eleanor Ryburn Nichol Armstrong (1816-1895) in 1840.


After both J. Vaulx Sr. and Eleanor died, their son, Joseph Vaulx, Jr. (1835-1908), moved into Mount Alban in the late 1890s and remained there until his death. Before he died, he subdivided 200 acres of the farm and kept 16 acres around the house.


In 1926 (Robert) Morris Wilson (1880-1938) and Elizabeth "Bessie" Dake Wilson (1881-1936) purchased and renamed the house Breeze Hill. Morris’ parents were B.F. and Sallie Wilson of Wilmor Manor, and his sister Rebecca Franklin Wilson married J. M. Gray who lived beside the Wilson parents. Their daughter, Elizabeth Church Dake Wilson Cates Scribner (1910-1986), resided in the house seasonally until the death of her first husband, James Harvey Cates (1910-1965). She moved away and remarried to William Daniel Scriberner (1908-1980).


Afterward, the home deteriorated. Third National Bank took over the property and in 1983 had it torn down. A Kroger store and shopping center was erected on the hilltop. The general area from Franklin Rd. west to Granny White Pike is locally called Breeze Hill in recognition of the mansion. There is also a Vaulx Lane to recognize that family. See Wilmor Manor, Ewell Farm, Melrose


Sources:

Nashville Pikes, Vol I


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