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Robert L. Caruthers House(Oldest Brick Home in Lebanon)/ Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home

Updated: 2 hours ago

The Caruthers House sits at 241 West Main St. in Lebanon. The oldest brick residence in Lebanon, it was built in 1828 in Federal style in white brick by Robert Looney Caruthers (1800-1882) and Sally Sanders Caruthers (1807-1870). Four years earlier, after getting his law license, he moved to Lebanon to practice. He was a successful Lebanon lawyer. There was a raffle for property to benefit a local citizen, and Caruthers won the property.

He had recently married Andrew Jackson’s niece, and he secured the services of the architect, Henry Reiff, who had just built Jackson’s The Hermitage. Caruthers was named 6th District Attorney General by Gov. Sam Houston, then served in 1835 in the Tennessee House, then in the Tennessee Senate in 1841 and was elected to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1852. He was actually elected Governor of Tennessee in 1863 but could not take office because of the Federal occupation.

Photo by Brian Stansberry

In 1836, He and Alfred O.P. Nicholson published a Compilation of the Statutes of Tennessee which became a standard for 20 years. Caruthers was a founder of Cumberland University and was President of the Board of Trust from 1842 until his death - was called "Father of Cumberland University.". With his brother, Abram Caruthers, he also founded Cumberland University’s law school in 1847 and served as a law professor from 1868-1882. Just about a decade after its founding, in 1859, Cumberland School of Law ranked in importance with Harvard and University of Virginia. In 1878, Caruthers Hall was built. In 1961, the law school was sold to Samford University in Birmingham, and Caruthers Hall was torn down.

After Caruther’s death in 1882, the mansion had several owners. In 1938, it was purchased and has been used as the home to Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home. Charles Horace (C.H.) Ligon and his son Raymond had begun an undertaking business in the early twentieth century. When expanding, they joined in partnership with their relative Vera Ligon Bobo and her husband Alex to expand the funeral business. Ten years later, they built a chapel addition to hold services there. In 1993, the Bobo family sold the business to David Brooks and Clark McKinney who continue to own and operate Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home.



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