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  • Jay Brothers

Whippoorwill Hills: The Music of Birds

Andrew Marshall Kerr, Sr. (1786-1864) and Clotida Moreen Kerr (1794-1854) built Whippoorwill Hills starting in 1824 and additions were added over the years.


It is located at the current 2387 Baptist Church Rd. in Culleoka, located between Columbia and Lewisburg. The Kerrs purchased the land about 1818. Andrew was the first schoolmaster in the area and founded Fountain Creek Male Academy. He was on the board of Pleasant Grove Academy - which grew into Culleoka High School by 1920. After Kerr died, his son George inherited the home in 1865.


Years later, after George had moved to Texas, in 1884, he sold Whippoorwill Hills with 107 acres to William Brown Smith (1826-1901), Ophelia Dial Smith (1847-1900) and his sons. Smith had attended Fountain Creek. Later William Jefferson Smith (1858-1944) bought out his father and brother. After William’s death, his daughter Patricia Cordelia Smith Wright (1890-1968) inherited it with her husband Aubrey Buren Wright (1890-1983). Aubrey was a long-time educator at Columbia Military Academy.


Then their children Col. William Jefferson Wright and Alice Wright Algood (1926-2010) had ownership. Alice was married first to John Robert Hartley and then to Reuben Clark Algood (1915-2009). Alice was a contralto at the founding of the Nashville Symphony. As a preservationist, she was president of the Association of the Preservation of Antiquities, president of the Tennessee State Museum Association, member of the Tennessee Historic Commission, and was Chairwoman of the Tennessee Governor’s Residence Foundation. She was nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a 10-year stint on the National Museum Services Board. She was very involved with the Republican Party on local, state and national level. She was a member of the Maury County Planning Commission and awarded the Lucille Queener Courtney Community Service Award. Alice and Reuben were critical to the donation of the Athenaeum Rectory to the APTA. She also helped in the restoration of Rippavilla and served on its board. After serving in Korea, he came to Columbia Military Academy and taught for several years as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. He served around the country and in Turkey on various military assignments. After retirement as a Lt. Col. , he served as the Veterans Employment Representative for years.


The property passed to Alice’s daughter Patricia Algood Junkin and her husband Bruce. In 2013, Patricia was elected Chairwoman of the Maury County Republican Party. The home is named after the ground swift bird whose call sound like “whip or will.”


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