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Wild Acres (The Henderson Farm) (Davidson Co.)

Wild Acres was bought by John Bernice (J.B.) Henderson, Sr. (1885-1966) and Ceacy Constance Doolion Henderson (1892-1968) about 1920.

Comprising about 508 acres, it was on Porter Rd. and sat behind Riverwood in the Inglewood area. The land included what became Cornelia Fort Airpark. The Henderson family lived there for 40 years until the 1960s. J.B. prospered as owner and president of Southwestern Publishing Company of which he purchased controlling interest in 1921. He had been a 16-year veteran of the company when this happened. The Southwestern Co. grew into one of the largest person to person sales companies in America with a focus on Bible sales. In the 1940s, per a newspaper story, European prisoners-of-war (POWs) helped out at Wild Acres. Evidently, POWs were utilized at several places across Tennessee while based at Camp Campbell (current Ft. Campbell). In the 1940s -50s, three family farms along the Cumberland River made up what is now Shelby Bottoms Park and Greenway: Fortland - the Forts, Oakland - the Barricks, and Wild Acres - the Hendersons.

In the 1950s, Henderson sold a portion of the farm to the Nashville government which created what became Cornelia Fort Airpark. Before J.B.’s death in 1966, the rest of Wild Acres was sold to developers for a subdivision and part became a park. J.B. and Ceacy moved to 810 West Hillwood Blvd. The name Wild Acres came from the Henderson’s 3 “wild” sons.


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