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Walnut Grove: Elliott and Elliston Ties

Updated: Mar 24


Photo by Skye Marthaler


Walnut Grove was built on 640 acres on Red River Rd. near East Station Camp Creek in Gallatin by Charles Elliott (1775-1810) and Elizabeth Odom Elliott Blackman Elliston (1778-1846).


They built a stone house in 1795 just along the Red River west of the current downtown Gallatin. Charles was the brother of George Elliottt of Wall Springs. After Charles died, Elizabeth remarried about 1811 to Rev. Lawner "Learner"/"Larner" Blackman (?-1815), who was an upcoming Methodist preacher. Just 4 years later, in 1815, Leaner died in an accident crossing the Ohio River. Next, she remarried to Joseph Thorpe Elliston (1779-1856) in 1817. They lived on 6th Ave. North in Nashville and then at Burlington on Elliston Place.


In 1816, their daughter Maria Platte Elliott (1799-1846) married Elijah Boddie (1787-1851), and they inherited Walnut Grove. He was successful with the development and growth of the estate with groves and meadows. One of their daughters, Elizabeth Blackman Boddie Elliston (1820-1904) married Joseph T. Elliston and later built Burlington. Later, Ellliston’s son, William R., married Elizabeth’s grandaughter, Elizabeth Boddie, and they also resided at Burlington. The Boddie family was friends with the Ellisons in Nashville. Elijah died leaving the property to his son Charles Elliott Boddie. Because of the Civil War, the Walnut Grove plantation fell into financial distress.


After the Civil War, Walnut Grove was sold out of the family to David Dismukes. After the Dismukes family, Katie Trousdale purchased. She was the granddaughter of Elijah Odom. Later, a sister Maria Boddie Mason (1841-1920) purchased the family-tied home. She was the youngest of the Boddie/ Elliott clan. Her husband was Carrington Mason (1834-1915) and they resided in Memphis where he owned an insurance company, Carrington Mason & Sons. The Masons bought and used Walnut Grove as a summer house.


In 1978, Don Wright and Patricia “Pat” Wright were owners of Walnut Grove. Don is a noted historian, writer, and former Tennessee state senator, and former 2-term mayor of Gallatin. The local area is also called Walnut Grove. NRHP 1978 See Burlington, Wall Spring/ Elliott Springs


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