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Overton Hall/ Crieve Hall

Updated: Feb 23




Overton Hall /Crieve Hall was built in Tudor style in 1900 by Jesse Maxwell Overton (1863-1922) and wife Sarah “Saidee” Cheney Williams (1872-1963).


He was the son of John and Harriett Virginia Overton of Travellers Rest). She was the daughter of banker John Philip and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Cheney Williams. They married in 1891. Overton Hall was located on 433 acres just south of the 3,600 acre Travellers Rest property either near today’s Stillwood Dr. or nearby at Barrywood Dr. and Brevity Lane. The driveway to Overton Hall may well be the current Farrell Parkway.


Saidee was famous for her formal gardens and greenhouses. She founded the Garden Club of of Nashville and helped organize teh Davidson County Horticultural Society. In 1919, she organized the State Department of the American Legion Auxiliary and served as president. Her daughter was later secretary-treasurer of the organization.


Overton was a businessman and breeder. Jesse ran Overton Hall farm which was known for breeding Berkshire hogs and Jersey cattle. Overton and other investors had formed the Hermitage Stud, a 3,000 acre horse-breeding operation across Franklin Pike that was well-known in the 1890s. Jesse was vice president of the American Forestry Association and was president of the Tennessee Forestry Association. He was a director of Fourth National Bank and owned Overton & Bush, a coal and ice company. About 1900, Jesse organized the Bon Air Coal Company which later merged with Buffalo Iron Company. He was founder and president of the Alabama Fuel and Iron Company about 1922. That same year, 1922, Jesse was killed in an auto accident.


Photo from Beautiful Homes & Gardens


Three years later, Saidee sold Overton Hall and built Beauvoir on nearby property she owned. The estate of 433 acres was sold in 1925 to Herbert Farrell (1882-1947) and his wife Helen Ritchey Cheek Farrell (1897-1978). Herbert was a former Nashvillian who had made a fortune in steel in Ohio through ownership of Farrell-Cheek Steel Foundry Co. (founded in 1910) in Sandusky, Ohio. [Herbert’s brother Norman Farrell and sister-in-law, Joesphine Elliston Farrell, lived at Burlington.] Ritchey was the only daughter of Joel O. and Mary Agnes B. Cheek of Cheek-Neal Co. and Maxwell House Coffee. It was at Jesse’s father’s Maxwell House Hotel that the famous slogan was attached to Cheek-Neal Co. Coffee, owned by Ritchey’s father. The Farrells also had houses in Ohio and Florida.


In 1947, Herbert died, and Ritchey sold the property to a developer and moved to her Palm Springs house. In 1950, Crieve Hall was demolished for development of a new neighborhood, Crieve Hall. Ritchey died in Palm Beach. Overton Hall reflected the name of the family who built it. Herbert Farrell renamed the mansion Crieve Hall for the ancestral home of his family in Northern Ireland. These area streets recognize the family names: Crieve Road, Farrell Parkway, Overton Lane, Overton Road, Ritchie Dr. See Beauvior, Cheekwood, Travellers Rest


Sources:

Nashville Pikes Vol 1, pp. 208-216

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