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Mountview/ Davis-Rozell


Photo by rossograph


Mountview / Davis-Rozell Residence was built in 1860 by William A. (Buck) Davis and Judith Robertson Owen Davis on five acres at 913 Franklin Rd.


It was the last antebellum mansion built prior to the Civil War, and its style was Greek Revival/ Italianate. In 1865, Davis sold it to a stranger - retired Methodist minister Ashley Bascom Rozell (1802-1886). Rozell lived in Smyrna and was en route to Franklin to buy an estate. When this was mentioned, Davis said if terms were met Mountview could be purchased - and it was. Rozell got 343 acres with that purchase and later added 82 acres more to the north. [Rozell’s father Soloman Rozell had emigrated to West Tennessee in 1820 and ended up making a considerable fortune as a woodsman and trader. He owned about 1,500 acres in and around Memphis by 1856.]


Rozell and his third wife Martha Ann Chambers Rozell (1823-1893) had married in 1846 and became Mountview’s next owners. [Rozell married his first wife Margaret Ralston in 1828, and then his second wife in 1832 was Henrietta Burnet Nelson.] Rozell was vital in founding Brentwood United Methodist Church and contributed to its building fund. It was completed in 1886. Rozell became a very wealthy man with 1,640 acres in Arkansas, Memphis, and Texas.


After Rozell died, his son Ashley Jr. (1841-1919) and wife Emma Sangster Rozell (1850-1921) inherited it. Their sons Marvin Rozell and Leslie Blackman “LB” Rozell (1885-1977) lived at Mountview with their families. Leslie was married to Margaret Stockton Woodring Rozelle (1897-1944).


The property remained in the Rozell family until 1924 when it was sold at auction to Charles P. and Florence Moss Wilson. Charles was co-owner of Fletcher-Wilson Coffee Company. He was a longtime Magistrate to the Quarterly Court of Williamson County. His son, David K. (Pat) Wilson, was Chairman of Cherokee Equity Corp. as well as Genesco. He was a very prominent Nashville philanthropist. Among other contributions, the Wilson family helped establish the Patrick Wilson Library in honor of their grandson/ son at Montgomery Bell Academy.


In 1980, it was bought by Ray Bell, a prominent contractor, who renovated the property substantially. He helped found Bell and Associates Construction in 1997. Then entertainment producer Will Byrd and wife Trudy Caldwell Byrd bought it. Will is an entertainment producer, and Trudy along with Red Grooms was responsible for the Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel. They sold it to Bunny Price in 2008. She is the ex-wife of nationally known money manager Michael F. Price. In 2014, Price sold the house to RDP, LLC. NRHP 1986

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