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Watson-Richardson Resid. (Richview)

Built for Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) Watson (1818-1900) and Elizabeth Ann “Bettie” Rudolph Watson (1827-1892) in 1865, the Watson-Richardson house sits at 360 Memorial Dr.

Watson came to Clarksville and purchased 100 acres from his future father-in-law. Elizabeth’s grandfather was the founder of Rudolphtown, a suburb southeast of Clarksville. There were several Rudolph family farms in the area from which the name derived. Watson had an interest in the Cumberland Flouring Mills.

The Watson family resided there until 1916 when they sold the property to (Henry) Percy Richardson (1882-1970) and Leona Julia Hille Richardson (1894-1964). Richardson ran a dairy until the early 1920s when he sold it to Hershel Wall. On part of the farm behind their home, the Richardson family made space for a couple baseball fields, and they hosted at least 3 leagues. One of the leagues was called Richview.

Around 1927, the State of Tennessee was asking farm families to name their properties for classification purposes, and the Richardsons called their farm Richview. When the baseball teams played behind the house and when the road in front of the house was paved and became a major thoroughfare in the early 20th century, the Richardson children started a roadside stand with drinks and snacks. When it continued to attract customers, Richardson built a small shack and increased the offerings. When that prospered, the Richardson family constructed a small restaurant called Richview. That restaurant became a local institution and lasted until 1964. According to an interview with a family member, plenty of locals had a regular night eating there, and many “Snowbirds” visited on their annual treks back and forth. The family home name is remembered through Richview Middle School and Richview Rd.


Homes & Happenings, p. 109

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