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Mulberry Hill/ Meadowlands

Royal Ferguson built this mansion at 1818 Hampshire Pike in 1828. Ferguson was among the early settlers and entrepreneurs who started the pig iron industry in Middle Tennessee about 1815. Royal had established an iron furnace operation as the proprietor of the Mt. Jasper Furnace in Wayne Co.

By the early 1820s, Ferguson had sold the furnace and moved to Maury Co. The economic Panic of 1837 hit the area hard, and Ferguson lost control of Mulberry Hill. Edward Washington Dale (1790-1840) became the next owner, but only for a short time. By 1840, the property again changed hands to Matthew Delamere Cooper (1792-1878) . Matthew had served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. In 1819, he married Mary Agnes Frierson Cooper (1801-1834). By 1824, Matthew had dry goods businesses in Maury County and a commission house in New Orleans. Cooper also engaged famed local builder Nathan Vaught to improve the mansion. After Mary died, he married Mary’s cousin Elizabeth Jane Frierson (1819-1838).

Their son William Frierson Cooper (1820-1909) inherited and managed Mulberry Hill from 1840-1845 as well as practicing law. He subsequently moved to Nashville and owned Riverview and then Tammany Wood/ Riverwood homes. After Elizabeth died, Matthew married for the third time in 1841 Mary Ann Witherspoon Brown Cooper (1822-1861), daughter of Rev. Duncan and Susan Frierson Brown. The family’s New Orleans warehouse was burned down by Federal troops early in the Civil War.

After the war, the oldest son, Duncan “Dunc” Cooper, got into politics and business in Nashville. By 1908, Dunc was in a war of words with Edward Carmack about prohibition. Cooper was wet; Carmack was dry. They saw one another downtown and tensions escalated. Shots were fired, Dunc’s son Robin was injured, and Carmack was killed. The Coopers were tried and pardoned. Many years later, Robin was found murdered near his Belle Meade house.

After the Cooper family, the house had several owners. By 1960, Knud Baagoe (1902-1971) and Martha Elizabeth Darden (1902-?) owned it the longest. He renamed the property Meadowlands and covered the exterior brick with white paint. In 1978 James J. Mayes purchased the home, and the family stripped the paint away while restoring the Mulberry Hill name. See Riverview, Tammany Hall/ Riverwood


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Halcyon Hall

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